Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Slow Seduction by Cecilia Tan

Karina needs to find James.  She needs him to say to her face that they are over. Helen finds out that he is hiding in England. Karina gets a summer job with the Tate in London. The curator, Mr. Martindale, has had mail from James. He shows her photos.  One of them is a glass slipper. Karina and James often talked about Cinderella. She knows he is still thinking of her.  Helen tells Karina that the envelope was mailed in York.

One night she is giving a tour to a man and two women.  Karina is not shocked by their "games".  The man gives her a card. It is similar to the card James gave her the night they met. She talks to the man about his club. Damon invites her to join and learn to be a slave. Karina knows that James is a member of the club here.
Karina is going to find James. What will happen when she does? Will he want her?

I loved this book.  Now I have to wait until August for the next one, Slow Satisfaction.

From the author:
Two months have passed since James went into hiding. Karina finds herself in England, working at a major museum while searching for any lead on James’s whereabouts. There she meets the enigmatic Damon George, a dominant man with clues to James’s past… and to James’s desires. Damon is rich, gorgeous, and a member of a secret society that caters to the sensual thrills of the wealthy and powerful. And he’ll help Karina lure James in, while teaching her how to please a dominant man. By the time she finds James, Karina has been “trained” to please another. Will James reject her, or find her more irresistible than ever? Karina is determined to confront him and she will not be denied.

Excerpt:
SAMPLE CHAPTER OF SLOW SEDUCTION
(Warning: It’s impossible to excerpt from this book without giving spoilers for either book 1 or other elements in book 2. You have been warned! Spoiler alert! Excerpted from Chapter Four:)
We took the short walk from the office building to the museum where I would be meeting the rich donor and giving him a private tour of the Pre-Raphaelite paintings. The weather was lovely, cooling a little as the afternoon turned to evening, and there was a breeze from the direction of the river.
As we approached the back entrance, I saw a limousine sitting at the curb, and as the driver got smoothly out of the car I thought instantly of Stefan, and by extension, James.
A moment later the driver had opened the passenger door, and a man in a sleek-looking suit with artfully tossed black hair stepped out. He was runway-model gorgeous, with the flat, disdainful look in his eye you see on the covers of magazines. Two women with the same look about them followed, one blonde, one brunette.
I did a double take when Martindale led me right to them. I had been expecting rich art donors to be older, more like Martindale himself.
Instead, the man reminded me of James, and the two statuesque women of Lucinda, with their cool beauty. I had only met her once, at that kinky party, but she had made an impression, poised and sexy, like so many of the people there. Self-possessed and confident, yet exuding a sort of erotic vibe—or maybe at this point for me that kind of self-possession was an erotic vibe. That was James all over, completely in control, knowing that he turned heads and left people drooling in his wake. That cool exterior hid a passionate, wicked core. I remembered the exacting efficiency with which he tied me up with ropes as well as the way he had trembled against me, barely able to stop himself from f****g me before I was ready…
Martindale brought me back to reality. “Mr. Damon George, this is Karina Casper. She’ll be showing you around the exhibit.”
“Pleased to make your acquaintance, Ms. Casper.” The man took my hand briefly.
Martindale seemed to be waiting for him to introduce his companions, but he said nothing about them and they hung back, silent. Martindale cleared his throat. “Yes, well, let’s go in.”
A security guard met us at the doors to allow us inside. Martindale then led us through the back-entrance access hallways I had not been in before and into the galleries. The two women were wearing heels that seemed impossibly high, and we walked somewhat slowly, the sounds of their heels and our shoes loud in the empty museum.
“Pardon the dust from the construction,” he said, as we went past one of the areas where the major renovations were taking place.
“Why should I mind it?” Damon George said. “I’m paying for a lot of it, aren’t I?”
“Ha-ha, true,” Martindale agreed. “Now, here we are. I’ll leave you in Ms. Casper’s hands. Karina, when you’re done, pick up the phone here to let security know.”
“Yes, Mr. Martindale,” I said, wondering if I should curtsy. I didn’t. He gave me a little wave good-bye and then left.
The lights were already on full brightness as we stepped into the first gallery.
I took a deep breath, preparing to launch into a speech about the founding of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, but he stopped me before I could start.
“Karina Casper,” he said. “May I call you Karina? You can call me Damon instead of Mr. George.”
Read more here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Naked by Megan Hart

