Series: Off The Subject #2
Publish Date: June 10, 2013
Source: Author for review - Thank you!
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N
While fashion design major Caroline Hunter may have been born economically unlucky, in college, she’s been lucky in love. Until her senior year at Southern University. She’s gone from a serious long term boyfriend to a string of crappy dates.
Then she meets mathematics grad student Reed Pendergraft.
Reed is everything she’s not looking for. Serious. Headed for a low paying university job. Boring. Caroline spent the first eighteen years of her life wondering where her next meal was coming from. She sure wasn’t getting trapped in that life again with a man living on a professor’s salary.
An encounter with Reed in a club proves she might have pegged him wrong. He brings out a lusty side she never knew she had. But just when she’s about to give in to her hormones, Reed makes a fool out of her.
When she shows up for the first committee meeting for Southern University’s Fall fashion show, a fundraiser for underprivileged kids, Caroline’s horrified to discover the insufferable Reed is the committee chairman. While she refuses to tolerate his totalitarian rule of the committee, she’s not sure she’ll survive the month with her heart—and her pride—intact. Just when she thinks she has everything figured out, she finds that her entire life has been redesigned, thanks to Reed Pendergraft. -(from Goodreads)
You guys, I absolutely loved the book. It was one of those situations in which I kind of knew I'd like it, but I had no idea that I'd like it as much as I did. I even mentioned that in my blog post (I think).
Anyway, I have the great honor of having Author Denise Grover Swank share an excerpt from her new book today on Into the Hall of Books. I'm really excited about this, you guys, because I think that this is a book that you New Adult fans will really like. And if you're new to the New Adult category, give this a read and maybe check out the book! Redesigned is the second book in a companion series (following the book After Math) - these books can be read in either order.
The band switches to a ballad. Dylan leans his mouth in to my ear, his lips brushing my earlobe. “Do you want to dance?”
Not really, but I can’t sit here much longer or I’ll drink myself senseless. I’m now trying to pace myself as it is. “Sure.”
My response is less than enthusiastic, but Dylan doesn’t seem to notice as he pulls me to the dance floor, then settles my chest against his. His arms encircle my waist, his hands resting on the rise of my ass.
Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Dylan presses his body flush to mine and leans into my ear. “I’ve wanted you all night.”
I can honestly say I don’t feel the same. If someone had told me a week ago this would be my response, I would have called them crazy. The only thing I feel at the moment is disgust. Disgust with Dylan but also with myself. I let Dylan’s family money and status fool me. I try not to let my body stiffen as Dylan’s hand begins to slide up the curve of my waist, inching higher. I reach for his hand and pull it down. I just need to make it through this dance and then I’m going home. Who the hell cares what Reed Pendergraft thinks?
But Dylan doesn’t like my redirection and pins my hand between his chest and mine. When I try to pull back, his grip around my back tightens and he looks down at me with a smile that doesn’t reach his eyes. “Where’re you goin’, Caroline? I thought you wanted to be with me. Isn’t that why you had Tucker set us up?”
I’m livid with Tucker, but then I realize Tucker would never tell Dylan what he’d done. He might tease me, but he respects me too much to betray my trust. Not to mention that he’d never risk Scarlett’s wrath.
Dylan must have read my mind. “Fuck no, Tucker didn’t tell me. I overheard you, baby. But not to worry. You’ve got me now. I’m all yours.” He grinds his pelvis into mine to show me how much of him I get.
His hold on me tightens enough that I’ll have to make a scene to get away from him. It’s not ideal, but I’ll do it before I let this shithead get away with molesting me any more than he already has. I’m about to forcefully insist he release me when someone interrupts.
“I’d like to have this dance.” Reed stands to my right and it’s not a question. It’s an order.
Dylan stops swaying. “Can’t you see we’re busy?”
Reed stares at Dylan, and I’m surprised Dylan hasn’t curled up into the fetal position under his scrutiny. “I spoke to Caroline, not you.” His gaze turns to me. His eyes are deadly cold, but I know his anger isn’t directed at me. Well, most of it. “Caroline, would you like to dance?”
I nod, shocked into silence.
Reed pushes Dylan’s hand off my waist and takes me into his arms. Dylan stares, probably wondering what in the hell happened.
I’m wondering the same thing.
The raw power rolling off Reed’s body makes my knees weak and I stumble, but Reed’s arm tightens around my waist until I’m steady on my feet.
Reed lowers his face next to mine. “Did he hurt you?”
I shake my head. “No, of course not.”
“Are you saying he didn’t have you trapped against him when I showed up?”
“Well yes,” I say in annoyance. “But the only thing hurt is my pride. I’m embarrassed, although I’m not sure why. I didn’t do anything wrong.”
He leans his head back to look at my face and relief mixes with something that looks like respect. “You’re right. I’ve never understood a misogynistic society that shames the woman for a man’s boorish behavior.”
His speech is the first sign I’ve seen tonight to remind me that he’s really a nerd at heart. Moments ago, he was anything but. My pulse pounds in my temple, and my skin tingles where we touch. I’ve never wanted a man to touch me as much as I want to be in Reed’s arms right now. I look into his face and wonder why I’m wasting time fighting this reaction to him.
And then he speaks.
“Although, I’m not sure you’re one hundred percent inculpable here. You seem experienced enough to recognize an asshole like Dylan.”
I’m not sure what to be most outraged about: that he finds me partially responsible for what happened or his slam against my reputation. “Excuse me?”
“When you play with fire, you’re liable to get burned. Even children know this platitude.”
Just when I think he can’t get worse, he proves me wrong.
I try to break free of his hold but his arm keeps me in place.
“Aren’t you doing the same thing you just called Dylan out for?” I seethe.
His eyes darken. “The difference is you want to be here with me.”
I want to call him a liar, but I’m too busy staring at his lips and wishing they’d do something else other than talk.
His arm falls from my waist and he lifts his hand to my face, tilting my head back so he has full access to my mouth. He stares into my eyes, his own a blaze of desire.
My breath comes in short pants as my stomach tightens and other parts of me throb. I want him to kiss me, more than I’ve ever wanted anything. Ever.
He leans down, his lips inches from mine, and his hands drop so that the only thing holding us together is pure want.
“I think I’ve proved my point,” he murmurs into my ear.
It takes me a full two seconds to figure out what point he just made.
Reed Pendergraft has just made a fool out of me.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.
You can find out more about Denise and her other books at: www.denisegroverswank.com.
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