I’m glad to have Laura here to share her darling little dog and her contemporary romance, The Millionaire Mountain Climber.
During a year of ups and downs, the very best thing about 2018 was the entry of little Beau into our lives. He’s a Pekingese we rehomed from a neighbor whose lifestyle changed. He didn’t want two-year-old Beau any more, but he didn’t want him to end up at the RSPCA either. Enter lucky us.
We haven’t had a dog for about ten years because we’d been living in an apartment. Then we moved into a townhouse with a small yard, and I started to work from home. The door opened, the universe conspired, and Beauzie came to live with us.
Initially, he was understandably nervous. Seven months later, he’s the prince of our small kingdom and has a spot in every room that he considers his own. He has completely won over my husband who had thought he was a big dog fan.
I didn’t know much about Pekes when he arrived, so naturally I had to buy a book or two to read up about them. I discovered they were royal dogs in China who made their way to England as a result of England’s defeat of China during the 19th century Opium Wars. Two were given to Queen Victoria. From there, they conquered the world.
They were selectively bred to enhance their flat faces with the wrinkle and little legs, supposedly to stop them running away. Ha. Beau can run like the wind – when he feels like it. He’s equally good at sitting tight. You’d be surprised how tough it can be to get a little dog of around fifteen pounds to move along when he’d rather stay and chat to a new doggie friend.
He is both stubborn and sweet, a picky eater who personifies the phrase ‘turn your nose up at…’ when he doesn’t wish to eat something. He plays the court jester with aplomb and loves to stretch his long back while lying down, his little forelegs scrabbling through the air and his tail and head almost touching. Naturally he requires his human minder to tickle his tummy during this process. I think he’s double jointed. I didn’t know this was a dog trait, but he loves to flop down mid-stride, one leg forward one leg folded underneath him. Oh, to be that flexible!
Pekes who are show dogs have extremely long coats. While it is cute, it is cruel during an Australian summer, like expecting a human to wear a fur coat in forty-degree heat. We keep Beauzie’s hair cropped nice and short, aside from his fluffy tail, and let it grow only in winter. A friend of mine says all homes should have a little dog, and I think she’s right. They live in the present and remind you of all that is good and joyful.
Beauzie would enjoy living in the Auberge de la Montagne in the French Alps, the setting for my contemporary romance, The Millionaire Mountain Climber, as he is very social. He would be delighted to have a stream of guests to watch come and go. One of his furry friends has not yet made his way between the pages, but this is only book 1 in the series, so watch this space!
The Millionaire Mountain Climber
A contemporary romance
When danger threatens a bona fide city girl, an adventurer is her only hope of rescue
Mountain climber Matt Hanley is a former investment manager whose lean body and rugged good looks epitomize an outdoor adrenaline junky. When his business partner in their country hotel is injured, he needs an efficient replacement in a hurry.
Hailey Gordon lives a chic city life free of adventures and daredevils. She craves stability and security but loses her job and boyfriend on the same day. A winter holiday job in France is the perfect escape from her troubles.
Sparks ignite when Matt and Hailey meet, but she resolves to ignore the flame flickering between them. Aside from the fact Matt is her boss, she is convinced he is not her type. Matt is determined to teach Hailey to look beyond appearances. He needs to show her how good they are together, even if he must risk life and limb to do so.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” said Matt. “Trending down the valley, you have the villages of Argentiere and Les Praz and the town of Chamonix. Behind Chamonix you can see the Grand Mama of all the peaks, Mont Blanc.”
“Yes, the pens––and the chocolates.” She shook her head. What hubris to name a pen after the magnificent towering peak, but what marketing genius.
Matt grinned. “Ah, you know the chocolates, do you? We’ll have to buy you some.”
“From the lips to the hips,” she murmured, “and I am sure they don’t do the mountain justice.”
“Come on, let’s get you inside before your face turns blue, and I earn a reprimand from Genie for chatting up scantily-clad women in sub-zero temperatures.”
“Really? You were chatting me up? I’m flattered.”
The smile turned wicked. “You’re welcome.” As he bent to pick up her suitcase, he dropped his head next to hers and murmured into her ear in a low, deep voice, sending shivers down her spine. “For the record, Hailey, your curves are perfect. A little chocolate won’t do them any harm.”
She blushed, and the fire of his words flickered all the way through her belly. When was the last time her ex had paid her a compliment? An appalling thought crossed her mind; she, the High Priestess of Order and Long-Term Planning, was ripe for the picking and contemplating a holiday romance.
Laura Boon stole her first romance from her father’s bookshelves as a teenager, The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and was immediately captivated. After holding a variety of positions in publishing, from bookseller to sales rep and publicist, she eventually found the courage to write her own stories. She was born in Zambia, grew up in South Africa, and went to university in America. She now lives in Australia with her husband and Beau. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys sleuthing for artisan chocolate and beautiful stationery, watching tennis, and walking alongside Sydney’s beautiful harbor.
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