Shiftr: Swipe Left for Love (Dina) BBW Bear Shifter Romance (Hope Valley BBW online dating app romances Book 1)

Shiftr: Swipe Left for Love

Dina

 

Hope Valley BBW online dating app romances

 

Copyright ©2015 by Ariana Hawkes

All rights reserved.

 

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This is a standalone, 24,000-word HEA romance, perfect for a lunch break, bath time, or a little dose of me-time, wherever you are!

 

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

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About Ariana Hawkes

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

“Lauren, I barely even know how to use email,” Dina said. “I don’t think this ‘app’ dating, or whatever you call it, is going to work for me.” She flung her phone down on the sofa, and gazed around her cozy, tastefully-decorated apartment. She’d long ago resigned herself to being single, and she’d worked hard at making her surroundings as comfortable as possible. She wasn’t even sure that she wanted to disturb the calm that she’d created for herself.

“Dina, when’s the last time you had a date?” Lauren asked. Her voice was calm, but her eyes were sparkling with amusement.

“Um, there was that time when I went out for dinner with the guy who works at the DHL office,” Dina said.

“And how long ago was that?” Dina counted on her fingers.

“Maybe a year ago?”

“Exactly!” Lauren said, in a tone of satisfaction. “Dina, you can’t sit here alone, night after night, wasting your life, when there are so many great guys out there you could be having fun with.”

“I don’t know. I just feel so inexperienced at the dating game. I thought things were going to be forever between Trey and me. And we met at high school, so we didn’t ever had to deal with any of that artificial, awkward dating stuff.”

“And how many guys did you date before the DHL guy?” Dina joined her thumb and index finger together into an
O
shape. Lauren stared at her, her huge brown eyes open wide.

“You’re saying you’ve never been on any other dates?” Dina shook her head sheepishly.

“Girl, we have to fix that right now! And you can stop looking like I’m trying to force you to go to the dentist, or something. Dating guys is
so
much fun,” Lauren said. Dina took a gulp from her glass of white wine.

“I’m too old for this. Internet dating is something kids do. You know, people who actually look good in photos.” Lauren’s eyebrows shot up, halfway to her hairline.

“You have some crazy-ass ideas about things! You’re a stunning, curvy woman. Look at you! And you’re 36; you’re in the prime of life.”

“Yeah, that’s why Trey left me for somebody almost two decades younger than me,” Dina said, her voice sharp with bitterness.

“He left you for an intern in his office, right?” Dina nodded. “Trey left you because he’s a weak man, and he couldn’t handle a strong sexy woman like you. That’s why he was chasing after teenagers. Now, let’s forget about this asshole. He is over with. Will you at least try online dating? I promise you that there are lots of guys out there who will be so excited to meet you!” Dina glanced down at her phone.

“I don’t know. I –” Lauren took Dina’s hand, her eyes soft with compassion.

“Dina, I’m your best friend, and I love you. I wouldn’t be suggesting this if I didn’t think it was a good idea.”

“I know,” Dina said, and let out a long breath. Her hand crept over to her phone and she picked it up again. “Ok, I’ll try it, but just for you. Tell me what I need to do?”

“Great!” Lauren came to life. She was at her best when she was helping people out. She took the phone from Dina and began installing several different apps. When she was done, she showed Dina her handiwork.

“Ok, an app on a phone is just like a button that helps you access a website real fast. So, I’ve installed Matchmakr for you,” she said, pointing with an immaculately-manicured fingernail to a pink icon with a heart on it. “It’s a good app, and lots of people like it. And there’s definitely a lot of guys on there. And this one – ” She pointed at a blue icon with a white wedding cake on it. “It’s called
Find the One
. It’s a great one for people who know they’re ready to settle down, and are not just casual dating. I haven’t used it myself, but it does have a good reputation. We can look at both of these, but there’s one I just wanted to show you first.” She pointed at an orange icon featuring what looked like an animal paw print, but the pad of the paw was in the shape of a heart. It was called Shiftr. She glanced sideways at Dina, and Dina noticed that her friend seemed unusually tense. Lauren placed her hand on her chest. “Dina, I know in my heart that this is the perfect app for you. But I need to ask you one thing: please be open-minded about what I’m going to show you. Can you promise me that?” Dina stared at her in confusion.

“Sure?” she said, shrugging her shoulders. Lauren pressed a purple-tipped finger on the little icon and the app opened. Dina shuffled closer, her curiosity piqued.

“In a moment, it’s going to ask you to sign up, but first it’ll let you take a sneak peek at a few of the guys.” Lauren selected a couple of options, and suddenly the screen of Dina’s phone was filled with the naked upper body of one of the best looking men she had ever seen.

“Wow!” Dina breathed. The guy’s torso looked like it had been sculpted from marble, every muscle honed to perfection. He had shaggy brown hair, a strong jawline, and sexy eyes in an unusual amber shade. Lauren broke into a grin.

“See what I mean already, huh?” Dina nodded, too stunned to speak. Lauren flicked her thumb upwards, and a second guy filled the screen. He was also bare-chested, and his torso was the equal of the first one. He had dark brown hair, and mischievous-looking pale green eyes. Lauren flicked her thumb up again, and a guy with short black hair appeared. He had a lovely, handsome face, with delicious, chocolate-brown eyes, short black hair and a hint of a goatee. He had a sturdier body than their previous two, and his muscles looked powerful and meaty, like he did heavy, manual work for a living. “Girl, you’re practically salivating,” Lauren said, with a wicked cackle.

“It’s just that I’ve never seen guys this hot in real life before,” Dina said weakly. “But why are you showing them to me? They’re way out of my league.” Lauren shook her head.

