Kristan Higgins does them so well. Marion Lennox always has a fluffy - or feathered, or scaled - critter in her books. The way a character treats their animal friends says so much about who they are.
I was halfway through writing HER HOTTEST SUMMER YET when Hull bounded onto the page. I was editing an earlier scene when Jonah - the hero - looked down and there he was. A dog.
It went just like this: And from nowhere a huge dog joined him—shaggy and mottled with deep liquid eyes that glanced back at her a moment, before turning back into the sun.
I never meant for Hull to appear. Never plotted out a character arc for a dog. Never thought my lone wolf hero needed one. But then Hull…just…was.
I loved Jonah before Hull was in his life. I mean, the man’s gorgeous. He’s a big, buff, gruff Aussie bloke who works with his hands. He’s fit, athletic, sun-browned, and basically heaven sent. So says the heroine at first glance: What with that handsome brown face all covered in stubble. And those shoulders—so big, so broad. Those tight dark curls that made a girl want to reach out and touch. And the chest she’d had her hands all over when he’d pulled her out of the ocean, all muscle and golden skin and more dark curling hair. In fact there was plenty about him that made a girl want to touch….
Add a dog - and not just any dog but a big wolf dog Jonah had found washed up on the beach as a teeny tiny little puppy, likely the lone survivor of a litter left to drown - and I was smitten. Gooey. Gone.
And when Hull – deathly afraid of the water, and wouldn’t you be if you’d been left there to die? – decided that Jonah was his person, that he’d follow him to the edges of the ocean itself he adored the man that much, well then that was the end of me.
My hero now has a dog. And his name is Hull. And I love him.
In Ally's next book - RESISTING THE MUSICIAN (out July 28) - the hero has two dogs! Huskies. Brothers. Scene-stealers.
Do you love four-legged characters in books? Do you have a favourite? Comment below for the chance to win an ebook copy of another Ally Blake beach read - a book in which all the scene stealers are over sixty and human - SECOND CHANCE HONEYMOON!
***Ally's winner is dstoutholcomb ! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing details!***