For over a year, widowed Cameron Jackson has tried to juggle his business with childcare for his two year old daughter…all while living with Deefur, a Great Dane who believes he rules the house.
Nannies last a day; some don't even make it through the front door if the self-proclaimed ruler doesn't approve. Something has to give. Enter Jason Everson, nanny, teacher in training, apparent dog whisperer, and the only man who seems to make it past the initial scrutiny of the king. Can Jason help Cam put his house in order and help to heal his heart?
Dark Diva's Reviews Deefur Dog is wonderful. There were times I wanted to cry but most of the time I was smiling and falling in love with characters. In Deefur Dog, Ms. Scott finds love in the unlikeliest of places and carries us along for the breathtaking journey. I could not put this one down. Rated 5 Delightful Divas and a Recommended Read by Samhain Queene!
Hearts on Fire Reviews True to her romantic style of writing, RJ winds a tale of lost love and love found again. Don’t look for a lot of hot sex in this book because you won’t find it. Pick this book up if you’re looking for a feel good romantic story and you will not be disappointed in the least.
If you’re a fan of the sweet and sentimental, with a healthy dose of romance and authentic emotion to top it all off, you’ll love Deefur Dog.
“That's an impossible deadline,” Cameron Jackson snapped, aware of the frustration and exhaustion running through his voice. So much for staying calm he thought. He shifted the phone to his other ear, balancing his fractious daughter on one hip and pushing his Great Dane away with his other. He tried to concentrate on what his brother and business partner said but found it damn near impossible above the noise of barking dog and over-tired sobbing daughter.
“Dadda, wan' chocca,” Emma whined, tears in her eyes, her small hands twisted in his hair, pulling just this side of painful. He wished one more time she would give in and have her nap. He needed an hour–only an hour–to make some decisions, to actually get some vital work done.
“Shhh, baby, Daddy's on the phone,” he muttered, trying to jiggle his hip without losing hold of the phone clamped between his shoulder and ear.
“Not you, sorry–I have Emma here–“
“I thought your new nanny–Elsa or something–y'know, the one with the mauve hair, was working well?” Cameron winced at the evidence of a mix of surprise and disappointment in Neal's words
And therein lay the problem. Yet again, for another one of those highly reasonable reasons his nannies gave, he and his daughter had been left in the lurch. Elsa “Purple Rinse” Saunders, highly recommended by the agency as being able to manage the most fractured and difficult of households, had lasted exactly three days.
“It was fine until Emma realized her mauve hair was actually a wig and pulled it off.” The mousy brown curls thus revealed had looked okay to Cameron, but Elsa had pitched a fit. “Em gave it to Deefur who buried the damn thing in the garden.” And Elsa had pitched another fit. He sighed, wishing he could see the humor even as Neal snorted down the phone. “She left yesterday.”
“Jeez, Cam, I can't believe you let Deefur anywhere near her. I thought we talked about this?”
“I didn't let him. He got out of the boot room somehow.”
“What? He can open locked doors now?”
“No, Neal,” Cam had to rein his natural instinct for sarcasm, “he cannot open locked doors, I think the dog walker must have–I haven't got time for this. All you need to know is she said it ‘was an impossible working environment' or some excuse–said she loved Emma but she couldn't…” his throat tightened with emotion, “and then she just left.” The need to absolve himself of responsibility for her leaving asserted the urge for a fight. He needed to take his frustration out on someone, why not his baby brother? God knows since everything had hit the fan his brother had borne the brunt of his bad temper, on the job and off. Neal was used to it by now.
“Could you not have–” God, Neal is insistent.
“I didn't ask Emma to pull the wig off, or for Deefur to bury it.”
“Okay. Okay… devil's advocate here bro–is you being pissed at the world in general the reason why you think we can't meet this new deadline?”
“No, it isn't the freaking reason!” Cameron swore. Immediate guilt filtered through him at cussing in front of his daughter, disappearing as soon as Deefur tried to push past him. He leaned harder against the dog to get him to stop rooting through the newly delivered groceries still sitting in piles by the door. A cabbage rolled tantalizingly around the floor just out of Deefur's reach. The sable haired Great Dane, easily the size of a small pony, pushed back, whining low in his throat, clearly wanting the damn cabbage. “Look, this is Adamson playing us off against the others. Neither of the rival bids they say they have, are gonna hit the target any more than we can. Certainly not without further off-plan changes, so whatever they threaten, they would be stupid to take the project elsewhere. We're two months into this. Why go out of state for a local job? It's not as if asking for bids from Seattle will be any better than what they get here in homegrown Tacoma.”
Cam winced at the analogy although not an exceptionally good one. Tacoma was not a small town with one set of traffic signals, but a freaking urban Washington city. The third largest in the state in fact; a port hub and located right on the Puget Sound, and an area teeming with local color and history. Cam and Neal both believed strongly when customers wanted new builds, they wanted people who lived in Tacoma and had a feel for the work that needed doing. Someone who could design and build sympathetically, not some fly-by-night construction company without heart.
“Still, the threat is there, Cam, and to be fair…” Neal's voice tailed off. The brothers had been having this conversation on and off for months now and Cameron braced himself for the continued hurt. “I want to make this easier for you. Bro, I don't think your eye is on the ball here. Maybe we should re-evaluate things?”
