Title: Lone Cougar
Series: Solo Shift #2
Author: Nicole Lake
Genre: Shifter Romance
Cover Design: Sarah Hansen, Okay Creations
Release Date: April 24, 2017
I didn't particularly care for Ryan when he showed up for his first massage. And I don't particularly care for him now, even if he's the hottest thing in Green Holler. Especially because he's the hottest thing in Green Holler.
He reminds me of every player I met in high school and college, he travels constantly because of his work, and I'm sure he's got a girl in every airport. And his work? He's the guy Dad hired for advice on expanding his art store, and I can just see him changing it into McArts or something cheesy.
Not that I'm looking for a man anyway. I don't ask for much. Just a man who's not a complete jerk, doesn't mind living out here in the middle of the Ozarks, and won't freak out when he discovers that shifting's real and his girlfriend's an owl shifter.
And Ryan's not that man. Right?
The woman at the B&B's trying to get me to date Sam--short for Samantha, she's careful to point out. Not going to happen, even if Sam's the most beautiful woman I've seen. For one thing, there's plenty of beautiful women out there, but not enough damn-good massage therapists like Sam. On top of that, her dad's my client, and that mixture of business and pleasure is a bad idea.
Why would anyone give up their big-city dreams, go back home to this Ozark tourist trap--sorry, I mean "this quaint Ozark town"--and hang up a shingle as a massage therapist, even a damn good one? I don't get it, but I can't afford to settle down like she did. With all the consulting gigs I do, I've got to stay on the road all the time.
Besides, when I'm on the road, no one can get close enough to find out about my cougar, and I can have a good time any night I want, anywhere I want, with almost any woman I want, with no commitments.
I'm not scared of commitment, but what woman's going to commit to a guy who's also occasionally a cougar? Certainly not Sam.
Imagine yourself as a shifter alone in a world that doesn't know shifting exists.
This is the Solo Shift world: no packs, no guidance, no mates, and no prospects until chance, luck, trust, and love all intervene.
What can you expect from a Solo Shift book? A standalone story with lonely shifters, shifters who don’t know they’re lonely, love scenes, and no cheating. And at least one HEA, sometimes more.
Heard the front door quietly open a little before Mrs. Webb’s session ended, so I figured my 4:30 had arrived. I tried to keep my focus on Mrs. Webb, but the planning-ahead part of my brain promptly kicked in. 4:30’s name is Ryan… Bishop. Ryan Bishop. Heh, wonder if Connie’s gonna text to bug me about him in the middle of the massage, or if she’ll at least wait until he’s off the table. Connie’s got John so she's got pretty good taste in husband material, but I wonder what her definition of “hot” is.
“OK, Mrs. Webb, I’ll be outside; just come on out whenever you’re ready, OK?” I have to help a few of my clients off the table, but Mrs. Webb’s as spry as they come.
“That’s fine, dearie!”
With the clientele I’ve got, I’m “dearie” to several clients!
I step out and close the massage room door behind me, and I see him checking out my diploma and certs.
Beard and mustache.
Not a body-builder, but muscles.
And nice fitting clothes. Definitely not a slob, definitely not a blob.
Note to self: never, ever question Connie Martin’s taste in men again. This guy was hot.
And he knew it. Matter of fact, he looked like he left a long trail of women who knew it too.
C’mon, Sam, this ain’t high school, this is your office. Time to be professional. Time to use your waiting-room massage therapist voice, the one somewhere between your outside voice and your calm, soothing, table-side voice. “Hello, are you Ryan?”
“Yeah—Samantha, right?” Oooh, deep voice, amazing smile, dark eyes…
Get it together, Sam. Act like you know what you’re doing. Friendly but professional smile, nod your head, shake his hand, there you go. “Sam’s fine, thanks!”
And that’s when he nods toward the diploma. “Who’d you have for Micro?”
Secret shifter romance novels. Secret shifter romance novelist.
Wife of an IT geek—his words, not mine! Mother of two kids, two cats, and two dogs. Incurable romantic.
What do I want in my romance stories? Men who aren’t total asses. Women who avoid total asses—either from experience, or by being smart enough to avoid them in the first place! Men who survive just fine without a woman. Women who survive just fine without a man. Men and women smart enough to know the perils of jumping into love, and brave enough to do it anyway. And of course, a happily-ever-after!