Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel [NOOK Book]


"The misunderstandings and mischief will keep readers turning pages, and the light-weight content makes for easy enjoyment ... erotic adventure for readers more interested in an entertaining read than deep thought." - Kirkus Reviews
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Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel

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"The misunderstandings and mischief will keep readers turning pages, and the light-weight content makes for easy enjoyment ... erotic adventure for readers more interested in an entertaining read than deep thought." - Kirkus Reviews
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The misunderstandings and mischief will keep readers turning pages, and the light-weight content makes for easy enjoyment ... erotic adventure for readers more interested in an entertaining read than deep thought." - Kirkus Reviews
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780578098487
  • Publisher: BroadLit, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/24/2012
  • Series: Second Acts Series , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Digital Only
  • Pages: 229
  • Sales rank: 210,594
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Julia Dumont

The Not-So-Authorized Bio of Julia Dumont

Julia Dumont is not my real name. I have a secret life, which is why I have to keep my true identity hidden. My fellow university professors would never understand why a very serious literary professor such as myself would ever confess her addiction to reading romance novels, much less to her passion for writing them. And, because I find my heroine, Cynthia Amas, constantly talking in my head, and myself relating to her in ways I don't know how to explain, I can't stop myself from writing her crazy story. Maybe I am possessed, but I don't care!

I have spent more than 20 years worshipping my literary heroes - Jane Austin, D.H. Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, Emily Bronte, William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald to name only a few - but if I am going to be honest with you (at least to a point), I have to confess that one of my favorite guilty pleasures is to steal away and lose myself in the deliciously naughty novels of Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, and Janet Evanovich. Their stories make me dream, fantasize, love, laugh and cry. And they always leave me wanting more, hungry for their next books. Somewhere along the way, I found myself wishing that I could write books like theirs that women would lust after.

Maybe it's a midlife crisis -- I have just turned 43 -- but Cynthia's story has really spiced up my life (and my husband Dilbert's). Much to my surprise, Dilbert (not his real name either) has been so supportive that he doesn't even complain when I am burning the midnight oil writing the next chapter in Cynthia's rollercoaster of a life story. Although we have no children, we do have three canine companions who we dote on: Popeye, our regal standard poodle who keeps us well-mannered, Lucy, our Aussie who is constantly guarding against intruders, and Milo our half collie/half German shepherd mix who has the soul of a Zen master.

