By Leslie P. García, author of Unattainable, Take Me Out, and Wildflower Redemption
How do guys get girls? Often, from commercials to TV shows, a guy with a dog has a greater chance of attracting his soul mate—or at least momentary love—than a guy with no dog. A guy’s adorable dog, popularly known as a chick magnet, works every time.
So what’s a man magnet, animal wise? If a man sees a drop dead gorgeous woman with an adorable pooch—whom does he ogle? Does he drop to his knees and embrace the dog, or speak to the owner first?
Wildflower Redemption, my new release from Crimson Romance, has dogs. And guys, and drop dead gorgeous women with animals. And yes, some of the characters may have been born from my teenage experiments with animal magnetism—with how to get or not get the guy.
Animals were always underfoot as I grew up. At first, they were family members, and not pawns in romantic pursuits. By the time I was in 5th grade, though, I owned the fastest pony in Douglas County—and yeah, he was an attraction. My sister publicized the heck out of Douglasville’s “Great Pony Race” in an attempt to win Tony something’s love. He was a beak-nosed kid with a pinto called Lightning, and my job was to beat him so that he had to attend our fish fry. Unfortunately, I lost the race by a couple of yards, and Stephanie lost Tony.
By the time we were teens, our menagerie included monkeys, raccoons, snakes, a fox, a parrot—and an African lion named Ebeneezer, or Eb for short. Eb demanded attention—even from those few guys in our neck of the woods. Eddie Martin and John someone, two community college guys from the art department of a nearby college, used to come visit the lion. Not us, mind you—Eddie paid scant attention to Stephanie, and John only nodded at me (but what a nod it was!) but—they noticed us. And really, isn’t being noticed the first step on that road to true love? We were willing to keep feeding the lion chicken necks while they watched in awe—from a safe distance—because animal magnetism might not be immediate, but it is inevitable.
Or not. Eddie and John sort of disappeared after a while, and no one else rushed up to embrace either the lion or my sister. Or me, because eventually, I was old enough I thought someone really should fall in love with me. I mean, I had horses, a lion, and a 4-H shooting jacket before I was eighteen. Weren’t those the requisites for a passionate, lifetime love?
Apparently not. Some years later, I’m down to a manic beagle and my husband’s pit bull No other animals, mundane or exotic. No man magnets, though I’m married, so I guess that’s okay. When I remember those days of animals I shouldn’t have had, now, I don’t think of the teenage guys anyway.
I obsess over Dr. Dave. He of the broad chest, worn hospital-green smock, dark hair and green eyes—a hero who went unnoticed for too long. Once, when Eb got loose, and I couldn’t get him back in his cage, Dr. Dave came over to help. The lion jumped up and wrapped those huge paws around the veterinarian, and my heart stopped. Dr. Dave bopped Eb’s nose and said firmly, “Down, Sport.”
The lion listened. At the time, I felt only relief. Now—that small practice country vet makes me smile. And maybe salivate just a little.
And while Aaron Estes, Wildflower hero, may not be Dr. Dave, he confronts his own challenges when he meets Luz Wilkinson, conducting her own research into animal magnetism.
It’s true that not all men are attracted by a woman’s pet of choice. But the right ones probably are. Even if they’re guinea fowls.