Searching For, #4
(June 30, 2015, Gallery Books)
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer Probst sparks a blissful mind-body connection as her “sexy, satisfying” (Kirkus Reviews) new series continues!
She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but Arilyn Meadows is running on fumes. Along with her job counseling singles seeking soul mates at the Kinnections agency in Verily, New York, she’s a yoga teacher, animal shelter volunteer, anger management therapist, and helping hand to her beloved grandfather. No time to find Mr. Right—but after discovering her yogi boyfriend in a compromising asana, Arilyn would rather dog-sit for her honeymooning friend Kate than risk her heart on another downward dog. And when police officer Stone Petty—radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude—is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, Arilyn vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits.
She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon's Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.
Devine stood on the curb, gaping at Stone as if he’d just announced he’d gone gay. He shifted the weight under his arm and glared. “A dog. What do you think it is? Get in.”
They were outside the police station, ready to do a drive-by check. The early afternoon had been perfect. Ideal.
When he returned, Arilyn greeted him at the doorway with no clothes, proving she had a secret bad girl inside he’d managed to spring loose. They’d spent the rest of the morning in bed, exploring all the ways he could make her scream, and he’d barely had enough time to get back to Pinky before racing to work.
Another small puddle greeted him along with a suffering, mournful expression of doggy unhappiness.
Stone took the dog out, redid her water-food routine, and ripped out a new squeaky toy. Pinky refused to touch it. Just sat in the middle of the room, refusing to budge but asking for something he couldn’t seem to figure out.
“See, this is why I don’t have a dog,” he offered, buttoning up his uniform. “This is also why I got a divorce. I’m busy. I don’t know how to make you happy. I have to go to work and bring home the money. Do you understand?” Stone finished dressing, grabbed his stuff, and paused at the door. “I gotta go. I’ll be back in eight hours and we’ll spend some time together.
Okay?” Nothing. Well, what the hell did he expect? He was talking to a damn dog.
Frustrated and pissed off, he opened the door.
Then heard it. Whimpering.
Stone turned his head. Pinky had dropped her head in full grieving mode. Body shaking, little moans
of distress emitted from her mouth. A shiver raced down his spine. No. Oh, God, this was worse than a woman crying. He rubbed his hands over his face and prayed for it to stop. How could she go from isolated silence to codependency so soon?
“Don’t. I can’t take you to work. I drive in a police car and you’d hate it.”
Pinky lifted her head and whined again. Took a few steps toward the door, cocking her head as if asking the all-important question. Can I go with youplease?
“Absolutely not. You’ll be fine. Hang out, take a nap, chew on a bone. I’ll be back later.”
He shut the door. A few steps toward the car, he stopped cold, listening to the eerie, sad whine of the
Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck.
He opened the door, grabbed the ridiculous pink collar and leash Arilyn had bought, and scooped
Pinky up in his arms. The dog barely took up his whole hand, and immediately snuggled into the crook of his arm. Then Stone did the unthinkable, the impossible, and the insane.
He brought Pinky to work with him.
Devine was still staring in shock through the window at the dog sitting in the backseat. “That thing is
a dog?” he asked in a high-pitched tone. “Are you kidding me? Trying to pull a practical joke? Is it real?”
Stone rolled his eyes. “Just get in the damn car, please, before the rest of the dingbats come out here.
It’s a Chihuahua.”
Devine slid in the front step, glancing back. “I know what a Chihuahua is, and that ain’t one. Where’s
“Gone. Well, I called it Rat Fink, but Arilyn got pissed.”
“Ah, now I get it! This is the one you tried to get me to take. You slept with her, and this is your punishment!”
“Shut up, Devine.” His partner belted out a laugh, shaking his head.
“Thought you hated dogs.”
“I do, but like I said, this one was abused, and the shelter was crowded, and she couldn’t take the dog
because it has issues.”
“Issues, huh? You two are perfect for each other. What’s the rat fink’s name?”
“Pinky,” he mumbled. He winced, waiting for the inevitable.
“You’re fucking kidding me.”
Damned if he didn’t feel a flush stain his cheeks.
So humiliating. “No.”
“Her collar is actually pink. I told you she’s a foofoo dog!”
“She’s tough. Arilyn named her, for God’s sake, not me. And she’s only mine temporarily.”
“Why does it have to come with us? Dogs are left home all the time.” Stone made a right and headed into the neighborhood where they’d nabbed Pinky. “I know. I tried. She was shaking and crying, and I was afraid if I didn’t take her, something bad would happen.”
Devine laughed harder. “You are such a sucker.
Dogs hate being alone, they all do it.”
“I’m telling you, this is different. Look, it’s only tonight.
I’m begging you not to tell the guys or I’m gonna have to take shit for this stunt for the rest of my life. Then I’d have to transfer.”
Devine wiped his eyes, looking happy over his complication. “Fine. But you owe me.”