Cami Wimberley has a plan, and that plan includes no room for boys—especially the big time party animal, Hunter Wilder, no matter how handsome and charismatic he is. She’s beautiful, a senior, extremely talented, gets good grades, and is working her way toward her dream college to be a musical theater major. Everything is perfect.
Hunter Wilder does not want a girlfriend—that would complicate his life way too much right now. He especially doesn’t want this girl, Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes, so how come he can’t keep his eyes off her? He tries to keep her at arms length, but fate seems to keep pushing them together. Before long, it’s obvious to everyone they’re crushing on each other.
As sparks begin to fly, Hunter finds himself sinking deeper and deeper into hot water. Soon he’s scrambling to keep Cami from discovering his dark secret—one that can destroy their entire relationship.
Life is good. Cami is away at her dream college with her dream man by her side. She thinks if she can just get through with meeting Hunter’s family that everything will be perfect. Little does she know that life’s about to turn upside down again when Hunter is called to infiltrate a gang whose specialty is chopping and racing cars. His contact happens to be a beautiful curvy girl who is the gang leader’s sister and he has to pose as her boyfriend. Communication with Cami is basically forbidden to help keep his cover.
Hunter, however, can’t stand being away from the girl he really loves, and he sneaks away one night to meet her across town. He doesn’t know the gang leader, Ripper, has suspicions about him already and he’s following him to see where he goes. He surprises Hunter and Cami, and Hunter quickly introduces her as his cousin who is having some car trouble. He thinks all is well until he discovers he has one serious problem. Ripper likes Cami and decides to pursue her, drawing her into the same dangerous world he’s supposed to bring down.
Can he keep his cover without having Cami get caught in the crossfire? Will the two of them survive having to watch each other fake it in the arms of another? Or will their hot stolen kisses destroy everything?
She looked amazing in her green dress, her soft, red hair falling in waves down to brush her bare-skinned shoulders. She was showing a fair amount of leg—something I hadn’t really seen her do before—and I didn’t mind one bit. She reminded me of some sort of green apple just ripe for the picking.
I grunted internally, realizing I was comparing her to fruit again. What was up with that? You know exactly what’s up with that, my mind countered, but I couldn’t force myself to look away. I knew she wasn’t for me, though somehow, it didn’t seem to matter much at the moment.
“Enjoying the eye candy again, I see,” Russ said, joining me after getting his snack.
“Who? Clayton Bradley? I don’t think so.”
Russ snorted. “Yeah, we’re both aware that’s not who you were looking at. Dude, if you like her that much just go get her. You know you want her.”
I shook my head and turned in the direction of the theaters. “Can’t.”
“Why not?” Russ pressured, trying to understand. “You got a girlfriend back home? Or are you saying you play for the other team?”
I snorted. “I just can’t, okay? No girlfriend for me, period.”
“So you’re going to lust after her from afar?” He elbowed me as he took a bite of his giant popcorn.
“Something like that.”
We found ourselves a seat at the back of the theater. I liked sitting here so I could watch what everyone around me was doing while I was waiting for the movie to start.
“This is just a crying shame,” Russ said.
“Sitting on the back row and not having any honeys to make out with in the dark. I need a date soon.”
“Good luck with that,” I replied. “Maybe you should try actually talking to a girl. That might help.”
“Oh, look who’s Mr. Advice all of a sudden—he who stares and drools from afar.”
“At least I have an actual babe to drool over instead of just wishful thinking.”
“Ah ha! You just admitted it. You do like her!” His face was lit up like he’d just discovered electricity or something.
And dang it, he was right. “Eat your popcorn like a good boy and leave me alone.” I grinned.
He laughed. “There’s not a good bone in this body.”
“That sucks for you,” I countered with a sly smile. “Good bones are all I have lately.”
Russ choked, spewing popcorn out into the aisle.
“That’s just sick, man,” I chuckled with a shake of my head, observing the chewed popcorn on the back of the chair in front of him.
“It’s your fault. Don’t blame me.” He took a napkin, wiping his mouth and then the chair.
