Dec 15 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Diane Kelly’s Paw and Order (December 30, 2014)

Paw and Order by Diane KellyDiane Kelly
Paw and Order (Paw Enforcement)
St. Martin's Press / December 30, 2014 / $7.99 print, digital

Police officer Megan Luz and her loyal K-9 partner Brigit are back on the beat—and under the gun—when the local rodeo show goes to the dogs…

After capturing the notorious Fort Worth “Tunabomber,” Megan and Brigit are practically celebrities. Which is why the police chief lassoed them into doing rodeo duty —mostly as a public relations stunt for the department. Megan’s not a fan of calf roping, bull riding, or goat milking contests. But when a thief appears to be working the circuit, her trusty K-9 partner starts sniffing for clues…

The culprit is “Robin Hood,” a young Texas golddigger who steals from the rich to give to the poor—namely, herself. With Brigit hot on the trail, Megan has to juggle her on-again off-again reputation in the FWPD with her on-again off-again relationship with sexy bomb-squader Seth Rutledge. This time, Megan is determined to rope in her suspect and her man…before chaos, and/or her trusted furry partner, is unleashed.

There is something very appealing about a woman who sets boundaries—someone who’s not afraid to say you can’t treat me that way or there will be consequences. Both police officer Megan Luz and her K-9 partner, Brigit, are those type of females.

At the end of Paw Enforcement, the first book in Diane Kelly’s new series conveniently called the same name, Megan had hopes of finally experiencing some smooth sailing in her personal and professional life. She and Brigit had come to an understanding of sorts—not that Brigit doesn’t still cop an attitude once in a while. And it is true that Megan is still having to take drastic measures to protect her prized leather shoes, but she and Brigit have learned to work well together as a team. In fact, they became celebrities after they caught the “Tunabomber."

Which is more than she can say about Seth Rutledge. Seth, a member of the Fort Worth Fire Department bomb squad came into her life and immediately started doing his best impressions of HVAC unit— blowing hot and then cold. He showed interest by getting her telephone number and then didn’t call until almost a month had passed. They started seeing each other but when Megan asked questions about his family he ran, after ludicrously stating “This isn’t going to work out.”

When she was in danger though, Seth was there. In fact he saved her life, so when he asks her to meet him she agrees. But that doesn’t mean she is going to roll over—she learned a few things from Brigit, who doesn’t roll over for anyone.

It was my turn to hesitate now, my turn to look out the window. As much as I’d wanted him to come crawling back to me, as much as I’d like to see where things between the two of us might lead, there’d be no sense in setting myself up for more heartache. I’d put up with more from Seth than I should have, having no expectations, making no demands, accepting attention when and if he decided to give it to me. In retrospect, that had been a mistake. . .

Part of why I’d accepted his sporadic attention was because I’d been desperately lonely, willing to take whatever time he’d give me. But, thanks to my K-9 partner, I wasn’t nearly so lonely anymore. Brigit had proven herself to be a loyal friend, always there when I needed her. I no longer felt inclined to put up with a relationship that didn’t give me what I needed, to settle for whatever scraps might be tossed my way.

Music to this reader’s ears. Megan you deserve more—a lot more.

Megan does give Seth another chance to regain her trust but she’s setting the rules—meaning no obligations, no commitments, which is right up Seth’s alley, until he hears the no sex rule.

And to take her mind off Seth, she does what all women do, she checks out other possibilities, like Clint McCutheon, the sheriff deputy working the rodeo with her:

Part of me supposed I shouldn’t be ogling the guy given that Seth and I had just recently reconciled. Another part of me pointed out that the terms of our reconciliation excluded any form of commitment, leaving me free to ogle to my heart’s content. The latter part won out and I ogled.


Ogle. Oooh-gle.

The deputy tipped his cowboy hat at me. “Howdy, ma’am.”

Only a guy like him could make those words sound sexy instead of hokey.

“H-hi,” I gushed back.

He lifted his chin to indicate Brigit. “That’s a beautiful dog you’ve got there.”

“Thanks,” I replied. “Your horse is nice-looking too, and—”

“Well hung? His lips curved in a roguish grin.

“I was g-going to say tall.” I leaned to the side to check out the horse’s nards. “But ‘well hung’ seems to apply, as well.”

“Like horse, like rider.” He cocked his head, waiting for me to respond.

But Megan has a plan for her life, and while she’s willing for men to play a part in it, she is not going to build her life around them. She wants to become a detective in the police force, and that means concentrating on the job at hand. Which also means that she has to teach her co-workers that neither she nor Brigit play dead either:

“I just took a report on a purse snatching. The victims said that a woman on crutches got in their way when they tried to chase the thief.” I held up the crutches, one in each hand. “I found these discarded in the trash can. I think they might be evidence.”

He stood and gave the waistband of his pants a firm, nut juggling tug. He reached out. “Give ‘em over. I’ll have ‘em dusted for prints.”

No doubt he’d also claim credit for solving the crime if any prints lifted from the crutches matched someone in the criminal database. I knew how Derek operated. I also knew that, like me, he hoped to make detective someday.

“Nice of you to offer,” I said, narrowing my eyes at him. “But I’ll turn them over to the crime scene tech myself.”

Paw and Order is more of a mystery with the hint of possible love to come. Still, every women needs to know the importance of her own self-worth, and Megan shows us she does, in dealing with the men in her life, the men on the force, and the way she helps bring to justice the criminal trying to ruin one of Texas’ national pastimes, the rodeo.

There is no better partnership than a woman and a dog as you’ll discover in Paw and Order.


Learn more about or order a copy of Paw and Order by Diane Kelly, available December 30:

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

Buy at iTunes

Buy at IndieBound



Scarlettleigh, blogger

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