“You are
so
deluded. Ok, I’m going to show you something else now,” she said, and swiped her thumb left on the phone’s screen.

“What?” Dina said, frowning in confusion at the large black bear now filling the screen. Ignoring her, Lauren swiped back up to the brown-haired guy. She flicked her thumb to the left and there was now a big cat in his place. It was black, and green-eyed, and it looked coolly at the camera from its position up high in a tree.
Was it a jaguar?
Dina wondered dazedly, before Lauren swiped up to the first guy. Again, her thumb moved left, and the shaggy-haired guy was replaced by a large gray wolf, with amber eyes.

“What, so all these guys are nature lovers, or something?” Dina said. Lauren pressed her lips together.

“In a manner of speaking,” she replied. “Did you notice that all of the guys look a little like the corresponding animals on their profiles?”

“Yeah! I guess they do, actually. So the photos are included in their profile to demonstrate their wild side?” Dina said.

“Pretty much. But it’s more than that.” Lauren swallowed. “Dina, what I’m about to tell you is going to sound real crazy, but please bear with me, and don’t freak out.”

“Ok?”

“These guys are all shape shifters. This means that they are half human and half animal, and they can shift between their human and animal sides at will.” Dina’s mouth fell open.

“This is a joke, right?” she said. Lauren shook her head.

“No, it’s for real. It’s a real site, and these guys are genuine shape shifters.” Dina struggled for words.

“This is total nonsense!” she managed at last. “Lauren, you’re the smartest person I’ve ever met. How can you take this crap seriously?”

“I know this site is genuine, because it’s how I met Connor,” Lauren said. “Ok, look.” She rummaged in her purse and pulled out her own phone. Dina watched as she tapped an identical paw print icon on the screen and the app opened. The first thing they saw was a photo of Lauren’s handsome boyfriend. He was posed in a forest, leaning on a tree trunk, and he was also bare chested. Lauren swiped her thumb to the left, and in his place was a dark brown bear. Dina gaped.

“You’re telling me that Connor is half man, half bear?”

“Yep!” Lauren said, her voice full of pride.

“I’m sorry, Lauren, but this is obviously a made-up story. You don’t think he might be a bit of a fantasist?”

“I know it’s true, because I’ve seen him in his bear form,” Lauren said calmly.

“But, what? How?” Dina stammered.

“I knew he was a bear shifter, of course, since we met through the site. And, after a couple of dates, I was dying to see the other side to him. I realized that if I only ever saw him as a man, I was only getting half of him. One day, we went on a picnic in the forest, and he shifted for me. He stripped off his clothes, and one minute there was this hot naked man standing in front of me, and the next minute, there was a huge bear in his place. It was really cool.”

Dina took Lauren’s phone from her and swiped back to Connor, and then to the bear again, and back to Connor. As with the other guys she’d seen, the bear really did look quite a lot like Connor.

“This is the craziest thing ever,” she said. “But why haven’t I already heard that there are all these guys everywhere that are half animal?”

“Because there really aren’t that many, and it’s a closely guarded secret,” Lauren said. “When you sign up to the site, you have to sign a declaration that you won’t tell anyone about shape shifters until you’ve found your match. And then, you’re allowed to tell one person only, once they’ve been pre-approved by the site owners.”

“You had me pre-approved?”

“Yes!” Lauren replied, the edges of her lips curving with mischief. “You’re my best friend, and I knew this would be perfect for you, so you were my first choice.”

“But, how did you get me approved?”

“I vouched for your character, of course, saying what a sassy, cool, warm-hearted woman you are. And I sent them a photo.” Dina’s heart jumped into her throat. She had a deep aversion to having her photo taken, to the point that she’d never even look at photos of herself.

“Which photo?” she asked, her voice taut.

“This one!” Lauren located it on her phone, and Dina forced herself to look. From the long red dress she was wearing, she deduced that it was from the last Hope Valley winter ball. But she had no recollection that the picture had been taken. As usual, she zeroed in on the things she hated about her appearance, like the fact that she was six inches taller than most of the other women there, and her huge boobs and wide hips. But, she had to admit, her hair looked pretty good; her black curls were tumbling around her shoulders, and she was smiling. Her smile was the thing she liked best about her looks.

“This photo got me approved to the site?” she asked incredulously.

“Yes! You look stunning,” Lauren said loudly. “Don’t even think about criticizing your appearance!” Lauren pressed another button on her phone. “Look!” she thrust an email message in front of Dina’s face. It said:

 

Hi honeybun!

Thank you so much for sending this beautiful girl to us! She’s so gorgeous and curvy. We’d absolutely love to have her on the site. I can tell the shifters will all be fighting for her the second she sets her profile up, so warn her to be well prepared!

 

How are things going with Connor? I just knew he’d be the perfect match for you!

 

Excited to hear from you!

 

Love and licks,

Tamika xoxox

 

“Wow!” Dina said, short of anything else to say.

“Shifters love curvy women like us,” Lauren said. “Connor says it’s the most perfect match imaginable – a rough, rugged shifter, and a strong, voluptuous woman. Kind of makes sense doesn’t it?” she bumped shoulders with Dina. “And I can tell you, hun, my curves have
never
been worshipped like this before, in all my life!”

Dina’s head was swimming with all the things she’d just heard. Sense told her the whole thing was crazy. But Lauren was not the kind of person who’d make things up. Was it possible that maybe, just maybe, there were guys out there who would appreciate her body? Who would not see her as second best? A tiny bubble of excitement bounced around inside her at the thought. She picked her phone up and looked at the first guy again. His sexy brown eyes seemed to be imploring her to get in contact with him. She swiped left to see his animal form again, and a message popped up on the screen:
Please register to continue locating your perfect match!

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