Our happy human and canine family lives in Southern California and we can't figure out which one of us loves more our Sunday morning tradition of a long, exhilarating walk on one of those famous California beaches. Popeye prefers to keep his paws dry and strut in the sand, but Lucy loves to chase the beach birds endlessly, while we think Milo believes he can actually fly!
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Cynthia Amas was wide-awake long before the alarm went off. She had spent twenty minutes watching the sun creep over the canyon wall, across the deck, and into the corners of her bedroom. It was autumn. One of those hot Los Angeles Octobers that would be the dog days of August in most places. Her mind had been racing, not only checking off the list of to-dos for the day, but also the events of her life that had led her here, to this moment, to this new venture.
Her own love life, an often-exciting series of failures——one short-sale marriage, many ill-advised flings, and one recent romantic encounter with the best man in an unlocked cloakroom at a wedding reception that literally lasted the length of the first dance, I mean it was an extended re-mix, but still hardly constituted the kind of romantic resume to impress the lovelorn ladies and gentlemen she was hoping to woo as clients. How that cummerbund ended up inside one of the legs of her pantyhose, she’d never know, but it made for a hilarious moment in the conga line. He lived in Melbourne and it turned out he had a wife and two kids back there. And a dog. Maybe a kangaroo. Probably a mistress. There were no second dates on the calendar.
And then there was Walter, who she’d met only a month ago and who seemed to be falling hard for her. Unfortunately, the feeling was not mutual. He was sort of a perfect guy—good looking, successful in business, lived in a great house that he’d already invited Cynthia to share with him. There was nothing wrong with Walter exactly, and that was the problem. He was devoid of idiosyncrasy—no spark, no spontaneity, no surprises. He’d never made a fool of himself, never made a dumb joke, and while she was prone to belting eclectic medleys out of the blue——from classic girl groups to the rock’s Black Keys to R&B’s Janell Monae to Adele to Billie Holiday——she’d never heard Walter sing a note, not even in the shower, which to her was unfathomable. When Walter discovered a tiny hole in his jeans, he immediately threw them out, despite the fact that, clearly, that glimpse of thigh was by far the sexiest detail in his entire wardrobe. To Cynthia it was a fortuitous entryway to a full-blown afternoon delight, but, “You must be kidding,” is all he’d said in a humorless deadpan when she’d tried to rescue the pants from the pile destined for the thrift-store. He was beyond safe, like he was walking through life in a suit of bubble wrap. Cynthia thought he needed his bubbles popped, but she was starting to think she wasn’t the one to do the popping.
Despite all that, Cynthia had an undeniable knack for matching other people. She had hooked up half of her friends and somehow their relationships invariably blossomed into shockingly successful unions. A strong promoter of psychosexual healing, she was thrilled at the possibility of playing doctor feel-good professionally, writing her own prescriptions for long-lasting love and lust. The epiphany struck during her own short-lived addiction to online dating services. She got a quick education about every site and decided that she could build a better mousetrap. Mantrap. Whatever. She was also not-so subconsciously hoping that being a soul mate searcher for others might somehow lead to finally finding something lasting for herself. Like most people, she wanted true love and a lasting relationship, and deep down she knew she deserved it. She just couldn’t figure out why, every time she got interested in someone, that elusive goal always slipped through her fingers. She rolled out of bed, wearing only a man-sized silk t-shirt, gray-green, incredibly soft, and barely long enough to maintain modesty, really the thing she felt sexiest in. It had been in her sleepwear rotation ever since Max left it behind. Even though he was long gone, and there had been plenty of others since, the garment was his enduring legacy. It had been washed a hundred times, so it couldn’t possibly still smell like him, and yet it somehow did. When it brushed against her skin, she recalled his skin, his hands, his everything…a sensation she obviously kept secret from subsequent lovers.
Max wasn’t even the ex-husband. In fact, their affair had lasted only three months, but he was still the first one she thought of when she considered might-have-beens. She should have probably thrown the shirt out a long time ago, switched to something not infused with these kinds of indelible memories, but he’d gotten married and lived halfway around the world, so it was a fantasy devoid of any real-world significance. Plus, she knew why it hadn’t worked out…he was bad for her. She had a tendency to be needy around him, something that had never happened with any of the others. What they’d had together was so impassioned, so deeply romantic, so all consuming, the rest of her life had instantly fallen to pieces. And then, as quickly as it started, it was over, and Cynthia found herself alone, sifting through the wreckage. But that was years ago now, and she was over him. It was just a stupid shirt.
Cynthia headed to the bathroom, then to the kitchen, where the day would begin: coffeemaker, laptop, action. The site had gone live at eleven the night before and she quickly checked the inbox: sixty-two new items.
BZZZZ…her mother calling. No way, click…straight to voicemail. Back to the task at hand. Quickly scrolling: junk, junk, bill, bill, junk, bill, bingo…a bona fide inquiry.

Dear Second Acts;
First, let me say I’ve never done anything like this before. I never thought I’d need to. But lately I seem to be something of a loser magnet…guys who you really don’t want to still be there in the morning. Hunks of beef who pass their expiration date on the way home from the meat market. I mean, I own my own business—I’m a dog groomer to the stars—and I do get my share of A and B-listers Ryan effing Gosling and his Weimaraners drop by once a month), but the unattached guys are all wannabes, has-beens, agents, or downright Hollywood sleaze buckets.
Speaking of which, last Sunday morning I spent an hour hiding under my covers, pretending to be asleep, waiting for the latest king dork to compose a kiss-off note. What, did he want me to dictate the thing? Excuse me, would you like to borrow a thesaurus or something? I mean, the night before when he passed out, I opened the door to let the dogs in, thinking they’d crowd him out of bed in no time, but there he still was at dawn, struggling to string together the six or seven-word dose of poetic psychobabble he thought he needed to let me down gently. Don’t you get it, Shakespeare? I’m kicking you out. I mean, move it, some of us have lives.
Anyway, I’m starting to think I may need help with this.
Sick and Tired in Beverly Hills

