Publication date: April 7th 2023
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Thriller, Young Adult
How far would you be willing to go to get an A on a test?
That question plagues seventeen-year-old Laurel Anderson when she is confronted about the possibility of not graduating from high school towards the end of her senior year.
A plan was made with friends at a sleepover. But everything goes horribly wrong, and they all vow to keep what happened that night a secret.
Then Laurel meets Jace Messina whose hot and cold attraction toward her becomes intriguing when she takes a chance on an offer from him that she can’t refuse.
But as soon as she starts to have a glimmer of hope, everything falls apart. Bad decisions are not forgotten–especially by someone who has their eye on her for vengeance.
Laurel sat there quietly eyeing him. “Is that so?” she said after a moment.
Something tugged inside her. The way he stood there looking at her with his autumn green eyes stirred up a tingling feeling. She had to look away from him.
“I just got in,” she said. “I didn’t want to get out yet, you know. I was trying to relax.”
Without thinking about it, she rubbed the side of her neck.
Jace grinned at her and nodded. “I guess that explains why you were twisting your shoulders. I thought you might have been dancing but you had a pained look on your face.”
“Am I wrong?”
Laurel rolled her eyes and then slid down further into the hot tub. “I’m sorry you wasted your time. You could have called or sent me a text…unless you deleted me from your contacts.”
He chuckled, not moving his gaze from her face. “You’re like a flower with thorns,” he said.
Laurel cracked a smile. “That sounded like a compliment.”
“It was meant to be.”
Jace couldn’t take his eyes off her.
Laurel held his gaze. The way he looked at her made her heart beat faster. There was an intensity in his eyes that made her catch her breath. As she glanced away, she noticed the tattoo on his wrist. She became more aware of his strong-looking arms, and how they would feel massaging her shoulders.
It was as if her eyes had spoken when he came close until he was standing directly behind her. Then without saying a word, he put his hands on her bare shoulders.
She didn’t flinch or move. Every muscle in her body welcomed his touch. There was no resistance. He moved his fingers with a deftness that made her feel she was melting inside. His thumbs gently rubbed over her aching muscles. The moisture from the water made his hands feel soft and slick on her skin.
She was enjoying the sensation of his hands on her as the aches in her muscles lessened as he continued to rub the sides of her neck and onto her shoulders. She closed her eyes when she felt him lower his face close enough, so the tip of his nose gently pressed against her skin. She was intoxicated by the warmth of his skin touching the side of her neck…
Doreen McMillan is a wife, a mom and an educator who likes to spend her spare time writing mysteries for older teens.
She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband and son.
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