Shiftr: Swipe Left for Love (Melissa) BBW Werewolf Romance (Hope Valley BBW online dating app romances Book 3)

BOOK: Shiftr: Swipe Left for Love (Melissa) BBW Werewolf Romance (Hope Valley BBW online dating app romances Book 3)
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Shiftr: Swipe Left for Love

Melissa

 

Hope Valley BBW online dating app romances

 

Copyright ©2015 by Ariana Hawkes

All rights reserved.

 

Sign up to Ariana’s
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This is a standalone, 29,000-word HEA romance, perfect for a lunch break, bath time, or a little dose of me-time, wherever you are!

 

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Connect with Ariana

Ariana’s other books

About Ariana Hawkes

 

 

Chapter One

 

Melissa Ericson was crying so hard that her best friend Kristin couldn’t understand what she was trying to tell her.

“Hey, Melissa, I’m just going to find a place to pull over,” Kristin said into her hands-free microphone. She left the highway at the next exit and stopped her car in a quiet street.

“Now, honey, slow down. What is it?”

“Timo says we’re not destined to be together, and he’s broken up with me!” Melissa wailed.

“He broke up with
you
? I thought you were the one who wasn’t so keen on being together?”

“Well, no, not exactly. I guess I officially broke up with him,” Melissa said, in between sniffing and blowing her nose.

“So what happened?” Kristin said, and waited while Melissa took some deep breaths, forcing her breathing back under control.

“We just had a talk, and he asked me if I felt like we had a strong connection, like we just
had
to be together; like fate or something had drawn us to each other across the universe. I couldn’t say yes. He’s such an awesome guy, but I feel more like he’s my brother or something. I mean, we haven’t even had sex.”

“So you said no?”

“Uh huh. And he looked really sad,” Melissa said. “He said that he really liked me, but he also sensed that we weren’t fated partners.  Which, when you think about it, is a pretty weird thing to say.” Kristin smiled to herself, knowing exactly what Timo had been talking about. She’d met her shifter mate, Roman, three months previously, and, from the first time they’d set eyes on each other, it was obvious that a force stronger than either of them was pulling them together, irresistibly. “He said that he couldn’t say the words, so I had to tell him it was over, which I did. As much as I didn’t feel like doing it,” Melissa finished, and broke into a fresh wave of sobbing. Kristin waited until she was done, knowing that it’s sometimes better to cry yourself out than to try to pull yourself together. But her mind was spinning, creating the lightning-fast connections that made her the great journalist she was.

“Melissa, honey,” she said, once Melissa’s tears had subsided to sniffles again. “I know how painful this is, but it absolutely sounds like you both made a very sensible and mature decision.”

“I did,” Melissa said in a quavering voice. “I know I did. But what if I threw away the only chance I have left to meet a guy? That’s all I can think about right now.”

“You haven’t. Trust me. I know that there’s someone out there who will be perfect for you. And the girls will say the same thing. I’m going to put you on hold for a moment while I figure out when we can all meet and talk things over, ok?”

“Ok,” Melissa agreed. Kristin quickly contacted their two other best friends, Lauren and Dina, and ascertained that they were both free to meet up that evening, then she came back to Melissa.

“So, tonight we’re all going to meet at my place and have takeout and ice cream, and you’re going to have plenty of wine. And we’re going to talk about why Timo wasn’t the right guy for you, and make a plan for how you’re going to find someone who’s perfect for you.”

“Ok,” Melissa said uncertainly.

“You’re going to find someone very soon, I promise you! Now I’m just on my way to interview someone about the preparations for Hope Valley’s Christmas celebrations, so I won’t be home till 7.30pm. Does that work for you?”

“Yes, that’s great. Thank you so much for being an awesome friend, Kristin,” Melissa said, sounding a little calmer.

“Of course, babe. All of us are here for you. And now we’ve met our perfect matches, we’re going to work super hard on helping you to find yours!”