Wow, thought Cynthia, I like this girl.
Sick and Tired didn’t even bother to fill out the questionnaire. Cynthia remembered how long she’d spent coming up with it, avoiding the obvious questions that every dating site asks: likes/dislikes, musical tastes, last book read…blah, blah, blah. She preferred open-ended questions evoking longer responses that reveal personality. Short essays versus cookie-cutter multiple choice. Of course it would require more analysis and thoughtful consideration on her part, but that was what this boutique dating service would specialize in: personal attention. She wanted that same feeling she’d had while hooking up friends. . . helping good people find each other.
It started in junior high. One time, it must have been in seventh grade, she was at Darlene Dalvecki’s house for a sleepover. There were a couple of other girls there too and someone brought up Brian Bickford. Darlene really liked him, but Brian was clueless. That night, Cynthia thought about it while the other girls snoozed in their sleeping bags. Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match. She didn’t know much about Brian. He was a super-shy kid. She could only think of two overlapping interests. Favorite band: The Ramones. Favorite drink: root beer. The next day at school, Cynthia hatched a plan. It involved Cynthia singing Rock and Roll High School while walking down the hall, getting Darlene to join in, then intentionally getting bumped into by Brian, causing his root beer to spill all over Darlene’s blouse, and then blaming the whole thing on him. He was so apologetic. He must have said he was sorry about two hundred times while he helped clean her up. Twenty-four hours later, they were a couple and stayed a couple until they graduated high school.
Cynthia wondered if they were married with a gaggle of kids now. Might be worth tracking them down on Facebook to get a testimonial out of them. In any case, this matchmaking thing has been with her for a long, long time.
BZZZZ…her mother calling again. Nope, sorry, click. Cynthia slid the phone across the countertop. Not now, Mom.
Sick and Tired was her first client and, by god, she was going to get extremely personalized service. Cynthia also figured that Sick and Tired might have girlfriends in similar situations in the 90210 and surrounding zip codes. She looked down the list of other messages and there were more prospective clients. She poured a cup of French roast and fired off a reply to Sick and Tired.

Dear S & T,
Thanks for the funny and insightful letter. I hear you and I can help.
BTW, speaking of Hollywood, it’s not you, it’s some men who’ve gotten small. But not all of them. Let’s meet for coffee near where you work and we can make a game plan.
Second Acts

Cynthia clicked on the next message.

Dear Second Acts Dating Service,
I’m a ridiculously successful hi-tech entrepreneur. I’ve been divorced for six years, but every time a guy gets a gander at the depth of my pockets, his gonads shrink like raisins and blow away in the breeze. Please send me a real man. Now. If not sooner.
-Lonely in Brentwood

Cynthia laughed. This was going to be fun.

Welcome to Second Acts. As God is my witness, you will never be lonely again.

Frankly, my dear, I give a damn.
-Second Acts
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2012

    This is a romance novel with a pretty modern storyline. The her

    This is a romance novel with a pretty modern storyline. The heroine zips around LA while starting up her own business, so I like that she's a smart, on-the-go woman who also has a pretty hot sex life and classic romantic dilemmas. The chapters are short so you can say you're only going to read one right now, but then it ends up being easy to read quite a few more because the story REALLY moves along. I like that the ending doesn't seem typical for the genre.......but it's perfect in my opinion, so I feel like it could be the new wave of romance fiction.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    What a laugh out loud love drunk ride!

    Being a long time resident in the land of Hollywood tinsel, a former major studio exec, a new business owner and a lover of bad boys and dogs (the furry kind with fuzzy muzzels!), I couldn't help but identify with our heroine. I can't wait to find out if her incorrigible boyfriend shows up in the next novel. I sure hope she figures out before its too late that true love does not involve two-timing. I really did find this novel a page turner--well written, funny, and even some unexpected plot twists. A perfect summer read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2012

    A funny, fast-paced and hot, hot hot romance. Like so many of us

    A funny, fast-paced and hot, hot hot romance. Like so many of us, Cynthia, who has an almost supernatural talent for matchmaking, can't get out of her own way when it comes to love. Add to that a strange and beautiful new client whose three dogs are just not normal, her crazy ex super crush Max, her hilariously whacky mother, and get ready for an entertaining (and spicy!) read. Loved it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    Sleeping with Dogs and Other Lovers

    A great new Romance series set in sexy Southern California. I love the characters-- Cynthia who is reinventing herself as a high end matchmaker as she struggles to figure out her own love life. Although who can blame her for returning to her "bad boyfriend" Max when their connection is so hot?! I also loved the humor and great characters. Lolita, the groomer to the stars and her otherworldly canine family, and Cynthia's truly California nut job mom create some truly wacky scenes-- reminded me of I Love Lucy tv reruns, totally ridiculous but soooo funny! If you're looking for a bit of fantasy and fun, I highly recommend this book! I spent an afternoon at the beach and was sorry when it was done. I can't wait to see what happens next....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2013

    Not as good as the title implies

    The beginning of this novel is attention grabbing; unfortunately, it is not sustained. I was tempted to stop reading, but I persevered in the belief that it would improve. It didn't. Also, there was a glaring problem on page 143: Sin and Max were supposedly at the costume party dressed as Tarzan and Jane; however, it reads that he "pulled off his jacket and shirt..." I had high hopes when I started this novel, but was disappointed.

