Coaching the Bear: A Paranormal Shifter Romance - AJ Tipton - darmowy ebook
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A debonair billionaire struggling to improve his company. A voluptuous personal trainer with nothing left to lose. Can their passion save the people they love?Handsome bear shifter Walter has the vision and drive to save his family’s company, but not the power. After months of watching his older, playboy brother, Raymond, destroy the family business, a drunken bet finally gives Walter the opportunity to win it all back. Everything comes down to the shifter games: a contest of strength, speed, and cunning, where the winner takes all. One problem: Walter has never won before. Until he meets the strong woman of his dreams...Katherine is an accomplished personal trainer who has lost her job due to Raymond’s negligent business practices. When she flies into town to confront him, the last thing she expects is to become embroiled in a bitter feud between the brothers, where the outcome will determine the fate of everyone she loves.While Katherine trains Walter for the competition, private coaching gives way to life-changing passion. Will Walter be strong enough to win the games…or will his brother’s devious ways crush Walter’s dreams?Coaching the Bear is a short paranormal romance novella in the “Bear Shifter Games” series, a set of stand-alone stories that sizzle and satisfy. If you like steamy romance, muscle-bound shifters, and magical action, then you’ll love AJ Tipton’s breathtaking book.Buy Coaching the Bear to get in the game today!

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Coaching theBear

A Paranormal Shifter Romance

AJ Tipton

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 a.j.tipton.author@gmail.com

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

Katherine Kalani shook her head in disbelief as she gazed in awe at the bustling crowd; she’d never seen so many different shifters in one place. Every kind that Katherine had ever heard of was limbering up, changing from their human forms into foxes, bears, wolves, and dozens of other animals as they waited behind a single, glowing line marked, “START”.

“What is all this?” Katherine asked Sylvester. She stretched her long, tanned legs and tried to work out the kink in her neck. The six hour flight from Hawaii had left her rumpled and knotted.

“Welcome to the shifter games!” Sylvester opened his arms out wide, encompassing the crowded clearing in the woods. “These gorgeous specimens...” her friend gestured at the shifters, “will be running, jumping, flying, climbing, and doing whatever else they need to do to get through the course our badass game master has concocted.” He pointed at a pale woman with rose tattoos all across her chest standing atop what looked like a lifeguard stand. Her long black hair was tied up in dozens of braids all floating in the air, bobbing and nodding, seemingly on their own accord. “That’s Lola. Bartender, matchmaker, and game master.” Sylvester grinned. “Also bookie. She’s taking bets on the winner, if you’re interested in some action.”

“Sly, I didn’t fly all the way to the mainland to see a bunch of hunks run a race.” She laughed at Sylvester’s faux pout. “Not that I mind seeing a bunch of hunks run a race.” She scanned the crowd. “You said you were taking me to see Raymond Bellwether.”

Sylvester took Katherine by the shoulders and gently turned her so she faced the far end of the pack of participants. There, wearing a smarmy grin and nothing else, was Raymond Bellwether.

“That son ofa--”

Strong arms wrapped around her middle and her feet left the floor as Sylvester captured her in a bearhug.

“Sly.” Katherine gasped. “Too. Tight.”

“Oh sorry!” Sylvester's jolly laugh rang loudly in her ears as he released her. “I just thought it might be a good idea to keep you from assaulting my boss. When I got your text yesterday, I thought you were joking.”

“What’s funny about any of this?” Katherine jumped as the starter pistol went off and the assembled horde of shifters dashed away. All of the racers ran nude so they could shift back and forth between forms without destroying their clothes. Her eyes followed Raymond's back, narrowing as he disappeared into the throng.

“You’ve been my friend for ten years and you know I adore you, but Kat, you’re a crazy person.” Sylvester said. “You’re here to give the CEO of Bellwether Resorts a lecture about how he shouldn’t have closed the Maui resort? What’s that going to accomplish?”

Katherine ground her teeth, hating the feel of the enamel scraping. “There’s no way the Maui Turtle was doing poorly. We were booked solid every single day. I would bet any money that somebody’s skimming off the top, and Mr. Bellwether is a part of it.” She clenched her fists. “At the very least, screaming in that rat bastard’s face will make me feel better.”

“And it’s a terrific career move,” Sly quipped.

