GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
The Bad Boy Bargain
by Kendra C. Highley
The Bad Boy Bargain by Kendra C. Highley is currently on tour with Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
More books by this author: Matt Archer: Bloodlines (read my blog post), Matt Archer: Redemption (read my blog post), and Unstrung (read my blog post).
Baseball player Kyle Sawyer has many labels: bad boy, delinquent, ladies’ man, fearless outfielder ... Only one of them is actually true. But then sweet ballet dancer Faith Gladwell asks him to help wreck her reputation, and everything goes sideways.
Faith knows a thing or two about love, and what she had with her cheating jerk of an ex wasn’t it. When he starts spreading rumors about her being an Ice Queen, Faith decides it’s time to let a little bad into her life.
Lucky for her, Kyle Sawyer - dark, dangerous, totally swoonworthy Kyle Sawyer - is landscaping her backyard over Spring Break. Shirtless. And if she can convince him to play along, "dating" Kyle will silence the rumors.
But Faith’s plan threatens to expose Sawyer’s biggest secret of all ... and that’s a risk he’s not willing to take.
Disclaimer: This book contains drop-the-book-and-fan-yourself kisses ... and touches. Fall in love with a bad boy at your own risk.
Badass, troublemaker, girl magnet—familiar words always followed Kyle from his locker to his senior English classroom. Or from the cafeteria to the parking lot. Or from the locker room to the baseball field. Anywhere he went, the whispers followed.
Today, it went something like, “Ooh, I know who we should vote most likely to drop out before graduation,” as he walked by. Or, “I heard he banged two girls at once at North Texas last weekend. College girls, man!” Or, “Dude, I heard MLB scouts are coming to the games to watch him play.”
He wished that last one were true.
Kyle zipped his hoodie up tighter, acting like he couldn’t hear a word. The dark red hoodie and a pair of headphones were pretty thin armor, even if he did encourage the stories…the lies. Suttonville High was a big enough maze of suck without letting the truth out.
And no way, no how, was he showing any sort of weakness ever again.
“Dude! Wait up!” a guy called.
For a second, Kyle stiffened. Old habits died hard. But he recognized the voice and let his shoulders relax. Cade Adams, unlike the hundreds of rich, snobby kids crowding the halls, was worth waiting for. He slowed his stride until Cade caught up, looking disheveled. For an amused moment, he wondered if Cade was running from a pack of zombified football players, then he noticed the pleading look on Cade’s face. The same one he’d ignored from a half dozen other guys.
He shook his head. “Nope, still not going.”
“It’s supposed to be a great party,” Cade said, running a hand over his hair to coerce it back into shape. It was a little too long, and curls kept springing up on his head. “First night of spring break, man. All the seniors are going.”
“Everyone except me,” Kyle said, quickening his pace.
“Come on,” Cade pleaded. “I need to be your wingman. Just once. Your leftovers would be a feast to us mere mortals.”
That’s what half the baseball team said, too. But if he let someone be his wingman, they’d find out really quick that he wasn’t what everyone assumed. “Sorry, not my scene.”
“Fine. Okay, I get it.” Cade’s crooked smile didn’t do much to hide his disappointment. “Just…think about it.”
He strode off, breezing through the hall filled with students in designer clothes as if his Iron Man T-shirt, wild hair, and faded jeans didn’t matter to him. And it didn’t—at some point last fall, Cade had become cool. Either that, or he’d stopped caring what any of them thought.
Kyle stalked to chemistry, praying he’d pass today’s test. Being dyslexic turned the periodic table into a medieval torture device, even if his teacher was good about giving him tutoring on the down low. He couldn’t let anyone know he actually cared about his grades, aside from passing to play baseball.
“I heard he’s going out with some girl at Texas Woman’s,” a girl whispered to another as he walked in, as if he couldn’t hear them.
