Keeping Her Secret
(Endless Summer series)
Author: Sarah Nicholas
Release Date: August 22, 2016
Genre: YA Contemporary F/F Romance
Two girls. One kiss. The last person Riya Johnson expected to run into at her new summer camp is Courtney Chastain—her childhood best friend and the girl who broke her heart after a secret, mind-blowing, life-altering kiss. She definitely didn’t expect to be sharing a bunk bed with her for four long weeks. Courtney has what every girl wants—she’s beautiful, rich, and the object of every boy’s desire at Camp Pine Ridge. Too bad none of them make her feel an iota of what Riya’s kiss did all those years ago. But Courtney needs to uphold appearances at all costs—even if it means instigating an all-out prank war with Riya as her main target. Neither girl can stop thinking about the other...but that doesn’t mean they can give up past hurts and take a chance on a future together.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains drinking, sexual situations, and a fairy-tale romance sure to make your heart melt.
A breeze ruffled her ponytail and Riya's gaze snapped to the door. Courtney strolled in like a freaking Nordic Goddess with her head held high, cheeks flushed and skin glowing. Sunkissed legs stretched from a pair of sparkly sandals up for miles and miles until finally disappearing under the hem of low-hung white shorts. Flashes of smooth stomach teased as her pink top moved with every graceful step.
Riya's heart pounded in her chest. Courtney Chastain was trying to kill her. That outfit was a perfectly crafted murder weapon. Checking to make sure her mouth didn't hang open, Riya tore her gaze from Courtney and swallowed. Hard.
Beside her, Colt slid down the bench, away from Riya. Riya didn't know why until Courtney froze five feet from them. She glanced at Riya then shook her head at her brother. Colt rolled his eyes in response, patting the sliver of bench between them.
"Miss Chastain, please take your seat so we may continue," Bob Fazio called, a small chuckle breaking through his voice.
It was then Riya noticed she wasn't the only one distracted by Courtney's entrance. Excluding her brother, every boy in the room aged twelve to eighteen stared in their direction—and some of the girls, too.
Riya watched a wide range of emotions pass over Courtney's face in less than a second before she straightened her shoulders in some kind of resolve. Her hair tumbled to her elbows in gentle waves. Sighing, she tossed the golden strands over her shoulder before spinning and squeezing her hips between Riya and Colt.
The welcome talk continued, but Riya only caught fleeting fragments of the briefing. Something about the daily schedule and a talent show on the last day. Approximately 98 percent of her attention narrowed in on the seven inches of Courtney's white-silk skin pressed against Riya's outer thigh.
Riya took a deep breath to steady herself, but caught the sweet rose petal scent wafting from Courtney. She inhaled one deep breath, reveling in the heavenly smell, before shaking her head.
Ridiculous. She was being completely ridiculous.
She'd never let anyone have such an overwhelming effect on her. Certainly not someone like Courtney, someone who couldn't—or wouldn't—return her affections. Someone who had broken her heart four years ago and never once looked back.
Riya stared at her own shoelaces, actively un-focusing on the girl sitting next to her.
Trying to, anyway.
Next thing she knew, everyone stood around her and the room buzzed with conversation. The welcome event was over.
"Earth to Riya."
Sarah is a 31-year-old YA author who currently lives in Orlando, FL. She believes that some boys are worth trusting, all girls have power, and dragons are people too.
She's a proud member of the Gator Nation and has a BS in Mechanical Engineering, but has switched careers entirely. She now works as an Event Coordinator for a County Library. She also blogs at YAtopia.
In YA, we talk a lot about book boyfriends, (with good reason - HELLO Four, the Darkling, Daemon Black, Kaidan Rowe, Po, and the ultimate, Mr. Darcy! Get at me). But what about the lovely ladies? In Keeping Her Secret, I would love for readers to swoon over Riya (because I do!) and even Courtney (if reformed mean girls who have bucked 17 years of environmental homophobia are your thing).
So here’s my top five list of swoon worthy book girlfriends:
1) Beka Cooper from Tamora Pierce’s Beka Cooper series
I’ve been in love with Beka Cooper since the first chapter of Terrier. Beka is a rookie with the law-enforcing Provost's Guard, and she's been assigned to the toughest part of the city. Oh man, do I love a lady who isn’t afraid to dive into danger head-first and then get herself out of it. She’s smart, respectful of those who deserve it, and doesn’t take any crap from fools. While she only dates boys in the books, I don’t believe she ever says she doesn’t date girls, so I think I have a chance!
2) Mary Carlson from Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown
Quiet confidence is my crush kryptonite and Mary Carlson has it in spades. She is so good and sweet and kind and goes after what she wants with a comforting steadiness that makes me weak in the knees.
3) Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”
I have always been a sucker for ladies who can tear you apart with their wit and words. I admit, I don’t think I’m a worthy verbal-sparring partner for Lizzy, but I would sure love to try. And it has always been my headcanon that Eliza is of the “You fall in love with a person, not their gender” camp.
4) Kaisa, the King’s Huntress from Malinda Lo’s Ash
*sigh* Can I just get a moment to revel in my mind’s image of this noblewomen and huntress? I fell for her the moment we saw her grieve so deeply for the stag she had just killed. It’s been six years since I read this book, but that first kiss between Kaisa and Ash still has me swooning.
5) Leila from Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
Leila is a mess and I totally adore her. She’s got an undefinable charm and self-deprecating humor that goes just far enough. Her lack of self-confidence gets her into trouble when she lets Saskia lead her on for too long, but that only pushes her to become who she needs to be.
I could go on all day, but that’s my top 5. What are some of your favorite crush-worthy literary ladies? (BRB, getting my TBR list ready for some additions!)