Authors: Ariana Hawkes
Shiftr: Swipe Left for Love
Hope Valley BBW Dating App Romances
Copyright ©2016 by Ariana Hawkes
All rights reserved.
This is a standalone, 31,600-word HEA romance, perfect for a lunch break, bath time, or a little dose of me-time, wherever you are!
Shiftr: Swipe Left for Love – Book 1 (Dina)
Shiftr: Swipe Left for Love – Book 2 (Kristin)
Shiftr: Swipe Left for Love – Book 3 (Melissa)
Shiftr: Swipe Left for Love – Book 4 (Andrea)
Shiftr: Swipe Left for Love – Book 5 (Lori)
Shiftr: Swipe Left for Love – Book 6 (Adaira)
Shiftr: Swipe Left for Love – Book 7 (Timo)
Winter Bear Shifter Romances
Bear Home for Christmas
Bear Mine for Christmas
Bear My Perfect Gift
Isabel and The Wolf: Part #1
Isabel and The Wolf: Part #2
Isabel and The Wolf: Part #3
Isabel and The Wolf: Part #4
A 4.5-star rated, comedy romance featuring one kickass roller derby chick, two scorching-hot Alphas, and the naughty nip that changed their lives forever.
The only thing missing from Aspen Richardson’s life is a man who will love her just the way she is. In the small town she calls home, bullies from the past remain, making her wonder if it's ever going to happen. But, things are about to change in a major way, as the secret Aspen’s parents have been keeping from her comes out…
“This book definitely needs to be added to your MUST read list – you will quickly fall in love with this steamy and fast paced story.”
(If your device doesn’t support links, go to www.arianahawkes.com/freebook)
Raven Hartman wriggled into a pair of pink fishnet pantyhose, pulling them up underneath a short black pleated skirt. Pantyhose wasn’t easy at the best of times, never mind when she was squeezed into the seat of a fast-moving tour bus.
“Ok, ladies, are you ready for day three of Amber’s Bachelorette Extravaganza?” her friend Jennifer yelled from the front of the bus.
“One second!” Raven yelled back, joining a chorus of other shouts. A glance down the aisle told her that all the other girls were still struggling with their outfits too, except for Jennifer, who was bouncing up and down the bus, barely able to contain her excitement as they whizzed along the highway.
It was the third and final day of their close friend Amber’s three-state bachelorette party. On the first day, they’d had a fun night of drinking and dancing in Austin, running around town dressed up in ‘Team Amber’ t-shirts and tutus. Guys had bought them drinks all night, and it had ended up a blurry, happy mess. On the second day, they’d been to a spa resort. They’d had their own private room, and they’d lounged in a hot tub all night, taking turns to get treatments. Tonight was going to be a surprise for all of them. All they knew was that they were staying in a town called Hope Valley, and there was going to be some ‘amazing’ entertainment, that Jennifer promised they’d ‘never forget’.
Raven fizzed with excitement as she pulled on a fresh ‘Team Amber’ t-shirt. She’d never had so much fun in her life. She’d had to save for months to pay for the party, but it was well worth it so far, and Jennifer assured them that the best was yet to come. Finally dressed, she stood up awkwardly and stepped into a pair of ridiculously high pink heels. She was also wearing a pair of black-and-pink-striped knee socks, and a tiara. Her look was a little roller derby, a little rock princess. The short skirt was way more revealing than the ones she usually wore, and she would normally have been horrified at displaying her big, soft thighs in fishnet pantyhose, but she gained confidence from being with the other girls, who were all at least as curvy as she was.
There was the sound of a champagne cork popping, and she rushed toward the front of the bus to pile into the front seats with everyone else. She caught hold of Amber on the way and gave her a big hug.
“Having fun, hun?” she said.
“Oh, the best time! You guys are so amazing for being here. Thank you so much!” Amber said, her eyes sparkling. Raven was so happy for her. Amber was a lovely person, and she was marrying a great guy. Raven knew they’d be really happy together, and she felt honored that she’d chosen her as one of her bridesmaids.
Jennifer handed out plastic cups of champagne.
“Here’s to the third leg of the best bachelorette party ever – even if I do say so myself!” she said with a giggle, holding her cup up high. They all bumped cups carefully. “Now, no slacking tonight, especially you single ladies.” She gave significant looks to Raven and the three other single women. “We’ve got something very special lined up for you tonight, and I think there are going to be lots of men there!” Everybody whooped.
“What is it, Jen?” someone shouted.
“If I told you, it’d spoil the surprise.”
“Can’t you even give us a little hint?” Amber said with a pout. “I mean, we might not even be appropriately dressed for the occasion.”
“Oh trust me, you are!” Jennifer replied with a dirty laugh. “And my lips are sealed. All I can say is that Lauren, an old friend of mine from school, suggested it, and she’s a lot of fun. So I can guarantee you that it won’t be dull!” They all clung to the sides of the seats as the bus took a sharp bend.
The girls chatted raucously about the funny things that had happened on the trip while they drunk the champagne, the bubbles making them even more excitable.
Soon, they came off the highway and passed through some suburban streets. Raven gazed out of the windows as they entered Hope Valley. It looked like a lovely town, right at the foot of majestic mountains. The streets were attractively ordered, with lots of green spaces and kids playing outside. The red brick buildings glowed golden in the late afternoon light, and the downtown area was pretty and full of independent stores. It looked like a place to live, rather than
dragging on from one day to the next. She was so sick of her dull hometown. It didn’t have a single scrap of character. It was full of strip malls, industrial storage units, farmland, and not much else. She’d lived there all her life, and for the past few years, she’d worked one dead-end job after another, still living with her parents because she couldn’t afford to get her own place. The bachelorette party was the most exciting thing that had happened to her for a long, long time. For the past month, she’d been counting off the days until she could escape home for a few days.
