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Instant Mate

Instant Mate

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I’ve never shied away from a challenge, so when my sister suggests I apply for The Real Werewives, I send in an audition video.
What are my chances of getting picked? I’m forty and a former racecar driver with a taste for controversy. But a wolf on Colorado Ranch actually chose me as his forever mate. Austin’s got a competitive streak that gets my motor running.
We dare each other to see who can come up with the best date, but soon I learn this sexy cowboy had his former life ripped away from him. I’m determined to help him heal his wounds because our over-the-top dates might be the only thing that can save Colorado Ranch.
This is one challenge I absolutely can’t refuse.
Join The Real Werewives for this fun and STEAMY season on Colorado Ranch and follow each couple as they find true love after forty.

Main Tropes

  • Growly, protective wolf shifter who doesn't play by the rules
  • Smokin' hot hero over 40
  • Cowboys
  • Curvy ex-racecar driver
  • Dating Reality Show
  • Retired military wolf

Read Chapter One

I’d never shied away from a
challenge in my life.

I had no plan to break that streak when my sister dared me to send an audition tape to The Real Werewives.

What did I have to lose? I was no
stranger to the cameras, the spotlight, or controversy. And at the age of forty, the chances of me actually getting picked were slim.

Or so I thought.

Imagine my surprise when I got the phone call from Stephanie Manada, the show’s executive producer. I was sure it was my sister punking me. But according to my lawyer, the contract Stephanie sent after the call was very real. With a deep breath, I scribbled my name on all
the dotted lines.

No backing out now. That was how I rolled. Leaping before I looked.

A wolf in Colorado thought I might be his forever mate.

This was nothing like I’d felt
behind the wheel of my racecar. Nothing like standing in front of a throng of reporters, answering their ludicrous questions like who the hell I thought I was to set foot on the racetrack.

There was a good chance my mystery wolf knew me from those days. He might already have a strong opinion about me. After
the crash that ended my career, I wasn’t that woman anymore. And this new Blaire hadn’t exactly found her place in the world without racing. No one was
asking me to do sexy photo shoots anymore. Now the headlines—if they could be
called that, buried deep in the gossip sites—lamented about how I’d let myself go since I retired.

I could still kick ass and take
names, even if I didn’t go two hundred miles an hour every weekend on the track or pose for pictures in skimpy lingerie anymore.

But as I stood on the deck of this
gorgeous house at Colorado Ranch, those thoughts were taking up major real
estate in my head. What would this man think of Blaire Bass the way she was now? Had his wolf chosen a ghost?

“Blaire, you’ll be having dinner
with Austin tonight,” Stephanie announced the other pairings. But I didn’t hear anything but his name. My heart thundered in my chest as the cowboy strode
toward me with a grin on his face that set him apart from all the guys who’d tried to lay claim to me before.

There was no arrogance in that
smile, and that simply did not compute.

I wanted to say something, snatch control of the situation. But for once, I was speechless. There was no denying this man was something other than human, even in his button-down shirt, and form-fitting jeans that left little to the imagination.

His eyes are up there.

Under the brim of his hat, they
looked gold. Nope, not human at all. I swallowed hard as he held his hand out to me. It was rough and strong as I wanted it to be.

“I’ve been thinking about you ever since I watched your video,” he said.

That deep-voiced declaration made me weak in the knees. No wonder Stephanie had been so certain this wolf could claim me. But I couldn’t make it easy on him. Nope, this was the biggest
challenge of my life.

“What have you been thinking about, cowboy?”

He steeled himself, like he was
nervous, too. I prepared myself for him to say that he was a big racing fan, or he’d had posters of me in his man cave, or that I was nothing like his fantasy in real life.

“I’ve been thinking about what it
would be like to finally hold my mate in my arms. And how I’m looking forward to getting to know you.”

Oh.

Say something. But Austin
had me tongue-tied.

“Let’s go sit down,” he suggested.

I nodded, and he led me to a table that overlooked the ranch.

“How have things been since you
arrived at the chalet?” he asked.

“Amazing. When Stephanie told us we’d be staying at a mountainside inn, I was expecting something with a lot of
wood paneling that smelled like mothballs.”

He laughed.

“Kind of threw me for a loop with
the luxury spa and resort.”

“We don’t like to half-ass anything around here.” There was a promise in those words. “I hope you’re taking advantage of everything the chalet has to offer.”

I straightened my leg to show off
my freshly-painted purple toenails that matched my peep-toe heels. I’d made a
trip to the chalet spa today before the party. This was the first time in a long time I’d had a chance to dress to impress, and I’d pulled out all the stops, wearing a leopard print halter dress with a full skirt, curling my hair, and winging my eyeliner like there was no tomorrow.

He took a sip of his drink, and his
gaze raked over me. First dates hadn’t gotten any less awkward while I was out of the game, especially when there was a camera aimed directly at our table. I always hated small talk. Wasn’t my style.

If this wolf was right and I was
his forever, this would be my last first date. So I only had one chance to get things right.

“What do you do on the ranch?” I
asked.

“I’m in charge of operations. Well,
Saint’s our alpha, so he’s in charge of everything.” He motioned to one of the other tables, where his packmate was sitting with Gretta Goodson, the Werewife I needed to send flowers for knocking me off the first page of the gossip sites. At least I wasn’t the only one who’d brought baggage to Colorado Ranch.
“But I run the day-to-day stuff. Take care of inventory. Make sure we have buyers for our harvest. And keep everything running smoothly here and at the
chalet.”

“How long have you done that for?” I didn’t know much about wolf shifters, but I knew that they were fiercely loyal to their packs, and they tended to stick together throughout their lives. After bouncing from race team to race team, that comforted me. I’d traveled so much during racing that I wound up buying an RV. And once everything came to a
crashing halt—literally—I didn’t have a place that felt like home.

“Ever since I came back from the
Army. I served for sixteen years.” His eyes darkened from gold to the color of the earth. Interesting.

“Were you in charge of operations there too?”

He huffed out a breath. “I wish.”
But he didn’t elaborate. Okay, he didn’t want to talk about the Army. Got it.

“I was a racecar driver.” Even with
the waves of publicity, I never assumed anyone knew or cared who I was. Racing was a niche sport, and its own little universe.

“I know. I did a little research
after watching your audition video.” Which meant he knew why I wasn’t racing anymore, and my struggles after leaving the track.

“That’s not fair,” I teased. “I
didn’t get any information on you until we got here.” Stephanie had had the Werewives watch videos of each of the wolves. I was pleased when Austin had
approached me because he’d been my favorite.

He raised a brow. The sparkle had
returned to his eyes. “Disappointed?”

“Hardly.”

“I would think a woman like you is a little bit of an adrenaline junkie.” He leaned forward. “Am I right?”

It wasn’t the first time this wolf
made my heart race. I’d missed the feeling. “I like the thrill of the chase.”

That grin was dripping with all the right kinds of sin. The kind I wanted to lick off my fingers.

I could not make this easy on him. And I definitely could not sleep with him on the first date. It never got me what I wanted. “What about you?”

“Every wolf loves the hunt.”

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