Happy Book Birthday, Cougar and the Lion!
Today’s Brew: Hot water, lemon and honey
Everyone, this is Arielle and Dylan. Ari and Dylan…everybody. The third installment of the Colorado Shifters series is a little different. The first two books have followed the story of two weredoes who found their fated mates turning their herd’s mating tradition. But when Daphne’s mate turned out to be Leo, a lion, we also met the local pride.
Ari’s not our typical heroine. She just turned forty, and even though she’s pretty content with who she’s become, there are things she wouldn’t mind changing. She’s a little overweight, and she is the only werecougar her age in the pride who has yet to find her mate. The rest of the pride has no problem tossing thinly veiled jabs in her direction about her situation, and she’s feeling left out. And having a hard time identifying with her cougar side.
Enter Dylan. Ari’s hired him as her personal trainer, so when this hot younger guy reinvigorates her cougar side, she’s not surprised. But Dylan came back to Woodland Park for a reason. To fight for tradition. A tradition he’s about to make just as much of a change to as his twin brother Leo.
Keep reading for an excerpt! Cougar and the Lion is available on Amazon and is part of Kindle Unlimited! You can read it as a standalone, but you’ll enjoy it more if you read the first two novellas, Lion and the Doe and Doe and the Hunter.
Belinda was blowing up my phone. I ignored it. After all, I was still on assignment. It was close to noon when we returned to my apartment. Dylan set the cloth bags full of food on my empty counters. At least it wouldn’t be hard to find places for everything we’d bought.
“When’s your next client?” I asked as I pulled the vegetables out of the bag and put them in the crisper.
“Monday.” He handed me the ground hamburger and the chicken. “And I think it might be you. Put the hamburger in the freezer.”
“Okay.” I had no idea what I was going to do with half of this stuff, besides make salads. I wasn’t kidding when I said I didn’t cook. But I was an absolute boss with the microwave. “Am I your only client or something?”
“For now.” Dylan’s cheeks pinked. “I just started last week. All my clients were back in LA.”
“What made you come back to Woodland Park, of all places?” It was a quiet, conservative town, filled mostly with families. I wasn’t sure how Dylan fit in yet.
“Family stuff,” he grumbled. “Time for a change.”
I leaned against the counter. The air practically vibrated with his discomfort. “Anything you want to talk about?”
“Not yet.” His eyes were the darkest I’d seen. They were usually a light hazel, now they were stormy.
“If you need to talk, I’m here.” We’d just met, and I’d hired him, so we weren’t exactly friends, but I didn’t feel like I was overstepping my bounds.
“Thanks.” Dylan held himself up by his hands on the counter. The muscles in his arms tensed in a long line and his hair fell in front of his eyes. He took a deep breath. “I will, just not now.”
“What are you doing after this?” I asked, not ready to say goodbye yet, but I had no idea how to get him to stay. He’d already stayed with me way longer than he was scheduled to be.
“I thought I’d show you how to make cauliflower pizza.” Dylan looked up at me, and the light was back in his eyes. “You said you couldn’t cook, and it would be a shame for you to starve to death with a kitchen full of food.”
“That sounds amazing.” My stomach was rumbling. If I’d been in the office, I would’ve had lunch already. Shit. I took a quick look at my phone. Belinda’s messages had gone from how did it go? to where the hell are you? I sent her a text letting her know I was still alive, and still with Dylan.
That sexy trainer? she answered. I’d told her all about him as soon as I got back to the office on Wednesday. You go girl. Rawr.
“Don’t make fun of me,” I said as Dylan put the cauliflower into the blender. “But I agreed to document my training for work. My boss is having a fit because she wants to have the segment up, like, now. So I have to do it.”
Dylan smirked. “Go for it. You have ten minutes before our next step.”
Out of the corner of his eye, he watched me fiddle with the phone, trying to hold it at the correct angle so I didn’t look ridiculous, adjusting my hair back and forth over my shoulder and tugging on my shirt. I’d left the Go Pro at the office on purpose.
“Do you want me to do that?” Dylan finally asked, taking the phone from me.
Butterflies fluttered in my stomach. I’d been self-conscious enough without having to do my spiel in front of him. “Sure.” One last tug on my shirt. “Do I look okay?”
“You look gorgeous.” My mouth fell open at his words. Dylan’s eyes widened and I knew it wasn’t just lip service. Neither of us expected him to say that, but he didn’t back down from his statement, our eyes locked and that sexy smile was back.
Oh, hell. There was no way I was going to be able to do this video now.