WRECKLESS, by Bria Quinlan
I’m not going to lie, even in my head Jake swaggered onto the page. When I first met him I thought he had an abundance of cocky. It took getting to know him to see that wasn’t it. Oh, sure. Jake has a confidence that’s surprising until you know what he’s been through. But there’s something else going on there too.
People often ask me who my characters are. It took me awhile to get used to that because they’re all just… them. And Jake was no exception. At one point in the book, he does something that made no sense to me at all. I was literally looking at the screen and asking, “What was that? That was stupid. Why did you do that for no reason?” Later, after I got through to almost the end of the book and found out all the whys and wheres and hows that were Jake I realized this one, tiny, little, itty-bitty thing he did was the key to the turning point of everything else.
Confession: He tricked me.
The first time we meet Jake, Bridget has just caught her boyfriend and best friend together and his hiding from them in the parking lot… And then along comes Tanner (the now ex-boyfriend), looking to explain things and apologize. A few minutes later, while she’s at her lowest, Jake swaggers onto the scene and takes over.
Not the best time to meet the hero… butt in the air, humiliated, hiding in the dirt. Classy, Bridget. Real classy…
I dove between two trucks and squatted next to the front tire of a beat-up, black Chevy. The music and the lights continued to pound away just over the top of the nearest concession trailer while my own breathing huffed in and out loud enough to be heard over them.
I heard Tanner's voice off to the right, close to the edge of the fair. I wanted to stand up and see him, to see how close he was. I wanted to step into the lane and somehow let him make everything better. I wanted to go home, to start the day over.
I peeked around the back of the tire, trying to see past the bottom of the truck. The only thing in my line of vision was the long shadows that flashed in and out from the lights of the Tilt-a-Whirl.
“Are you okay?” a deep voice broke through my panicked.
I glanced up from where I’d practically crawled behind the oversized tire. A guy about my age in a dark t-shirt and dark military style hat came around the front of the hood and stopped right where my butt was waving in the air. Looking closer, he was the intense guy in the Hawks group I'd had to push through. The one who’d stepped aside but hadn’t bothered looking at me.
He was looking at me now as if I might have a keeper nearby he could hand me off to. “Is everything okay?” he asked again.
Did I look okay? I really needed him to move along. I sucked in another breath, hoping he’d just go wherever he was going.
“Are you…?” He glanced around, his gaze running along the edges of the parking lot. “Are you stuck?”
I shook my head, hoping that would be enough of an answer for him. Instead, he just squatted next to me, staring like he might be able to spot my issues if he looked hard enough. “Do you need a ride?”
I shook my head again, tempted to shoo him away. “Nope. I'm fine.”
As if I was going to get in a truck with a stranger.
“Bridget!” Tanner's voice broke through my huffing.
When was he going to give up? Why even bother trying to track me down? It wasn't like an “I’m sorry” was going to fix this. There are mistakes, and then there was betrayal. That line is way thicker than Tanner seemed to realize.
“Bridget.” His voice sounded edged with a tinge of panic. “I'm sorry.”
Oh, for crying out loud.
“Come out and let's talk about this.” There was a long pause.
The Fairview guy stood and settled in against the truck, one arm resting across the top of the hood while he watched me. I was—for once—more interesting than reality television, apparently.
“How are you going to get home?” Tanner’s voice was closer, but muffled like he was turned facing the other direction, still looking for me. “Come out. I'll drive you home and we'll talk about this.”
I closed my eyes against the tears that were falling. We'll talk about it? What the heck was there to say?
Intense Fairview Guy turned away, but stayed where he was hovering next to me. I started to panic but then I heard foot steps coming our way.
“Dude, have you seen a girl come this way?” Tanner's voice was moving toward me. I could see his legs a few feet beyond the far wheel.
I considered actually rolling under the truck and realized that, sadly, I wasn't above it.
“Nope.” The guy looked down at me. “Do you mind, though? My girl’s getting sick. Beer and the Zipper. Not a good combo.”
Tanner stopped. He tapped one foot and pivoted side to side before starting to turn away. “Sorry, man. Good luck with your girl.”
I leaned over to watch his legs get farther away. He stopped at the perimeter of the fair and then wandered back into the crowd at the edge of the lights. Apparently explaining cheating on me was only worth about three minutes of his time.
“I take it you’re Bridget?”
I nodded. There really wasn’t a lot of reason—or a way—to deny it.
The guy studied me from his six-foot-something. I was glad for the dark, realizing I was a mess…well, at least more of a mess than normal.
“You sure you don't want that ride, darlin’?”
Playing it cool, protecting her from further humiliation, offering her escape. And who can really turn down his hotness or his cool drawl? Bridget never stood a chance.
So, what’s the first thing you notice about a guy – SHARE! I’ll be doing a random drawing of all those great comments for a copy of Wreckless.
Wreckless... Where obsession and rebellion collide.
Bridget Larson's never met a rule she didn’t like. Drawing inside the lines isn’t just a way of life – it’s the only way she can make it through the day. And through it all her BFF Leah has stood inside the lines with her through the unspeakable. Then Bridget catches her boyfriend with Leah--and the last thing on her mind is staying safe.
Salvation... A bad boy and his jacked up pickup.
Jake Moore was everything she needed and nothing he claimed to be. With one night of freedom and a spontaneously scribbled Rebellion List, Jake leads Bridget down every path she thought was forbidden... And into the one place she'd thought was lost to her forever.
Golden Heart finalist Bria Quinlan writes books for teens that take hard topics and make you laugh through your tears. Some people call the issue books. Some people call them romantic comedies. Bria calls them what-life-looks-like.
Her stories remind you that life is an adventure not to be ignored. You can contact her find her at www.briaquinlan.com OR on twitter @briaquinlan.
She also writes sweet & sassy Contemporary Romances as Caitie Quinn.
Both personalities are represented by the awesomely amazing Laird Lauren Macleod of the Clan.... Oh, wait. Of Strothman Agency.