“Let me worry about my career.” She wasn’t employed at the Bellwether resorts, in fact she wasn’t employed anywhere anymore. Until the resort closed, Katherine was a very successful personal trainer working at the Maui Turtle, the Hawaii branch of the Bellwether chain of resorts. She was well respected on the island, training rich regulars and vacationers visiting paradise. Her resort was a typical tropical getaway, decorated from floor to ceiling in palm trees and colorful leis. It might have been hokey, but it was home. Friends told her to set a private studio and charge much more for her personal training sessions, but working at the Maui Turtle hadn't been just about thecash.

Katherine still felt the shock that coursed through her body when she heard the Maui Turtle was closing. It was during the normal Monday morning staff meeting, and the news was presented so casually, most people thought it was a joke. Just thinking about their head of housekeeping, Mrs. Mahiʻai's, face when they began to read out the termination notices made Katherine want to bash in Raymond Bellwether’s face. The stark reality of the situation had become all too clear, then. Mrs. Mahiʻai had a seven-year old son with cancer in the hospital. Without her job, how could she possibly keep up with the hospital bills? And Mr. Kapule, one of the gardeners who helped Katherine in high school pass her AP Biology test, has five kids. Maui was a small island, there weren't that many jobs to go around.

The coworkers and friends who had been Katherine's surrogate family were already scattering to find work elsewhere. And it was all Raymond Bellwether's fault. Katherine's fists clenched and unclenched at herside

“Well fuck that,” Katherine mumbled as she struggled to get past Sly. “If the head of the company wants to ruin my friends'' lives, he’s going to have to explain himself to myface.”

“I know,” Sylvester said. “That’s why I brought you here. After the games, everyone drinks their faces off at the bar.” He pointed over his shoulder to a glowing sign reading AUDREY's. “Raymond is going to be exhausted and drunk. I figured that would be your best shot to get the truth out ofhim.”

“Solid plan.” Katherine tapped her foot as she waited for the race to end. “So tell me about these shifter games. I’m a personal trainer and even I think this is a littlenuts.”

“Oh it’s great!” Sly nearly spilled his beer as he gestured enthusiastically. “Lola sets up a different course every week, and she sets it up so that no type of shifter has an advantage over the others; something for the big and small, fliers and the swimmers, stuff like that. The games are mostly won for bragging rights, but there’s also a prize and it’s always random as hell. One week it was a pack of breath mints, the next it was an all-expenses-paid Alaskan cruise, but you never know until after there's a winner.”

The racers were finishing up the course, naked men and women splashing out of the lake and dashing toward the finish line. She scanned the crowd, searching for Raymond, and her eye caught on a tall man emerging from the water, rivulets running across the toned muscles of his bare chest and abs. Her mouth went dry as she watched the droplets weave a path through the defined grooves of his musculature. The man's hair was neatly trimmed against his scalp and his skin was darker than even Katherine’s perpetual tan. Bulging muscles worked under his skin as he ran across the last field toward the finish line, still behind a few other racers.

“I can’t complain about the view,” she said. Even with so much skin on display, the tall man stood out above therest.

“Watch it with that one, he's--” Sly’s warning was cut off with a deafening roar. Raymond had crossed the finish line, and the assembled crowd was going nuts. Katherine clenched her teeth. Of course the asshole won the race. Karma is a lazy bitch.

“For our conquering hero, a prize!” Lola’s magnified voice echoed through the clearing although Katherine couldn’t see any sort of microphone. Lola held up a tall white box tied with a shiny redbow.

“Now Lola, what am I going to do with this?” Raymond shouted as he opened the box and pulled out a crushed blue velvet hat, waving it at the laughing crowd.

“Wear it proudly as you buy the first round!” Lola placed the hat firmly on Raymond’s head and led the way back to the bar. A few of the shifters lifted Raymond on their shoulders and carried him, singing a warbling shanty as theywent.

Katherine and Sylvester followed the rowdy crowd into AUDREY’S. Raymond had disappeared amongst the masses. Probably hiding out to avoid paying for the first round, the bastard, Katherine thought. She bit the inside of her cheek. She had flown all this way to give Raymond a piece of her mind, but he was always just out of reach. The man destroyed her home and scattered her family, he had to suffer consequences.

She scanned the room, waiting for him to reappear. It wasn’t just shifters seated at the long wooden bar and small tables scattered throughout the room; Katherine spotted some fairies, a few vampires, and even a massive troll talking, drinking, and laughing together. Sylvester kissed her on the cheek, saying he was going to sit with some friends.

"Stay out of trouble, Miss. Just remember that you do want them to reopen the resort and hire you again," hesaid.