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EVERYTHING BUT A DOG

by Holly Jacobs
ISBN # 9781612186740
Montlake Romance, 12/12

Wannabe matchmaker Nana Vancy has donned her Cupid wings once again—this time for Dr. Della McGraw, the distant cousin of her pal Annabelle. Together with her partners in crime, Annabelle and Isabel, she concocts a clever plan to find Della her knight in shining armor. Their first stop? The local dog shelter.

When Jonah McIntosh rescues three old ladies and their narcoleptic dog, it’s just the topper for his lousy day. But things start looking up when he finds himself in the company of the lovely veterinarian Della. There’s just one teensy problem: he’s allergic to dogs.

But Nana’s convinced a happily ever after is in the cards. Can she work her magic once more—or is this one romance that’s doomed before it’s even begun?

Join Nana Vancy and her ‘Silver Bells’ in the final installment of the award winning Everything But... series.

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Each of the books stands on its own, but if you want to read the whole series, the order is:

Everything But a Groom
Everything But a Bride
Everything But a Wedding
Everything But a Christmas Eve
Everything But a Mother
Everything But a Dog

Madam Curie and Clara are modeled after my dogs, Ethel Merman and Ella Fiztgerald...I changed the names because I didn't want the PUParazzi hounding them! (Yeah, I know, that was bad! LOL)

 

 

Book, Reviews, Excerpt

 

REVIEWS

"Holly Jacobs delights yet again with Everything but a Dog – a heartwarming, feel-good tale/tail!”USA Todaybestselling author Catherine Mann

"Award-winning author Holly Jacobs delights her readers with her heartwarming Everything But series.  EVERYTHING BUT A DOG is the perfect conclusion to the series and should not be missed.  Even though each story in the series is a stand alone book, you will not want to deprive yourself of a single one of these short sweet reads." Single Title Reviews

Book, Reviews, Excerpt

EXCERPT

Everything But a Dog
Holly Jacobs
copyright 2012

Prologue

“It’s not fair,” Annabelle muttered under her breath as Vancy Salo—Nana Vancy to almost everyone who knew her—flew down the street at a pace that generally produced gasps, not mutters.

She was used to the fact that her friend and passenger, Annabelle Conner was prone to occasional kibitzing, and that their other friend and fellow passenger, Isabel Henning, was frequently aghast.

Most of the time Nana Vancy simply ignored both of her friends’ little peccadillos, but today, she was so happy that she hated to see anyone who didn’t feel the same glee that she did.

She was driving her friends back to their retirement community after Henry and Heather’s perfectly beautiful, romantic summer wedding. Of course, Nana Vancy had hoped they’d be married by Mother’s Day, but the delay had ceased to matter when Henry’s young daughter, Lissa, said her own I -do’s along with her father and new stepmother. Looking at the three of them in front of their friends and family declaring their love…well, Nana Vancy had to pull out a stereotypical tissue.

This wedding had touched her more than most because she’d played matchmaker for Henry and Heather. It was her second successful attempt at matchmaking. Granted, there had been a few problems with both matches, but both couples had ended up saying I-do, so Nana Vancy considered herself a success.

She’d spent years trying to break the curse on her family…a curse she’d inadvertently set in motion. Once she’d fixed it, she’d been bored, and thanks to her two best friends, Annabelle and Isabel, sometimes referred to as The Silver Bells, she’d found a new avocation playing matchmaker.
She zipped her tiny orange Vibe through Erie, Pennsylvania’s traffic, and because she was in such a stellar mood, she hoped she could lighten her muttering friend’s spirits as well. “What’s not fair, Annabelle?”

“She’s upset that you played matchmaker for my nephew and you’ve never played matchmaker for any of her relatives,” Isabel shared from the backseat, then gasped as Nana Vancy came to an abrupt stop as a yellow light in front of Mercyhurst College turned red.

“I could have made that, but you two get so zaklatott with my driving, I stopped. And even when I do stop, you still gasp.” She shook her head, then turned to her friend in the front seat. “Annabelle, I wish you were happier. It was a beautiful wedding.”

The light changed to green and Nana Vancy accelerated. Her little car might be small, but it was fast.

“I am happy for Henry and Heather,” Annabelle assured her.
“I just think I should have an equal shot at having someone in my family get a happily-ever-after.”

Nana Vancy glanced over and saw her friend was white-knuckling the small handhold over the door and she let up a bit on the accelerator. “Did you have a relative in mind, Annabelle?”

“No. Not really, I just think your next case should be someone from my family. Your first match was between a neighbor and an employee, your second was Isabel’s nephew. My family should get third.”

“Well, if you have someone who’s single and lonely in your family, I could try.” She felt nervous about the prospect. Although she had matched Heather and Henry and today they were starting their own happily-ever-after, it wasn’t quite the way she’d planned when she’d said the words. She’d said they’d be married by Mother’s Day, not just admitting they were in love by then. The fact that things didn’t play out exactly the way she wanted them to made her nervous, so to be on the safe side, she added, “We all could try to play matchmaker for your relative.”

“Really?” Annabelle sounded decidedly more happy and less muttery. “That’s wonderful. I’ll make some calls in the family and see if I can find a likely candidate. I’ll let you know next week.”

“OK.” Nana made a sharp turn down State Street. It would be nice to have someone new to fix up.

Despite Henry and Heather’s relationship not progressing exactly the way she’d planned, it had worked out, which meant she’d been successful. Again.

