Release Date: 03/10/15
Summary from Goodreads:
Happily-ever-after isn’t as happy or forever as Jane Austen makes it look. Just something Georgia Barrett learns when her sharp tongue costs her the only guy she’s ever really cared about: Michael Endicott.
Determined to move on, Georgia lands the lead role in the school’s fall musical. But to survive on stage, she’ll need to learn to express herself without her protective shield of snark. She soon discovers being honest with others means being honest with herself, and the truth is she’s still in love with Michael.
But from the looks of Michael’s new girlfriend, Georgia isn’t the only one who tried to move on. Apparently, some people are just better at it than others. And when Michael and his girlfriend join the cast of the fall musical, Georgia finds out that snark and stage fright are the least of her worries…
We heard Michael’s mom calling from the house, “Michael, phone for you!” and he said, “Well, Georgia and I should get back to the house before we miss lunch … ”
“But I just got here!” Catalina pouted for a second, then said, “Why don’t you go take your call and grab something from the kitchen to bring back so we can catch up? It’ll give me a chance to get to know Georgia—and tell her all your dirty secrets.”
Michael looked at me uncertainly, then back at the house, then back to me. I nodded, albeit reluctantly, so he got up and started walking away. I wanted to stay on that beach blanket and dish with Catalina about as much as I wanted a Sharknado to shoot onto the beach and bite off one of my limbs. At least I’d have a story to tell Cassie later, one that she would actually want to listen to—my afternoon in the sand with my boyfriend’s supermodel summer beach house bestie.
Catalina stretched her impossibly long and tanned legs in front of her and cooed,
“So you and Michael are going out? He makes an excellent boyfriend, doesn’t he? He’s a little stiff at first, but once you loosen him up … ”
I could taste my breakfast in my throat when she said that.
“Michael and I have had a little thing going every summer since I was about fourteen, I guess,” she explained, then gave a sharp little laugh, “Guess not this year!”
She looked at me, all of me, up and down and back again, as if trying to figure out how she’d lost out on her yearly fling to a troll like me. But as uncomfortable as she was making me, I was determined to hold my tongue rather than upset any more of Michael’s family, friends, and assembled guests, lest they send me back over the Bourne Bridge to the mainland—leaving Michael here with Catalina.
“So you and Michael … ?” Her question trailed off; it was too ridiculous to ask.
I nodded and said, “Me and Michael.”
“Wow. I mean, I’m sorry, but … Just—wow. It’s a surprise, that’s all.”
I should have held my tongue. Manually. With both hands. But I just couldn’t.
Before I could stop myself, I said, “Well, it’s part of his community service.”
Her sandy brows drew together over her lowered sunglasses and she looked at me.
“Really?” She drew out the word so that it had about eighteen syllables.
“Yeah. Michael got arrested for passing bad checks. But he was just sentenced to community service since his family knows the judge and all. So he has to take orphan girls with no hope of modelling careers down to the Cape once or twice a summer. And I’m this week’s lucky orphan!”
After a few seconds, she snarled, “Michael would never pass bad checks,” and eyed me with great indignation.
“That was the part of the story you found unbelievable? Not the orphanage for failed models?” I laughed.
“I’m finding this whole situation pretty unbelievable, to tell you the truth.” She shook her head. Don’t you find it an eensy weensy bit surprising yourself?” she asked me and then sat there with two fingers poised like pincers a few millimeters apart to indicate the “eensy weensy-ness” of my chances of being with Michael.
“What’s that, Catalina? Your cup size before the surgery?” I blurted out—just as Michael showed up.
“Everything okay here?” he asked after he dropped a cloth shopping bag filled with some crusty bread, cheese, and a bunch of big green grapes onto the towel.
I waited for Catalina to burst into wounded tears. But she chirped, “Georgia is sooo funny,” as if we had just been laughing and braiding each other’s hair in one of history’s finest moments of girl bonding.
Interesting ploy.Stephanie Wardrop grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania, a town mostly famous for being a railroad card in Monopoly. After giving up on her childhood goal of becoming a pirate, she decided to become a writer but took a detour through lots of college and grad school and ended up teaching writing and British and American literature. She's the author of the Swoon Romance e-novella series Snark and Circumstance, based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and lives in western New England with her husband, kids, cats, and gecko.
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