The bus stopped outside a hotel and they all piled out, laughing, shrieking and tottering on their perilously high heels. Raven was rooming with Caitlyn, one of the other single girls. They’d been friends since high school, and they had a lot in common. They’d both never had a long-term relationship and they didn’t have a lot of confidence around men, having endured a lot of hurtful comments at school.
“Nice place!” Caitlyn exclaimed, skipping across the room and jumping on the bed. “Raven, I think tonight is going to be our lucky night! I really do!” Raven sat on the edge of her own bed, laughing at Caitlyn’s antics.
“I wish I had your confidence,” she replied.
“Come on, girl. If we’re going to get laid, we’ve got to make it happen!”
“I just don’t know if that’s my style.”
“Ok, maybe not hook up, but make out. Get a date. Something!” Caitlyn stopped bouncing and sat next to her. “Raven, listen to me. Who is there left to date in Russellville?”
“No-one at all,” Raven admitted.
“Exactly. Even one-eyed Fred just got hitched to his second cousin or something, and he was Russellville’s most eligible bachelor.” Raven giggled.
“I know. Ok, I promise that I’ll try my hardest to meet a guy tonight.”
“Flirt like you’ve never flirted before!”
“Yeah!” They high-fived each other, Raven trying hard to ignore the niggling voices in her ear, telling her that she was never going to meet anyone, and was going to end up sad and lonely and living in Russellville for the rest of her life.
Before they went down to join the others, they took a full-length selfie in the mirror.
“Us curvy girls are looking
tonight!” Caitlyn exclaimed. “Look at you, Raven, you’re gorgeous. You have the most amazing green eyes, and I’d kill for your hair.” Raven did think her hair was her best feature. It was shoulder-length with a slight wave, and almost black with a blue-ish undertone. Raven fought back her instinctive urge to knock back the compliment, and said a shy “thank you” instead.
They could hear the other girls shouting and joking while the elevator was still moving down to the lobby, and when they headed out onto the street, they drew a lot of curious glances from passersby. Jennifer led them in a long line to a Tex-Mex restaurant, where they took over an entire room. The margaritas flowed, along with tacos, burritos, enchiladas and chimichangas.
Two hours later and a lot tipsier, they burst out of the restaurant, ready for their secret entertainment.
“What is it?” everyone kept asking Jennifer, but she’d stayed tight-lipped throughout the meal, only her sparkling eyes betraying her excitement.
“It’s this way. Follow me!” she trilled, leading them through some backstreets, the satnav on her phone held out in front of her.
After a few minutes, they emerged into the town’s main square, and went right up to the town hall, an elegant Victorian building fronted by tall white columns. Raven looked at Caitlyn, confused. A town hall was the last place they’d imagined going. They went through the entranceway, and were greeted by a huge pink banner saying ‘Bear Heat: Performing Tonight’. Amber squealed in excitement.
“Is this what I think it is?” she demanded, turning to Jennifer. Jennifer stopped walking and held her arms out like a ringmaster at a circus.
“Ladies! May I present the third and final event of Amber’s Bachelorette Extravaganza: The amazing, the incredible, Bear Heat Strippers!!” everyone screamed and jumped up and down. Raven tingled with excitement. She’d never been to a strip show before. She’d actually thought they were a myth. Or something that only happened in Vegas. She stared at the banner in disbelief. Were there really guys in there who were going to get naked on stage?
“Come on. Let’s get comfortable. I’ve got front row seats for you all,” Jennifer yelled, leading the way.
They went through to a hall with a big front stage and rows of seats filling the floor. It was decorated like a boudoir, with lots of gauze curtains and dim lighting, and there were several lanterns suspended from the ceiling. A pair of heavy red curtains concealed the back of the stage. Twelve seats on the front row had pieces of paper with ‘Reserved: Team Amber’ written on them. On Jennifer’s orders, Amber took the middle seat and the girls clustered on both sides of her. As soon as they were seated, a man appeared, holding a tray.
“What would you ladies like to drink?” he said. They all stared at him, too stunned to answer. He was wearing a pair of jeans and nothing else. And he was seriously hot. His torso bulged with huge muscles, from his shoulders to his pecs to his abs, and he had the deepest blue eyes and an angular bone structure. Jennifer recovered first.
“We’ll have two bottles of champagne, please,” she said.
“Coming right up,” he replied, with a warm smile. Raven was surprised. Hot guys were usually really arrogant and dismissive of girls like her. But he seemed nice, and kind.
As soon as he’d gone, the women exchanged glances, big eyed.
“Wooh!” they exclaimed at the same time.
“If the guys on stage are as hot as that, I think I’ll pass out,” Raven said.
“I’ve never seen muscles like that in real life before,” Caitlyn said.
“What do you think’s going on behind that curtain?” Amber said.
“Uh, a lot of crazy-hot men are preparing to get naked for us,” Caitlyn replied gleefully.
The waiter came back with the drinks and carefully filled everyone’s glass. Raven was surprised that his skin wasn’t burning with the intensity of all the gazes focused on it.
“Enjoy the show, ladies,” he said before he left them.
I wish I could be with a guy who looks like that
, Raven thought wistfully as she watched him leave.
The hall had filled up, and the room was full of excited chatter. But, as the first languid beats of a popular sexy song started to play, all the women fell silent and turned their eyes toward the stage.