Dex and Dane couldn’t be more different. One is motorcycle boots, leather, and all things wild. The other is a cowboy hat wearing sweetheart who owns the local bar. And Kizzie is the lucky lady who gets to keep them both!
When she moved back to Wolf Hollow, she only wanted a fresh start. Not once did she ever imagine she’d up being mated to two wolves, and just in time for the holidays!
Praise for Mate for the Howlidays
"A charming, sweet and deliciously tantalizing romance. Dane, Dex and Kizzie heat up these pages and make you yearn for more. I adored this sizzling little treat."
-- 5 Stars from Andrea Fernandez, BookBub Review
"What a totally awesome book for the holidays!! I just absolutely loved it!! A definite must read!! Happy Reading!"
-- 5 Stars from Debbie, Amazon Review
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Mate for the Howlidays
Jessica Coulter Smith
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Jessica Coulter Smith
Kizzie Walker sniffled quietly as she watched her friend, Fiona Clarke, marry three of the greatest guys around. Legally, she could only marry Carter, but the preacher had agreed to include Baxter and Darius in the ceremony. After Fiona had seen her cousin Gwen’s certificate the Justice of the Peace had given her, Fiona had requested one just like it, something she could frame and put on display with all of their names present.
Gwen’s brothers had welcomed Kizzie with open arms, and some grabby hands. They flirted with her every chance they got, but she didn’t believe a word out of their mouths. Just one look and she could tell they were players, always chasing after another woman. Well, she refused to be one of many. She’d been that all too often already. She was ready to be someone’s one and only. Seeing Fiona walk down the aisle had really struck a chord with Kizzie. Her friend had found three amazing men, and it made Kizzie realize she’d missed out on a lot by not keeping a guy around very long. Then again, she’d not really found someone she’d want to spend the rest of her life with. Somehow, Fiona had managed to find three.
Kizzie knew the brothers showing her attention now weren’t in it for the long haul. They only wanted a good time. So no matter how attractive she might find them, she needed to keep them at arm’s length. There was someone out there for her. Somewhere. Hopefully. She wouldn’t find them if she didn’t stop jumping into relationships with anyone who paid her attention. It was time to find the right guy and not settle for Mr. Right Now.
Even though Kizzie didn’t have shifter genes, she knew she wouldn’t be opposed to being the mate of one. She’d always marveled at their strength and beauty, both in animal and human form.
As Fiona and the three brothers said their I-do’s, the preacher pronounced them husbands and wife. Kizzie watched the men kiss Fiona; she felt tears well up in her eyes. She wanted that. They held Fiona with such care, such love. Yes, they wanted her, desired her, but it went beyond the physical. They had a connection Kizzie had never experienced before, and she wondered if she ever would.
Kizzie stood, along with the rest of the family and friends, as Fiona and her men headed up the aisle. Her friend paused at the end of the red carpet that had been rolled out down the center of the barn just for the occasion. If it hadn’t been December, and freezing outside, Fiona would have likely had it out in the open.
“Everyone make yourselves comfortable,” Fiona said. “The food and drinks are already laid out. There’s even a fully stocked bar, courtesy of Dane White and the Full Moon Bar. We’ll be back in just a minute.”
Carter leaned down to whisper something in Fiona’s ear and her friend laughed and blushed. Kizzie figured that minute was going to be quite a bit longer, if the men had any say in the matter. What would it be like to be wanted like that? To be needed? She’d had plenty of men desire her. She wasn’t ugly, by any means, even if she was a little on the heavy side. Lots of men liked curves. But there was a vast difference between lust and love. She’d been in lust with plenty of men, including the hunky brothers flanking her, but she’d never been in love.
“You all right?” Conrad asked as he leaned down and met her watery gaze.
She sniffled. “I’m fine. I always cry at weddings.”
He smiled. “Well, dry your tears. The band will be striking up in a moment. I want you to dance with me.”
Ajax snorted. “And what if she wants to dance with me first?”
She looked between the two, not sure what to do. It wouldn’t be a hardship to dance with either of them, but she didn’t want them to fight over her. She’d had enough of that to last her a lifetime. Kizzie hadn’t had a chance to speak with Fiona yet, not alone at any rate, and there was much she needed to confide in her friend. There was a reason she was back in Wolf Hollow, and it wasn’t just for Fiona’s wedding.
Everyone had stood and started to move the chairs out of the way, lining them up along the walls of the barn. It would allow everyone to sit and rest if they wanted, without taking up as much space. The band had somehow managed to carry everything up into the hayloft, and the bar Fiona had mentioned had been set up at the very back of the barn. It was the one they used to store the larger equipment, like tractors, so there weren’t any stalls or the smell of animals. Kizzie wouldn’t have minded having some horses to pet, but she understood Fiona not wanting them around for her wedding. It had been smart to choose this barn and not the one for cattle or the equine barn.
Nick, Gwen’s eldest brother, strolled up with one of the neighbors by his side. At least, Kizzie thought he was a neighbor. She’d met so many new people since arriving in Wolf Hollow that they were all starting to blur together. There were few people she remembered from her childhood before her mother had moved her to El Paso. Most of the ones present seemed to have moved to town after she’d left. Much like her, they were starting over.
“Kizzie,” Nick said with a smile. “You remember Emmett Rockford? He lives at the ranch next door.”
Kizzie smiled and shook Emmett’s hand. “Of course. It’s nice to see you again.”
The rancher smiled at her bashfully. “Well, you might change your mind when you hear why I came over.”
He had her attention now. What could this shy man possibly want with her? She knew he was intimate with Cole Harker; it wasn’t exactly a town secret. So it wasn’t because he wanted to ask her out.
“You see that man over there?” Emmett asked, pointing toward the fully stocked bar. “That’s my half-brother, Dex.”
Kizzie looked over at the brother in question. He was tall and broad shouldered. His hair was long and blond, brushing his shoulders. The man also looked tense and like he wanted to be anywhere other than here. Like a caged tiger who only wanted his freedom, Dex surveyed the crowd and looked like he was planning his escape. Or maybe more like a caged wolf. Were the Rockfords wolf shifters?
Of course, he also stuck out a bit. The majority of the men had dressed in jeans and cowboy hats. Dex wore what appeared to be motorcycle boots and a long sleeve black sweater. He’d pushed the sleeves up to display his forearms. Ink crawled up both arms, the black standing out stark against his skin. She felt a flutter in her belly and an instant spark of attraction.