Olivia was engaged to Patrick but she found out that he was really gay. She was devastated. Somehow, they remained friends. She went to a party at his house and met Alex (from Tempted). Patrick told her to stay away from Alex. Olivia rented him her apartment because he got a temporary job in the area and needed a place to stay. They became great friends. After a few months,  he makes a move on her. Olivia is surprised but is okay with his past sexual encounters. Will they be able to stay together OR will others get in the way?

I loved this book. I was routing for them as a couple. I do not like the author's summary because Olivia does not know about Alex's relationship with the couple until after she meets them at the end of the book. I just love the way Hart writes these characters.

From the author:
No strings. No regrets. And no going back.
I didn’t think he wanted me. And I wasn’t about to get involved with him, not after what I’d heard. Sure, Alex Kennedy was tall, dark and unbearably hot, but I’ve been burned before. When I solicited him to model for my erotic photography book, I didn’t expect such a heated, passionate photo session. And now that we’ve crossed that line, our bodies aren’t the only things that have been exposed.
But I can’t give my heart to a man who’s so…unconventional. His last sexual relationship was with a married couple. It’s enough that my ex-fiancĂ© preferred men, I can’t take that chance again no matter how much my body thrives on Alex’s touch. I can’t risk it, but I can’t resist it, either.
Alex can be very convincing when he wants something.
And he wants me.
Excerpt:
I could’ve just gone to bed, but with the party still in full swing it was unlikely I’d be able to sleep. Patrick’s kitchen was kitschy cute, complete with a swinging-tailed kitty clock and retro-looking appliances. Well, except for the space age espresso machine, the fancy kind that steamed milk and used those special pods. I’d never learned to use it and in fact didn’t dare touch it in case I dialed something wrong and sent us all back to the Stone Age. I’d be the one to step on the butterfly.
I knew he had a regular coffee maker someplace, but a search of the cabinets didn’t turn one up. Patrick never got rid of anything – and I mean never, not his favorite t-shirt or a lamp with a broken switch. Hell, obviously not me. He hoarded belongings and people like the Zombpocalypse was coming and the only way to survive was by building a new civilization out of outdated wardrobes, non-functioning appliances…and past lovers. I knew he still had that coffee maker.
Maybe on the screened back porch, plastic-sheeted now for protection against the winter. Patrick had stored a couple dozen boxes of miscellaneous crap there, promising Teddy he’d sort through it but never doing so. His espresso machine was new, so there was an excellent chance he’d simply moved the old machine aside.
Bracing myself against the cold, I pushed open the back door and went out onto the porch. I hissed out heat and broke at once into goose-pimply shivers. I didn’t turn on the overhead light, just went for the first stack of boxes. Didn’t find the coffee maker, just a stack of porn mags I flipped through with numb, fumbly fingers and shoved back inside the box. It was the closest I was likely to get to an erection tonight, and don’t think I didn’t mourn that fact just a little.
Starting my own business had been great for my ego and sense of satisfaction. It’d been hell on my bank account and my sex life. No time to date, no time to invest in another person, even if I’d found someone I thought would be worth making an effort for. No time even for casual flirting, since working for myself meant I was alone most of the time. My other two jobs, the ones I’d kept so I could cover my mortgage, weren’t exactly conducive to meeting men. Taking school and sports team photos required a lot of traveling and though I met many a DILF, most of them were married. My job at Foto Folks was fun and paid well, but my clients were invariably middle-aged women looking for “boudoir” shots or moms who brought their kids to get pictures taken in front of giant stuffed bears. I’d developed a severe allergy to the feathers in boas. I was tired and run-down, but I was happy. I was tired and sometimes stressed, but I was doing what I loved.
Read more here.
Pages: 378
Published: 2010 

