Lucky lion (shifter mail order bride holiday romance) (holiday mail order mates book 2)

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Lucky Lion

Holiday Mail Order Mates

Lola Kidd

Copyright 2016 by Lola Kidd

All rights reserved.

Cover Design:Melody Simmons

Edited by: Carol Davis atA Better Look Editing

Proofread by: Eliza Dee atClio Editing Services


This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is entirely coincidental. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. No part of this work may be copied or reproduced without the express consent of the author.


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About This Book

Lion shifter Aaron wants to settle down and find his mate. After one of his friends finds his mate online, Aaron decides to give LK Brides a try. He’s surprised to get matched the very day he signs up.


Curvy beauty Emma has been waiting to get matched by LK Brides for months. When it finally happens, she can’t believe the how strong her feelings are for her match after only one meeting.


As their relationships moves forward quickly, Emma begins to doubt how much she can trust Aaron. Will the lion shifter luck out and find love this St. Patrick’s Day? Find out in the second Holiday Mail-Order Mates story. This is a standalone short story with a HEA!


Table of Contents








A Note from Lola

Other Series by Lola Kidd


Aaron Johnson sat in the dock eating his sandwich. From his position, he could see the sales floor of James Furniture. It was a slow day. He delivered furniture for the shop, and it was feast or famine. Some days, he was running around for twelve hours hoofing furniture. Then, there were these days. He sat around all day looking for something to do.

He preferred the days when he was busy sunup to sundown. He felt like he was useful and earned his keep. It would have been easier if he weren’t salaried. If he were an hourly employee, he wouldn’t have felt bad staying home on days he knew the store would be dead. Old Mr. James was one of the nicest people in town and paid a fair wage. Aaron never complained about the boring days to his boss. Mr. James loved the store and did enough business to keep Aaron, two salespeople, and a receptionist employed. In a town like Maple Creek, that was a tall order.

It was lunchtime and Aaron still had the entire afternoon stretching in front of him. He wondered if he could convince the salesperson, tiger shifter Nate Nathan, to toss the football around out back. Nate was a serious guy and never fooled around at work. Or at least, he didn’t play with any of his coworkers. He’d always been that way. Aaron could remember that as a little kid, Nate would never play outside with the neighborhood boys. He spent his time inside playing video games or on his computer. Everyone thought he was a big nerd.

When they started working together, Aaron was surprised to discover that Nate was wicked funny. He was just quiet and reserved. They didn’t hang out or anything, but Aaron liked the tiger shifter. Maybe in a few more years, they would be close enough for Nate to agree to meet for drinks at Aaron’s place or go to a BBQ. Aaron didn’t think Nate had a single friend in real life. He still lived at home and didn’t have a girlfriend. Not that Aaron could talk. He didn’t have a girlfriend either, but at least he’d moved out of his parents’ place.

He lived in a shitty trailer in Shady Pines, but it was his own place. Messing with Nate was of his favorite slow-day activities. When there were no customers and Mr. James wasn’t in the store, he’d go to the front to talk with the receptionist, Blair. She was younger than he and Nate, but she’d also gone to Maple Creek High School. Together, they would try to get Nate to talk with them or join in on gossip. He almost always refused, but when he did play along, it made their day.

It was looking like it would be a play day. It was the week after Valentine’s Day and they’d just had a big sale. Presidents’ Week had been a big one this year. They had made enough money that week to keep the store running for six months. It meant Aaron had been running around like crazy for almost two weeks straight. But now it was Friday and most of the furniture had already been delivered. They were waiting on a few pieces to come in, but mostly, he was sitting around. There would be no customers today. He had to find a way to amuse himself for a few hours more and then he’d be free for the weekend. He could almost feel the beer mug in his hand. If he made it through the afternoon without losing his mind, he could spend a few hours with his boys at the Brazen Bull.

He threw his lunch bag in the trash and went to the sales floor. He couldn’t see Nate, but Blair was at the front desk on her phone.

“Candy Crush?” he asked as he got closer.

She started, then blushed, putting the phone away. “Guilty. What’re you up to?”

“Shit. Where’s Nate?”

Blair looked around the store. “He was sitting on a mattress reading a book when I started playing.”

“Got any plans for the weekend?”

“I’ve got a date.”

“A hot date?”

Blair rolled her eyes. “A breakup date.”

Aaron laughed. “Right after Valentine’s Day? Ouch.”

“I would have done it last week, but he was so excited to take me to the ice-sculpting competition and dinner. I couldn’t ruin his Valentine’s Day.”

Blair always had a new boyfriend. She and Aaron had talked about going out when she had first started at the store, but they had quickly squashed that idea. He knew that she wasn’t his mate, and it wasn’t worth ruining their work environment for a fling.

“You really are a sweetheart. Letting that guy take you out even though you don’t like him.”

She laughed. “It sounds bad, but you would have done the same thing. Nobody wants to be a jerk.”

There was a ding as the front door opened. Mr. James came in with a familiar-looking man. Aaron nodded at Blair and walked toward the back of the store.

“Wait, Aaron,” Mr. James called out.

Aaron turned. “Yeah?”

“This man is going to need a desk delivered to his home.”

“Is it in?” Aaron walked back to the pair.

Mr. James nodded. “Aaron, this is Mr. Wagner. Mr. Wagner, this is Aaron, our deliveryman.”

Aaron put out his hand. “Nice to meet you.”

Mr. Wagner looked at Aaron’s hand, disgusted. “Do you have any other delivery people?”

Mr. James frowned. “No. We only need Aaron. He’s a fine deliveryman. He’ll get your desk upstairs, no problem. Aaron’s a lion shifter and very strong. Don’t worry.”

