ALPHA SPEED DATING (BBW) (Rocky Mountain Shifters), страница 1
ALPHA SPEED DATING (BBW)
~Night at the Den~
Rocky Mountain Shifters Series ~ Book 4.1
~Acclaim for Susan Arden~
Praise for Rocky Mountain Shifter Series
Collared for a Night
“A shifter paranormal romance that had my inner kitty roaring throughout this erotic read.”
5 out of 5 Licks ~ The Smutty Kitty Book Reviews
“The language was lush and smexy. Very swoon worthy. Had me on the edge throughout the entire story. And the erotica...blazing kids blazing. But...drove the story line and even gave you some insight on the ways of shifters and how their relationships really work.”
5 Stars ~ Fandom Fanatic
“From the intense and sexually charged first pages, to the romantic finale, I LOVED THIS BOOK. It is scorchingly HOT: a fantastic mix of shifters, human emotion, fantastically written sex scenes, all darkly tinged with power, dominance, and submission.”
5 Stars ~ Tattooed Book Reviews
“I loved it! HOT HOT HOT Must read for Erotic Paranormal Romance readers!!!”
5 out of 5 unicorns ~ Cassandra Lost in Books
LOOK FOR THESE TITLES BY SUSAN ARDEN
Rocky Mountain Series
Collared for a Night (Book 1)
Blood Brothers (Book 2)
Wolf & Witch (RMS Sub-series) Series
Her Lycan Lover (Book 3.1)
Alpha Speed Dating ~ BBW (Book 4.1)
Bad Boys Series
Tempted by Trouble (Book 1 e-book & Print)
Tempted Twice (Book 2)
The Cowboy Rode a Harley (Book 3)
Ruler Breaker Series
Rock into Me (Book 1)
Crash & Burn (Book 2)
Bad Boys Series
Girls Night Out
Playing the Edge Series
Taken (Book 1)
Falling (Book 2)
Surrender (Book 3)
It’s a BITCH (Book 3)
Writing as Susan D. Taylor
Ocean of Love
ALPHA SPEED DATING (BBW)
~Night at the Den~
A new novella length subseries encompassing one evening spent at the Downtown Den…Upstairs
Rocky Mountain Shifter Series (Book #4.1)
Related RMS Series Wolf & Witch, Her Lycan Lover – Released Oct 2013
Sherry and Quinn, a couple with a story requiring their own series. A journey into the energy realm where Dark and Light Fae cross barriers, causing havoc on the Earth’s plane.
Book #2 – MY LYCAN HUSBAND coming in early 2014
Book #3 – MY WIFE IS A WITCH – releasing near the vernal equinox of 2014
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Copyright © Susan Arden
Published: November 2013
The right of Susan Arden to be identified as author of this Work has been asserted by her in accordance with Sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems, copied in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise transmitted without written permission from the publisher. You must not circulate this book in any format.
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this e-book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Amazon and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
Find out more about the author and upcoming books online at
THIS IS A STORY INTENDED FOR ADULTS DUE TO CONTENT. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Thank you Joy Sillesen of Indie Author Services for your awesome proofing of this story.
Chelsey Seivert, you’re one in a million. You’ve helped me with several books as a beta reader and I can’t ever thank you enough for your hard work. Big hug.
And to all the paranormal romance readers, thank you for loving this genre as much as I do!
“It’s official. I just got fired.” Pressing her fingertips along the skin at her temple, Mari stared at her cellphone screen and the message from the Denver Times. She reread the one line of text. Due to a drop in circulation, you are officially laid off until further notice.
“Are you serious?” Sonya asked. “Can’t be. You just started.”
“Damn, this is such shitty timing.” Three days until the end of the month. Her everything was due come the first. Rent, car payment utilities…the list was a mile long.
The pit of her stomach constricted into a knot of frustration. There were instructions on how to collect her belongings and where to turn in her press pass and ID. None of it mattered.
“Let me see.” Sonya set her cup of coffee down and grabbed Mari’s cell. “I don’t believe it. By way of a text?”
“Automated. Impersonal. It figures.” Mari scanned the ceiling, her mind awash with a buzz of thoughts. Questions with no answers. She sorted through her options, trying to ignore the knocking beat of her heart. How in the hell would she survive without a job?
“It might be a mistake,” Sonya offered.
She looked over at her friend. “My employee ID is listed. No mistake. Oh jeez. No job!”
Dammit, it was that piece she’d submitted to her editor, refuting the allegations that Conrad Fisher was a cheating bastard. The second her editor handed it back with a big ‘rejected’ stamped across the top, she’d suspected something was up. It probably didn’t help that she’d confronted him with the facts. His flippant remark about how she’d mangled the story echoed in her mind.
