Publication Date: September 16th 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Disappointment has been on speed dial in Ellen Grayson's life lately. Her dad's dead, her mom is numbing the grief with drugs and alcohol, and her so-called friends are slowly abandoning her. Trusting a popular teacher with her troubles should have been safe, shouldn't have led to an unwelcome seduction attempt, shouldn't have sent her running to the girls' bathroom for the final moments of her Junior year. Lesson learned. Best to keep all the sordid details of her life to herself.
Enter Rex Jacobi, a cocky teen recently transplanted from New York and fellow summer camp employee. Though his quick wit and confidence draws her in, she's not letting him get too close, not til she's sure she can trust him. By the time Rex's charming persistence wears down her resistance, it's too late. He's put Ellen on the perma-pal shelf and shifted his romantic attentions to her arch-rival. Even worse, the teacher who tried to seduce her is still misbehaving with impunity.
With her ability to trust as shaky as a chastity vow on prom night, Ellen must decide if she has enough remaining courage to speak up about her teacher and risk retribution, to tell Rex how she feels and risk heartbreak, or hold all her secrets inside, the only safe place she knows.
He glares as Rex passes. My brother is on the large size—about six feet and built like a football player, though he played with drums, and not pigskins, on the football field. He’s usually so mellow people no longer notice his size after five minutes of meeting him. Since becoming my guardian, however, he’s taken his role a bit too seriously. He’s not averse to using physical intimidation to scare off any males who try to get too close to me. For the most part, I’ve been grateful for it. At least he cares.
Rex doesn’t show the usual signs of nervousness at my brother’s intimidation attempts. Best to whisk him outside as quickly as possible, which I do.
“Sorry about my brother.”
“Wow, yeah. I suppose it probably did look suspicious from all sorts of angles—your face, the two of us crammed into your little bathroom, my hands all over you.” He smirks and doesn’t seem the least bit perturbed.
“Your hands were not all over me.”
“I was putting on the Band-Aid. They were there.”
His exaggerated insistence about something that wasn’t borders ludicrous. “You’re so weird, Rex Jacobi. Most boys would be swearing up and down that nothing happened, over-compensating even. But you … ” I shake my head. “You know my brother could throw you against the wall hard enough to make you stick, right?”
“You think your brother would do something like that?”
He’s got me there. “Well … no.”
“Didn’t think so.”
“You don’t have to look so smug about it.” I point to the street. “Okay, so I guess you better go then. Don’t want you to be late for your date.” I give him a slug in the arm and hope it’s light enough to convey no more than minor annoyance, boredom, or gentle teasing.
He nods. “Yeah, sure.”
For a second I think he’s going to say something else because his mouth drops open and he draws in a breath. The moment passes and he trots down the apartment building stairs, doesn’t even glance back over his shoulder.
The look on my brother’s face, on the other hand, is both infuriating and heart-breaking. Infuriating he thinks I’d act like such a hoe, and heart-breaking because absolutely nothing happened to even give Robbie a moment’s worry about my chastity.