by: Rachel Harris
Series: Fine Art of Pretending
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
One class assignment. One second chance at love. The school player is all in. Now he needs to win back the sweet commitment girl who's forever owned his heart.
Justin Carter has a secret. He's not the total player Fairfield Academy believes him to be. Not really. In fact, he used to be a one-woman guy...and his feelings for her never went away. Too bad he broke her heart three years ago and made sure to ruin any chance she'd ever forgive him.
Peyton Williams is a liar. She pretends to be whole, counting down the days until graduation and helping her parents at the family ranch. But the truth is, she's done everything she can to get over Justin, and salvation is just around the corner. With graduation one short month away, she'll soon break free from the painful memories and start her life fresh. Of course, she has to get through working with him on one last assignment first.
For Justin, nothing ever felt as right as being with Peyton, and now that fate's given him a shot at redemption, he's determined to make the most of it. And for Peyton...well, Justin Carter has always been her kryptonite.
A musical laugh sprang free, her happy smile trailing behind, and I was in heaven. “Until you,” she agreed. She squinted one eye and added, “Though you should know, I’m probably gonna be really, really bad at it.”
The expression on her face said she honestly believed it, and I couldn’t wait to prove her wrong. I leaned close to her ear and whispered across her skin, “That’s impossible.”
Peyton’s breath caught in a gasp, and I angled back to see her face.
That’s when the moment changed.
Sounds of the emptying baseball field fell away. The cool air around us kindled. The soft smile on her face faded as she looked into my eyes, shifting her gaze between them to see what I’d do next. Part of me wondered the same thing.
I’d kissed dozens of girls before. Some I wanted, others purely because I was bored. But I’d never felt anything like this. Anticipation. Want. Fear. Unlike any other kiss I’d ever shared, this one needed to be epic. Girls remembered their first kiss for the rest of their lives, and I had to leave Peyton with something good to cling to later… when I inevitably screwed everything up.
Gauging her reaction, I slowly lowered my head and watched her soft lips part. Adrenaline surged through my veins at the swipe of her tongue. She nodded once, silently giving me permission, then closed her eyes.
Inhaling the scent of sunflowers, I kissed her.
Soft and sweet. Those two words defined this girl. She tasted like sugar and her sigh was addictive as I brushed her mouth with mine. Again and again. I couldn’t get enough. Her hands clenched my wrists, tugging me closer. I could’ve lived in that moment forever.
My restless hands memorized the curve of Peyton’s spine, the dip of her waist. Hers slid down my arms and around my back, fisting my shirt before slipping underneath. A jolt of electricity ran over my skin. When her nails raked down my spine, I jerked and groaned into her mouth. She was a fast learner.
I kissed the corners of her triumphant smile, licked the bow of her top lip, and nipped at the bottom one. She sighed again and sank in my arms, matching me kiss for kiss, playful tug for playful tug. And still, I needed more. I’d probably always need more.
Tilting my head for better access, I grazed her cheeks with my fingertips. Traced the seam of her mouth with my tongue, silently asking for what I wanted. Hoping like hell she’d open up. Her answer was one shy flick. The shiver reached my toes.
No girl had gotten to me like this. Burrowed under my skin, held my interest, or had me thinking about tomorrow. Wishing I could be that guy. I lost myself in the strawberry taste of Peyton’s mouth, the sweet sounds in her throat, and I didn’t fully emerge until hours later. When I did, it was with one thought circling my brain:
How long until I mess this up?
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New York Times bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Vibrant settings, witty banter, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books…and kissing. Lots of kissing.
An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!
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