Title: Caring for Riggs (Love Off the Leash series)
Author: Bonnie Dee
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: Unknown
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Love dogs and smoking hot men? The Love Off Leash series is for you. Different authors. Unrelated stories. Shared theme of new love and pets.
Love, loss and finding a forever home.
After years abroad, Kyle Skelton returns to Chicago to plan his grandfather’s funeral. Weighed down by guilt about neglecting the prickly old man who once looked after him, Kyle is determined to find a good home for Gramps’s senior dog. The last thing he needs as he confronts his complicated past is the distraction of the handsome next door neighbor who’s been taking care of Riggs.
Darrell Baines is prepared to despise his neighbor’s grandson on sight. He believes this stranger is only interested in valuable things Vince may have left behind. But after witnessing the renewed bond between Kyle and Riggs and learning more about the unhappy teenager who fled Chicago years earlier, Darrell’s hard stance softens. It’s easier to forgive when Kyle is heaping blame on himself.
Darrell is almost too comfortable in his quiet routine, while Kyle has never found a place that felt like home. As these opposites walk their dogs together, unexpected friendship grows. A late night adventure adds passionate fuel to the fire, but Kyle is only passing through so a chance for anything more than a fling seems impossible.
When Kyle’s never-met father arrives for the funeral and Rigg’s health takes a turn for the worse, Kyle’s emotional turmoil reaches critical mass. Will his fragile new bond with Darrell be the powerful lifeline he has always needed?
This is a short sweet story about two men and the dogs in their lives. Kyle arrives in Chicago to plan his grandfather’s funeral and clean out his apartment. As a kid, Gramp’s place was a welcome refuge from Kyle’s dysfunctional parents and when Kyle left Chicago at age 16, he always planned to return. But life intervenes, with Kyle’s career as an event planner taking him all over the world, and Gramps dies before he returns, alone in his apartment with his elderly dog Riggs by his side.
Gramp’s next door neighbor Darrell had been caring for him and Riggs along with his own dog Lacey and at first resents the return of the prodigal grandson. But before very long, Darrell and Kyle begin a steamy friends-with-benefits relationship:
He hardly knew Darrell, yet Kyle felt secure in his embrace, as if Darrell wasn’t with a stranger at all and Kyle was arriving home after a long absence. Such an odd feeling to have.
Kyle is at the point in his life where he realizes that maybe the life he’s leading isn’t the life we wants. He has no permanent home and not a lot of friends. At Gramp’s funeral he wonders: “Who would attend mine if I died tomorrow?” Throughout the story, Kyle comes to realize he needs to make amends, own up to his actions and move forward. Darrell, a lawyer who works remotely, has a good balance in his life and I liked how their relationship is not angsty or ridden with miscommunication and they work through some issues to make a life together.
A job was a job, but a person to care about… That was everything. Maybe he hadn’t been running away all these years. Maybe he’d been running blindly toward something he’d been unable to find–until now.
A solid 4 stars for Caring for Riggs and I look forward to reading other books in this series focusing on smoking hot men and their dogs!