“You’re never gonna get a girl like this. Maybe I should show you how it’s done.”
“Well, master, here’s your chance.” Russ gestured into the theater, and I saw Cami and Clay enter together.
I stiffened immediately as I watched them. They chose some seats a few aisles down from where we were. Clay put his drink in the cup holder and leaned in close to her. Cami clearly shifted away from him.
This caused an alarm to go off in my head. She was obviously uncomfortable with his close proximity. I wondered if he’d tried to hit on her, and she didn’t like it. It was as if they weren’t the same people I’d watched in class together. Clay had changed his appearance, and it seemed to have the opposite effect of what he was going for—changing the dynamic between them completely.
He bent closer and whispered something in her ear and she leaned even farther. There was definitely something bad going on between them.
I reached over, grabbed Russ’s popcorn, and got up.
“Hey, where you going?” he asked, looking confused.
“I hope you don’t mind spending a little alone time with me.”
Cami smiled. “Are you kidding? This was the best idea ever! Besides, I’ve been starved for time with you.” She flopped back onto the park grass—our impromptu picnic from Francesca’s spread in between us. I’d been unable to resist the opportunity to recreate our first date. “I can’t believe you got a whole strawberry pie too!”
I chuckled and leaned against the tree providing us a nice shady spot. “I know it’s your favorite.”
“But a whole one? There’s no way we’ll be able to eat it all.”
I loved seeing the smile across her face. She hadn’t been this relaxed in weeks. “Then give what’s left to your parents, or better yet, take it home with you as a treat for later.”
She sighed heavily, her smile slipping. “Do we have to go back? I say we forget about everything and stay here forever. I’ve missed all this.” She waved her arm in a broad arc.
“What? This park?” I teased, trying to get her smile to return.
She rolled to her side so she was facing me, propping her head with her hand. “No. Everything. Home, this town, us—how we were in this town—I miss all that.”
“Shall I call Mr. Adams?” I joked. “We could see if he’ll give us the keys to the darkroom, and we can go make out in it.” I winked at her.
She giggled. “That was heaven! I had no idea what I was getting myself into back then, did I?”
“Do you regret it?” I asked before taking a sip of my shake.
She sat up and crawled over, climbing into my lap. She placed her palms on the sides of my face and stared deep into my eyes. “Not for even one second. I love you.”
I’d never get tired of hearing those words from her. I set my shake in the grass and slid my hands around her hips. “Say it again.” I stared at her beautiful mouth, thinking about all the things I liked about her lips.
“I love you,” she said again, obliging me.
“I love you too. Now kiss me.”
She grinned. “You’re bossy today, aren’t you?”
“Are you going to kiss me or not?” I arched an eyebrow, staring at her seriously.
She bit her bottom lip and appeared to ponder. “On our first date here I spent the whole time wishing you’d kiss me with those amazing lips of yours. You fought it, though, and wouldn’t give in. In honor of that day, I think I’ll decline your order and make you suffer like I had to.”
“Wrong answer,” I replied, moving quickly so she was pinned on the ground underneath me. I lifted her hands above her head and held her wrists with one of mine. “If I remember correctly, you wouldn’t admit you liked me, and I had to do some tickling.”
“Don’t you dare tickle me again, Hunter!” She squirmed beneath me causing my body to react instantly. “If you’ll remember, you didn’t win that battle either.”
“I did win the battle—just not on that day—but I’ll win today.” I grinned as I tickled her side.
She jerked and squealed. “Oh, I’m gonna kill you!”
“Kiss. You’re gonna kiss me. Get your words right.” I laughed as she tried to twist away. “Give it up, Goody.”
“Fine! You win!” she gasped. “I’ll do it!”
I stopped immediately, letting her catch her breath for a moment. “See? That wasn’t so difficult, was it?” I grinned triumphantly.
“You’re a . . . a . . . pig!” she countered.
I laughed. “I’ve been called way worse. Besides, pigs are thick skinned, so you’re gonna have to try harder.”
She groaned and rolled her eyes. “Just shut up and kiss me already.”