“Re-evaluate what? This is our company; you shouldn't have to shoulder all the responsibility.”
“Listen C, I said I wouldn't blame you if you needed a break from all this. You're grieving and you're going to make yourself ill.” Neal's brutal honesty was delivered in the way only a family member could do. Cam appreciated how his brother had his back. Neal would, and could, run their thriving construction company on his own if push came to shove.
“No. Just–no.” The company grounded him, and he refused to give up the only thing appearing to be working right. Besides, Neal warranted more from Cameron on a personal level and certainly more in the business as co-owners. He deserved someone who pulled his weight, whatever the stresses and strains in his life.
“Dadda…” Emma had a particular whine in her voice only a tired toddler could pull off to perfection. The right amount of cute mixed in with a teaspoon of impatience and a pint of attention-seeking monster. He shushed and jiggled her gently, allowing Deefur to move, because his leg alone could not hold back one hundred and forty pounds of dog intent on some great cabbage-eating adventure in the hallway. Half closing his eyes and shaking his head, he watched Deefur pounce on the cabbage with all the agility of a ten-week-old puppy, wide jaws closing around the vegetable with ease. Bang goes vegetables for dinner. Cam sighed. Neal continued talking, only now he had moved on to super-sympathetic-brother speak which Cam hated.
“It's not been long–“
Cameron reacted instantly. “Nearly two years, Neal, I'm fine.” He wanted to stop this train of conversation at the source, not prepared, yet again, to go through all the whys and wherefores of his being a widower.
“You need a nanny, Cam. You can't keep letting them slip through your fingers.”
“I didn't let her,” he huffed irritated. Was Neal not listening here? “She hated Deefur, she refused to feed Emma fruit yogurt, and didn't approve of my lifestyle,” he listed her faults quickly, shushing Emma when his raised voice started her whimpering into his neck.
“How the hell did she find out about your lifestyle? Did you tell her?” Neal used the same old argument, allowing sadness to overwhelm the rising temper. Neal counted himself as Cam's greatest supporter, but sometimes he could be so obtuse.
“There's pictures of us all over the damn house, what do you want me to do? Put away all the images of me and Mark? Of Mark with Emma? I'm not concealing who I am, and I am not hiding the man I loved from view.”
“Anyway, she turned out to be worse than useless. Deefur never liked her, wouldn't let her within five feet of him from day one.”
“Deefur? Shit, Cam. He's a freaking dog. His opinion–“
“The dog you shouldn't even still have.”
“He's Mark's dog.” A simple statement, filled with all the emotion for what this meant. Quickly he realized what he had said. “Was Mark's–he's my dog–our dog. Emma's dog…” He tripped over his words and his voice tailed off in a hopeless way, the result of not really knowing how to defend what he had started to say. Yes, Mark had brought Deefur home as a puppy. Yes, Mark had the idea to have a dog, but Deefur was the family pet, Cam's and Emma's.
“He's an extra in your house you don't need.” Neal had said this before and would undoubtedly say it again. “We talked about this. You need to get him re-homed. Make your life easier and put him up for adoption–“
“You want me to put Emma up for adoption as well?” The irrational response spilled from his lips before he could gather his thoughts. What did Neal want him to say? It seemed that the nannies would use any excuse they wanted, be it about him being gay, or Emma having an unconventional surrogacy birth, or having to deal with Deefur. All reasons why not one nanny lasted more than a few days.
“I never said you should put Emma up for adoption.” Neal sounded way past hurt and Cameron grimaced. He had been way out of line. No one could question Neal's love for Emma, and Cameron didn't know why he had said what he had.
“I know. I'm sorry.” Cameron let out another noisy exhalation and continued louder over the sound of crunching cabbage and snuffly woofing. “The Agency said they were sending someone else over. She should be here soon.” Even as he said the words, the sound of the doorbell startled him, and he stumble-tripped over a family size box of Tide, righting himself with a shoulder against the wall and exclaiming down the phone, “She's here!” A flood of relief nearly overwhelmed him.
Deefur did his infamous imitation of what Mark had always called his ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles imitation'; hurling himself at the door and baying like a lunatic. The whole door frame shook as the huge dog repeatedly tried to reach the person on the other side, pieces of cabbage being flung from his open jaws. The sudden barking started Emma off again with pitiful and very wet sobs into his neck, while she choked out “Daddy” and “chocca” over and over and over and–
“I'll call you back,” he shouted down the phone to Neal, ignoring the faint, what the hell? before he disconnected the call.
Cameron lunged for the door, trying to pull back Deefur and at the same time not squeeze Emma to death in the current forty-five degree hold he had on her. He reached the handle past the confusing mess of panting, barking, swirling, jumping fur, and opened the door.
Only to see a small Toyota screeching away from the sidewalk in front of his house. He couldn't believe his eyes, looking up and down the deserted street to check again. Surely the woman leaving in the car couldn't be the last nanny on the agency books, leaving as soon as she'd arrived? His heart sank when the truth of what had happened hit home, and sudden, furious, self-pitying thoughts squirmed into his head. Damn it. Another prospective nanny bites the dust. This time Deefur was well and truly to blame; damned nanny didn't even get past the threshold.