Everyone says hotshot goalie Luke Jackson is God’s gift to girls, but the only girl he wants is his best friend, Malina Hall. He’s always known how brilliant she is, but now that he’s “accidentally” kissed her, he can’t stop thinking about her…or wanting to kiss her again.
Problem is, things have been a little…awkward since the kiss. Because she likes him, too? Hopefully, but even if she did, their futures—and the ridiculous schedules that come with them—are in the way. And now one of his teammates is showing interest, and the guy has more in common with Malina than Jackson ever will.
As her best friend, Jackson should get out of the way. But if there’s one thing he’s learned from hockey, it’s that you have to go for what you want, even if it means falling flat on your face. And he’s definitely falling for Malina.
Disclaimer: This book contains a hot hockey player who goes after what he wants, a super-hot, super-distracting shirtless workout, and the kind of best friends to lovers romance every girl in the friend zone has dreamed of.
My hand froze awkwardly in midair as reality slammed into me. Oh, shit. Shit. I kissed my best friend. “Sorry,” I said, jumping up and slamming my leg on the coffee table. “Ow,” I moaned as I turned on the lamp, then turned on the overhead light for good measure.
The look on Malina’s face was one I hadn’t seen before. Her eyes were wide with something—shock? Disgust? Embarrassment?
My cheeks and ears burned. Was it possible for your nose to blush? I was pretty sure mine was. “Malina, I’m so sorry. I was just…” I ran a hand through my hair, struggling to come up with something, anything I could say to excuse what had happened. “I was just so relieved there wasn’t a serial killer or something in the kitchen, and I just…” Nope. There weren’t any more words. There were hundreds of thousands of words in the English language and not one of them was going to help me.
For a long time, she didn’t say anything. A long time. The expression on her face didn’t change. Then she nodded slowly. “Right. Yeah. I was relieved, too.”
She was going to accept my ridiculously lame excuse? Or at least pretend to accept it? “Right? Yeah. Okay. Sorry.”
She frowned. “Just…don’t. Do that. Ever. Again.”
“No,” I said quickly. Spastically quickly. Oh God, my cheeks were still on fire. I couldn’t look her in the eyes. “Sorry. I won’t. It won’t happen again. I should probably go.” Then I winced and said, “Ow,” when I took a step that jarred my bruised leg.
Her frown changed from confusion to concern. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” I said, too quickly again. “Fine. Just…bruised my leg. Banged it. I’ll be fine.”
“Do you need some ice?”
“No. No. I’m fine. Sorry again. Thanks for dinner. I’ll see you at school, right? Sorry.” Instead of coming out like individual sentences, the words kind of blurred together into one big blob of awkward.
Malina got up and walked me to the door. “Yeah. I’ll see you at school.”
I had one foot out the door when she stopped me.
As much as I wanted to keep going, I couldn’t ignore her. I stopped and turned and looked somewhere in the vicinity of her left shoulder. Not in her eyes. Not at her lips or her boobs. Shoulders were safe. “Yeah?”
“I don’t really know what just happened, but it was an accident. We’re still friends. It’s fine.”
I forced a nod and kept my eyes on her shoulder. “Okay. Thank you. Sorry. Good night.”
When I got in my car, I leaned back against the headrest and tried to breathe. Despite what she said, it wasn’t okay. I’d kissed my best friend. I’d acted like an idiot who didn’t know how to human, not the confident hockey player who kissed girls all the time.
But the worst part? Worse than the kiss or the embarrassment or awkwardness that followed?
I liked kissing Malina.
I was screwed.
About the Author
Erin is a young adult author from North Carolina. She is a morning person who does most of her writing before sunrise, while drinking excessive quantities of coffee. She believes flip-flops qualify as year-round footwear, and would spend every day at the beach if she could. She has a bachelor's degree in mathematics, which is almost never useful when writing books.