Author: Megan Squires
Publication date: October 1st 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
“Life doesn’t come with a blueprint, which makes it hard to have any plans.”
Nineteen-year-old Darby Duncan is finally on her own. Her boyfriend of six years just left for a high-powered summer internship, though in reality he’s been absent for much longer than that. This newfound freedom wasn’t a part of Darby’s plans, but as she’s come to discover, plans only exist on paper, not in reality.
And guys like Torin Westbrook aren’t supposed to exist in reality, either. But he does, with his disheveled curly hair, irresistible dimples, and endearingly quirky habit of reciting quotes from classic movies and ancient thinkers. When Darby meets Torin as a fellow counselor at the survival camp she impulsively applies to, she’s certain his main goal is to turn her world upside-down.
But Darby’s not sure she can adapt to Torin’s ways of viewing his past and the tragedies he’s faced. Because she’s had her own share of heartache, too, and as much as she wants to believe that it’s all been for a purpose, her grief hasn’t allowed her to get to that point. Yet the more Darby is around Torin, the more she craves the freedom to break out of her carefully constructed routine and mindset and fall into something new.
She’s just not sure that she should be falling for Torin along the way.
“I don’t think that stellar tooth brushing of mine should go to waste,” he blurted during a commercial break of Jeopardy. I’d been tucked under the cover of the sheet while he rested on top, so when he turned to face me he’d inadvertently pulled the fabric underneath him.
“Argh,” I growled as the sheets tourniqueted me.
“I’m sorry!” Torin laughed, and tossed off the covers to join me. It felt like the sleep sack again, but more intentional,because in this moment, he knew I was there with him. “Is that better?” He slipped down next to me, tugging the duvet up to our ears. I wasn’t really cold, but being under the comforter with him made me understand why it was named that: comforter. Because that was the exact sensation I experienced. Overwhelming comfort with the boy that I’d just discovered I more than likely loved.
“My mouth really does taste amazing right now, Darby.” He pulled at the fabric draped over us. I slid toward him an inch, and our legs pressed closer together. Fabric on fabric, with even more cloaked over us. “You should taste it for yourself.”
“Oh yeah?” I teased, and he moved forward. Our arms tangled. Skin on skin. Not much, but enough to change the way my heartthrummed inside my chest.
“Yes. And really, to get the full sensation, you’re gonna have to use your tongue. It seriously is all Double Mint Gum status fresh up in here.” Torin waved a hand over his mouth and smiled so widely I worried for a moment that the newly formed scab on his face would burst.
“This is how you want our first kiss to happen?” I asked, hesitant because it didn’t feel romantic or spontaneous the way first kisses should. Though in reality, I supposed it wasn’t a first kiss at all. A third, but the first one that we’d both intentionally desired. And the first one that was okay for us to have together. For all intents and purposes, we were about to have our first kiss. I started to freak out.
“This is how I want everything about you. Like this. Making the mundane monumental.” He scooted closer. “Seriously. Everything you touch turns to gold, Darby.”
“Ah, there it is,” I said, nodding, poking at him beneath the covers.
“Your plagiarizing. It’s been a while, but I see you’re back at it.”
Torinshrugged indifferently. “So what? I like quotes.”
“I like your originality,” I countered, because I did. I liked when Torin was just Torin; when I knew the things he said came from somewhere deep inside him, not from some surface level of past memorization.
“It is as though a thousand little garden gnomes chewed up mint-flavored crystals and then blew them into my mouth. In Antarctica.” I burst into laughter so loud I thought the neighbor on the other side of the adjoining wall might report me to the front desk. “That was a Torin original. You like?”
“I love,” I giggled, instinctively covering my mouth with my hand.
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Megan Squires lives with her husband and two children just outside of Sacramento, California. A graduate from the University of California, Davis, Megan is now a full-time mother, wife, and dreamer—though her characters don’t often give her much opportunity to sleep.
Visit http://www.theoutlierchronicles.com to learn more about her latest young adult series.