Only fools fall in love...
After her senior year of high school leaves behind nothing but heartache, Olivia Beaumont is sure of this: She’s no stupid girl. She sets out for Winston College, promising herself that she will remain focused on her first and only love – astronomy. But all it takes is cocky sophomore Brax Jenkins and an accidental collision with a football, to throw her entire year off course.
A quick-tempered Southie who escaped the inner city streets of Boston to pitch for Winston, Brax is known to play way more fields than just the baseball diamond. So, when his name is drawn to take part in his fraternity’s hazing dare, Brax eagerly accepts the mission to take Olivia’s virginity. But he doesn’t plan on falling hard for the sweet and sassy Texas girl who sees right through his bad-boy persona.
As Olivia and Brax battle their feelings for each other, echoes of the past year begin to surface. A boy who once turned Olivia’s whole world upside down reappears, and “harmless” pranks wreak havoc. Pretty soon the aspiring astronomer is on the verge of revealing her most difficult, heartbreaking secret. All the while, Brax must wrestle with the irrevocable dare, and Olivia struggles against all logic as she does the one thing only a stupid girl would do: fall in love.
From the very first page I knew this was going to be an emotional roller coaster ride, and it did not disappoint one bit. My heart was in my throat most of the time, and the rest, it was being torn to shreds. But, as emotionally charged as this story was, it was also fun and thoroughly entertaining.
Brax Jenkins is officially my new book boyfriend. From his haunting eyes, to his inked up sexy bod, and that accent that got Gracie every time, he was pure deliciousness. He was a bit of a notorious bad boy man whore, but honestly, like Gracie, I could not help looking past everything he supposedly was, only to fall in love with all that he was when he was with her. Sure, his temper was a bit frightening at times, but thankfully it was never directed at her. There was a vulnerability that he worked so hard to hide, and judging by the way he looked after Gracie, he was really a sweet softie under that tough exterior.
Gracie and Brax were such a sweet couple. Each had their own demons to hide but together they were perfect; just what each other needed. I loved their banter and the teasing and flirting that flowed between them in the very beginning when they decided to be friends. Gracie was a bit of a geek but she wasn't completely nerdy and she was quite a tough cookie. I liked that she was able to let down some of her walls and she wasn't afraid to be herself, completely and without shame. She was sweet, girl next door, down to earth - the total opposite of Brax's usual type.
This book was also filled with plenty of amazing secondary characters. My fav was definitely Tessa. That chica was a fantastic roomie/friend. She was funny and feisty, and OMG, her naming of certain anatomy had me in stitches. Of course, there had to be at least one scum bag to bring a bit of extra drama to the story, and Kelsy Evans took the prize for biggest d-bag.
This book was heart-wrenching and filled with plenty of angst, but it was also romantic, fun and exciting. I couldn't help cheering for Gracie and Brax the entire way through. They latched onto my heart and will forever hold a piece of it. This was a beautiful, tormenting story of love, acceptance and forgiveness.
Making a character REAL
I love my characters. Crafting them to be as real as possible is a challenging yet exhilarating task for me as a writer. It’s one of those things you have to consciously be aware of when writing. Editing. Taking notes. For me, anyway.
So when I was creating my two main characters for my newly released STUPID GIRL, Brax Jenkins and Olivia Beaumont, I made lists. Lots of lists. Each had their own notebook, actually. Of stuff. Likes. Dislikes. Actions. Reactions. Favorite phrases. Favorite foods. Favorite movies. Faults. Bad habits. Facial expressions. You name it. And for me, once these lists are complete (usually they never are—they’re ongoing until the book is finsished!) THEN I can start molding these characters into real people.
One instance in Stupid Girl occurred at a late-night diner. Olivia and Brax are still fairly new in their relationship, getting to know one another as friends, and although it’s super late, Olivia orders apple pancakes and sausage. With lots of butter. And syrup. And chocolate milk. I confess, I was craving ALL of that at the time I wrote it. J Not only did it make Olivia stand out as a real person, you know, to be eating crazy food at midnight. But it totally fascinated Brax, as well. Another instance, Olivia is walking to class early one morning eating a spoonful of peanut butter. Who doesn’t eat spoonful’s of peanut butter? J
Since Olivia comes from a hardworking horse ranch, she has learned to cut corners and save money over the years. Her grandpa taught her and her brothers long ago how to change the oil and tires on their vehicles. So when some mishaps start occurring at Winston College (I won’t give it away for those of you who haven’t read it!) Olivia isn’t a stranded damsel in distress. She knows how to handle things. To me, that makes her real. Since my grandpa taught me the very same thing. J
So for all of you aspiring authors, pay attention to the little details, as well. Use all senses. Use realistic situations.
And for you folks who just purely love to read? Now you know a few little author secrets. J
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cindy Miles is the best-selling author of twelve novels, one anthology and three short stories. She also writes as Elle Jasper, and grew up on the salt marshes of the Vernon River in Savannah, Georgia.
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/
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