Sixteen year-old Alexis Hartman wants nothing more than to smoke pot and play guitar. Getting high and escaping into her music seems the perfect solution when her world is shattered by her sister's death. But when she's arrested for possession a second time, life couldn't get any more complicated. Her mother's breakdown is the final straw that forces Lexi to spend the summer on the West Coast with her grandmother, Maddie. When Lexi steps over the line one too many times, she's certain her life is over and that she's destined for juvenile detention—until Maddie decides that desperate measures are called for. A three week Mediterranean cruise—for seniors.
Eighteen year-old Ethan Kaswell, the poster child for good sons, is stranded on the cruise when his father, a famous heart surgeon, is called away. With his own life perfectly mapped out, Ethan finds Lexi's unpredictability irresistible. Although he's smart enough to see that there is no future in falling for a “vacation crush,” Lexi's edgy dark side draws him like an anchor to the bottom of the sea. As the two embark on the journey of a lifetime, will Lexi mess this up too? Or will she finally learn to love someone—even when she has to let them go?
“What do you want to do now?” I asked, flopping onto a lounge chair. I hiked my long skirt up over my knees and planted my feet firmly on the deck on each side, raised the back of the chair from a reclining position, and settled myself in, the excess cotton material gathered in front of me. Unconcerned about my un-lady-like image, I gazed out over the dark water. The half-moon had risen and its light cast a shimmering glow on the sea, turning the sky above a soft twilight blue.
“That depends on what you’re up for.” Surprising me, Ethan straddled the lounge chair and sat facing me, blocking my view so that all I could see was him with a backdrop of sparkling moonlight dancing on the water beyond him. He took my hands and I shivered.
“Are you cold? We can go in.”
“No. I’m okay. I was just thinking about how the moon makes you look a little ghostly.”
He smiled and then his expression grew serious. He chewed his lip for a moment and then his features softened. “And I was thinking that you look like an angel in the moonlight. You’re really beautiful, Lexi.”
I studied our entwined fingers, my heart thundering in my chest. “My name is really Ali…Alexis. Maddie thought Lexi was a more grown up name.”
“You seem more like a Lexi to me, too.” My gaze was drawn to his full lips, which had turned up into a crooked grin, revealing a deep set dimple in one cheek.
“I guess it doesn’t matter. Lexi is fine. Maybe Maddie’s right. Maybe it’s time I grow up—start acting more like an adult.” Uncertain of where I was planning to take my new found boldness, I slid closer, my heart racing. Our knees touched, and I leaned in, half expecting him to back away or tell me he wasn’t interested. Instead, he met me half way, closing the distance and settling his lips on mine.
Warmth surged up my neck and heated my face, but I didn’t care. All I could focus on was the feel of his mouth, warm and inviting. His fingers slipped through my hair and gripped the back of my head, holding me steadily against him. Every nerve ending in my body came alive, making me wonder if he was having the same thoughts about me that I was having about him.
I’d heard that teenage boys thought about sex something like seventeen times a minute. If that was true, he and I were definitely on the same page.
Dark Side by Kelly Clarkson
Not a Bad Thing by Justin Timberlake
Aint' it Fun by Paramore
All of Me by John Legend
True Colors by Cindi Lauper
Crocodile Rock by Elton John
Award winning author of young adult books, Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer, and Yogi, PJ Sharon has been called “a powerhouse of positivity and productivity.” Her mantra is “find balance in all things, and live every day to the fullest.” A black belt in the art of Shaolin Kempo Karate, avid kayaker, and singer of Italian art songs, PJ has two grown sons and lives with her brilliant engineer husband in the Berkshire Hills of Western MA where she writes YA…because every teen deserves a hopefully ever after.
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