Monday, February 20, 2023

Read an #Excerpt from Dog Days Forever by Shannon Richard

With DOG DAYS FOREVER Shannon Richard delivers a heartfelt, romantic novel inspired by Sweet Home Alabama, perfect for fans of Jill Shalvis, Kristan Higgins, and Susan Mallery, in which a young woman who only fosters dogs discovers an abandoned puppy and finally starts to open herself up to love again. Grab your copy on February 28th or preorder today!

About the Book

Dog Days Forever
by Shannon Richard
Format:384 pages, Paperback
Expected publication: February 28, 2023 by Avon US
ISBN: 9780063235618 
Once inseparable as children and romantically entwined as young adults, Caroline Buchanan and Maximillian Abbot are now virtual strangers. It might be Caro’s fault—considering she abruptly ended their engagement—but she had good reasons. After their devastating breakup, she stayed in North Carolina, building a quiet, cozy life, while Max went to New York City. In the fourteen years since, Caro has experienced more than her share of heartache and loss. She rarely lets anyone in, not even the steady stream of rescue dogs she fosters.

When Max returns to town for the summer at the behest of his grandmother, Caro must finally face their past because she keeps running into Max, and old feelings come rushing back. Shortly after Max arrives, Caro finds a puppy, alone and shivering in a thunderstorm. She takes the dog in, planning to find her the perfect new family. But at a time when her life is in turmoil, this new furry friend—who she names Frankie—unexpectedly becomes her anchor.

As she opens her heart to the sweet, cuddly canine, Caro begins to wonder if she could love Max again, too. Max and Frankie feel like home and she can’t bear to say goodbye to either of them. But secrets, both old and new, are still lingering and Max hasn’t completely forgiven her for breaking his heart all those years ago. Will this be a summer of second chances or are they bound to make the same mistakes twice


“Hey!” She playfully pinched his side, making him squirm against her until he grabbed her hand. “It’s not my fault I reached five foot two and stopped growing while you just had to get to six feet.”
“It doesn’t matter.” Max pulled her hand to his mouth and kissed her knuckles. “We still fit together.”
“We’ve always fit together.”
It was true, even from the start. He’d been a painfully shy child who had trouble stringing a sentence together, and she’d been a bouncing ball of energy who could have an entertaining conversa- tion with a brick wall. And yet they’d fit.
Max leaned in close to Caro, brushing his lips against hers. “Always.”
It was Caro who pushed in for the kiss, opening her mouth. Her tongue found his as her leg slid up and over his thigh, showing just how well they fit together.
They hadn’t finished making love that long ago, and yet he needed her again. But he always needed her—would always need her.
Max forced himself to break the kiss, pressing his forehead to hers as their uneven breaths mixed in the space between their mouths. “Do you remember the first thing you said to me?”
Caro pulled back from him, settling her head against his arm so she could look at his face, her smile firmly back in place. “I asked you if you liked chocolate chips in your pancakes and whipped cream on top. It’s still the best breakfast.”
“Oh, without a doubt,” Max agreed as he pushed a strand of her dark brown hair out of her face. “Do you remember what you told me after that?”
Her smile grew. “That Max was a good pirate name, and we should go on an adventure after the rain stopped.”
“And we’ve gone on so many adventures since then,” Max said as he started to wrap the strand of hair gently around his finger.
“So many.”
“Caro, I know we’re young. And I know that our relationship has been mostly long distance  ”
Max had lived in New York his whole life, up until a year ago when he’d moved down to North Carolina to go to UNC–Chapel Hill. Four hours was much more manageable than eleven, but they’d still never been in the same place for longer than three months.
“And I know that us being together full-time has been delayed another year  ”
Caro’s face fell at those words, her expression sad. The plan had always been for her to join him at UNC after finishing high school. But those plans had changed when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. She’d decided to stay home for the year and help take care of Rachel and the rest of her family.
“But this summer has given us other gifts.”
She’d moved into the loft above her parents’ garage, giving them some sort of privacy when he was in town that summer. They didn’t have to sneak around, didn’t have to set alarms to wake up early and creep back into their own beds as if they’d been there the whole time.
“I’ve gotten to go to sleep with you in my arms every night, got- ten to wake up next to you. It’s been  perfect.”
“It really has been.” Caro started to blink rapidly, her eyes brim- ming with moisture. “I love having you here, Max. All mine.”
“All yours.” Max moved his hand up, gently wiping away the tears that were now on her cheeks. “Caro, I knew the first time I met you that I would follow you anywhere. That I’d be up for what- ever adventures you wanted. And nothing has changed. It won’t, a year from now, or five, or fifteen.”
“It won’t,” Caro echoed on an unsteady breath, tears now freely streaming down her face as her eyes searched his.
“Marry me.”
“Yes,” she said, without a moment of hesitation.
The word was barely past her lips when Max crushed his mouth to hers. He rolled so she was beneath him, her arms wrapping around his back. She was holding him so tightly he’d have sworn she wanted to disappear into him as much as he wanted to disappear into her. But there was one last thing that needed to happen before that.
For the second time that night, Max made himself break the kiss. It took a force of will that was stronger than he realized he possessed.
“Max.” His name was a plea. “I need you.”
“I know. I know. I just . . . I have to do something first.” He sat up, kneeling on the bed as he reached for the nightstand drawer next to him, pulling it open and grabbing a little blue velvet box.
Caro sat up, her eyes moving from his hands to his face. She was beaming, biting her bottom lip in the way that always signaled she was so happy she could barely contain it.
He could barely contain his happiness either. Not wanting to wait a second longer to make it official, Max opened the box and pulled out the ring. He held out his hand, and Caro lifted hers into the air, placing her palm against his.
With one gentle slide, the ring was in place on the third finger of her left hand. He’d gotten the antique ring from his grand- mother Ava. It was intricate white gold, a halo of tiny diamonds, and one big, round stone in the middle. And on the inside was an inscription.
To a lifetime of adventures.

About the Author

Shannon Richard lives in Tallahassee, FL with her adorable rescue dog Teddy—not that she’s biased or anything. She enjoys experimenting with a new recipe in the kitchen or perfecting an old one, typically done with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in hand. She has no shame for the amount of reality T.V. she indulges in, listens to entirely too many podcasts, and is now a plant lady.

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