Revealing Us by Lisa Renee Jones

Chris is going to Paris.  He wants Sara to come along. They are reeling from what happened at Mark's house. The police are now looking for Rebecca. But Sara is still looking for Ella. She thinks she can find something in Paris. So they fly over and get to Chris's Paris home. They are together and in love. Then Amber walks in on them, naked on the living room floor. She gives Sara such a hateful look. Amber wants to cause trouble for Sara and she does. Chris starts backing off again, keeping his secrets. They need to break through his walls. Will they? Sara's searching for Ella has someone following her. Chris gets protective.  The detectives in Paris find out that Ella was with a man connected to crime. Where is she?

From the author:
You’ve discovered Rebecca’s secrets. You’ve discovered Sara’s secrets. Now Sara will discover “his” deepest, darkest secrets…but will those secrets bind them together—or tear them apart?

Excerpt:
No talking. No in between. All or nothing, Sara. I’m offering that to you, and you have to decide if you really want it. There’s a reservation in your name with American Airlines. I’ll be on the plane. I hope you will be, too.

Chris had issued that ultimatum and deadline and left me sitting on my missing best friend’s bed, staring at the empty doorway where he’d stood moments before. Emotions explode inside me and twist me into knots. He sought me out, found me here. After our devastating fight last night, he still wants me to go to Paris with him. He wants to find “us” again. But how can he expect me to pick up and leave at a moment’s notice? I can’t just leave—but . . . He’s leaving. I can barely breathe at the idea of losing him and, deep down, I know if I let him leave, I will lose him. We have to talk. We have to work through what happened last night before we leave for Paris.

With a jerky movement I reach for my phone, punching the button to auto-dial Chris. My heart hammers in my chest as I wait for him to answer.

Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring.

Then his voice, deep and raspy in that sexy way, fills the line. It’s his voice mail. My fingers tunnel through my long brown hair and helplessness rolls through me. No. No. No. This is not happening. It can’t happen. It’s too much, after nearly being killed by Ava last night. How can Chris not know this is too much right now? I want to scream at the phone.

I dial again, hear the unbearable ringing tone over and over, and I get his voice mail again. Damn! I’ll have to go try to catch him at home before he leaves for the airport.

I jump to my feet and rush for the door, my hand shaking as I flip the lock closed. I pray that Ella will return safely from her trip to Europe. I’m unable to help comparing her silence to Rebecca’s. I shiver as I step into the dark corridor outside Ella’s apartment, wishing I was in Chris’s arms. Wishing I could forget the hell of Ava killing Rebecca and then trying to kill me.

Once I’m in the parking lot, I glance at the apartment building and my gut twists into knots. “Ella’s okay,” I promise myself as I unlock my silver Ford Focus and slide inside. And it’s clear to me that I have two reasons to go to Paris: Chris and Ella. And they are good ones.

The drive to the apartment I share with Chris is less than fifteen minutes but feels like an eternity. By the time I pull into the drive in front of the fancy high-rise I am one big ball of tension. I hand my keys to the attendant, a new guy I don’t know. “Hold my car here, please.” The very act suggests I’m thinking of going to the airport.

Even if I do, I tell myself, it doesn’t mean I’m getting on the plane. Not yet. Not like this. I’ll convince Chris to delay the trip.

I barely see the lobby as I rush through it and step into the elevator. The doors close and I am suddenly, ridiculously nervous about seeing him. It’s insane. This is Chris. I have no reason to be nervous with him. I love him. I love him as I have never loved another human being. Yet the ride to the twentieth floor is excruciating, and I wish I had asked the attendant if Chris was in the building.