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  • Posted April 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Author: Julia Dumont Published by: BroadLit Age Recommended: Adu

    Author: Julia Dumont
    Published by: BroadLit
    Age Recommended: Adult
    Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
    Book Blog For: GMTA
    Rating: 4

    "Sleeping with Dogs and other Lovers: A Second Act Novel (Second Acts" #1)"by Julia Dumont was simply funny to read. Cynthia Amas was a marketer now turned match maker is able to help everyone except herself. So, Cynthia will have to reinvent herself. She really has such enthusiasm for her clients, her mom that was over the top with it all and that ex lover who would not go away and leave her alone. Cynthia was yet loveable but somewhat irritating why keep going back to someone you know isn't any good? She had already had a failed marriage and many relationships that had not gone any where. However, there was one character that was really likeable and that was Lolita(dog groomer) because she was a real person that told you like it is.This novelis definitely one that take you on a journey of dating and reationships with sex scenes that were very 'imaginative and steamy.' Yes, there are dogs in this novel too. It seems that one of Cynthia's clients owns some dogs and one of them(King) seems to have special powers. What is up with that? Well, you will have to pick up this novel to see how this author brings it all together. If you are in for a fun ride with some fantasy with some sex then you have come to the right place because Julia Dumont's "Sleeping with Dogs and Other Lovers, is a steamy, laugh out loud funny book for ladies looking for a novel with romance, sex, and comedy all in one package." Would I recommend? YES!

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  • Posted December 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Pet lovers will enjoy as well as romantics with a humorous slan

    Pet lovers will enjoy as well as romantics with a humorous slant...

    Read on December 05, 2012


    Sleeping with Dogs and Other Lovers

    Cynthia Amas has her hands full. In the middle of launching a boutique matchmaking service amid the sun, surf, and celebrities of Southern California, her own romantic life gets a whole lot more complicated...and steamy. While expertly juggling the needs of her exclusive clients, her own maddeningly irresistible bad-boy, sometime lover unexpectedly returns for a hot and heavy reunion. Meanwhile, her high-maintenance mother busily concocts harebrained schemes for meddling in Cynthia’s affairs. And her new best girlfriend—the sexy proprietress of a chic Beverly Hills dog-grooming salon—just happens to roll with a purebred entourage of curiously gifted canines.

    Before long, Cynthia’s personal, professional, and amorous lives begin crashing hilariously into one another.

    Join Cynthia as she begins "Second Acts " and find out who accidentally slips into bed with whom, who has a penchant for low-cut lederhosen, and who winds up naked and alone on a beautiful beach in Malibu!

    My Thoughts

    Relationships come and go but a good matchmaker is hard to find and based on her past experience "hooking up" couples Cynthia Amas realizes that her skill is something that can be used to create her own business. Busy getting her fledgling career on it's feet she has no time to devote to finding that certain someone of her own, when her ex unexpectedly returns and they reunite igniting the pages with their hot and heavy antics in the bedroom. 

    To put a twist on this off the wall tale is the character who is portrayed as Cynthia's very open to new experiences Mother, whose efforts to find Cynthia a man to marry would drive even a saint to drink!

    Top it all off with some of the weirdest hook-ups, the most demanding clientele, the craziest mishaps, the hottie ex lover whose libido is only slightly less inflated than his ego and you have a story that will keep you turning the pages and enjoying each new revelation as it happens.

    Sometimes shocking, always humorous this tale of love/lust/and loneliness will allow the reader to revel in the antics of Cynthia's clients and at the same time breathe a sigh of relief that their own lives are not quite as topsy turvy.

    A fascinating and funny story that introduces a new series that is refreshing, entertaining and ultimately something that one can enjoy to the fullest without any guilt at how many times it makes you laugh out loud as Cynthia tries and succeeds to find her clients the best romantic fit but in her own life only seems to continue failing to find that perfect someone.

    Fun, lightheartedly humorous and the perfect thing for lovers of pets and romance to read while they laugh and smile at all the crazy characters created so creatively by Julia Dumont!

    Reading book #2 Starstruck Romance and Other Hollywood Tails: A Second Acts Novel right after finishing this first one in the series thanks to Broadlit and Netgalley.

    [EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 8, 2012

    Easy read and very enjoyable. Dare I say sexy?

    Easy read and very enjoyable. Dare I say sexy?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    A quick yet satisfying read. Exciting story and relatable chara

    A quick yet satisfying read. Exciting story and relatable characters. Recommend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted October 28, 2013

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    Posted October 10, 2012

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    Posted October 16, 2012

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    Posted October 10, 2012

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    Posted July 14, 2012

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