A companion novella to Collared, Going to the Dogs, #4. Your reading enjoyment would be enhanced if you’ve already read Collared.
Harper and Caleb are getting married and for the most part nothing has really changed for Harper. She’s still uber rich, her life filled with charities and smoozing. But instead of loneliness and protective walls, she’s opened her heart to the best and most wonderful thing that has happened to her—gorgeous and tough, Detective Caleb Shaw.
But Caleb’s once normal, blue collar life has been significantly changed. With Harper’s money taking care of everything, what is there for him to provide her? Especially when he hears it bantered around that he’s a “kept” man. Harper dismisses that kind of talk as nonsense and urges Caleb to not worry about it. But even as he tries to grow a thick skin, his pride causes rifts. Will Caleb let Harper’s wealth destroy the deep and abiding love they found?
Will their marriage end before it even begins?
Harper’s life with Caleb is pretty much perfect, for her. Since her engagement to Caleb, life for Harper has remained virtually the same. She still spends the bulk of her time on social and philanthropic pursuits, she still has a butt-ton of money and, she still lives in the same multimillion dollar home. The only real change in Harper’s life if the presence of Caleb and his dog in her home. For Harper, there is not much to adjust to and with the wedding plans in full swing, life is pretty perfect.
Life for Caleb is markedly different. Following his on-the-job injury, Caleb has moved from patrol to a leadership position, he has given up his bachelor pad and moved in with Harper and, he is now attending a lot of social and charity functions that seem to always require a tux. Caleb is a tough guy and if Harper needs him, he is going to be there but he is really getting tired of hearing the upper-class ladies and gentleman (and I use those words very loosely!) talking about his position as “Harper’s property.” The final blow to his ego is the moment when Harper’s dad and two brothers call him into the office to discuss the signing of a prenuptial agreement. Yeah, life for Caleb has changed significantly.
Harper has spent her entire life dealing with wealth and society and she has learned how to handle the cattiness and gossip, you ignore it. In fact, Harper learned from her mother that in any given situation, no matter how painful, one in Harper’s position must maintain the illusion of all being well. Caleb is in no way, shape or form prepared for the concept of maintaining and every time he tries to talk to Harper about his concerns, she basically dismisses him. The straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back is the moment Caleb is blindsided by his future in-laws with the prenup. In most instances, Caleb would go to Harper but in this moment he is so damn angry that he needs the boys! Thank goodness all the other dog park girls have boys Caleb can count on.
The Bottom Line: Getting the blonde juggernaut to the altar is big, big, big business and Harper wants everything to be perfect. Caleb is the perfect partner for her but Harper has got to learn that sometimes maintaining isn’t the way to go. Caleb’s anger at Harper over the prenup isn’t at all about the money but about Harper not trusting him with every part of her life, her emotions and, her heart. Breaking through Harper’s cool exterior is not an easy thing to do but when things come to a head, Caleb is able to accomplish what no man before him has. He gets all of Harper and with her, a truly fantastic HEA.
Though I know this isn’t the end of the Going to the Dogs series, it is an end of sorts. Dawson has now coupled up and married each of the four original female characters and for me, the best has definitely been saved for last. Harper is by far my favorite of the dog park girls and to see her happy and settled is very satisfying. Dawson could not have dreamt up a better partner for Harper and I think I fell a little more in love with Caleb after this read. At the end of the day, this series is absolutely one of my favorites and I can’t wait to see what Dawson has in store for the future of the Dogs series!
Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic mystery, urban fantasy and paranormal novels. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.