“Please be here,” I whisper as I near my destination. “Please be here.”

Read more here.

Pages: 304
Published: 2013

Monday, April 28, 2014

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean

Callie is 28 years old. She is a spinster. When a family member describes her a being passive, she decides that she is going to make a list of things she wants to do to feel free which ladies cannot do. Callie believes she is fat and unattractive. That is why no man wants her. The first item on her list is to kiss someone - passionately. The only man she wants to kiss is Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston. She had an interaction with him ten years ago and she has loved him ever since.
Callie goes to his house late that night.  The butler lets her in, thinking she was someone else. She had a hooded cloak on. She gets sent to Ralston's bedchamber. He is stunned when he realizes who she is. She explains why she is there and he agrees to kiss her in exchange for her help in introducing his newly found sister into society. She agrees. He kisses her and the romance begins - only they have no idea what is going to happen!

I really liked this book.  Callie has a lot of spunk. Ralston is ready to give her whatever she wants except love!

From the author:
A lady does not smoke cheroot.
She does not ride astride.
She does not fence or attend duels.
She does not fire a pistol, and she never gambles at a gentlemen’s club.
Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has always followed the rules, rules that have left her unmarried—and more than a little unsatisfied. And so she’s vowed to break the rules and live the life of pleasure she’s been missing.
But to dance every dance, to steal a midnight kiss—to do those things, Callie will need a willing partner. Someone who knows everything about rule-breaking. Someone like Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston—charming and devastatingly handsome, his wicked reputation matched only by his sinful smile.
If she’s not careful, she’ll break the most important rule of all—the one that says that pleasure-seekers should never fall hopelessly, desperately in love . . .


Pages: 422
Published: 2010

Never Let Go by Deborah Smith


Rucker and his wife Dinah are deep in love. They are in Florida on vacation.  She goes to the store and never comes back. He has been looking for her. A friend of theirs is in the CIA and Jeopard has found her in a country called Surador. She is working for a bad guy, Valdivia,  who works for the Russians. Rucker goes down and sees her in the town square. He doesn't understand what she is doing. He wants her back but she tells him that she is finished with him. A few days later, Dinah and Valdivia to the US to work their final mission. He gets spooked and throws her out of the hotel and she only has a nightgown on.  He throws her his fur coat and tells her he will meet her in New Orleans where the mission is to be completed.
She makes her way to Rucker for help. They go on an adventure. Dinah needs to get the mission finished and Rucker needs to forgive her but not until she tells him the truth.

I do not recall reading this author before but I enjoyed this story. The love between Rucker and Dinah was immense.

From goodreads:
Confusion, fury, and disbelief filled Rucker McClure's soul when he saw his wife across the airport waiting room. A year ago, Dinah had vanished without a trace, but he'd never stopped looking for her, never given up hope - until now, when it seemed all his worst fears were true: she'd betrayed her country and abandoned the husband she'd sworn to love until death.

For a "Look Inside", click here.


ebook192 pages
Published September 21st 2011 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1989)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

To Market, To Market! Reading Challenge

To Market, To Market!  From goodreads/Crazy Challenge Connection
Timeframe: 2/1/14 to 7/31/14
21/24

CHALLENGE RULES:
♦ If you want to participate in a challenge, please sign up by posting at least a partial list of the challenge requirements. This gives us a post to link you to, which you can use to update your books as the challenge progresses. 
♦ Unless otherwise noted, books must be at least 150 pages long. Books may only be used for one task in this challenge, but cross-challenge posting is encouraged :) Re-reads are allowed, as long as you read the entire book and not simply skim through it.
♦ For each book you read, please post a link to the title, and indicate the author and the date you finished reading it. If a challenge task gives several options, please make it clear which option you’ve chosen. If the task calls for an item on the cover, include a link to the book cover. If it’s not obvious from the book title or cover, be sure to explain how your book fits the task. If you don’t, you won’t get credit for completing that task. 
* If you don’t know how to post a link to the book title, cover or author, see the instructions here: 
Add a link to the book title, book cover and/or author 
♦ If you use books that are in a language other than English, please translate those titles into English for the purposes of our challenges, unless you plan to use that language for the entire challenge. If you do use another language for the whole challenge, please remember that the translations of exempt words/phrases -- for example, A, An and The in most spelling challenges -- would be exempt as well. 
♦ When you complete the challenge, please post your entire list as a new message to make it easier for everyone to see what you’ve read :) If you don’t repost your list, your name will not be added to the list of those who have completed the challenge.

