According to Audrey by Happy LaShelle
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing | Publication date: April 30th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Cautious and introverted, seventeen-year-old Dove spends most of her free time pursuing her one true passion: painting. The twinkling lights of Balboa Island, the ferryboat to the peninsula, the fire pits on Big Corona Beach…these have long been the subjects of her canvases as she daydreams about finding an Audrey Hepburn-film kind of romance.
A hotshot jock is exactly not the type of guy she’s been looking for—but when Leo Donovan drops his cool act to show his vulnerable side, Dove begins to question everything. But first she’ll have to navigate her way through claim-staking mean girls and disapproving parents—and still keep her focus on attending the art school of her dreams.
Being in love turns out to be more complex than the average silver-screen classic. Can Dove follow her heart (and Audrey’s cues) to create her own perfect Hollywood ending?
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ACCORDING TO AUDREY – EXCERPT #3 – Sand and Ocean
A crisp breeze blew off the ocean, crackling the embers of the fire. Night had come, with its darkness slowly surrounding us. I huddled in closer to the flames, trying to escape the cold air.
Behind me, someone’s feet sifted through the sand. I turned my head as a heavy plaid blanket wrapped around my shoulders. Leo bent down toward me. “You’re too close to the fire,” he said, grabbing my elbow and pulling me backwards. “When the wind changes, the flames could burn you.”
And there it was. Three.
The flannel shirt he’d thrown on was unbuttoned, and the wind flapped it open a little, revealing his red Angels jersey. He sat down beside me, leaving a large gap of empty space between us.
Time to be friendly. “So, you like the Angels.” My own comfort level surprised me. It came out as a statement, not a question.
He laughed. “Favorite team. I’ve had this shirt for like three years. Got it with my dad at Angel Stadium.”
“Kai says you’re really good—that you’ll probably be drafted next year.” As soon as the sentence left my mouth, I wished I could take it back. I squirmed. Now he would think I’d been discussing him with everyone.
Leo shrugged, unfazed. “Yeah, I definitely hope to go pro.” Nothing seemed to embarrass him.
On the other side of the fire, two people had started to make-out, their bodies practically entwined. I couldn’t help glancing in their direction every few seconds. How could they just ignore everyone around them like that? They barely ever came up for air. I looked away, half of me annoyed and judgmental, the other half admiring the sheer boldness of it.
Leo looked sideways at them as they continued on, still oblivious to their audience. He tilted his head in their direction. “Does that bother you?”
“What?” I knew exactly what he was referring to, but his gutsy question surprised me.
His face stayed serious. “Them kissing like that.”
I threw him my best casual expression and shrugged my shoulders. “No.” I stared out at the ocean, my thoughts churning along with the waves. He sure was sure of himself.
“What are you thinking about?” he asked, his voice almost a whisper as he bent his head toward me.
I looked down, burying my feet deeper into the sand. “There’s something about the beach at night—the coldness of the sand, the water, the darkness. I don’t know—it’s kind of magical.”
Leo looked out toward the rushing water and pushed his hair out of his eyes with one hand. I watched as his palm trailed down the back of his head, stopping to clasp the back of his neck. “Damn. I was hoping maybe you were thinking about me.”
I turned to take in his face. His right eyebrow fell lower than his left as his intense stare burned into me. I pursed my lips and held back a smile, not daring to tell him. I was.
Happy LaShelle is a writer, mom of three, and wife to a Basque baker who brings home loaves of crusty sourdough everyday. She lives near the mission bells in sunny Santa Barbara, but loves the cold, rainy banks of London's Thames River just as much as the sandy shores of her Newport Beach hometown. She studied History at UCLA and enjoys taking pictures of old stuff. Because everything has a story.
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