Mr. Wagner sneered. “Can I think about it?”

Mr. James looked perplexed. “Sure. Sure, no problem.”

Mr. Wagner shook his hand and hurried out of the store.

Blair stood up, eyebrows raised. “He sure left in a hurry.”

“That was so strange. He was excited that we still had the desk.” Mr. James shrugged. “I was glad to finally be selling that old thing.”

“The Edwardian desk?” Aaron guessed.

“Of course. No matter. We’ll find another buyer.”

“That guy looked very familiar.”

“He was the AP English teacher at the high school,” Blair said.

Mr. James and Aaron came to the desk. Of course he’d worked at the high school. Aaron should have known. From the way the guy had looked at him, he wasn’t going to be coming back.

“Yes. He retired a few years ago,” Mr. James said. “He wanted a desk for writing. He’s finally getting around to finishing the novel he’s been writing. He really did seem excited. I wonder why he ran off so fast.”

Blair and Aaron exchanged a look. Aaron had a good idea why Mr. Wagner had left. He’d told Mr. James the story before, but it had gone in one ear and out the other. Aaron took that as a compliment. His boss couldn’t believe that anyone had a bad opinion of him.

“Mr. James, I think he didn’t want me at his house,” Aaron said.

“You think he doesn’t like shifters?” Mr. James frowned. “I’m sure his son married a robin shifter.”

Aaron shook his head. “No, because of that thing I did in high school. The teachers were the ones who took it the most seriously.”

“What thing?”

Aaron sighed. “The party. They think I’m a racist.”

Blair cringed and gave him a sympathetic smile. “Everyone makes mistakes when they’re young.”

Mr. James shrugged again. “That can’t be it. Who would hold something like that against a person? No, I’m sure he’ll be back. I need to get going. I’ll see you all next week.”

“I’m going to clean up the dock,” Aaron said.

The dock was spotless. He just didn’t feel like making small talk anymore. He always felt like shit whenever he had to talk about the party. It was another reminder of what a screwup he was. He hadn’t even known he was doing anything wrong at the time. Looking back, he wanted to shake his younger self. If he’d done a simple Google search, he would have seen what a bad idea it was.

During his junior year, his parents had gone on a vacation for their anniversary. Being a young man alone, Aaron had decided to throw a party—but he wanted it to be memorable, not just everyone getting together and drinking, so he’d come up with a killer theme that would get everyone excited. Pimps and Hos. Needless to say, things had gotten very out of hand very fast. The theme was bad enough. If it had ended there, Aaron would have only gotten in trouble for throwing a party.

Instead, he’d gone full idiot. He’d invited his cousins, the ones his mom hated and who were banned from his home. He’d realized why when they showed up in full blackface. That should have been his cue to shut the night down. But nope, Aaron had kept the party rolling until his parents’ home, the one they’d worked so hard to have, had been trashed. Thousands of dollars of damage and several ruined family photo albums later, Aaron had realized he’d made a big mistake. The police weren’t called until the next day. That was the small miracle.

It didn’t matter that he didn’t get in any trouble with the law. His mom had cried when she saw the house. His dad had punched the wall in rage and then shifted. When Aaron got home, all they would say was that they were “very disappointed.” That was all. Neither of his parents had ever brought it up again, but the damage was done. Pictures from the event were all over town and just his luck, it was a slow news week. There was an editorial in the newspaper about what was wrong with today’s youth.

He had never been able to live down the shame. Thinking about it made Aaron mad at himself all over again. Over ten years removed, and people would still make jokes in bars. He was occasionally introduced as “you know, Aaron, the guy who had the racist party.” It didn’t come up often, but twice a month was more than enough to ruin his day.

Aaron was getting himself worked up again. He went to get some air and almost tripped over Nate in the process.

“What the hell, man!” Aaron stepped over the tiger shifter. “What are you doing back here?”

Nate blushed. “I was just…looking something up on my phone. Sorry. I’ll get out of your way.”

He tried to put his phone away, but he wasn’t quick enough. Aaron saw what he had been looking at and laughed.

“LK Brides? No way, man. Don’t tell me you heard about Kira and Cade? You want a sweet little thing of your own?”

“Maybe,” Nate muttered, shoving his phone in his pocket. “You gonna make fun of me now?”

“No. I wouldn’t do that.” Aaron looked serious. “Actually, don’t spread this around or anything, but I was thinking about signing up too.”

“No way. Why would a guy like you need to use a dating agency?”

“I don’t have a mate yet, do I?”

“Good point. Let me know how it goes for you. Good luck.”

Nate left Aaron alone in the alley.

He hadn’t been thinking seriously about signing up, but it sounded like a good idea. He didn’t have a mate yet. Maybe LK Brides could help him out like they had his buddy Cade Lincoln. Cade had met a woman on the site the month before and they were already engaged. Kira was a great-looking girl and perfect for Cade. His friend was head over heels, and if he was honest, Aaron was jealous. He wished he had a mate of his own.

He would sign up as soon as he got off work. They would find him a girl who didn’t know anything about him. A clean start.

LK Brides had a great reputation among shifters and humans. They specialized in hooking shifters up with their mates. The women he met through them wouldn’t want to play games and date. These women wanted to get married. That sounded great to Aaron. No more messing around. Once he had a good woman at his side and a family, he would finally be able to start a new chapter of his life. His past wouldn’t matter anymore. One stupid party wasn’t going to define him anymore. This would also make his parents very happy. He knew they wanted grandchildren.

The more he thought about it, the more excited he was. This was the best idea he’d ever had. So what if he’d had rotten luck up until now? That was going to change. He was going to find himself an LK Bride and make his own luck.

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