CHALLENGE TASKS:

                                           



PRODUCE – Read a book with a fruit or vegetable on the cover or in the title 
Tear You Apart by Megan Hart









DELI – Read a book set in New York City OR a book with any type of stacked object on the cover
Murder by Mocha by Cleo Coyle







SEAFOOD – Read a book set on/near a major body of water -  The Brazos River  - Saving Allegheny Green by Lori Wilde

FRESH MEAT – Read a book by an author whose first book was published after January 1, 2013.
Unfixable by Tessa Bailey

ORGANIC – Read a book with a wholesome character  Delirium by Lauren Oliver

BULK FOODS – Read a book by an author who has written more than 15 books 
Never Let Go by Deborah Smith

GRANOLA - CEREAL – Read a book written by two or more authors A Matter of Trust by Lis Wiehl with April Henry





COFFEE - TEA - JUICE - SODA – Read  a book with a beverage of some kind on the cover or in the title. 
Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren






SNACKS - COOKIES – Read a book that is one of your guilty pleasures -  I love Urban Fantasy books and books set in New Orleans. Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson

CANDY – Read a book that you got for free. The Highlander's Hope by Cali MacKay

BAKING SUPPLIES – Read a book in which several characters work together to solve a problem 
Natural Causes by Michael Palmer

CONDIMENTS – Read a book that "tops" another book 
Beautiful Beginning by Christina Lauren

CANNED FRUIT - VEGGIES – Read a book whose author name or title contains the word TIN, in order. Demon HunTINg in Dixie by Lexi George

SOUP – Read book #1 in a series. Nine Rules to Break When Romancinga Rake by Sarah MacLean

PASTA - RICE – Read a book from your favorite genre  - Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Safe Harbor by Christine Feehan

ETHNIC (Mexican, Japanese, etc.) – Read a book set in a country other than your own. Be sure to tell us where you live and where the book is set! I live in the US and the book is set in Canada.
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

CLEANING - LAUNDRY SUPPLIES - PAPER GOODS – Read  a book that is disposable Let us know what you mean by "disposable." I bought this at the used book store and will probably take it back there and get another book! Oceans of Fire by Christine Feehan




PET SUPPLIES – Read a book with an animal on the cover or in the title 
Calder Pride by Janet Dailey












GREETING CARDS – Read  a book with two or more people on the cover. Be sure to post the book cover! 

Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen







MEDICINE - FIRST AID – Read a book in which a main character works in a medical field 
Yellowstone Heart Song by Peggy L Henderson

PERSONAL HYGIENE – Read a book in which there is a shower scene 
Revealing Us by Lisa Renee Jones

BREAD – Read a book with a title that contains a "sandwiched" letter -- one letter between two other, identical letters (no other letters in between) EntICIng by Lori Foster


DAIRY PRODUCTS – Read a book set in California, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota or Idaho (top US states for dairy) Be sure to tell us where the book is set! Pennsylvania Naked by Megan Hart

FROZEN FOODS – Read a book set in a cold climate or in the winter 
One Fearful Yellow Eye by John D. MacDonald 

Full House Reading Challenge 2014 Wrap Up

To sign up, click here.


