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What happens when a high-heeled diva goes camping with her sister’s dog?
Avery Montgomery, fashionista and preacher’s daughter, needs a ride from Milwaukee to Los Angeles.
“Make my death quick, and please don’t tie me up. I’m claustrophobic.”
Jake Matthews, diva-hater, agrees to let her tag along on his annual but primitive trek to the West Coast.
“Okay, Princess, I’ll take you to L.A., but your crown won’t make it there in one piece.”
She’s desperate and out of options.
Don’t miss this sexy, hilarious, and heart-warming journey of self-discovery and raw … naked love.
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“You’ve ruined my life.” The break of the ocean waves outside of my apartment does nothing to soothe my anger.
His head cants to the side like he doesn’t understand. Blue-gray eyes make a weak case for his behavior. I used to fall for that puppy dog look. Not anymore.
“That’s it? You have nothing to say about ruining my life? You have nothing to say about your completely inexcusable, animalistic behavior?”
He shifts his large frame and scratches behind his ear before returning his focus to me.
Emotion tingles my nose as more tears fill my eyes.
“I worked so hard for this. My life was finally on track, and you’ve derailed it!”
Satan saunters off to the patio doors, leaving his back to me thinking he can ignore me.
“I hope you’re cursed with an eternity of anal itching, and I will make it my life’s purpose to ensure you never find anything to hump again. Do you understand me?” I hug my mangled hand to my chest. “Eternal anal itching. NO humping!”
He paws at the door.
“AND STOP SCRATCHING MY DOOR!”
Swarley whines. Why? I don’t know. Nobody broke his paw today.
Not all dogs go to Heaven, and when I murder my sister’s dog, he will not cross over any rainbow bridge. His human-hating soul will burn in Hell, but his body will live forever—with incurable anal itching.
Swarley whines again. Apparently his need to piss his name in the sand is more important than my need to hate him for chasing that stupid cat while the leash tangled around my hand.
I hate cats!
Dogs may be the worst. They disguise themselves as man’s best friend, but I know better. The last thing I need is one more friend with no self-control.
Pain slices along my hand, shooting up my arm, as a cold sweat breaks out along my brow from the nausea settling into the pit of my stomach. I admit it—if only to myself—I, Avery Montgomery, am a wuss.
I’ve cancelled clients because of an irritated hangnail. Menstrual cramps leave me bedridden for twenty-four hours. And I’m one of those patients who require nitrous oxide just to get my teeth cleaned. It’s genetic. There has to be a low pain tolerance gene.
Inches from the door, I drop to my knees and collapse into a fetal position on my side to keep from fainting. My long, blond hair sticks to my face. My hair—how am I supposed to do my hair with one hand? Bathe? Apply makeup? Latch my Chanel necklace or Tiffany diamond bracelet?
Dear Heavenly Father, I know my relationship with you has been a bit parasitic—my bad—and I need to get my derrière to church, but if you could find it in your unconditionally loving self to give me the strength to not pass out, I swear to never use your name in the throes of passion again. Okay … I won’t swear because I know you don’t like that since I’ve sworn on the Bible one too many times only to have broken those sacred promises, but you get my point. I’m going to do better. I feel certain this is a coming-to-Jesus moment.
The pain! It’s so insufferable. The X-ray showed no broken bones, but I’m certain the extensive ligament damage is just as bad, if not worse. No amount of physical therapy will correct this. I’m ruined. Disabled at twenty-nine. Well, it’s been a good run.
Swarley cries. I cry.
The remorseless Weimaraner scratches at the door. I claw at the cold tile with my good hand to get close enough to slide open the door.
“Go!” I grunt. “Go piss on someone else’s day.”
No leash. No supervision. Just miles of beach for digging holes. Go dig your grave, buddy. I’m ready to bury your ass. My sister cannot get upset with me for letting her dog drown or get eaten by a shark. My brutally mangled hand is his fault. I’m her sister. She’ll take my side.
Who am I kidding? It’s highly unlikely.
Holding my hand to my chest with the fragility of a newborn baby, I find my feet, wobble a bit, and collapse onto the kitchen stool.
“Hey, Siri, call Anthony.”
Siri doesn’t respond. Straining my neck, I lean toward my phone on the other side of the counter.
“Dammit, Siri! Call Anthony!”
The screen lights up. “I don’t see Dance with me Anthony in your contacts. Shall I look for locations by that name?”
“Okay, this is what I found on the web for colonoscopy.”
Swarley scratches at the door.
“For Pete’s sake, have all sharks given up red meat? Why are you still alive?” I slide open the door with my foot, grumbling.
Swarley saunters into the living room and plops down on his designer dog bed that I bought him before we broke up. Yeah, we’ve broken up. This will be the last time I dog-sit.
I wiggle my toes before using them to slide the door shut. I need a pedicure. The robin’s egg blue polish has a few chips in it. And it’s been two weeks—two weeks—since I’ve had one. Don’t even get me started on the gnarly callous forming on my pinky toe.