How do you cope when the people you care for hurt you the most? When the way you feel on the outside, smothers you on the inside. And when you are left to face your demons alone, will you learn that only you have the power to overcome them?
Charlie has never had it easy. Between the constant moving and the incessant fat comments and jokes from her father, her self-worth is nonexistent. Her reflection in the mirror shows her nothing but a plain Jane. Music is the only thing that keeps her sanity in check.
Charlie catches the eye of the town star quarterback, Maverick. With her curves, her brunette hair, and the voice of an angel, Maverick has never met anyone like her. Everything that is different about Charlie just makes Maverick like her more. Unfortunately, Charlie doesn’t see it herself.Proving it to her may deem harder than he thinks, especially when tragedy strikes and tears them apart.
Now standing on her own two feet she may finally learn exactly who she is, what’s she’s capable of and how very un plain Jane she really is.
I’m pressed firmly against him, and my hands rest on the hardness of his muscled chest. The nearness of him is intoxicating. My heart speeds up with the knowledge of what is inevitably going to happen next. Right now, I don’t care how long I’ve known him, or what the usual rules of dating dictate.
We are staring at each other, eye to eye. “I’m going to kiss you now, Charlie,” Maverick whispers.
At that moment, all I can do is nod. No words were going to be coming out of this mouth; it was going to be used for other things.
Maverick moves his arms from around my waist, gently cups my face with his hands, and tips my head back some. He places his lips on mine, and it feels as if time is standing still. The kiss starts out oh so slowly, and as we find our rhythm, it begins to increase in pressure and intensity. My arms, having a mind of their own, begin to wrap around his neck and pull him even closer, although I’m not sure how that is even possible. I honestly didn’t think we could get any closer together than we already were. Maverick kisses me like I am everything, like I am his last dying breath. I have never been kissed like this before.
I finally draw away from him to catch my breath. “That was…” Maverick looks me in the eyes. “Wow.”
Will starts chuckling, “Yeah, yeah, I know. I could tell. You forget, I’ve known you since diapers. I have to say though, Maverick, I’ve never seen you so, so….Twitterpainted.”
Nice. A Disney reference.
“You ass,” I laugh, and playfully punch him in the arm and grab him into a headlock. Of course, it doesn’t faze him and he’s laughing, just like the tool he is. I let go and he finally stops laughing and turns serious, like the switching of a light.
“Nah, seriously dude, I can tell you like her. She’s hot Maverick, and seems really nice. She also doesn’t seem very into herself, which is rare. Plus, I also saw her walking with Tori earlier. So I know she’s got to be cool.”
I instantly feel a pang of jealousy. I must have gotten a look on my face and Will can read me like a damn book.
“Now, now don’t get all territorial and go pissing all over her. That might turn her off,” he says. I simmer down because I know he still has feelings for someone else. It was just the fact that he noticed. But then again, anyone would notice. How could you not? I just don’t want any competition. The thought of someone else being with her was driving me insane.
I have to make a move and I need to do it soon. However, this was not just any girl. She is different, and I can already sense she is completely clueless as to how others see her. She doesn’t see what Will and I have already noticed. She’s special and I need to be the one to help show her that.
My eyes are glued shut, making it even more difficult for me to wake up. I feel like I need a crow bar just to pry them open. My thoughts instantly drift to the conversation with my parents last night, the reason for the tears that caused my nasty crusted eyes.
Mixed feelings fall to the pit of my stomach and I’m second-guessing myself already. Everything I felt so confident about last night, now seems uncertain.
I drag myself out of bed before anyone can scream and holler at me. I don’t need that first thing in the morning. Last night was more than enough.
I pick out my clothes, just like I always do, mindful of my weight. Carefully, I apply my makeup, taking a critical look at myself in the mirror. I’m as satisfied as I can be, looking the way I do.
I quietly walk in to the kitchen to grab a bite to eat and hope to avoid all confrontation. Unfortunately, I spot my dad sitting at the bar in his trademark spot, coffee in hand, with the newspaper. My mom is standing at the stove in her bathrobe. I see her stiffen when she hears me, but she doesn’t turn.
The minute I walk in, he lifts his head up from that damn paper and smirks at me, before dropping his head back down to continue his reading. I don’t speak, I’ve already said enough.
I grab my breakfast of choice, a bagel. I decide to grab and go; no toaster, no cream cheese. I can’t stand being in his house a minute longer than I have to be. As if he can sense my weakness, my dad decides to speak. I don’t turn around. I just stand there, waiting to hear his cut. Because I know, that’s all it ever is. I expect it. One more dig.
“Charlie, try not to embarrass yourself with this boy today.”
I don’t respond. I just turn and walk to the front door so I can escape. I need air, I feel like I’m suffocating. The moment I’m outside, I crouch down, put my head between my legs, with my hands on my knees, and take a deep breath. I slowly stand up and start to walk over to Lexie.
I glance over at her shyly. “This is very new for me. I have never been in this situation, and I can’t believe of all people, he wants to date me.”
“Awww, so he asked you finally, huh? How do you feel about that?”
“I like him, I really do, but I’m worried. Like, if he gets to know me he may not like me–at all. Then I’ve put myself out there, only to be crushed and have my heart broken. I don’t think I can handle that. I just don’t think he will like what he discovers if he gets to know me.” I stop walking and just stand there, looking at Tori. I can see the wheels turning in her head.
“First of all, when you say shit like that, it pisses me off. It’s also a dig against me. Like, I don’t have good taste when picking out my friends. I don’t like stupid people. I like you and I knew I would the first time we talked. I’m not sure why you don’t think people are going to like you when they get to know you. Here is what I know, and hear me now because I am not going to say this again. This may be harsh, but I’m always going to be honest and tell you exactly how it is, ’cause that’s me and you deserve that. Plus, that’s how I roll; I will always give it to you straight.” She peers at me before questioning, “Got it?”
At this point all I can do is nod my head that I get it. Man, this chick means business when she gets all riled up. Mental note. Never–piss–off–Tori–ever.
“First off, you are an amazing person. You’re smart, pretty and you don’t even know it, which makes you even prettier in my opinion. You’re absolutely not fat, so please get that out of your head. You actually have a body, which most girls would kill for. I’m as flat in the boob area as the Sahara desert and would love to have something up there, something at least my bra could hold up. Actually Charlie, if I swung that way, I would be on you like white on rice. You would so be my type.” Of course, at this point she’s laughing and I know we’re good. Tori laughing is always a good sign.
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Heather is a devoted mother of three gorgeous boys. She balances spending as much time with them as possible with writing, updating her Into the Night Reviews book blog and her day job. Her love of animals sees her home in Canton, GA bursting with numerous dogs and ferrets.
Heather campaigns passionately for anti-bullying initiatives and has a strong conviction to reduce peoples suffering at the hands of bullies.
A talented singer, who once dreamed of pursuing a career in that field, she has put that goal aside in exchange for her writing. A self proclaimed geek, whatever spare time she has is spent curled on the couch reading and listening to music.
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