My Book list:


Published in 2013 - My Notorious Life by Kate Manning
Published before 2013 - Every Last Secret by Linda Rodriquez
More than 400 pages - Divergent by Veronica Roth
Book from a Series - The Giver by Lois Lowry
Author new to you - The Black Country by Alex Grecian
Set in a different country from you - Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie
Theme/Issue you think is important - The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort
The issue is stopping the insanity of illegal gains.
Review persuaded you to read it - Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
Published in 2014 - Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
Book with animal in it -  ...and now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold
Suspense or Crime - River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz
From the local library - Broken by Megan Hart
You love the cover. - Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy
Free or bought very cheap - Friends With More Benefits by Luke Young
Historical Fiction - Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier
Won or Borrowed - Blue Twilight by Maggie Shayne
Best Read so far in 2014 - Impossible by Nancy Werlin

2014 Fairy Tales Retold Reading Challenge Wrap Up

Sign Up Here.
Here are the details:
  • The challenge starts on January 1st 2014, and ends December 31st 2014
  • The goal of the read-a-thon is to read as many fairy tale retellings as possible.
  • There will be six different levels to aim for in this challenge:
  • This challenge is only for Young Adult and Middle Grade retellings. No adult or children’s books count towards this challenge.
  • Because of confusion in the past, this year only straight retellings of fairy tales will count. No fairy tale-ish books, and no mythological or classic retellings.
  • Single novellas do not count towards this challenge, however a compilation of novellas or short stories can count towards this challenge.
  • Have fun and spread the word!
I read the Poor Cobbler level of 1-3 books.

MAY SPELL CHALLENGE - CELEBRATE MEXICO

I found another monthly challenge on Crazy Challenge Connection on goodreads.


This month's spelling challenge is based on Mexican/Latin food, 
dance/music, clothing and cities. When you sign up for the 
challenge, tell us which word you've chosen to spell
Then spell out your chosen word using the first letter of the 
first word of a book title -- excluding A, An and The -- or the 
author's first or last initial. Have fun :) 

FOOD:
Burrito
Chalupa
Enchilada 
Huevos Rancheros
Quesadillas
Tacos 
Tortillas

LATIN MUSIC/DANCE
Bolero
Corrido
Fandango
Guajira
Huasteco
Marimba
Rumba

CLOTHING:
Huarache
Poncho
Rebozo 
Serape
Sombrero

CITIES:
Acapulco
Ecatepec
Juarez
Mexico City
Monterrey
Puebla
Tijuana


CHALLENGE RULES: :
♦ If you want to participate in this challenge, please sign up 
by telling us which word/phrase you've chosen to spell
This gives us a post to link you to, which you can use to update your 
books as the challenge progresses. 

♦ Unless otherwise noted, books must be at least 150 pages long. 
Books may only be used for one task in this challenge, but cross-challenge
 posting is encouraged :) Re-reads are allowed, as long as you read 
the entire book and not simply skim through it.

♦ For each book you read, please post a link to the title,
 and indicate the author and the date you finished reading it.
    * If you don’t know how to post a link to the book title, see the 
instructions here: Add a link to the book title 

♦ If you use books that are in a language other than English, please 
translate those titles into English for the purposes of our challenges, 
unless you plan to use that language for the entire challenge. If you 
do use another language for the whole challenge, please remember 
that the translations of exempt words/phrases -- for example, A, An 
and The in most spelling challenges -- would be exempt as well. 

I am going with Monterrey.


Impossible by Nancy Werlin


Lucy has a crazy mother but she was raised by Leo and Soledad. Her mother, Miranda, had lived with them while she was pregnant. Lucy grew up happy in the home of her adopted parents. But on Prom night an incident with Miranda causes the night to not be what Lucy yearns for. Lucy is raped by her date but it's not really her date. During the clean up on Prom night, Zach, a family friend, finds Miranda's diary.  It was written during her pregnancy with Lucy.  Lucy learns that her mother is not crazy but is under the spell the Elfin Knight. He cursed her family years and years ago. Lucy and Zach are determined to break the curse.