Yes. Nana Vancy felt she was very talented, and she wasn’t someone who liked to waste talents. “Yes, it would be good to have a new couple to help,” she murmured.

Her track record was two for two. She had no reason to believe she couldn’t manage another match.



One week later, Nana Vancy stood looking at the rows of dogs in cages and her heart broke. She wished she could bring every single dog at the shelter home with her, but she knew that bringing even one dog home might be difficult. Her husband, Bela, was not a dog sort of man.

It didn’t take any special gift to realize that sad fact. Bela was very clear about his undoggedness when he said, Me, I don’t like dogs.

Bela tended to be very clear about what he wanted. He said it was the only thing that worked with Vancy. And even when he was clear, it didn’t work all the time.

This was one of those times it wasn’t going to work.

Somehow she’d make him see that not only was adopting a dog important to her plan, it was an act of mercy for the dog in question.

“I need a dog that’s smart,” Nana Vancy told the woman at the desk—Lia, her name badge read. “I need a smart dog, Lia,” she repeated, wanting to be sure the girl understood. “One that knows commands.” And because she didn’t want to seem as if she had a smart-dog bias, she added, “I’m an old lady and I need a dog who will behave for me.”

Playing the old card worked like a charm. “I know the perfect dog, ma’am,” Lia said. She walked into the back.

“You’re sure about this?” Isabel asked. She sounded as if she, for one, was anything but sure.

“Of course, she’s sure,” Annabelle snapped. “If we didn’t live in a retirement community, I’d adopt a dog myself, but Vancy here, she’s a good enough friend to help me by adopting one for me.”

“Bela’s not going to like it. He’s always said he’s not a dog man,” Isabel groused, voicing Nana Vancy’s own fears.

“You leave Bela to me,” she said with far more confidence than she felt. Her Bela generally let her have her way, but this might be one of the few times he was going to be less than happy about it.

“Well, if Annabelle had found a relative she knew, we wouldn’t be here,” Isabel said.

“All my close relatives are married, or too young to be married. Della is the closest, unmarried relative I have. She’s my second cousin’s daughter by her third marriage once removed.”

“How do you remove a cousin?” Isabel asked.

“Divorce, I think,” Annabelle said. “I’m not really sure how the second and third cousin thing works, and I’m definitely not sure how you can remove one other than with divorce or murder. I prefer to think it was divorce.”

Lia came back leading a black dog that reached her knee. But the woman was much taller than Nana Vancy was. She thought the dog might easily reach her hip and she felt a little nervous. Too nervous to listen to her friends’ sniping.

“That’s a mighty big dog,” Nana Vancy murmured.

“She’s a great dog,” Lia said with enthusiasm. “She was abandoned, but she was obviously someone’s pet. She’s been here for two months now. People are hesitant to buy big, black dogs—we call it the big, black dog syndrome. I’m not sure why, but when we get in a black dog in they tend to languish here.”

Nana Vancy knelt down and looked into the dog’s soulful eyes. “What’s her name?”

“We’ve been calling her Madam Curie because she’s so smart. We’ve been using historical names for our strays this year.”

At the sound of her name, Madam Curie leaned forward and kissed Nana Vancy on the cheek. Not a big slobbery dog kiss, but a dainty peck. Nana Vancy’s heart melted into a great big puddle.

Nana Vancy rose with difficulty. Her knees weren’t as young as they used to be…neither was the rest of her, for that matter. “I’ll take her.”

She refused to think about what Bela would say. “Two months alone in the pound…” she sighed.

“Not exactly alone,” Lia said. “She’s had a roommate. We thought about going with some smart, scientisty name for the other dog as well, but she’s not the smartest dog in the pack. We ended up calling her Clara Barton, for the founder of the Red Cross, because what that dog lacks in brains, she makes up for in heart. Not that the real Clara Barton lacked brains…we just wanted a historical figure who was all heart. Our Clara, she’s really the sweetest thing. And poor Curie was lost when she came in. Clara soothed her. Really, Clara nursed Curie back, so her name is apt.”

At her roommate’s name, Curie howled a low, moanish sound. From the back, a little yap answered her.

“Can I see her?” Nana Vancy asked, knowing this was probably a mistake. A big mistake.

But she held Curie’s lead as Lia went into the back and came out with a short, sausage- shaped white dog who bounded for Curie and licked her as if they’d been separated years instead of minutes.

And Nana Vancy found herself saying, “I’ll take her too. I can’t separate them.” And because Nana Vancy knew better than most that words had power—even if the words she’d said for Heather and Henry hadn’t come true exactly as she’d said them—she added, “I’m sure my husband, Bela, won’t mind. I’m sure he’ll love Curie and Clara. I’m sure after a day or two, he won’t be able to imagine life without them.”

She filled out the paperwork and called Annabelle’s quasi-niece, the vet, to set up a check-up for her two new pets. And while she was getting her dogs checked, she’d check out her newest matchmaking victim…er, unsuspecting client.

Madam Curie and Clara are modeled after my dogs, Ethel Merman and Ella Fiztgerald...I changed the names because I didn't want the PUParazzi hounding them! (Yeah, I know, that was bad! LOL)

Book, Reviews, Excerpt

From the book: EVERYTHING BUT A DOG
By: Holly Jacobs
Publication Date: 12/2012
ISBN: ISBN: 9781612186740
Copyright © 2012, Holly Jacobs
Published By:  Montlake Romance
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