Today we're excited to spotlight Kissing Lessons by Sophie Jordan.
Read on for more about Sophie and her book, an excerpt, plus an giveaway!
Meet Sophie Jordan!
Sophie Jordan is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of Avon historical romances. She lives in Houston with her family. Visit her online at www.sophiejordan.net, on Twitter @SoVerySophie, and on Instagram @sosophiejordan.
Meet Kissing Lessons!
A steamy contemporary YA romance by New York Times best-selling author Sophie Jordan about a girl with a bad reputation giving lessons on how to attract guys for some extra cash—only to fall for her client’s golden-boy brother. For fans of Kami Garcia, Katie McGarry, and Netflix’s Sex Education.
Wild, beautiful, and (as rumor has it) experienced, Hayden Vargas doesn’t have time for love or relationships. She’s learned the hard way that the only person you can count on is yourself, and she’s hell-bent on earning enough money to leave her small, judgy Texas town as fast as possible. So when nerdy Emmaline Martin offers to pay Hayden for lessons in seduction, the money is so easy, there must be a catch. Enter the catch: Emmaline’s older brother, popular, all-around nice guy™ Nolan Martin, who doesn’t want his sister’s reputation tarnished by the school’s resident bad girl.
But Hayden should know that looks can be deceiving. Nolan may seem like a golden boy, but like Hayden, he has a few secrets of his own. And the more he meddles in her lessons with Emmaline, the more these polar opposites clash—and the more sparks fly. Turns out Nolan may have some lessons to teach Hayden, but only if she’s willing to learn.
~ Excerpt ~
“What did you wish for?”
Hayden looked down at the mumbling girl. If she went to Travis High School, Hayden had never seen her before, but that wasn’t very surprising. Big school. Lots of faces.
“Come on,” she pressed from where she sat on the ground. “You can tell me.”
“I can’t. You know the rules. If I tell it won’t come true.”
“Rules.” The girl sneered, her top lip curling. The look didn’t seem natural on her. She seemed like the kind of girl who was wearing bows up until recently. “So tired of rules.”
Hayden thought about that for a moment. There weren’t too many rules in her life. Her mom wasn’t the kind of parent that enforced them.
“Yeah?” Hayden really looked at the girl, trying to determine if she was drunk. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes were as bright as sunlit glass, but Hayden didn’t think it had anything to do with alcohol or other substances. And given who her mother was, Hayden knew the signs.
“Yeah.” She straightened her bent leg in a sudden move, almost as though she was kicking at something invisible in front of her. “I mean, it’s bad enough my mom has rules, but then I have my brother breathing down my neck, watching my every move, telling me what to do. He’s there to stop me if I want to step out of line even a teeny bit — which would only be a natural expression of adolescence, am I right?” Her gaze landed on Hayden in hot accusation. “Right?”
A natural expression of adolescence? Who talked like that?
“Right,” Hayden replied, because it seemed the girl wasn’t going to stop until Hayden agreed with her.
“Right.” She nodded, satisfied but still full of fire. “But even when I step out of line just a little bit and decide to have some fun for myself, I can’t. And you know why? Because I’m too green. I run away like a scared little girl. Turns out I am the one standing in my own way of living the life I want.”
Hayden had no idea what was happening. She eyed the gate, ready to dive through and escape.
The girl wasn’t done, however. Still in full rant mode, she stabbed a finger at the house in livid accusation. “I mean, I’m not even considering doing anything as extreme as some people. Did you know there are people at this party right now watching porn in the media room? It’s a porn-watching party!”
The fact that people had a media room was actually more surprising to Hayden than the porn-watching scenario.
“Do you see me doing that?” the girl added, her voice gaining in shrillness.
Hayden shook her head. “No. I see you sitting right here.” She motioned to the area where the girl sat.
“That’s right. I ran from the room like some guy in a ski mask was after me.”The girl sighed deeply and seemed to regain some of her composure. She looked Hayden over for a long moment. “You’re Hayden Vargas,” she said, as though it just dawned on her.
Hayden blinked at the strangeness of this girl knowing her, but Hayden not reciprocating in that knowing. “Uh. Yeah.”
The girl nodded. “I’ve seen you around school. You’ve got a cool look.” She gestured up and down at Hayden.
And that’s why she knew her name? Because she noticed her look? A look that mostly consisted of clothes found at a thrift store?
“Thanks.” What else should she say?
