Jessica Coulter Smith & Kenna McKay
Published by Changeling Press
A werewolf can only deny his destined mate for so long before the beast takes over.
Ranald’s Mate: Ranald has resigned himself to an arranged mating with a lass he can barely tolerate. He never counted on her turning into a feisty beauty! But if there’s one thing Ranald knows how to do, it’s woo a lass. His mate doesn’t stand a chance.
Highland Shifter’s Baby: One sniff and Camdan knows Lily’s his destined mate. Too bad she’s off-limits — or is she? When the temptation becomes too great, Cam knows that he’ll do whatever it takes to claim Lily and make her his.
Get it November 20th at Changeling Press
Or preorder at online booksellers for November 27th
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Jessica Coulter Smith & Kenna McKay
Excerpt from Ranald’s Mate
Blair tapped her fingers on her leg, trying not to think about what awaited her. She remembered the boy she’d met all those years ago. He hadn’t been thrilled at the idea of mating with her, and she couldn’t blame him. She hadn’t been anyone’s ideal. Blair liked to think she’d improved over time, but men still gave her a wide berth. Her father had wanted her to go to her mating a virgin, but she’d taken care of that little pesky problem when she’d turned nineteen and realized she didn’t want her mate thinking she was unprepared for him.
Oh, she’d heard the talk over the years. Her mate had been kicking up his heels and having a grand time, diving under one skirt after another. Good thing shifters couldn’t carry diseases or she’d worry she might catch something from him. She supposed she couldn’t hold it against him. He’d been so young when they were contracted, older than her, but still young. It must have chafed to have his life mapped out for him. As for her, it wasn’t uncommon for a father to arrange a marriage for a daughter, but not in the pack. A bit outdated, perhaps, but she understood he meant well.
What kind of wolf had Ranald turned into? Despite his obvious distaste over mating with her, he’d seemed kind when she’d met him. Her father had encouraged her to seek him out over the years, but she’d always held back. Truthfully, she’d been enamored of him at that first meeting. He’d been so tall, his shoulders already broad. The way his hair had fallen over his forehead had made her fingers itch to push it back to see if it felt silky. She’d had a crush, instant lust, and it hadn’t dissipated over the years.
She’d had lovers, but only a few. Blair considered it research, not wanting to go to her mate’s bed a complete innocent. Unbeknownst to her father, she’d downloaded videos to learn how to please a man, and she couldn’t wait to put the knowledge to good use. Whatever her mate wanted in the bedroom, he would get. She’d learned long ago, a satisfied mate was a mate who didn’t stray. If they were true mates, she’d never have to worry about it. Destined mates would rather cut off their paw than cheat on their mate. But with an arranged mating? Anything was possible.
“You’re quiet,” her father said.
“Just thinking. Do you think Ranald has changed much over the years?”
“I have no’ seen him, but I’ve heard the whispers. He’s something of a ladies man, but I wouldnae fret. I’m sure he’ll be faithful to you.” Her father muttered something under his breath and she smiled when she made out the words or I’ll neuter him. He may be old and dying, but her father was still every inch the alpha male. He took his duties seriously, which was why he would be stepping down after she was mated today. He hadn’t trusted anyone to honor the contract between Ranald and her, but once the deed was done, he would be free.
It was sad that she wouldn’t be part of her pack any longer. She was not just gaining a mate, but a father-in-law and new pack mates. Would they accept her? She didn’t doubt that there would be challenges. With a male of Ranald’s standing, she would be highly surprised if the females in the pack just sat back and let him mate someone without a challenge. But what no one knew was that Blair had been training for this day. It’s why she’d taken so long to mate with Ranald. Every morning she’d risen and gone into the woods where she met up with Fyor, an ancient elf. He’d sworn her to secrecy, as elves and wolves didn’t get along. She’d kept his presence a secret in exchange for battle training. If she could take down a two-centuries-old elf, then she had faith she could take down a bitchy she-wolf.
