A bad bargain.
A botched bounty.
A binding bite.
Adam knew bounty hunting in another pack’s territory had risks, but being at the end of a shotgun for a forced mating was not one he expected. At least it wasn’t permanent. Once he paid the promised cut of the bounty the leader of Pine Hollow would dissolve the mating. Adam just needed to keep his hands (and his teeth) away from the enticing omega.
Ricky knew nothing about the outside world, but he knew his days at Pine Hollow were numbered. The barren, widowed omega’s best chance for survival was to find a mate at Lone Wolves Ranch. Anyone would do. Anyone but the ornery wolf who bit him. Adam said he didn’t want a mate, so why was he acting like a knot-blocker?
The Shifter’s Shotgun Mating is the second book in the Lone Wolves Ranch series. It can be read as a stand-alone though secondary character’s lives continue from The Cub Club.
Lone Wolves Ranch, in the California Sierras, is a gated community like no other. Home to shifters of every type, it’s the ideal place to raise a family of four-legs. And with an abundance of single, smoking-hot alphas it’s also the perfect place for male omegas to find love.
Low angst, slow burn, and with a collection of characters you won’t forget, Lone Wolves Ranch is the perfect M/M Mpreg hideaway to burrow into.
We’ll leave the gate open for you.
Ardy is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:
Adam tried to open his eyes against the pressure of something cool and damp laid across his face. He reached up to brush it away.
A gentle hand wrapped around his wrist. “Please, let me do it.”
Not one to trust a strange voice, Adam yanked his hand free. Pulling the cloth from his head, he blinked at the candle-lit faces staring down at him before a wave of nausea struck.
Eight arms replaced the damp rag over his eyes, while a single hand pressed him back against the cushions. “You need to rest and let your body heal if you want to recover quickly.”
Rest seemed like the sensible thing to do until the queasiness passed. “Where am I?”
“You’re back at Pine Hollow. Do you remember how you got here?”
Adam tried to shake his head, but his equilibrium protested the motion. He felt hands on his forehead. Warm, soothing hands. Omega hands.
“Relax,” the voice suggested, and tension drained from Adam’s body.
Don’t let your guard down, his inner voice warned. Omegas were overly protective, especially to pups and alphas, and would insist he rest. There must be a beta in the room who would see reason. “I just need to shift and I’ll be fine.”
“You were hit with silver buckshot. You’re going to have to heal the human way. Patiently. Please, give your body time to recover.”
Gus had silver bullets? That thought alone would have propelled him out of bed, but for the hands gently preventing him from rising.
Adam took a deep breath through his nose. Yes, definitely omega. Or he was pumped up with tranquilizers and parked downwind from a bakery. When the hands pressed lightly on his shoulder, Adam relaxed back on the bed. He no longer felt the need to get up, but he hadn’t lost concern for his men. “What about my team?”
“I’ve only seen you and the obnox—the chatty one.”
That would be Tom. “Is he okay?”
“I took some silver out of his calf. Had to give him white sage for the pain. He’s sleeping now.”
White sage was catnip for shifters. That’s why I feel this way. It’s a contact high. It would explain his desire to get a good look at the sweet-smelling omega hovering around him. “I’m Adam.”
Adam waited but no one else spoke. “What about the rest of you?”
“I saw a whole medical team hovering over me.”
“Keep your eyes closed,” the voice instructed as the cloth was lifted off one eye. “Tell me how many fingers you see.”
Adam slowly lifted his eyelid. “Are you an octopus shifter? Nobody has that many fingers on one hand.”
Ricky covered Adam’s eye. “You’ve got double vision. It’s probably from the buckshot that grazed your head. I pulled all the silver out of your skin and cleansed the wounds, but we should flush out your system to speed the recovery. I want you to drink plenty of water.”
“How’s that going to work if I can’t walk to the bathroom?”
Ricky paused. “I’ll get you a jar.”
“Make it a wide-mouth one,” Adam replied.
If eye rolls made a sound, Adam was pretty sure he heard one from the omega. While Ricky fetched the water, Adam let his hands move over his body, taking an inventory. He felt gauze bandages across the left side of his scalp, and more on his left shoulder and bicep. His chest was uninjured, no doubt due to the protective vest, but his thigh had taken a few hits, dangerously close to the family jewels. If he had stood a few inches in either direction, he’d either be dead or have missed the ammo entirely.