“Wish I knew for sure if anyone here has a chance,” said the other girl, a pretty senior who had a reputation of being a man-eater. “Because I’d ride that pony all over town.”
Kyle’s ears flamed up. To hide his discomfort, he rolled his neck, getting a little satisfaction out of the wary stares after the vertebrae cracked. That’s right, the scary kid just cracked his back. You puny humans shouldn’t try that at home.
The bell rang and he sank into his desk, adopting his typical pose of “I’m only here because the truant officer made me show up today” with his legs stretched out in the aisle. Mrs. Moody, the chem teacher, rolled her eyes. She saw right through him. And if she could, how much longer would it be before everyone else did?
During the test—in which chemical compounds morphed into ancient Hebrew right before his eyes—he couldn’t shake the conversation with Cade. He felt bad about letting the guy down, especially since he hadn’t been much of a friend the last few years, but he hated those parties because of the baggage that rode on them. Namely, his reputation.
Because who at Suttonville would believe that the resident delinquent, skateboard-riding, drag-racing, smart-mouthed chick magnet Kyle Sawyer was actually none of those things?
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]
Praise for the Book
"The Bad Boy Bargain is everything you'd want in a book: an intriguing story, lovable characters, a swoon-worthy guy, some humor, and a whole lot of heart....This was a sweet and heartwarming page-turner that I could not put down. I'm always a fan of Kendra C. Highley's books, but this one is a new favorite!" ~ Erin Fletcher, Author, All Laced Up
"This sweet, adorable romance ticked all the boxes for me. It was a quick, entertaining read that left me with so many good feels. I'll definitely be checking out more of this author's work in future." ~ Siobhan Davis, My YA & NA Obsession
"Lies, fear, trust, and love all come together in this great read. What will happen with Kyle starts to feel something for Faith? Will she want to know everything about him, or is this truly just a game of revenge? I have a love of YA. I could read the genre every single day. This book does not disappoint. The characters are well developed and the story plays out perfectly. I couldn't help but fall for Kyle and be sympathetic to all he and Faith were going through. Great story!" ~ Michelle Dare, Once Upon an Alpha
"I absolutely loved this book. It's well written and kept me hooked right from the start. I probably shouldn't have started reading it so close to bedtime because I was struggling to put it down and it was the first thing I reached for when I woke up. It ticks all the right boxes for me and I would definitely recommend it especially if you like your sweet teen romance novels." ~ Danielle Duncan, Chapters Through Life
"With refreshingly realistic characters, a good foundation and moral to the story, I highly recommend The Bad Boy Bargain to young adults and adults who want to remember the first stirrings of a crush." ~ Erica Chilson, Wicked Reads
Guest Post by the Author
5 Things You Didn't Know About Me
1. I played classical violin from third grade through my freshman year in college. I was good enough to make (last chair) it into the orchestra at the University of Oklahoma, but quit because I was stinking up the place compared to the music majors. J
2. I’m left handed, but I bowl, golf, and pitch a ball with my right hand. If I try to do those things with my left hand, it feels totally wrong. Weird, right?
3. My first date with my husband was in 1988. He was fifteen and I was sixteen, and our date was to watch Die Hard - in the theater.
4. If I had money to burn, I’d buy a 1969 Mercury Comet ... not because it was the coolest car ever, but because it’s the first car I remember riding around in with my mother. It was white, with red interior, and those cars remind me of her (she passed in 1990).
5. My husband and I plan to retire to Orlando. Yes, we are retiring to Florida ... it’s a cliché until you know why. My husband’s dream has been to drive boats back and forth between resorts and parks at Disney World when he retires. I’m going to be a greeter. That way, I can wear Mickey Mouse ears all the time and that makes me happy!
About the Author
Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to four self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes in everyday magic, extraordinary love stories, and the restorative powers of dark chocolate.
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card, a paperback copy of Defying Gravity, and bookmarks from Finding Perfect, Defying Gravity, and The Bad Boy Bargain (US only).