“I’m Emmaline Martin. You don’t know me.” She shrugged. “It’s okay.” She said it like people not knowing her was a long-accustomed condition of her life.
This might go down as one of the strangest conversations she’d ever had, and considering the colorful personalities that drifted in and out of her mother’s life (and thereby her life), that was saying something.
She was about to say goodbye and end it when —
At the sound of her name, the girl on the ground groaned. “Great. He found me.”
From her position, Hayden could still see around the fountain to the house. The king of Travis High himself stood there, hands propped on his hips like he was squared off on the prow of a ship. She’d seen him in the garage when she first arrived, playing Ping-Pong with Dorian like a man possessed. His face had been intense, his body a thing of beauty in motion.
Of course she knew who he was. You couldn’t attend Travis and not know. He was always on the morning news — either for sports or as homecoming king or as a featured member of some club.
He hadn’t given her so much as a glance in the garage earlier tonight or any time before then, but of course she had noticed him. Her pulse always picked up at the sight of him. Her body betrayed her in that regard. Apparently she responded to guys who looked like the lead of some cheesy teen movie. Ugh. She was such a cliché.
He was tall and broad-shouldered, with lush thick hair, smoldering eyes, and a square jaw. That damn square jaw.
Girls drooled over him, and it was entirely justifiable, but she kept her admiration secret. She wadded it up into a ball and stuffed it way down deep. A guy like him would never go for a girl like her. Not thatshe wanted him to like her.
She forced her gaze off him and looked back to Emmaline. Suddenly it clicked.
Martin. Emmaline Martin. They were related. As in, siblings.
Hayden stared down at Emmaline again, noting the slight similarities. The rich brown hair. The shape and position of their eyes. The contour of their eyebrows.
Emmaline was looking up at her with a near-panicked expression on her face. “Is he coming this way?”
No doubt he was her brother.
Hayden looked up again. He was staring directly at her now, his head cocked at an angle. She realized he probably saw her talking to the ground.
Still staring at him, she answered Emmaline, “Yeah. Um. He’s looking right at me and . . . yeah, now he’s headed over here.”
His long strides ate up the ground. She crossed her arms and watched him advance, only mildly affected over the display of hotness headed her way. She’d been around plenty of good-looking guys before. Dorian, with his two-percent-body-fat tennis bod, was in the house right now waiting for her. True, Dorian was not Nolan Martin hot, but he was hot, nonetheless.
Emmaline groaned again, dropping her face into her hands. “Tell him to go away.”
He stopped beside Hayden, giving her a terse nod of acknowledgment before focusing his attention on his sister.
“Emmaline, we’re going to Whataburger.” He stared down at his sister expectantly. When she made no move to get up, he added, “Everybody is ready and waiting.”
She huffed out a breath. “Fiiiiine.” She clambered to her feet, shooting Hayden an apologetic look. “It was nice talking with you, Hayden. Maybe I’ll see you around at school.”
Hayden smiled and nodded, even though she doubted they would be seeing each other around. It was a big school, and they didn’t travel in the same circles. A five-minute conversation wasn’t suddenly going to change that.
Emmaline headed back inside.
Nolan hung behind, looking at Hayden as though he wanted to say something. He’d never said anything to her before, so she couldn’t imagine what he had to say now.
Arms still crossed over her chest, Hayden arched both eyebrows at him. “Yes?”
“I think Dorian is inside looking for you.”
Ah. He was looking out for his boy. He probably thought his buddy was going to get laid tonight and he wanted to help him along. “Well, aren’t you helpful?”
He blinked, clearly picking up on her sarcastic tone and not knowing what to make of her.
They both turned at the sound of his name.
There, standing framed in the light of the patio, was the captain of the cheerleading team and this year’s homecoming queen.
She and Nolan Martin were together often. On the morning announcements. In the halls at school. Hayden had never cared enough to gain confirmation on their status before. It was none of her business. She had her own life. Her own problems.
But she now knew. One look at the girl’s face, at the impatience of her body language, and she knew. Of course they were a real-life couple. The queen and the king. Hayden laughed lightly.
“What’s so funny?” Nolan looked back at her, his expression unreadable. Those deep-set eyes fixed on her, staring intently. She stopped laughing, uncomfortable under his scrutiny.
Butterflies took flight in her stomach.
By: Sophie Jordan
Publisher: HMH BYR
Release Date: June 2nd, 2020
Five winners will receive a copy of Kissing Lessons (Sophie Jordan) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*