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Series: Regan Stone, Book 1
Print Length: 252 pages
Publisher: Dirt Road Press; 2 edition (October 11, 2016)
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Falling in love was never part of the plan!
Sixteen-year-old Regan Stone wants nothing more than to escape her gossipy hometown and study marine science. Every choice she makes is deliberate, from her dual credit classes to the out-of-state university she’s selected. She has a plan.
When Lane, her best-friend-since-forever, admits his feelings for her, Regan’s careful plans begin to unravel. Lane’s admission unleashes her own hidden feelings. Now that they’ve surfaced, she’s not sure she can ever let him go. Lane may just be everything she never knew she wanted. But how can Regan choose between following her dreams and taking a chance at love?
If you’re a fan of coming-of-age rollercoaster romances, pick up Summer’s End today!
Read An Excerpt from Summer's End
Lane drives me home. It’s been a good afternoon overall. Other than I couldn’t keep my eyes off him at the river bottoms. As soon as we leave Tobi’s, he asks me what my problem is.
“Why were you avoiding me all day?”
I look down at the floorboard. “I wasn’t avoiding you.”
Lane glances at me sideways, trying to keep his eyes on the road in front of him as he drives. “You wouldn’t look at me. I call that avoiding.”
I let out a loud exasperating sigh and look out the passenger window.
“See, you won’t even look at me now.”
I twist my lips and roll my eyes. He’s half-right.
“I’ll pull over and wait all night for you to tell me.” He brakes and slows the truck.
“Fine.” I take a deep breath. “It’s your own fault.”
“How’s it my fault?” He throws one hand up in the air.
“You’re the one that told me I stare at your half-naked body. Our time at the river bottoms was the only time I tried to ignore you today.” I keep blabbering, though I know the skin on my neck and face are turning a shade of red. “Maybe you should’ve kept your shirt on and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.” When I finish, my voice a little higher than normal.
A smile spreads across his mouth. He quickly tries to fight it by biting his bottom lip, but it doesn’t work. At least he drops the questions and we drive with the windows down and the radio on. My hair is such a mess anyway, there’s no hope of salvaging it without a wash and plenty of conditioner.
Lane laughs out loud. “I’m sorry, but your hair is so crazy right now. I can’t help it.” He throws his head back and laughs some more.
I know it’s got to look like a beehive. I reach my hands up and act like I’m smoothing it down. It’s so ratty it’s rough against my palms. “What’s wrong with my hair?” I try to act serious, but I start laughing too. The weight from the tension between us lifts, and everything is right between us again.
I prop a barefoot up on the dash and lean my head against the door, watching the fields of corn and soybeans trail off through the side mirror. Heat and humidity bring out the distinct scent of the corn leaves—a reminder it’s the end of summer. Moments like this, when I’m taking in all that I love about living here, is when a war breaks out inside me—because right now, this very moment … is perfect. Riding down a country road, bare feet on the dash, next to my best friend who is very nice to look at and, now that I know, very nice to kiss. It’s where I want to be. Look at him—arm resting on the edge of the door in the sun, shades on, sandy hair blowing around the edges of his cap, uninhibited—singing to the radio. He’s so beautiful.
This is but a moment, though. How could I stay here in this cage? No expanding my horizons, just getting older and drowning in gossip. The Fanigers will never stop hassling Susanna and her family. Since I’m her cousin, that includes me. I can’t hang around and take that crap for the rest of my life. The weight on my chest returns, even heavier than before. I rub my sternum to alleviate the pain. Besides, there’s no ocean here, no marine science careers. Am I going to let a few perfect moments overshadow years of oppressive banter and gossip if I stay? I’ll never get away from here if I don’t do it as soon as I can.
We turn off the main road, and Lane clicks off the radio. “What are you thinking about?” My shoulders slump even more. I don’t know how he knows, but he always knows when I’m thinking about the future and leaving.
“I was just absorbing the sights and smells of summer’s end.”