“Crap,” Sonya whispered.
Mari sucked in a breath to ease the stranglehold of fear clogging her throat. The café where she and Sonya sat had become way too claustrophobic. She pulled at the elastic of her bra, pinching her rib cage. Her skin itched with the prickle of unshed fur. She was an inch away from giving into the urge to shift. She licked her lips away from her lengthening incisors. Locked into a fight to keep her primal nature at bay. Blown away, she desired to run free as a she-wolf. Her calves pumped nervously under the table as the heels of her shoes clattered against the stone floor.
Sonya touched her arm. A squeezing gentle shake.
Mari refocused on her best friend and grimaced. “This is so friggin’ messed up. Nobody wants the truth anymore. They want gossip that sells.”
“Society sucks big time,” Sonya agreed.
“When will I learn?” Not soon enough.
All because she’d gotten suckered into feeling sorry for Conrad Fisher. A gorgeous rich playboy. An earl, no less, and he probably
The Denver Times was still selling.
Conrad Fisher was still partying hard.
And here she was, flat broke. And jobless!
“I’m so sorry. What are you going to do?” Sonya asked, handing back Mari’s cell.
“Right now, flounder if I don’t find something fast. I’d better take off and go home. Looks like tonight I’ll be redoing my minuscule resume. Hard to believe I’m back to job hunting. Guess I’ll freelance until something turns up.” Mari began packing up her bag, and reached for her sweater.
The sound of Sonya’s fingernails tapping on the table snared her attention. Mari covered her friend’s hands. “We’re both a bundle of nerves. No worries. I’ll be fine.”
“I’ve an idea,” Sonya began.
“Is it legal?” Mari let go of her friend’s fingers.
“Are you willing to work evenings?”
“Yes, if I won’t get arrested.”
“Seeing how all my hours are effectively freed up, I’ll take whatever I can find.” Mari fought the stinging in her eyes. Christ, she’d graduated school six months ago. Things were finally looking up after being out of school and out of work for most of the summer. Choosy was a luxury she damn well could not afford. A pile of bills arrived in a tidal wave each month. College loan sharks called daily. An education meant she wouldn’t be out of debt for the next ten years, even if she worked and paid her loan on time.
“Then you can spare a night. Say, in two days?” Sonya asked, hope dancing in her grey eyes. “I can use the help.”
Mari sat forward. “Do you mean at the Den? Uh, I don’t know anything about shifter clubs other than you work there.”
“Hon, you’ll be awesome. It’s speed dating night. All you’d have to do is check guests in on arrival. Point and click. It’s all computerized. And there’s Fin and Tristen. You already know them. Sort of.”
“A brief introduction at your home last month. Really? That hardly qualifies me.”
“Hey, it pays well. And might lead to a job connection. There’s lots of impressive people who show up. All you have to do is schmooze, and you might find your next full-time job.”
Mari rolled her eyes. “I haven’t got many choices.”
“I’ll twist your arm if that will help.” Sonya smiled and curled her fingertips around Mari’s forearm, preparing to give her an authentic Indian burn. “Last chance. Say yes.”
“Yes! How can I repay you?”
Sonya released her arm. “Just show up. I’m going to get the official okay from Tristen. If you’re sure.”
“Definitely. I’m down for anything that pays the bills.” Mari snagged for her phone and opened up the browser. She typed in the term Downtown Den. She’d never actually been to the private shifter club where Sonya worked. Way too expensive with private limos, armed guards, and celebrities regularly on site. Reading the menu of sexy services offered, she felt her eyes widen. No, this had to be a mistake. Her friend worked at an exclusive club with an expensive restaurant and jazz bar.
Mari tapped Sonya’s shoulder. “Is this where you work?”
“Great, I’ll bring her by. See ya later.” Sonya nodded, then hung up. “It’s all set. You’re in. Tristen relayed his thanks. After hearing you were interested, he’s cancelling a girl he had lined up. See, this is going to work out wonderfully.”
Holding up her phone, Mari displayed the screen and repeated, “Is this the place?”
“The very one. Are you excited?”
“So much, I’m speechless,” Mari squeaked. What did I just sign up to do? She leaned back in her chair, gripping the armrests.
She’d seen high-voltage action covering stories around Denver these last couple of months for the Times. Crime scenes, factory layoffs, interviewing victims. So a little shifter sex clubbing was nothing to get hammered over.
The waiter walked up to the table. “You ladies ready for the bill?”
“I’d like two shots of Jack, please,” Mari said.
Sonya clapped. “Let’s celebrate. I haven’t had a shot of Jack in ages.”
Mari turned to the waiter. “Bring her the same thing.”
