Once Bitten cover
Once Bitten (©2001)

Melanie Travis Series #8
by Laurien Berenson

With her former fiancé off finding himself and their wedding plans kaput, Melanie Travis figures the only ring she'll be seeing in the near future is one where she's showing her prized poodles. But at least somebody still believes in happily ever after: her brother Frank is about to tie the knot with his true love, Bertie Kennedy. With scant knowledge of tulle, favors, or cocktail hors d'oeuvres, Melanie is content to leave the nuptial arrangements to Sara Bentley, a fellow dog-handler moonlighting as a wedding coordinator. But when Sara vanishes without a trace, a panicked Bertie gives Melanie a choice: either pinch-hit for Sara.1or find out where she is.
      Opting for the latter, Melanie begins sniffing around into Sara's past—and unearths far more trouble than she bargained for when Sara's cottage burns to the gorund and a woman's body is found in the rubble. There are plenty of

people who might have reason to want Sara dead—from Maris Kincaid, a disgruntled dog groomer; to Debra Silver,a competitor whose dog had been poisoned a decade ago; to Josh Bennett, her embittered ex-boyfriend. Even Sara's own family seems oddly unconcerned about her disappearance...but are the blue-blooded Bentleys cold-blooded enough to kill one of their own?
      What became of Sara isn't the only mystery on Melanie's hands. For some reason, her ex-husband has resurfaced and is following her around like a lovesick puppy. Bob can't possibly want to rekindle their old relationship...or does he?
      Melanie soon realizes that despite the best-laid plans, anything can happen, from a rekindled romance to high-spirited canine hijinks to a surprise human pregnancy. And when it comes to Sara Bentley, nothing is certain—except that it's up to Melanie to stop a murderer in his—or her—tracks.