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A billionaire bear shifter afraid to leave his business behind. A controlling rabbit shifter who wants everybody to have fun her way. Lost on a tropical island, can they save each other? Alpha Toby Toleri has spent his entire life ensuring the financial security of his clan. When he wins a tropical vacation with a beautiful stranger, his struggles to unplug put them both at risk. With torrential storms, deadly creatures, and hazardous terrain looming on all sides, can Toby save his dream girl before it’s too late? Jadyn Hopper is a holistic therapist who thinks she has everything figured out. When she wins a trip to a resort with Toby, she pushes him to appreciate the wonder of nature on her terms. But when her well-intentioned hiking trip ends up with the pair lost in the jungle, she must reevaluate whether the handsome Toby may have more to offer than he seemed. Capturing the Bear is a standalone paranormal romance novella in the “Bear Shifter Games” series, set in a contemporary world filled with unexpected wonders, magic, and suspense. If you like steamy romance, muscle-bound shifters, and tropical liaisons, you’ll love AJ Tipton’s breathtaking book. Buy Capturing the Bear to get in the game today!
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Copyright © AJ Tipton 2015 The right of AJ Tipton to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (or other similar law, depending on your country). All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the author, except in cases of brief quotations embodied in reviews or articles. It may not be edited, amended, lent, resold, hired out, distributed or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s written permission. Permission can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org
This book is for sale to adult audiences only. It contains substantial sexually explicit scenes and graphic language which may be considered offensive by some readers.
This is a work of fiction. All characters, names, places and incidents appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, organizations, events or locales is purely coincidental.
All sexually active characters in this work are 18 years of age or older.
Cover art photos provided by BigStock.com, Morgue Files, Flickr.com, and Upsplash.com.
Created with Vellum
Humid island air shoved against Jadyn Hopper as she disembarked from the airport shuttle. She wiped away beads of sweat from her forehead, and smiled at her first look of the Bellwether Caribbean Resort. The sunlight was like a siren’s call beckoning her forward, and she spread her pale arms in front of her, trying to soak up as many rays a possible.
I can't believe I'm here, she thought, awed.
The open-air lobby was stunning, with an arched entryway leading into a broad space with deep-cushioned chairs and a bar in the center of the room. Brightly-colored birds glided between the exposed wooden beams of the rafters, repeating the same three-note melody to each other. She wanted to lift a hand and have one of them perch on her fingers like a princess in a cartoon. The resort was so beautiful, she half believed that here it might be possible.
Bustling bartenders in flower-patterned shirts seemed to be everywhere, bantering as they twirled bottles and shook cocktails. She sighed in contentment, vacation bliss already unknotting stress from her shoulders. Her holistic therapy practice was wonderful, fulfilling work, but she drove herself to exhaustion helping her clients. Fixing people was an itch she couldn't stop scratching. Not this week, she told herself.
“Welcome!” A smiling man handed Jadyn a glass of bubbly orange liquid. “Bellinis for our honored guests! I’m Isaac, and I’m here to make sure you two have everything you need while you are here with us.”
Two of us. Jadyn bit the inside of her cheek, but maintained the smile on her face. For one moment, she had almost forgotten she wasn’t traveling alone.
Toby Toleri was tall, handsome, with ruffled dark hair and shoulders that would be sexy if he wasn't hunched over his phone, texting with the enthusiasm of a tween. Most bear shifters she knew had a kind of looming presence even in human form, but Toby was as twitchy as rabbit shifters like Jadyn.
Jadyn watched in increasingly-awkward silence as Isaac tried to hand Toby a cocktail, but even Isaac's well-intentioned throat clearing couldn't penetrate Toby’s concentration. Jadyn had diagnosed Toby within minutes of meeting him as desperately in need of some kava for relaxation, but he'd only absently waved her off when she'd mentioned it.
Jadyn elbowed her traveling companion in the side. “Toby. Pay attention.”
“Oh. What?” Toby's eyes finally unglued from the phone, widening in surprise when he saw Isaac standing so close. “What’s your Wi-Fi password?”
Jadyn groaned. Her best friend Marc was always telling her she needed to lay off trying to control everyone around her, but Toby was so breathtakingly in need of repair. Her fingers twitched to unbutton his high-buttoned shirt and force him to actually acknowledge the beauty of their surroundings.
"Is the signal going to be stronger in the room?" Toby asked, holding his phone higher above his head like it would add another bar to his reception.
"Yes, sir," Isaac said with a patient look on his face that Jadyn envied. After the last seven hours at the airport and then on a plane with Toby, she doubted she was doing as fine a job keeping her annoyance from showing.
Jadyn concentrated on the sunlight streaming in from the open sides of the lobby, willing Toby away. Having a hanger-on was not what she'd imagined when she won this vacation. She'd been playing the shifter games, a supernatural obstacle course behind the AUDREY'S bar, on and off for years, only ever winning funny hats or the occasional pack of gum. But when Jadyn won first place and the gamemaster, Lola, announced the prize was an all-expenses paid week at a tropical resort, Jadyn had been ecstatic. She didn’t even mind that she wouldn’t be able to plan the trip’s details herself, that she tied for first place, or that the same prize was awarded to a complete stranger.
Toby, on the other hand, seemed to mind everything. The airport Wi-Fi took too long to connect, the signal was too weak on the shuttle ride to the resort, and the sun blocked his screen. Since the moment she met up with him at the airport, he'd barely looked up from his phone. Even when the flight attendants insisted he switch his mobile to Airplane Mode, he still managed to sneak in a few texts.
It would have been fine if everybody didn’t assume they were a couple. Jadyn felt compelled to apologize for Toby’s antisocial behavior everywhere they went. He still hadn't even touched the Bellini Isaac was trying to push into his hand. Sure, you could cut a grapefruit with his jawline, Jadyn thought, but he's got more muscles than manners.
"If you would follow me, I'll show you to where you'll be staying." Isaac gave up trying to get Toby's attention and led them towards a golf cart.
Jadyn followed, pulling her long, black hair into a loose ponytail off her neck, looking behind her long enough to confirm that Toby was following. He trailed after them like a lost duckling, nearly tripping over a bench before Jadyn pulled him out of the way.
"Thanks," he said, his eyes looking into hers for the first time since they met. They were greener than she'd thought. He glared at the bench. "That came out of nowhere."
Isaac smiled at them, a fond expression of "aren't they cute?" which Jadyn decided to ignore. She settled into the golf cart, paying close attention as Isaac took them on a tour of the resort, determined to make sure she took advantage of all of the amenities while she was here.
The resort had everything: bars, dancing, casinos, restaurants, swimming pools, and bars in the swimming pools. Palm tree-lined paths wound around matching residential buildings, all separated into different balconied units. Most of the balconies were lined with drying beach towels, their draping hinting at the guests' personalities within: small ones with cartoon characters hurriedly flung over the deck chairs, sandy stolen bath towels rumpled and bunched together, and meticulously-laid out custom towels evenly spaced for maximum drying efficiency.
She eyed Toby and wondered what kind of towel he'd be. Probably something gray and functional. He was hunched low in the golf cart chair making annoyed clucking sounds at his phone.
She was beginning to feel sorry for him. He's going to miss out on the entire trip.
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