They pulled to a stop in front of the alpha’s house. Butterflies erupted in her stomach and she wondered if Ranald was inside. She hadn’t seen him in ten long years. Had those years been kind to him? He’d been handsome as a teen, had that carried over into adulthood? Blair had to admit she was both excited and nervous to see her mate again. She was a far cry from the mousy girl he’d once seen. Would he like the woman she’d become? Or would she still fall short in the eyes of the mighty Ranald Douglas?
Her hair wasn’t quite as frizzy as it once was, now hanging in sleek curls to her waist, thanks to a hair mask she used religiously. Her freckles had faded over the years and could be hidden entirely with a light layer of make-up, when she deigned to wear any. She was still tiny, not quite five feet tall, and her figure was… well, her hourglass had a little extra, but she hadn’t had complaints from the few boys she’d dated, behind her father’s back of course. She supposed she was pleased with her appearance.
Today being a special day, she’d chosen to wear a pretty sundress with low-heeled sandals. She’d even gotten a manicure and pedicure for her big day. She’d wanted everything to be perfect, but what happened next would rely solely on Ranald. He must have agreed to mating, or she wouldn’t be here, right? Surely, he wouldn’t wait until she showed up on his doorstep to deny her? She’d had all week to pack and think about her future, a future with Ranald. But she had to admit, that several times she’d pictured this day and what would happen if he denied her. It wasn’t a pleasant thought.
“Ready?” her father asked.
“As I’ll ever be.”
Her father patted her leg before opening his door and climbing out of the car. With a deep sigh, Blair got out and followed him up to the front door of the large house. She’d thought the alpha lived in a castle, like her father did, but this home was much smaller than the one she’d grown up in. It was nice and she could easily see herself living here. Was this Ranald’s home too? Or did he have his own place?
Alpha Douglas opened the door and ushered them inside with a warm smile. The sound of the door shutting seemed so final to Blair. She followed her father and the alpha into the living room. There was a bar along one wall and a massive figure stood in front of it, his back to the room. His kilt was of the Douglas clan, and his hair was a touch darker than Ranald’s. His shoulders were so broad she wondered how they fit inside his shirt. Beneath his kilt, his calves were thick and muscular with silky looking hair sprinkled across them.
Heat spread from her middle out through her limbs; a blush rose to her cheeks. She hadn’t even seen his face yet and already her body responded to him. Blair inhaled deeply and the scent that surrounded her was a deep, forest musk that soothed her inner beast and made her want to move closer for more. The hand braced on the bar was large, with long, thick fingers. Capable looking hands. The kind of hands a woman would beg to have on her body, stroking her to ecstasy. Good lord! She was practically mated and here she was lusting after this hunk of a stranger.
Blair licked her lips and tried to get her body back under control. She’d never felt such an intense stirring before and her wolf was more than intrigued. Then the guilt hit her. She was betraying her mate by lusting after this man, a man who she didn’t even know. Knowing he was kin to her mate just made it even worse. This was a man she’d probably have to sit across from at the dinner table. How she would manage it she didn’t know.
“Blair,” Alpha Douglas said. “You remember my son, do you no’?”
Son? Holy mother of… That was Ranald?
About Jessica Coulter Smith
Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child writing her first stories in crayon. Today she’s a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and she firmly believes that love will find you at the right time, even if Mr. Right is literally out of this world.
About Kenna McKay
Kenna McKay is a lover of all things Scottish—especially men in kilts! There’s just something sexy about Scotsmen. The Scottish burr, perhaps? Their rugged good looks? Maybe it’s not just one thing, but everything combined into one mouthwatering package.
Kenna didn’t start out wanting to be a writer, but she’s loved the written word for as long as she can remember. She devoured books from a young age, and even worked in a library for a while. Now she enjoys making up her own worlds and hopes you enjoy them as much as she does.