Book & Author Details:
The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 7th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Taylor Simmons is screwed.
Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip.
Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they’re in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it’s better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard.
As soon as I let him in, loud, fierce barking filled the room. Evan looked around, but Oreo was nowhere in sight. I smothered my snicker with a cough. He may have sounded like he was going to rip Evan from limb to limb, but I knew he was probably cowering somewhere safe and out of reach. He was always like this whenever a stranger came into the house. The perfect definition of all bark and no bite.
I didn’t tell Evan that, though. Instead, I wet a couple of napkins and handed it to him. “Here.”
“Thanks.” His eyes kept flickering around the room as Oreo’s barking turned into a low, demon-from-hell growl. God, I loved that dog sometimes. “Okay, either your dog is really small and that’s why I can’t find him, or he’s a ghost dog and I’m going crazy. Which is it?”
“What dog?” I asked him with wide eyes. At his freaked-out expression, I couldn’t keep the laughter in for long. “He’s probably squeezed between the edge of the chair and the corner over there.”
Evan dropped on all fours and ducked underneath the kitchen table. Immediately the room got quiet. “Oh, there he is.”
I leaned against the counter and waited for him to get up so I wouldn’t have to talk to his butt the whole time. It took a few minutes, but I didn’t mind.
He muttered something to Oreo. I didn’t know what he was saying, but it wouldn’t have made a difference. Oreo never went to strangers unless he’d been around them for a few hours or they had sausages or bacon in their hands.
Of course, considering the disappointment of the past couple of days, it should have been obvious that the dog I’d had for over two years wouldn’t do what was expected of him. It wasn’t long before Evan was able to pull him out and settle him happily on his lap. I thought Evan only had a way with girls. I guess he had a way with dogs, too.
“So you wanted to talk?”
I crossed my arms, trying to look anywhere but at the gorgeous boy in front of me and my traitorous dog. The butterflies in my stomach multiplied. My mouth opened and closed, but nothing came out. Not because I didn’t have anything to say, but because I was distracted. Again.
It really wasn’t fair. Evan was a surfer, so he had the body. But did he really have to have the soulful I-understand-and-feel-your-pain eyes, too? I’ve always been a sucker for dark-gray eyes.
All my earlier confidence faded. I turned my head away to help lessen the power of his eyes. “Okay, so I thought about what you said after lunch, and I think you were wrong. About the rumor and everything. Because even if everyone forgets, it doesn’t matter. The damage would have already been done. Memories can never be totally forgotten. So the only solution is to alter their memories into something you don’t want to be forgotten. You know what I’m talking about?”
At the blank look on his face, it was obvious that he didn’t have a clue. “Do you?”
To be honest, I wasn’t really sure. “What I mean is that I think we should just roll with it.”
I let out a deep breath. It was now or nothing. “Meaning I think we should start dating. What do you think?”
Jenn Nguyen fell in love with books in third grade and spent the rest of her school years reading through lunchtime and giving up recess to organize the school library. She has a degree in business administration from the University of New Orleans and still lives in the city with her husband. Jenn spends her days reading, dreaming up YA romances, and binge watching Korean dramas all in the name of ‘research’. The Way to Game the Walk of Shame is her debut novel.