Title: The Dating Debate
Author: Chris Cannon
Genre: YA RomCom, Sweet Romance
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Nina Barnes thinks Valentine’s Day should be optional. That way single people like herwouldn’t be subjected to kissy Cupids all over the place. That is, until her mom moves them next door to the brooding hottie of Greenbrier High, West Smith. He’s funny, looks amazing in a black leather jacket, and he’s fluent in Harry Potter, but she’s not sure he’s boyfriend material.
West isn’t sure what to make of Nina. She’s cute and loves to read as much as he does, but she seems to need to debate everything and she has a pathological insistence on telling the truth. And West doesn’t exactly know how to handle that, since his entire life is a carefully constructed secret. Dating the girl next door could be a ton of fun, but only if Nina never finds out the truth about his home life. It’s one secret that could bring them together or rip them apart.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book is not for anyone who has to get in the last word, but it is for all book nerds, especially those who live next door to so called unapproachable gorgeous guys. There’s no debating the chemistry.
Chris Cannon is the award-winning author of the Going Down In Flames series and the Boyfriend Chronicles. She lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and several furry beasts.
She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures or romantic comedies. You can find her online at www.chriscannonauthor.com.
Later that night, I sat reading on the couch, when Gidget came over to join me. And by join me, I mean she wedged her long, skinny nose under my book and pushed it up so she could play the world’s largest lap puppy.
“Gidget.” I set my book down and looked into her soulful brown eyes. “Are you not getting the attention you deserve?”
She made a sound that my mom and I described as her complaining yodel. “What’s that about?” I asked as I ran my hand over her silky blonde head. She yodeled louder.
My mom walked into the living room. “She is trying to tell you we’re out of chewies.”
“Oh, no.” I hugged Gidget. “The horror.”
She whined like she agreed with me. “It’s okay, girl. I can run to the store.”
“It’s not like she can’t wait until tomorrow,” my mom said.
“No big deal. I need gas anyway.” I slid out from under Gidget and looked at my fur-covered jeans and shirt. “The good thing about running to the pet store is no one cares if you’re covered in fur.”
West’s dad had parked his ridiculously large SUV further up the driveway. Backing out next to his car was almost impossible. Thank goodness I only had to back up next to West’s Ford Fusion, which wasn’t a big deal.
I set my phone on the dash and checked my mirror before backing up slowly. My cell buzzed, and I turned my head to see who the text was from. The scraping crunch of metal on metal set my teeth on edge. I stomped on the brake and stared at my hands where I’d turned the wheel the slightest bit to the right when I’d checked the text. Son of a… A cold sweat beaded my forehead as I pulled forward and parked. It took me a moment to unclench my hands from the steering wheel. Maybe it wasn’t that bad.
No one had come running, so the crash hadn’t been that loud, which gave me hope. Less sound had to mean less damage. Right? Hands shaking, I undid my seat belt and climbed out to assess the carnage.
My Jeep sat up higher than West’s car, so I’d scraped a foot of his paint and ripped off his passenger-side mirror. It lay on the ground, mostly in one piece. Maybe I could stick it back on like a Lego. Would it snap back into place?
I picked up the mirror and held it up to its former position. Nope. It was broken clean off. Acid surged in my stomach. Now what? Shit. I was going to have to confess. And since I couldn’t knock on his door, I was going to have to call him.
Damn. Damn. Damn. It’s okay. I can do this. Not a big deal. Right… I dialed his number.
“Nina?” He sounded surprised to hear from me.
“Hey, West. I wanted to let you know…we can drive to school whatever time you want tomorrow.”
“What are you talking about? Why would we ride together?”
“Well, the damage isn’t bad,” I said, stalling for time. “It’s your passenger-side mirror, really, or lack of one.”
“What in the hell are you— Oh my God…did you hit my car?”
I could hear the sound of him moving, and then the front door flew open. He stalked down the driveway.
“I’m sorry.” I held the mirror out to him.
He snatched it from my hands and stared at it like he couldn’t believe what he was holding. “You hit my car.”
“I did.” This was when me not lying really sucked.
He walked over to his car and ran his hand down the area where the paint was scratched, and then he inspected where the mirror used to be. I bit back a nervous laugh when he tried pressing it back against the car the same way I had.
“We could try some glue, or maybe duct tape,” I offered.
“Duct tape?” He practically spit the words out at me. “You want to duct tape my mirror back on my car?”