Read Good Guys Love Dogs Online

Authors: Inglath Cooper

Tags: #Adult, #Romance, #Humor

Good Guys Love Dogs


© Inglath Cooper 2013

Design © Sarah Hansen


No part of this publication may be
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form
or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or
otherwise without written permission of the publisher or author. This
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either
are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.
Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or
dead, is entirely coincidental.

Guys Love Dogs


published as The Last Good Man

© 1997 by Inglath Cooper



Free Entertainment, LLC

Dear Reader,

This is such an exciting time to be
a writer!
Good Guys Love Dogs
was originally published as
Last Good Man
by Harlequin Superr omance. At the time of its
publication, I was thril ed to have another book out for readers who
had enjoyed my first book,
Truths and Roses
. Those were heady
days because the ladder to publication was a steep one. I am stil
grateful to those editors who saw something in my stories worth
putting in front of their readership and to those readers who read
the book then and wrote to tell me they enjoyed it.
Last Good Man
ceased to be in print, I never imagined that I
would one day have the opportunity to release it again in digital
format. When that became an option, I went back to the original
manuscript and rewrote it for a couple of reasons. One, to bring it
up to date with all the changes in the world since then, and two, to
hopefully reflect my growth as a writer.
The result is
Guys Love Dogs
, a story about a desperate father who moves his
delinquent teenage son to the smal Virginia town of Keeling Creek, a
place very unlike the New York City life he has been leading. Love
takes him by surprise when he falls for Colby Wil iams, a woman
unlike anyone he has ever been drawn to, a small town vet with a
heart for animals and a fierce love for a teenage daughter she is
also struggling to raise.
I hope you will enjoy the characters in
Good Guys Love Dogs
, Phoebe, Mabel, Dil ard and Willard Nolen,
Luke and Lena and the many ways in which they all force Ian and Colby
to grow as people and recognize their love for one another.
are one of the great joys in my life. I hope this one wil bring you a
few hours of joy as well.


[email protected]

About Inglath Cooper

Rita Award-winning author Inglath
Cooper was born in Virginia. She is a graduate of Virginia Tech with
a degree in English. She has written ten published novels and one
novella. She fel in love with books as soon as she learned how to
read. My mom read to us before bed, and I think that's how I started
to love stories. I think I read most of the books in my elementary
school library.
That love for books translated into a natural love
for writing and a desire to create stories that other readers could
get lost in, just as she had gotten lost in her favorite books. Her
stories focus on the dynamics of relationships, those between a man
and a woman, mother and daughter, sisters, friends. They most often
take place in small Virginia towns very much like the one where she
grew up and are peopled with characters who reflect those values and
There's something about small-town life that's just
part of who I am. I've had the desire to live in other places,
wondered what it would be like to be a true Manhattanite, but the
thing I know I would miss is the familiarity of faces everywhere I
go. There's a lot to be said for going in the grocery store and
seeing ten people you know!
Inglath Cooper is an avid supporter of
companion animal rescue and is a volunteer and donor for the Franklin
County Humane Society. She and her family have fostered many dogs and
cats who have gone on to be adopted by other families. “The
rewards are endless. It's an eye-opening moment to realize that what
one person throws away can fil another's
with love and joy.
Mac, for the pink Jeep dream and To Michele, sister, best friend

by Inglath Cooper

Nashville - Part Two - Hammer and a

Nashvil e - Part One - Ready to

Good Guys Love Dogs

Truths and Roses

A Gift of Grace

John Riley's Girl - RITA Award

A Year and a Day

Unfinished Business

A Woman Like Annie

The Lost Daughter of Pigeon Hollow

A Woman With Secrets


Ian McKinley had finally made it.
Reached the pinnacle. The top rung of the ladder. Tonight represented
the crown jewel in the career he'd spent seventeen years of his life
building. Thirty-nine, and by most definitions, he had everything.
Money. Success. A teenage son. A beautiful fiancée.

Not to mention, having just brought
on board the

biggest client ever for CCI
Investments of Manhattan, he was

a hero to his partners. This party
at the Waldorf-Astoria had

been thrown for him, the invitation
list a who's who of New

York City high rol ers.

Standing here now among trays of
champagne and tables

loaded with exotic-looking foods, he
should have been

nothing but exhilarated. Somehow, he
merely felt tired. Bone

weary with the routine of his life,
the predictability of it.

Every morning he bought his
breakfast at the same bagel

shop on Sixtieth Street, ate it at
his desk with exactly two cups

of coffee, no cream, no sugar. Every
day he ran six miles at



noon. He couldn't remember when he'd
done anything

remotely spontaneous.

