Finding Perfect by Kendra C. Highley
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 14, 2015
Amazon ♥ B & N
For “Perfect Paige” Westfeld, today is “D” Day. As in, she just got one on her calculus test. With her dreams of Stanford, her reputation, and her parents’ expectations at stake, Paige needs to find a way to save face before everything she’s worked for goes up in flames.
Ben Franklin (yes, he’s related) is from the wrong side of town, with the wrong clothes and the wrong kind of life. He also knows an opportunity when he sees one, and he’ll be happy to tutor Paige—if she makes him into the kind of guy her best friend, the hottest girl in school, will date.
It’s the perfect arrangement. And Paige is determined not even the inconvenient—and utterly imperfect—attraction simmering between her and Ben will ruin it…
Ben rocked from foot to foot, then said, “Want to come in? I mean, it’s not much, but—”
“I’d love to!” she answered in a rush, before he could change his mind. He raised an eyebrow and Paige almost laughed—he and Zoey could play Eyebrow Battle Royale when they went out. A wave of cold washed over her. She had to stop thinking about how this would all end, otherwise she’d make herself sick. “Well, are we going in or not?”
Looking nervous, he let her in a side door near the carport. The first thing she noticed was the house smelled like… “Brownies? You have brownies? For real? Where are they? Can I have some?”
He hung his keys on a hook by the door and turned to her, smiling. “My mom usually cooks stuff before she goes to work. We can go look.” They went through a tiny utility room—more like a hallway—into a small, clean kitchen. The rest of the room, because it was all one room, had a little dining table and a living area with a sofa and a TV. Paige took all that in with one quick glance, then zeroed in on the baking pan on the range. Speechless, she merely pointed and gave Ben a single, pleading look.
By now he was laughing. “If I’d known you had a brownie fetish, I wouldn’t have worried so much about bringing you home.”
He pulled the foil off the pan and cut her a big square. The first bite was heaven. “Ohhhh my God. Mmmm.”
“Okay, so fetish was the right word. You sound a little like a porn soundtrack.” He cut a brownie for himself. “What, you don’t eat brownies at your house?”
“No.” She had to eat another bite before explaining further. Heavenly bliss on a napkin. “My mother, in addition to being randomly rude—I’m so sorry for the way she acted, by the way, because she was a total bitch. No idea what her problem was. Anyway, she’s a health fiend, and an all-organic champion. No junk food is allowed in the house. When Mom bakes, it’s low-fat, gluten-free, and non-GMO. She wouldn’t even let me buy something good at my own bake sale today. I have to buy candy bars on the way to school and hoard them in my locker if I want a fix.”
“Wow…that sucks,” he said emphatically before popping the rest of his brownie in his mouth.
She nodded, too drunk on chocolate to bother answering.
His expression softened, and he reached out to brush her cheek. Goose bumps covered her arms and she gulped down her brownie. “What is it?” He leaned forward, looking down into her eyes, before smiling. “Crumb on your cheek.”
She flushed head to toe, not sure if she was embarrassed or something else. Good God, she needed some air. Their faces were inches apart. All she’d have to do was lean forward and tilt her mouth up and they’d kiss. Would that bother him? Scare him off? He swayed closer to her and his hand drifted from her face to her shoulder.
No, to hell with worrying about it. She wanted him to kiss her. She turned her face up to his, and their lips were a breath away from touching. He stared down at her, mouth slightly open, and any second now, any second and he would kiss her. Any second…
Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to four self-important cats. This, according to the cats, is her most crucial job.
She believes chocolate is a basic human right, running a 10k is harder than it sounds, and that everyone should learn to drive a stick-shift. She loves monsters, vacations, baking and listening to bad electronica.