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Authors: Jennifer Echols

The One That I Want

BOOK: The One That I Want
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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?

Look
for more
sweet
treats :

JENNIFER-ECHOLS.COM

 

SIMON PULSE

Simon & Schuster, New York

Cover designed by Angela Goddard

Cover photograph copyright © 2012 by Jamie Grill/Getty Images

0212

 

For more romantic reads
by Jennifer Echols, don’t miss:

 

Endless Summer

Winter’s Kiss

Major Crush

Forget You

Going Too Far

Love Story

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.

 

SIMON PULSE

An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division

1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
www.SimonandSchuster.com

First Simon Pulse paperback edition February 2012

Copyright © 2012 by Jennifer Echols

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

SIMON PULSE and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

The Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau can bring authors to your live event. For more information or to book an event contact the Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau at 1-866-248-3049 or visit our website at
www.simonspeakers.com
.

Designed by Mike Rosamilia

The text of this book was set in Garamond 3.

Manufactured in the United States of America

2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1

Full CIP data for this book is available from the Library of Congress.

ISBN 978-1-4424-5236-7

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,
they knew
exactly
where their batons were.

 
Contents

Acknowledgments

 

Chapter 1: April

 

Chapter 2: August

 

Chapter 3

 

Chapter 4

 

Chapter 5

 

Chapter 6

 

Chapter 7

 

Chapter 8

 

Chapter 9

 

Chapter 10

 

Chapter 11

 

Chapter 12

 

Chapter 13

 

Chapter 14

 

Chapter 15

 

Chapter 16

 

About the Author

 
Acknowledgments
 

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.

April
 

As I opened my locker, an envelope fell
toward me with
Gemma
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
said
. What I’d been afraid he’d
meant
was,
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
outside
. That didn’t mean he wasn’t wishing me good luck on the
inside
. 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.

Your friend,

Robert

BOOK: The One That I Want
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