Meridee Mansford wants nothing to do with the popular crowd. She’s comfortable being invisible. But that doesn’t stop her from dreaming about the hunky football player who visits the campus ice cream shop where she works. Still, she’s smart enough to know he’d never notice a girl like her, and she’d never want him even if he did. Too much unwelcome attention. Parker Harrington basks in the glory that’s been his since the game-changing passes he caught that pushed his team into the national spotlight. Sticky Fingers is his media moniker now, and the cheerleaders who used to ignore him when he sat the bench have become his most devoted fans. But when he accidentally crashes into a quiet coed and covers her in orange chicken, it throws off his offensive game. As fate, ice cream, and orange chicken throw the opposites together, will Parker continue keeping company with women he knows are only using him for his fame, or will he change up the game and risk his heart on a genuine girl who despises the attention he craves?
Praise for the Book “A fun and flirty new adult romance. It’s a sweet indulgence that keeps you turning pages. The start to what is sure to be a great new series. – Jennifer Peel, author of Pianos and Promises series
“Opposites attract when the overlooked sweet girl lands herself the popular football star in this quasi-Cinderella story. It’s the perfect read to keep you up way past your bedtime...” –Taylor Dean, author of Chasing Fireflies
He reached out and grabbed my hand. “Meridee, I wondered if I could take you out tomorrow night. To make up for that mishap in the CUB, you know?”
I blinked, but couldn’t move. Couldn’t even form words. In fanciful daydreams, I’d imagined him holding my hand like this, but never had I expected it to happen. Holy llama. It felt as though Parker was an electrical socket, sending a steady stream of tingling energy pulsing through our connected hands. And wait! Had he just asked me out? I was still playing catch-up.
But when his words registered, it was like a bucket of icy water over my head. I whipped my hand away from him. “No, thank you.” I rubbed the shiny counter to conceal a furious blush. For a moment, I’d allowed myself to believe he was serious. “You don’t have to make up for anything. Let’s forget that whole debacle ever happened, shall we?”
“Oh, come on. I need a date, and you need some fun.”
I scowled. What did he mean by that? Did I appear that pathetic?
“Please. I don’t bite.” He playfully chomped his teeth.
My lips twitched.
“I’ve stopped playing football in the CUB, and haven’t tackled any more girls to the floor. You’ve had a reforming influence on me, Mare.” I narrowed my eyes.
“Please say you’ll go with me, Meridee. We’ll play miniature golf, see a movie. Pretty please with huckleberries on top?”
Why would he want to date me when he had that gorgeous cheerleader and every other girl on campus throwing themselves at him? My knees pulled together and I tucked my arms into my side. He really must pity me.
“I can’t.” I returned to my needless wiping.
“Why not? Do you work?”
“No,” I said, grateful I didn’t have to lie. Mom always said my eyes gave me away. “I have tomorrow off.” My body needed the R&R.
“Then you can go.” He leaned over the counter and winked. No wonder he wasn’t used to hearing no. When not tackling girls to the floor, he could be very persuasive. I clenched my rag.
“No, I can’t. I already have a date.”
“Cancel it. Surely he’s not as great a catch as me.”
I scrubbed the toppings area with gusto. “I can’t cancel on my fiancé.” I crossed my fingers, hoping that whopper might stay his pity.
“You’re engaged?” His disbelieving tone whacked my ego.
I nodded without meeting his gaze.
Author Charissa Stastny Charissa Stastny is an avid reader, happy writer, wasp-hater, iris-lover, and food connoisseur (especially sushi and chocolate, but not together). She was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, but has never pulled a handle of a slot machine and can’t shuffle cards to save her life. She is married to her high school sweetheart and has four children that make her smile and laugh all the time. She called Idaho her home for years, but has recently moved to Utah, where she was thrilled to discover dozens of flavors of hot chocolate to keep her happy in the winter. The cherry one might be her favorite (this week). She is the author of five books and ‘imagine-eer’ of many more.
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