Rescue Road Pet Rescue Romance Book 1
by Gayle M. Irwin Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance
Freelance writer Rhiann Kelly shelved romance for years. Her dream of starting an animal sanctuary takes deep roots after finding the perfect location in southwestern Montana and purchasing the property for back taxes.
Emergency medical technician Levi Butler knows his elderly friend left the ranch to him in his will. Levi anxiously awaits the probate to be complete so he can plan his retirement and begin his dream of raising and selling horses.
When Rhiann and Levi find each other at the ranch simultaneously, sparks fly - and not the romantic kind. Yet their mutual attraction deepens, especially after Levi finds Rhiann injured in an accident.
Meantime, land developer Dallas Patterson sets his sights on charming Rhiann to obtain the land.
Can Rhiann and Levi work together to detour Patterson and find a solution in which neither needs to give up their dream, or will the fence line of their hearts – and the property - separate them forever?
Can their broken paths weave their hearts together as they travel the rescue road?
Rhiann stood on the porch of the mid-century ranch house. Cup of coffee in hand, she watched the blazing orange sunrise. Streamers of light cascaded on the mountains west of the property, casting a rosy glow on the rocks and patches of snow upon the higher elevation. October’s morning danced with the browning grasses of the nearby pastures as touches of frost shimmered upon tan sprigs surrounding the house. Overhead, a flock of Canada geese in traditional V formation honked as they winged their way south.
Rhiann observed them and whispered, “We have something in common. We’re starting over.”
Her body shivered, from autumn’s chill coupled with a wave of nervousness. She sighed as her gaze returned to her surroundings.
“Sure wish you were here, Grams,” she said, her voice still low. “This was our dream, to come here together and to make the sanctuary a reality. Now, it’s just me, starting over again.”
Yips and whines from two dogs sitting at her feet caused her to smile. She reached down and petted an elderly tri-colored female beagle and a middle-aged male black and white Shih Tzu.
“I know, guys, I know. I have both of you.”
Rhiann glanced through a bay window that protruded from the kitchen. She saw her two adoption-bound dogs, Max and Molly, resting on dog beds near the living room’s stone hearth. Her gaze flickered back to her canine charges on the porch, and she scratched their heads.
“You both are always so good with the animals waiting to be adopted, and our new home here in Montana hasn’t changed your sweet dispositions.”
Taking a sip of coffee from her mug and observing the mountains to the west, Rhiann’s mind wandered to the previous day. The face of the smiling EMT with his chiseled features and cleft chin caused her heart to skip. Even though his appearance from the wooded trail had startled her, the tingle she’d experienced from the touch of his fingers upon her hand seared her skin like a brand. She stroked her wrist and hand at the memory. She hadn’t let herself experience such a feeling in years. Her former boyfriend’s rejection had also branded her, causing her to forego love and romance. Yesterday, however, a spark ignited. She pondered where Levi lived; he had mentioned they might be neighbors.
She shook her head, disengaging the image and thoughts of the EMT and refocusing on tasks that needed completion.
“I’m here for a purpose, not a relationship,” she reminded herself. “There’s work to be done, especially with the moving van arriving soon.”
She picked up the Shih Tzu. “Spa day for you, Jax. Can’t start off our new journey looking bedraggled.”
The little dog licked her cheek, and Rhiann laughed as she hugged him. “Yes, Jax, we can do this. If you could survive four years in a puppy mill, I can make this our new home, no matter how much work lies ahead.”
Gayle M. Irwin is an author and freelance writer with a passion for pet rescue and adoption. She creates engaging books and enlightening short stories and articles. She is a member of Wyoming Writers Inc., which has presented her with several awards during the past 10 years, and Northern Colorado Writers. She has also won three Wyoming Press Association awards for her magazine article writing. A former editor and reporter for the West Yellowstone News in West Yellowstone, Montana, Gayle enjoys sharing stories about nature, people, and life. She is an avid advocate for pet rescue and adoption, and she donates a percentage of her writing income, including book sales, to animal rescue and adoption organizations. She has worked for two different humane societies and continues helping animal rescue organizations as a volunteer transporter.
She considers herself a human and pet life advocate, sharing stories about people and animals through articles for Pregnancy Help News, WREN Magazine, the Casper Star Tribune (including children’s stories in the kids’ My Trib section), Creation Illustrated, and other publications. Seven of her short stories appear in seven different Chicken Soup for the Soul books, such asI Can’t Believe My Dog Did That,Finding My Faith, and The Spirit of America. She enjoys traveling, nature photography, reading, spending time at her mountain cabin and a friend’s ranch, and helping non-profit organizations in various ways.
He had no name; he was just a number. The little Shih Tzu lived in a small cage during the first three years of his life and was let out only now and again to do what un-neutered animals do during certain times of the year. He had little positive human interaction, and the other dogs nearby were out of reach so that no puppy play happened … except when the people let him spend time with the females who were receptive to his advances.
One day, that all changed. He and the other dogs used by this breeder were rescued and taken to a Nebraska animal sanctuary. Each received a name; he was christened ‘Stormy.’ He and his companions received much-needed medical attention and healthy food. The dogs discovered soft grass for the first time and learned to interact with each other in fun-filled play. They also learned people could be compassionate and kind.
My husband and I adopted the black and white male Shih Tzu in September 2017. We re-named this puppy mill survivor ‘Jeremiah,’ and though he had to learn much about living in a home, he is now a sweet lap dog, a companion walker, and a co-pilot in the car. He is also the mascot in my first novel, Rescue Road as the primary female character’s dog ‘Jax.’ Through my book, we teach people about the need for and the joys and challenges of pet rescue and adoption.