Publisher: Albert Whitman Company
Genre: YA, Contemporary
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Synopsis: Emmie O’Brien is a former good girl now on the fringe. She spent a crazy year involved with Nick, her mom’s drug dealer; after her arrest she was lucky to go back to her old life. But she’s haunted by the choices she made—first, to be with Nick, and then later, to testify against him. Max Shepherd is a senior varsity hockey player with serious anger issues. His grief over the death of his girlfriend causes him to see injustice wherever he looks. When they meet in community service, Max is drawn to Emmie’s calm energy, but Emmie knows better than to get too close to anyone. When friends of Nick show up seeking revenge, Emmie is forced to come to terms with her past, while Max has to control his protective instincts. They must trust one another, especially when Emmie’s situation takes a dangerous turn.
“Emmie,” Marissa said. “Your car.”
“What?” Emmie asked, redirecting her focus. She barely even noticed when Max’s hand clamped around her arm, and that was because her windshield was smashed in. Like, completely. Not just a spiderweb of cracks but crumpled into the car like the whole thing was made of tissue paper.
Emmie ran the rest of the way to her parking spot, practically dragging Max along with her because he wouldn’t let go of her arm. She circled her car and groaned when she discovered all four tires were slashed. The word Pigeon was spray-painted over her back left fender— misspelled, which somehow made it worse—but what hurt the most were the five letters written across her trunk: W-H-O-R-E.
Max let go of Emmie’s arm as her body went rigid. Her brain couldn’t process what she was seeing. She knew who did it. She knew why. But she couldn’t believe they’d come to her school and done this in broad daylight. The words were like scalpels, carving holes in her heart and stomach. Her limbs went numb.
Max’s fist slammed down on the trunk of the car. The sudden noise made Emmie jump, as did her car on its shocks. Max’s eyes were wide. Emmie thought he might have actually growled.
“Who did this?” he asked, whispering through his teeth. “I’ll kill them!”
“Oh noooo,” Marissa said from the front of the car, unaware of the worst of it, not to mention Max’s barely controlled outrage. She leaned into the broken driver-side window. “Emmie, they took your hula girl.”
Emmie rolled her eyes, and Max grabbed her shoulders. “Was it that guy from Saturday morning?” His eyes glanced to the damning word painted on the trunk, his voice raw.
The way he looked and sounded scared her. It reminded her of the way he’d looked on the ice that first time she’d seen him play. Like he was a boulder
rolling downhill, crushing everything in his path. It reminded her of junkies hungry for a fix. And it reminded her of Nick.
Max must have seen the flicker of fear in her eyes because his grip relaxed and he took a step back. That simple, tender act was all Max. It reminded her of no one else.
About the Author
She is the author of the following Young Adult novels:
COLD HARD TRUTH (contemporary/romance); GIRL LAST SEEN (contemporary/suspense); and the paranormal mermaid trilogy: LIES BENEATH, DEEP BETRAYAL, PROMISE BOUND.
She also writes adult romance under the name A.S. Green.
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