 

Kristin ended the call and got back onto the highway. If she didn’t do some creative driving right now, she was going to be very late to meet the three sweet old ladies who were in charge of all the town’s public celebrations. Not that they’d mind; they were always excited to see her and hear all the gossip about her love life. And she was ecstatic that she finally had some good news to tell them. She was not only mated to Roman (although she’d tell them that they were ‘dating’) but his cub was growing in her belly. Reflexively, she placed her hand on her stomach, as she always did when she thought of the tiny new life developing in there. She was only two weeks pregnant, and she wondered what the baby looked like. Probably a lot like a bean, she thought, giggling to herself. But she already felt so protective of this little bean. It was the wonder child she never thought she’d have. Having suffered from PCOS throughout her adult life, she’d assumed that she’d have a lot of trouble conceiving. But the first time she and Roman had tried, it’d happened, just like that. Then she’d been terrified that she might lose the baby. Her body had given her so much trouble for so long that she didn’t trust it, and she’d planned to quit her job immediately and spend the next nine months on the sofa. Roman had talked her out of it though.
“Tiger cubs are strong,”
he’d said, his grass-green eyes twinkling.
“It’ll gain its strength from you.”
And Kristin was doing her best to trust him, continuing with her basketball games, power-walking, and hectic journalist’s lifestyle.

 

*

 

A few minutes after 7.30pm, Melissa was walking along the hallway to Kristin’s apartment. As she approached, the door swung open to reveal not her best friend, but the tall, muscular figure of Roman. She’d met him twice before, but her jaw still dropped at the sight of him. He was absolutely gorgeous. There was something feline about his broad face with its prominent cheekbones, and those crazy green eyes that seemed to bore into her. She blushed, aware that she must look terrible. Her eyes were red from crying, and after her make-up had run, she’d ended up wiping it all off.

“Hey, Melissa,” Roman said, pulling her into a hug. She tried not to notice how taut and honed his body was. He felt leaner and more agile than Timo. More the kind of physique she liked in a guy.

“Hey, yourself,” she replied in a chirpy tone, belying the emotions that were spilling over in her mind.

“Don’t worry, I’m not staying,” he said with a grin. “I know you girls don’t need a guy sticking his nose into your get-together. I’m off to play ball with the guys in a minute.”

“Aw, you’d never be intruding, Roman,” Melissa said, grinning back at him. She followed him into the living room, and as she walked through the door, she was enveloped in three giant hugs. Well, as far as Dina and Lauren’s baby bumps would allow. Lauren was about ready to have her baby, and her belly was huge. She complained constantly about the effort of carrying it around, but Melissa knew that she couldn’t be happier. Dina was just over six months pregnant, and she looked amazing. She had a really high bump, and her skin was glowing and her eyes were bright with excitement. Melissa was so happy that her three closest friends were all pregnant, but there was always a twinge of sadness that she wasn’t. She’d been pregnant before, and given birth. But the baby was stillborn. Sometimes she didn’t know if she’d ever get over the grief it had caused her. After that, she and her husband had been so lost in their individual suffering that their marriage had broken up, and she’d gone from having a husband and a baby on the way, to having nothing, in a few short months.

The doorbell buzzed and Roman went out to answer it. Kristin directed Melissa to the sofa, between Dina and Lauren, while she went out to the kitchen. She came back with a bottle of wine, and poured a large glass for Melissa.

“Hey, I can’t drink when you guys aren’t!” Melissa exclaimed.

“Girl, you are having a drink. Or ten,” Lauren said firmly. “This is what you do when you have a break-up.”

“Ok,” Melissa said meekly, and took a long sip of the delicious red wine. As the alcohol hit her bloodstream the pain in her heart became a little less sharp. A moment later, Roman brought in a stack of pizza boxes and deposited them on the coffee table.

“Ok, ladies, it was lovely to see you, but I’m leaving now,” he said. He pulled Kristin into his arms and gave her a long, tender kiss. Melissa couldn’t help watching, struck by how in love they were.