But this was the life he had wanted.
This was what he'd

worked so hard for—to
prove a poor boy from the wrong

side of Manhattan could make it to
Park and Sixty-first. He

only regretted that neither Sherry
nor his mother had lived to

see his success. He'd promised them
both he would make

something of himself one day. He
wondered if they would

have been proud of him. But then, if
Sherry had lived, maybe

he wouldn't have been quite so
driven. Wouldn't have buried

himself in his work. Life would have
been more about family.

More normal for him and for Luke.

Did he even know what normal was

For the past three weeks, he'd
gotten no more than five

hours of sleep a night. That might
explain his fatigue, except

that part of him felt as if he'd
been tired for years. He needed

a vacation. Away from the city. When
was the last time he'd

taken one? The last time he'd spent
more than an hour alone

with his son? Guilt gnawed at him.
He would plan something

for them to do together. Soon. And
he would make sure he

kept his word.

“Why is it you
look like a man headed for the gas

chamber instead of the man of the

Ian swung around to find Rachel
looking up at him with

inquisitive eyes and a smile on her
lips. “Hey, he said,

putting a hand on her shoulder and
giving it a soft squeeze.

“A pil ow and a
bed sound pretty good about now.

“I could go for
that. Especial y since I've been getting

just a little jealous of the stares
half the women in the room



have been sending you al night. She
leaned in to kiss the

corner of his mouth, her right
breast pressing into his chest.

He waited for the surge of
attraction that should have

fol owed her deliberate provocation
and decided, when it did

not come, that he was more tired
than he'd realized.

“Hey, we can't
have any of that. Curtis Morgan clapped

a hand on Ian's shoulder. A short
man with a receding

hairline and an expanding waistline,
Curtis was one of Ian's

partners at CCI. “Not
until after the wedding, at least. Ms.

Montgomery, you'l have our guest of
honor ducking out

before I've had a chance to make my
toast to him.

“I suggest you
hurry up and do it, Rachel said with a

raised brow. “I'm
afraid he's nearly dead on his feet.

“No wonder. You
real y gave this one everything, Ian,

Curtis said. “Our
firm wil see the benefit of it. We're al very


“Yes. I'm so
proud of him, Rachel said. “Now, if I

could just get him to agree on a
wedding date. . . .

She looked up at Ian with wide eyes
that attempted to

convey innocence, but Ian suspected
Rachel knew exactly

what she was doing.

As methodical about her personal
life as she was about

attaining senior partnership status
at the law firm of Brown,

Brown and Fitzgerald, Rachel made no
secret of the fact that

she thought a marriage between them
would be mutual y

beneficial. She'd continued pressing
her case for the past

couple of years until she'd final y
convinced him she was




Two weeks ago, when Ian asked her to
marry him, it had

been with the understanding that
there was no rush. Both

their lives were ful , and a piece
of paper wouldn't change

things drastical y. Or so he had
told himself.

When Sherry died right after Luke
was born, he said he

would never marry again.
Unexpectedly losing his wife at the

age of twenty-three was the most
painful, life-altering thing

he'd ever known. Something inside
him simply shut down.

For the first five years after her
death, he didn't date at al .

When he did start seeing someone, he
made sure it never

lasted for any length of time, never
long enough to let things

get serious.

With Luke almost grown now, he
didn't relish the idea of

spending the rest of his life alone.
His relationship with

Rachel was a comfortable one. It
made no demands or even

hinted at happily-ever-after and
white picket fences. At one

point, he'd believed in destiny and
people who were meant

for each other. A young man's
dreams. He no longer believed

in any of that. If what he had with
Rachel met the definition

of compatibility more than love, he
stil appreciated her.

Smart and beautiful, he personal y
knew of a dozen men who

envied him.

“So what's the
holdup, Ian? Curtis asked with a punch

to his left shoulder. “You
need a reason to leave the office

before midnight.

A waiter approached them and handed
Ian a cordless

phone. “There's a
cal for you, Mr. McKinley.

“Now, who could
that be? Curtis joked. “We're the only

ones who ever bother you at this
hour, and we're al here.



Ian shrugged and moved to the
window, away from the

noise of the party. “Hel

“Mr. McKinley?


“This is
Detective O'Neil with the New York City Police

Department. Is Luke McKinley your

Alarm shot through Ian. “Yes,
he is.

“He was arrested
tonight for possession of marijuana,

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