His hands moved outward, exploring where he laid. He was on a bed big enough for two. The sheets were freshly washed, so he couldn’t scent them to be sure he was in the home of the omega tending him.
The strong odor of antiseptic on his skin made it difficult to sniff out Ricky. He needed the omega to be closer. Preferably, very close.
Ricky returned and sat on the edge of the bed. The mattress dipped slightly, pulling the blanket tighter against his body. When their hips pressed against each other, Adam felt the warmth of his nurse through the covers.
A childhood memory came back to him. He remembered his mother sitting on his bed when he was ill. Her hands on his forehead, and the warmth of her body as she hovered over him. Focus, he told himself. You can relax when you get back to Lone Wolves Ranch.
“I put some water in an empty beer bottle. It should make it easier to drink while you’re lying down.” Ricky pressed the cool glass into Adam’s hand, and set another against his hip. “And here’s a jar if you need it. Wide mouth.”
Omegas weren’t known for sarcasm, so Adam couldn’t be sure whether Ricky was teasing him. “Thanks. Are you the pack doctor?”
“No. I told Tom I’m a healer, but the truth is I’m a nobody.”
“Are you mated?” Adam cringed at his question. Wolves weren’t known for being subtle, but that was rude even for a lupine. “Sorry, that was the head injury talking. What I meant to say was do I need to worry about being naked and alone with an unmated omega?”
Ricky stood up and the worn mattress slowly recovered its shape. “No. I was mated.”
Was mated? Is he mated now?
Before he could ask, Ricky crossed the room. “I need to leave you for a bit, to tend to Rock.”
Adam had completely forgotten about the idiot who caused this mess. “Is he okay?” It would serve him right.
There was a pause. “Rock’s dead,” was the monotone reply.
Oh, dear wolf gods. Everything has gone to hell. “I need to talk to my team. Now
Ardy Kelly is the paranormal pen name for author Robyn Kelly.
I began writing in 2015 as a lark, creating the Best Laid series. That led to my discovery of the Omegaverse. A new universe requires a new name, and Ardy Kelly was born!
Author Website: https://www.robynkellyauthor.com/ardykellyauthor
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To Angst or Not to Angst by Ardy Kelly – author of The Shifter’s Shotgun Mating
I prefer low angst stories. I like reading about drama, heartbreak, and suffering as much as the next person but that doesn’t mean we have to wallow in it. Do readers really need an entire chapter describing how an omega is mistreated by his pack? The news has enough stories of abuse that authors aren’t required to reinvent the wheel.
Setting up a character as a victim doesn’t require long, inventive scenes of abuse. A paragraph describing the battered omega attempting to cover his bruises conveys the same information.
I understand the appeal of establishing the omega as an overworked and underappreciated victim. These are paranormal Cinderella stories. But do they need to be starved, caged, and sold into prostitution before they “earn” a happily ever after. I believe HEAs are an inalienable right (at least for the good guys).
Of course, there needs to be some drama. I’m not going to hand over a perfect mate without the two doing a little leg-work. If finding true love was that easy, everyone would take it for granted.
My view is to write only enough angst to push the story forward. I may be prejudiced, though. The few times I’ve tried writing about mistreated omegas, it came out closer to Snidely Whiplash and Little Nell than paranormal.
It’s why I’ve never written a “dark romance.” It’s hard enough writing angst without shoving an earth-shattering orgasm right in the middle of it. And when the bad guy is the good guy then who is going to be the bad guy? A good guy?
Speaking of bad guys, they are another source of extended angsty prose. The old days of leering lecherously or kicking a dog won’t cut it any longer. Angst is like sex to them, and they are horny bastards. Their only goal in life is to trap, torment, and terrorize omegas and their mates. Don’t these guys have day jobs?
I admit I like picking on alphas, too. But as a writer, I don’t need chains, knives, silver, fire, or bottomless pits to strike fear in the heart of an alpha. There is something infinitely appealing and emotionally satisfying about a good alpha hand-wringing scene after he broke his mate’s heart. What could be more satisfying then watching him grovel good and hard to get his omega back? Give me a chapter of that!
Some might say I have a double standard, protecting omegas while pummeling alphas. It might be true. I do tend to use what I learned from previous relationships in my books. It’s very satisfying winning an argument in print that you lost in real life. Especially if they beg me (uh, I mean the omega) to forgive him. Alas, in fiction true mates can’t live without each other while in real life a surprising number of my exes seem to get along fine without me.
That’s why I like writing fiction. Nobody gets away with that crap.