* * *
Conrad opened the door. There in the hallway his old man gave him a curt nod. “We’re at an impasse,” Roger Fisher said in a voice gravelly from one too many cigarettes.
“Come in.” Conrad opened the door wider. “Drink?”
“This isn’t a social visit.” His father followed him inside and shut the door. He didn’t bother to remove his trench coat. After walking down the hall, his father stopped in front of the entry table, before an unopened envelope addressed to Conrad. Neither of them remarked on the contents.
“It never is. I take it that you’re here because of Claudia. News travels fast.” He met his dad’s cold stare as he walked into the living room.
It had been decades since his father held a post as a hungry reporter. Roger had jetted upstairs to a penthouse office in his early thirties, taking over Wolf News after his own father stepped aside. Still, his dad had a no-bullshit manner about him in an industry ripe with hypocritical polish. “Your mum’s concerned that you’re without a mate.”
“My business is just that. Mine.”
“No, Conrad. As the future Earl of Essex, your life is very much not your own. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can outrun our family.”
“What are you saying?” He stood in front of his father. Both of them seizing up the other. They’d learned long ago a pack could have but one alpha. Conrad refused to acquiesce to a beta position. In lieu of a showdown, he’d walked away from the Fisher clan. Apparently, not far enough.
“I expect your attendance at the upcoming ball. Your mum has made the necessary inquiries, and several young women have been selected. All you have to do is show up and pick one.”
“Afraid not. I’m busy.”
His father laughed. The sound held a sharp undercurrent. His dad’s irises glowed in anger. He picked up a photograph from a stack on the cocktail table. One of many taken in a recent trip through Brazil and the elder Fisher contemplated it as though carefully selecting his words. His father tossed it down, then peered upward. Their gazes clashed. “We’ve let you roam around the world to sow your oats. It’s time to come home and take your rightful place. We can do this the easy way. Or hard. That part is up to you.”
* * *
“I know the perfect place. One that specializes in shifter mating issues. One night, drinks, dinner, and you’ll be set.”
Conrad regarded his chum as he picked up the newspaper. Again. “Are you off your rocker?”
“Hardly. You’re the wolf in a jam,” Louis returned, beaming from ear to ear.
“I don’t need a girlfriend. I need a date. And a Taser.” For the next reporter dumb enough to question him on his side of this ever-widening scandal. Shite, this couldn’t get any more screwed up. And considering he was a member of the press, he was fucking furious other reporters weren’t cutting him a break. If anything, the feeding frenzy had gotten worse once they put the pieces together. He was the son of Roger Fisher, an English earl and the CEO of Wolf News Enterprises. Officially, Conrad went from predator to prey.
“Hell, man. If you’d had the Taser when you met Claudia, you’d have sidestepped the gossip columns in the first place.”
“But not my family. Or did you forget the reason I’m stuck here?” He opened up the paper where the headline detailing his breakup blazed. Conrad Fisher dumps fiancée weeks before wedding.
Perfect payback to have the story of his personal life splashed across the front page of a newspaper owned by his family. The Fisher clan were busy at work tightening the screws into him. Not a moment wasted after they found out he was single. With no grandchild in sight, to say his parents were displeased didn’t cover the emotional upheaval of his
“Crap. Your family is devious in sticking it to you.” Louis, his oldest friend, slapped his back, then straightened.
“It’s part of their DNA structure,” he muttered.
“What happened to you?” Louis chuckled.
“I like to believe I was adopted or that they kidnapped me as a child. Besides, the issue with Claudia isn’t their fault. They were coming around about her. I dropped the fucking ball. Didn’t think it would be a nuclear explosion.”
“Fallout is never pretty with folks like yours.”
“It’s a regular bitch.”
“And so was your fiancée. Don’t blame anyone but yourself. You hooked up with Claudia when I repeatedly warned you against her ulterior motives. You made your bed. Now sleep in it. Cold and single.” Louis laughed his way across the room.
Conrad’s attention returned to the photograph of him taken in front of his apartment building, getting into his car, a microphone shoved in his face. Instinctively, he’d punched the reporter; not because of what the guy had asked, but because the man had invaded his space. His wolf shifter reflexes never reacted well to hostility and he’d clocked the reporter in the jaw. One more reason why he kept to himself, preferring solitary endeavors. His fiery temper was out of control at times, and his iron will was the only thing that kept his aggressive nature in check.
Now, with his back against the wall, he considered what the reporter had asked. Was the break up due to his cheating on Claudia? The temptation had not seriously crossed his mind during their two-year fling. With several camera bags strapped across his torso, grimy and tired most of the time, he gave little mind to women beyond a mindless shag.