One crazy dog––one awkward vet––one naked pool guy––and one life-changing month in California to make friends, fall in love, and twist fate.
Who gets paid to walk a dog and recline by the pool all day? Sydney Montgomery, aspiring museum curator and professional house-sitter, that’s who.
When her aunt and uncle need a house and dog sitter for thirty days in Palo Alto, Sydney can’t turn down the chance to be closer to her sister in L.A. Within twenty-four hours of her arrival, Sydney’s cleaning up runny dog poo, taking an uncooperative pooch to a handsome yet awkward vet, and being rescued from the bottom of the pool by a naked “pool guy.”
Lautner, “pool guy,” has a hot body and a cool persona. With eyes of iridescent blue oceans, he is mesmerizing, sexy, and addictive. What he is not––the pool guy.
Dr. Lautner Sullivan is a college wide receiver turned pediatric resident. He knows how to woo a woman with flowers, pastries, and sweet tea. Lautner is every girl’s dream, but Sydney is not every girl. She’s immune to rainbows, fairytales, pixy dust, and the “L” word.
The attraction is immediate, the friendship is earned, and the love is undeniable. Thirty days is their forever, but forever is not long enough.
“Tea?” I offer, walking over to the pool.
Aaron sets the skimmer net along the side of the pool.
“Thank you.” The smirk on his face is suspicious and makes me feel like I’m missing some inside joke. He takes the glass from me and I move past him to get a closer look at the pool because I can’t look at him without his shirt and not break into a sweat.
“What are you skimming?”
“Nothing really. I’m stirring the water,” he says matter-of-factly.
This guy is not for real. What does he mean by “stirring the water?” He’s up to something. It’s obvious why Aunt Elizabeth hired him. She must properly clean the pool after he leaves so Trevor doesn’t get suspicious and fire his ass … a very fine ass I will confess.
“And why is it you need to stir the water?” I turn toward him and my eyes dart straight to his broad muscular chest and well-defined abs all kissed by the sun. Jeez, he’s too perfect and I’m … something. Distracted? Mentally lethargic? Crazy? Horny? BINGO!
“So there’s an even consistency of chemicals when I test the water.”
My mouth is agape and I cannot stop looking at him. He bends down to physically capture my attention. Shit! I show no shame staring at his bare chest.
“Hello?” he says, forcing my eyes back to his.
Shaking the inappropriate thoughts from my head, I take a quick sip of my drink to mask my embarrassment.
“Do I need to put my shirt back on?”
I choke on my tea. “No––” I can’t stop coughing. “I mean––” Clearing my throat, I notice his cocky smile. “Put your shirt on or leave it off. Why would I care?”
God, Sydney, could you be a bigger disaster today? The flap of the dog door distracts me. Swarley leaps down the deck stairs. Aaron hunches down like a lineman in anticipation of his overzealous greeting. The problem is, as Swarley races closer I realize he’s not aiming for Aaron. He’s aiming for––
“Oh shit!” I’m catapulted backwards into the pool.
My body makes its descent to the bottom while I open my eyes to see the blurry magnification of Mr. Sex on Legs pool guy standing at the edge looking down at me. I’m considering seeing how long I can hold my breath. Maybe he’ll decide to leave and I can surface from the depths of my own personal Hell without an audience.
Yes! That’s it. I can do this.
I still hold many records from my high school swimming career. Holding my breath until he leaves should be easy. Unless he decides to be heroic and jumps in to save me. Not a bad scenario either. Then at least we’ll both be drenched in our clothes.
Like a leaky raft, I release my breath one bubble at a time and take a seat at the bottom of the pool. Ha! He’s emptying his pockets. Looks like I won’t be the only drowned rat. Wait. What the hell? No he’s not. Oh dear God, yes he is. Sex on legs dives into the pool, sans shorts and underwear! The two haunting notes from Jaws sound in my head while I scramble to the surface in the opposite direction, desperate to get away from him.
The sweet relief of air filling my lungs is squashed by the anxiety of being chased by a naked stranger.
“Oh my God! What are you doing?” A frantic yell breaks out with the remaining breath in my lungs while I swim toward the ladder, barely escaping him. I leap out of the pool with superhuman speed. Wrapping my arms around myself, I scramble to the pool house, my heart racing and my whole body shaking as I fumble for a towel.
“The water feels great today.” His voice sounds behind me.
I whip around and gasp, wide eyed. A wet, naked, sinful-as-a-hot-fudge-sundae body greets me a few feet away. Hands fisted, his arms are casually crossed at his wrists covering part of his junk in the front. The perfect cover to Sports Illustrated stands before me, and all I want to do is smack him across the face to wipe the stupid smirk off it. Then, of course, I want to jump him and rub every sensitive part of my body against his, because right now I’m so pissed and so turned on, I need to dive into the pool again before I self-combust.
“Finish up and get out,” I mumble as I toss him a towel and stomp toward the house. On my way, I pass Swarley beached out in a lounge chair by the pool.
“Evil demon dog!” I scowl at him.
Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor.
With 10 years of flossing lectures under her belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.
After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the Contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.
When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree at a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course…heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.