Authors: Jennifer Echols
Love is supposed to be easy—isn’t it?
GEMMA CAN’T BELIEVE HER LUCK WHEN THE STAR football player starts flirting with her. Max is totally swoonworthy, and he even gets her quirky sense of humor. So when he asks out her so-called best friend, Addison, Gemma’s heartbroken.
Then Addison pressures Gemma to join the date with one of Max’s friends. But the more time they all spend together, the harder Gemma falls for Max. She can’t help thinking that Max likes her back—it’s just too bad he’s already dating Addison. How can Gemma get the guy she wants without going after her best friend’s boyfriend?
Simon & Schuster, New York
Cover designed by Angela Goddard
Cover photograph copyright © 2012 by Jamie Grill/Getty Images
For more romantic reads
by Jennifer Echols, don’t miss:
Going Too Far
This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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First Simon Pulse paperback edition February 2012
Copyright © 2012 by Jennifer Echols
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The text of this book was set in Garamond 3.
Manufactured in the United States of America
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Full CIP data for this book is available from the Library of Congress.
ISBN 978-1-4424-4193-4 (eBook)
This book is for Amy and Jessica.
It has been a long time since they were majorettes,
but when I told them I needed their expertise,
where their batons were.
Many thanks to my brilliant editor, Annette Pollert; my incomparable agent, Laura Bradford; and as always, my critique partners, Victoria Dahl and Catherine Chant, who cheered me on with every chapter of this book.
As I opened my locker, an envelope fell
toward me with
written in Robert’s tight scrawl. My majorette tryout was in ten minutes. He must have known I would stop here to dump my books and grab my batons before I ran down to the gym. For two years we’d been sending each other Grandparents Day cards on our birthdays and Halloween cards on Christmas. Now he had left me this St. Patrick’s Day or Father’s Day card to wish me good luck.
My heart had already been pounding with anticipation of the tryouts. It jacked into overdrive at the sight of the card. Robert hadn’t wanted me to try out for majorette. He’d said I wouldn’t make it. That I was the wrong type of girl. That everybody in school would make fun of me. I had hung with the artsy crowd my freshman and sophomore years of high school. He’d said that by trying out, I was admitting that I’d wanted to be part of the golden crowd after all. That I was a fraud, and I deserved what I got.
At least, that’s what he’d
. What I’d been afraid he’d
You are too fat
I had listened to his harsh words since November, when I’d signed up to try out. His card meant that at the eleventh hour, he’d changed his mind and decided to support me. Maybe—crossing fingers—he’d finally started to see me not as a sexless friend, but as romantic material.
Just as I’d seen him the whole time.
Grinning, I slipped the card out of the envelope.
It was a sympathy card.
Okay, it was a sympathy card on the
. That didn’t mean he wasn’t wishing me good luck on the
. With shaking fingers, I opened the card.
Inside, Robert had crossed out the inspirational advice for coping with a loved one’s death. Underneath, he’d scribbled:
Congratulations on giving in to the American culture of bourgeois capitalism that markets eternal emaciation and youth.