As soon as he’d left, they opened the pizzas and began to devour them.

“How are you feeling, sweetie?” Dina asked some minutes later, resting her hand on Melissa’s knee.

“Not so good, I guess,” she said. “And I hate that it’s not even so much about breaking up with Timo, because I did know in my heart that he wasn’t right for me.” She stopped, too choked up to continue.

“She’s worried that she’s thrown away her only chance of being with someone,” Kristin explained.

“Girl, what did I say to you guys back in summer when we were shopping for dresses for the Hope Valley summer ball?” Lauren demanded.

“You said you were certain that within six months, we’d all have met someone incredible,” Melissa said. “I didn’t believe you at the time, of course. But when I met Timo, I desperately hoped that he’d be the one.”

“And he is an incredible guy, but he wasn’t
your
incredible guy,” Dina said. “Which means the one for you is still out there.”

“And, six months isn’t up yet,” Lauren said triumphantly. “Meaning that my prediction is still good.”

“But where am I going to find someone?” Melissa said. “You met Roman through a work event. And you guys met Logan and Connor in a bar. I feel like I’ve exhausted every possible option for finding a guy.”

The other three women cast nervous glances at each other. This was the third time that Lauren was going to reveal the truth about the secret dating app that she’d used to meet Connor, and Dina had used to meet Logan, and then Kristin has used to meet Roman. And it didn’t get any easier.

“Melissa,” Kristin began hesitantly. “We – none of us – have exactly been honest about how we met our guys.” Melissa stared at each of them, wrinkling her nose, as she always did when confused.

“We actually met them online,” Dina said. Melissa shook her head.

“And, what, you were embarrassed to tell me you were doing internet dating? But I’m your best friend.” Hurt flashed across her pretty features. “I would’ve joined in with you too.” She looked at them again. “And how come the three of you know about it, and I’m the only one who’s been left out?”

“It’s a secret website – a phone app actually,” Kristin continued. “And we were each only allowed to tell one person about it, once we’d found our match.”

“In fact, you were supposed to find out about it before Kristin,” Lauren cut in. “Dina and I couldn’t decide which of you to tell first, so we flipped a coin, and you won.”

“But when we came to your place to tell you the good news, you were already dating Timo,” Dina added. A light came into Melissa’s cornflower-blue eyes.

“Oh, was that the time I made you guys pomegranate mock Mojitos?” she asked.

“Yes! And once we heard that you were with Timo, we had to update our plans real fast,” Lauren said, with a laugh. Melissa laughed as well.

“Ok, I feel better now,” she said. “And I’m super glad things worked out like that, so that Kristin had the chance to meet Roman. Knowing that you guys have all found amazing men through the app makes me feel a little encouraged too. Can I take a look at it?”

“Of course!” Lauren said. “Now give me your phone.” Lauren picked up her own phone and emailed a link to Melissa’s inbox, then Melissa unlocked her phone and handed it over. Lauren fiddled with it for a little while, before handing it back to Melissa. “Ok, you’re all set. Now, just click on that little orange app.”

“Oh, that’s cute,” Melissa said, tapping it with a coral-pink fingernail. “But, what is that? It kind of looks like a paw print, but in the shape of a heart.” Kristin, Dina and Lauren each held their breath. They’d replayed their own moment of realization so many times in their minds. It was the moment that everything they thought they knew about life, and about men, had been completely flipped on its head, and a whole new world had opened to them. It wasn’t just the discovery that shifters existed, but finding out that shifters loved curvy girls like themselves. For the first time in their lives, they didn’t have to feel second best to skinny girls. By tapping on the Shiftr app, they became the number-one choice of the hottest guys on the planet – who just happened to have the added sexy bonus of being able to shift into animals.

BOOK: Shiftr: Swipe Left for Love (Melissa) BBW Werewolf Romance (Hope Valley BBW online dating app romances Book 3)
12.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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