From the author:
Lucy Scarborough is seventeen when she discovers that the women of her family have been cursed through the generations, forced to attempt three seemingly impossible tasks or to fall into madness upon their child's birth. But Lucy is the first girl who won't be alone as she tackles the list. She has her fiercely protective foster parents beside her. And she has Zach, whose strength amazes her more each day. Do they have enough love and resolve to overcome an age-old evil?
Inspired by the ballad “Scarborough Fair,” the New York Times bestseller Impossible combines suspense, fantasy, and romance to tell a story of love and family conquering all.

Excerpt:
Chapter 1

Ten minutes after the last class of the day, Lucy got a text message from her best friend, Sarah Hebert. “Need u,” it said.
“2 mins,” Lucy texted back. She sighed. Then she hefted her backpack and headed to the girls’ locker room, where, she knew, Sarah would be. Nothing and nobody, not even Jeff Mundy, got in the way of track practice.
Because of course this problem of Sarah’s would be about Jeff. Lucy had seen him at lunch period, leaning flirtatiously over an adorable freshman girl. Maybe this time Sarah would have had it with him for good. Lucy hoped so.
But still, it was delicate. And it wasn’t like Lucy had a lot of experience to guide her friend with. Or any, really, if you didn’t count Gray Spencer, which you couldn’t, not yet, anyway. No, she didn’t have experience, Lucy thought fiercely, but she did have years of understanding about who, exactly, Sarah was and what made her happy. And also, frankly, some basic common sense.
Which Sarah had totally lost.
Lucy found Sarah already changed and sitting on a bench by Lucy’s locker. “Are you all right?” Lucy asked.
“Yeah. It’s just—it’s not Jeff, it’s me. I’m the one with the problem.” Sarah made a little motion with her hand. “But now we have to go to practice.”
Lucy put an arm around her and squeezed. “There’ll be plenty of time to talk later if you want.”
Sarah nodded and tried to smile.
Lucy turned to change. Then they walked out together toward the school’s track, moving to the infield to stretch. Lucy’s practice routine as a hurdler was different from Sarah’s distance training, but they always did as much together as they could.
When they were side by side doing leg stretches, Sarah was finally able to talk. Lucy listened patiently to all of it, even the parts she’d heard many times before. But when Sarah said, “We both agreed from the start that we weren’t serious and Jeff’s right that it truly is my problem that I’m so jealous, not his, because he’s not doing anything wrong,” Lucy couldn’t help herself. She cut in.
“Sarah, please. It’s not a problem that you want something more serious than Jeff does. There’s nothing wrong with you that you want that! And there’s also nothing wrong that he doesn’t. Can’t you see? It’s just that you’re fundamentally incompatible. You should just say so and move on.”
“But I don’t want to move on! He’s such fun and so smart and good-looking and I just love him and if I could only control the way I feel when—”
“Then be his friend. But that’s it. For more, look around for somebody who’s not going to hurt you all the time. Even if Jeff doesn’t mean to hurt you, it’s still pain, right?” Lucy grabbed one foot, and, standing on the other leg, pulled the foot behind her to stretch her quad muscles. She decided not to say that Jeff knew perfectly well he was hurting Sarah, and didn’t care, so long as he got to do what he wanted to do, which included being with Sarah whenever he felt like it.
Sarah was silent for a minute, concentrating on her own quad stretch. Then she said, “Lucy, I don’t think you understand. I can’t really control how I feel. I can’t just look around for somebody else. I want what I want. Who I want.”
Lucy switched legs. She chose her words carefully. “But this is hurting you so much. It can’t be right.”
“Love hurts,” said Sarah simply. “That’s okay. It’s supposed to.”
“I don’t believe it,” Lucy said. “Look at Soledad and Leo.”
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Pages: 376
Published: 2008