Check out an exclusive excerpt from It Started with a Dog by Julia London, a romance that starts with an accidental phone swap and features adorable rescue pups!

It Started with a Dog

Enjoy this exclusive excerpt from It Started with a Dog by Julia London, a romance that starts with an accidental phone swap and features adorable rescue pups!  It Started with a Dog releases on October 5th at all retailers, so be sure to grab a copy!

Excerpt from It Started with a Dog

She was awakened when the woman next to her pushed Harper’s tote bag off the arm rest. “Sorry,” Harper said groggily, and righted herself and the bag. She dragged her fingers through hair that was still wet from the rain, then shifted her gaze out the window. She’d more than dozed off—they were an hour out of town, and the rain had turned to mist.

Harper yawned, then dug into her tote for a snack. She pulled out a small bag of nuts and her phone. She righted the thing, and when she did, the phone came to life. But her phone’s lock screen confused her—she didn’t know the photo that appeared. She couldn’t remember even taking it. Staring up at her was a big white dog with a coal black nose. It looked like a golden retriever or a Husky or some cross between dog and polar bear. It was dressed in a red bandana with green Christmas trees and a headband with reindeer antlers. It looked like it was smiling, its long pink tongue hanging out of one side of its mouth.

Where had this dog come from? She racked her memory. It was entirely possible she had taken the photo. For one, the dog was adorable, and she often took snaps of adorable dogs. For two, she was often at the ACC where many adorable dogs passed through. But it also felt impossible that she would not remember meeting this beautiful hunk of dog. And anyway, even if she had taken it, how had it become her wallpaper?

A black banner across the dog’s chest proclaimed she had new texts.

She switched on the little light overhead and turned the phone over, examining it, and as she did, a slight bit of nausea waved through her. There was a crack on the back that hadn’t been there before. Maybe she’d cracked it when Amal had slammed on the brakes and phones went flying. Or maybe—and this was far more likely—she’d picked up the wrong phone. Holy shit. She had the wrong damn phone.

The phone suddenly vibrated, startling her, and she dropped it into her tote. She quickly dug it out again to see a new text message notification. She slid her finger across the screen, and miraculously, it was not locked.

You have my phone, the text message read.

She gasped loudly and craned her neck to see around her. Was this person nearby? Had she fallen asleep and this person had switched phones? How did anyone know she had the wrong phone?

She looked at the texts before the last one and read several more that said pretty the same thing: You have my phone. We got our phones mixed up. HELLO? She scrolled through them, counting fourteen texts in all announcing that she was in possession of the wrong phone. “Are you fucking kidding me right now?” she muttered.

The woman next to her shot her a disapproving look.

Come on, I need my phone. You can text me—I’m an idiot, I don’t have any security set up. Are you the (he inserted an emoji of the dancing girl) or the (he inserted an emoji of a guitar).

This could not be happening. Harper suddenly thought of all the texts Soren would send her this week. Of the terribly inappropriate texts Oliva would send her. “Nonononono.”

She texted back the emoji of the woman.

The text bubble instantly popped up. I have to be honest, I was hoping it was you and not the guitar guy. BTW, lucky you, getting out of that damn van when you did—you missed the debate about the upcoming election. If I could have figured out how to open that door, I would have thrown myself out.

She smiled, surprised by the friendly nature of his text. So you’re…She inserted the emoji of a man in a bowler hat because it was the first man emoji she ran across.

?? I’m not a detective. I’m more like (he inserted a picture of a man shrugging).

Harper’s smile widened.

Where are you, he texted. Is it possible to get my phone back?

Was he kidding? I’m on a bus, remember? Where are you?

Waiting for a plane to take off…

“For heaven’s sake,” she muttered. What now? She typed, I guess we’re stuck.

Unless you know how to teleport?

She sighed and texted, Alas I do not. She ended it with the crying emoji.

Is that a literal or ironic emoji? I don’t want to say the wrong thing. 

She grinned. I must admit, a little of both.

He texted, Totally get that. By the way, thanks for also not having a secure phone. I would have lost my mind.

I guess I’m an idiot too. But the security thing takes too much time. I want to pick up my phone and go to what I want without swiping or staring. And it skeeved her out a little that technology could read her face.


Wait a second. She needed a phone this week. Maybe they could meet up and exchange phones. Where are you headed?


Ugh, Chicago, clear across the country. I’m going to Houston. When will you be back in Austin?

New Year’s Day.

So no meet up. Wow. I guess we are really stuck.

Looks like.


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About Julia London

Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen romantic fiction novels.

Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction.

About the Book

date published : October 5, 2021

publisher : Berkley

pages : 348

audiobook narrator : Courtney Patterson

audiobook length : 10 hrs, 37 min

It Started with a Dog by Julia London

All Harper Thompson wants for Christmas is the huge promotion she’s worked so hard for–which she should get, as long as her launch of the hip new coffeehouse, Deja Brew, goes according to plan. Jonah Rogers is trying to save his family’s coffee shop, Lucky Star, from going out of business, which will be tough with the brand-new Deja Brew opening across the street.

When Jonah and Harper meet for the first time after accidentally swapping phones, their chemistry is as electric as a strand of Christmas lights. He’s a tall, handsome, compassionate hunk of engineer, and she’s an entrepreneur whose zest for life is very sexy. They love all the same things, like scary movies, greasy food–and most of all, dogs. It’s a match made in heaven…until Jonah finds out that Harper’s the one about to put him out of business.

Only one coffee shop likely can survive, and a competition of one-upmanship ensues in a battle of the brews. The paws really come out when the local rescue shelter has a fundraiser where local businesses foster dogs, and patrons vote with their dollars for their favorite pup. Harper takes in an adorable old bulldog on behalf of Deja Brew, while Jonah fosters a perky three-legged dachshund for Lucky Star. As the excitement builds for who will be crowned King Mutt and king of the coffee hill, Harper and Jonah must decide if their connection was all steam or if they are the perfect blend.

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