thought it was too late. I thought our story had already been
sophomore Brooke Anderson thought she had it all − a loving family,
her sexy high school sweetheart, a supportive, quick-witted best
friend and dreams of being the next hotshot reporter for the
Fate had something else in
mind when Brooke collided with the devastatingly handsome
upperclassman, Rich Davis. Rich was cocky, conceited and arrogant.
He was everything that Brooke didn’t want, but Rich never gave her
the option. He had already made the choice
to be, at the very least, her friend. Would Brooke accept this
egotistical man’s friendship? Would she choose to want more? Would
it be too late if she did?
forward nearly ten years. Brooke’s life hadn’t played out quite
as she had envisioned it. She was suffering from the heartbreaking
loss of her mother, her high school sweetheart was long gone, and her
dreams of the Washington
Post had turned into a
career at a small town paper. Brooke decided it was time to follow
her dreams. If she couldn’t be happy in love, at least she could be
happy in life.
dreams brought her to the lobby of the Washington
Post where fate intervened once again
as she collided with none other than the devastatingly handsome Rich
Davis. As her potential employer, Rich now seemed off-limits. Brooke
wanted her successful career more than a chance at love. But, was it
really her choice
to make, or was it beyond her control?
remember riding down in the elevator at what seemed like a snail’s
pace. “Seriously, could this thing move any slower? It must know we
are on a deadline, or something,” I snickered, trying to break the
tension that had quickly formed between us.
finally made it to ground level and began our walk down to the
basketball game. We were both quiet for awhile just enjoying each
night, isn’t it?” Rich said, breaking the silence first.
swear he moved closer to me and brushed his arm against mine. I felt
a chill rush up and down my spine. How did this guy do this to me? It
was only a year ago that I wanted him to fall and drown in a sewer
you want to play a game?” he asked.
game?” I questioned. “Sure, what do you have in mind, Rich?”
Dare, Double-Dare, Promise, or Repeat.”
kidding, right?” I said between giggles. “Are we at a
fourth-grade, slumber party now? How do you even know about that
game?” I asked curiously.
sister, Jennifer … she’s a few years older than I and her friends
always wanted me to play with them at her sleepovers. I was like
their little mascot, or something,” he said, smiling at the memory.
that moment, my heart softened a bit more where Rich Davis was
let’s play. I’ll start with a truth. Give it to me,” I dared.
you love your boyfriend?”
that is not what I was expecting. I was expecting something more like
– Is your favorite color purple? These questions were a lot less
serious when my girlfriends asked them nearly a decade ago. Why did
he care if I loved Jay? Most importantly, why was I hesitating?
you hear me, Brooke?” he asked in a louder voice.
I heard you … and, yes, I love Jay.”
repeat,” he said, trying to hide the disappointment in his voice.
OK, let me think. I need to make this a good one. … How about …
Brooke Anderson is the most beautiful, brilliant and bodacious girl
I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.”
Hollywood smile appearing, Rich erupted in a hysterical fit of
I was going for alliteration,” I shrugged. “Now repeat!”
the best B-word you could come up with. How about bad ass, or
babbling … because we all know that you sure do babble a lot,” he
just say it already, would you! Unless you’re giving up already,”
he said with a sigh. “Brooke Anderson is the most beautiful,
brilliant and bodacious girl I’ve ever had the privilege of
knowing,” he repeated, stifling his laughter.
straight! Now hit me with a dare.”
me,” he challenged.
heard me. Kiss me,” he repeated.
couldn’t let Rich win. We were only in the second round. What kind
of loser goes out in the second round of Truth, Dare, Double-Dare,
Promise, or Repeat? I needed to think and think quickly – got it!
leaned over and gave Rich a quick, chaste peck on the cheek. After
all, he didn’t specify where he wanted that kiss.
one, you got me there. Now hit me with a dare,” he shot back.
OK. You know my feet are killing me. I think you should carry me the
rest of the way to the rec center.”
I knew it, Rich scooped me up in his arms and began carrying me down
the steep hill that led to the college’s gymnasium.
all you got, Beautiful? You’re making this way too easy on me.”
I choose truth again,” I said, without missing a beat.
your idea of a perfect date?” he asked.
an easy one! An afternoon at the beach; maybe a picnic, or some
stargazing. Ohhh, fireworks over the water. … Yes, now that would
be perfection.” I always envisioned Jay proposing to me in that
exact setting, but in that moment, it was Rich I envisioned lying
next to me in the sand.
does sound perfect … I’ll go with a promise,” Rich said this
I exclaimed. “I was waiting for you to choose promise. When you
become the editor of a big-time newspaper – because we both know
you will someday – you need to hire me. Got it, Mister!” I said,
poking at his chest.
he answered, “Yes, Brooke, I promise that when I’m the editor of
some big-time newspaper you will be my second-in-command.”
I just asked for a job and now I’m second-in-command – score,”
don’t have the job yet, sweetheart.”
know, I know. OK, give me another dare,” I requested.
I, uh, dare you to grab dinner with me tomorrow night?”
crap, crap, I can’t do this. I LOVE Jason. Jay-Jay is your forever,
Brooke. Well, at least I made it to the fourth round. “I
don’t think that’s a good idea, Rich. I’m sorry if I have been
giving you the wrong idea, but you know I am spoken for … not to
mention, I’m kind of your boss,” I tried to tell him as
convincingly as possible. The question remained as to whom I was
trying to convince.
yeah, I know. I just thought … never mind,” Rich said, with a
hint of regret in his voice.
Ever meet someone that you should have said yes to, but held off because the timing just wasn’t right? That’s what happened to Brooke, and his name was Rich Davis. He was the guy she loved to hate, the one that crawled under her skin and made it nearly impossible for her to forget. What should have been so easy to say yes to, ended up being an amazing friendship with the promise of more, if only Brooke would give in and admit it.
Ten years later, Brooke is still in Michigan. Working a dead end job, she takes a leap of faith and applies for her dream job, a job at the Washington Post. That’s where she runs into-literally- the one and only, Rich Davis.
Once again, Brooke’s indecisiveness gets the better of her and she holds him at arm’s length. It is clear that Rich’s feelings haven’t changed a bit. Still cocky, he is sure she will wear down. Still unsure, she convinces herself it won’t work. I swear that girl is her own worst enemy.
Grown up Rich is so much better than college Rich. He’s still arrogant, but he carries it differently now. It’s more endearing now than it was before. I got a kick out of the fluff assignments he hands Brooke to start off with and she handled them with grace. She’s a tough cookie, tougher than I thought. The will they/won’t they back and forth has you needing them to be together. But will it happen? This book ends on a MAJOR cliffhanger, and I mean MAJOR. I actually screamed, “NOOO!!!” when I got to the end. I know how some of you feel about them and please, give this one a chance, it fits the story so well and sets the stage perfectly for the next book. I normally don’t give spoilers but I feel this one is necessary, so you don’t go in blind. But as I said, it’s a perfect cliffy and will have you hounding the author day and night about the next book, it’s that good.
Decker is the author of the upcoming, debut novel, Unwritten.
She lives in a suburb of Flint, Michigan with her husband and
spoiled-rotten Siamese cat, Simon. For the last decade, she has
worked as a journalist for several community newspapers in Michigan’s
Thumb region. She enjoys all things ‘80s and ‘90s pop culture:
movies, boy bands, music and especially the color, hot pink. She also
strictly lives by the motto, “Life is better in flip flops,” and
is a diehard Detroit Tigers fan. You can e-mail her at
firstname.lastname@example.org. She would love to hear from you.