“Gladly.” I kept her hands pinned above her as I lowered my mouth to hers. Sparks exploded the moment our lips touched. I’d intended the contact to be soft and subtle, but it quickly built into something hot and fiery. It amazed me how every time felt like the first time. I’d never known chemistry like this with any other girl, and I wasn’t sure what it was, but Cami seemed capable of turning my insides out. She made intensely lustful thoughts tumble rapidly through my head every time she was near. All I could ever think of was claiming her, keeping her, making her mine in every way possible.
My lips traveled to her neck, and she moaned my name as I gently sucked at her skin. The scent of her hair was like an intoxicating drug—everything about her smelled amazing. I wanted to lick her—taste her everywhere. She turned her head to the side and arched her back. I slid my arm underneath her, crushing her tightly to me.
“I’ve missed holding you like this,” I whispered in her ear. “I need to be able to touch you. This separation has been killing me.” I nibbled at her skin again.
She sighed. “I know. I’ve missed you too.”
The sound of children running and laughing close-by broke into my thoughts, and I quickly released her, rolling to my side, sad that it seemed like I always had to pull away from her. I propped my head and stared at her, running my fingers through her gorgeous red hair. “You’re so beautiful.” My gaze locked with hers. “I wish I could carry you off someplace the two of us could be alone together.”
She linked her fingers with mine, and I lifted them to my lips, kissing them each tenderly. She sighed and closed her eyes. “Are you sure we can’t run away together right now?”
“It’s very tempting,” I agreed. It would be so easy to pick up and leave everything behind.
She sighed again. “I can see the wheels turning in your head. Forget I even brought it up, Hunter. You’re too dang trustworthy, and we both know it. There’s no way you’d abandon this case before it’s through. Your word is as good as gold.”
I chuckled. “Why do you make it sound like that’s a bad thing?”
She smiled. “I don’t mean too. I’m just tired of being frustrated.”
I laughed harder. “I give you my word—I promise to take care of any and all frustrations you may have.”
She rolled her eyes and gave me a pointed look. “Your selflessness overwhelms me.”
I lifted a shoulder casually, laughter still escaping me. “What can I say? I aim to please.”Lacey Weatherford was born in Ft. Meade Maryland while her father was serving in the military. She has been a life long resident of Arizona, spending most of her time growing up in the small rural town of Clay Springs.
It was while she was attending the small country school in Clay Springs, that she read her first "big" book at the age of eight. It was a Nancy Drew novel and Lacey was instantly hooked. She read every book that she could find in the series and decided that she wanted to write stories too.
Lacey spent a lot of time at the library from that time forward, even volunteering in her later teen years and early twenties. She would don a crazy clown outfit for the Friends of the Library fundraisers in an effort to help get the new town library built.
When she and her husband moved away from the area, Lacey took the opportunity to take some creative writing classes at the local college to help further along her interests. Several years later, they were blessed with the opportunity to move back to Clay Springs with their family. The town had finally succeeded in building their library and Lacey had the opportunity to be President of the Friends of the Library for a very short time, before relocating.
Lacey and her family still live in the White Mountains of Arizona, where she continues to write young adult novels that have a fantasy/fairytale or paranormal bent to them, as well as being sure to include a great romantic storyline!
SMITTENI am so glad that I signed up for this tour. I have had Crush on my TBR for so long and because so many things got in my way, I just never got to it.
Well, I am kicking myself in the rear because I haven't read this book before now.
Every single moment was AWESOME!!
I really liked Cami. Even though she is young, she holds her own with her wit, her humor, and just her overal compassion. She tries her best to see the good in everyone and in so many ways that is her downfall...
But never fear, Hunter is here to make sure she is taken care of...
Boy, did he steal my heart...Even with all the mystery surrounding who he was...and let me tell you, the suspense of what is happening centers around his mystery....
This book was filled with action, keeping you on your toes, wondering exactly what is going to happen next. Although I figured some things out before they were revealed, Crush was an exciting, fun read. I was literally on the edge of my seat up to the very end waiting to find out whether or not things are going to work out...I highly recommend...
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