CRUSHED by Dawn Rae Miller comes out soon! I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of this novel. It's edgy, fun, romantic, and just a little bit risque. Check out the gorgeous cover and read below for an excerpt. And make sure to Add it on Goodreads!
For seventeen-year-old serial womanizer Fletch Colson, life is a game and if he plays by the rules, he’ll win it all: his dream college, his parents’ money, and a hot (if a little vapid) girl on his arm. Really, it couldn’t be easier. All he has to do is get good grades, live a privileged boarding school life, and try not to mess up too much.
However, when he accepts the seemingly impossible bet to change his ways and be “just friends” with smart, beautiful, tempting Ellie Jacobs – a girl who seems hell bent on confusing him - Fletch’s whole world is turned upside down.
Suddenly, what seemed simple and clear, no longer feels right and Fletch must decide if winning it all is worth losing a piece of himself.
And here's an excerpt from the book:
While the rest of the country passes platters of turkey and cranberry sauce around the table, I’m lounging on the floor of a music room, legs stretched in front of me, back against the wall, reading Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. It’s pretty much the best book I’ve ever read and it makes being stuck on campus, studying for finals over Thanksgiving weekend, a little more bearable.
Since we only get two days off, the school doesn’t close, and most, if not all, students stay around for the five-day weekend.
“Are you getting hungry?” Ellie adjusts her music stand. Every year for Thanksgiving, Food Services puts together an amazing feast – turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing – and lets us gorge ourselves. It’s the one meal of the year in which they actually make an effort. And it’s amazing.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but yeah, I’m kinda looking forward to dinner.”
When Ellie asked if I wanted to come to the music lab with her, my mind went right where it shouldn’t: that’s where kids go to hook-up. But then I saw her violin case and remembered that unlike most of us, Ellie has a legitimate reason for hanging out in a soundproof room.
She bites her lip in concentration and draws the bow over the strings. It sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard. “That’s supposed to be a C. Did it sound like a C to you?”
I playfully cup my hands over my ears. “You’re going to get better, right? Please say you’re going to get better.”
Ellie holds the bow over the strings of her violin and clenches the neck with her other hand. “Think you can do better?”
“Better than you?” I shake my head. “No.”
Only I don’t mean playing the violin. I want to tell her how watching her struggle with the instrument is one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever done. How I wish her fingers would curl around mine the way they do around the violin. That I want to feel her cheek pressed against me, and her fingers moving – no matter how clumsily – against my skin.
The bow touches the strings again and Ellie scratches out the most pathetic sounds ever. She scrunches up her face, the right side of her upper lip raised in disgust. “God, I’m awful.”
I lay my book cover-side up on the ground next to me. “It’s a good thing these rooms are soundproof.”
She pushes the music stand away with her foot and lays the violin in its velvet-lined case. Thinking she’s giving up, I stand and tuck my book into my jacket pocket.
“Are you positive they are?” Underneath her words, I detect a flash of deviousness.
She grins and I’m gone – totally and completely under her spell. My pulse quickens. What is she asking? Does she want…
“Yeah.” A smile creeps across my face and I take a step toward her.
But she’s fast and already at the door.
“Stay here. I’ll go outside and when I hold up my finger, yell really loud.”
The heavy padded door shuts softly behind her. The small, thick glass window frames her beautifully. Some pieces of hair have fallen loose from her ponytail and the arms of her hoodie are pushed up toward her elbows. The corners of her eyes crinkle when she holds up her finger.
My mind churns through things to say. Something I can’t say to her, but want to.
“I like you,” I shout.
Her eyes widen.
I realize she can read my lips. Why didn’t I think of that before?