Cascading Petals by Jane C. Brady
Title Cascading Petals
Published December 5th 2017
Genre contemporary, romance, ya
Despite the years of bullying in school, Jewel Hart has remained sweet and kind. She has it all—a great life, a great family, and beauty—but she has never been able to obtain the one thing she wants—to belong.
When Jewel meets Kaiden Carter, a good-looking, charming new student at York Mills High, things start to look up. On the surface, he is perfect, but Jewel can’t shake the feeling that everything is not as it seems.
When the devastation of the rising suicides in her school hits too close to home and drives Jewel into a deep despair, she clings to Kaiden’s strength to find her way back. Through the pain and fear surrounding her, she finds hope and the will to go on. But just as she picks herself up, tragedy strikes again, threatening to steal her last glimmer of hope. How will she go on? Can she ever find her place in the world?
Once we were seated, my eyes searched his face. His body language made it clear he was nervous. He wanted to say something but appeared to be wrestling with himself about how to say it. My brain started to take me down the path of self-doubt. I worried I might have done something wrong, but then I gritted my teeth in annoyance. He wasn’t like that.
He reached out and replaced the mitten on my ice-cold hand. Taking both my hands in his, he gazed into my eyes. I felt a band of drummers beat in my chest as my nerves spiked. His piercing yet gentle eyes continued to scrutinize me. I paused for a second, with sudden understanding. Wait a minute. Was this what I thought it was?
“I’ve wanted to say this for a long time. I think you’re amazing. Never has a girl affected me like you do. From that day in the coffee shop, I knew I had to know more about you.”
All words abandoned me.
He liked me. He really liked me. The ballerina in my stomach danced her debut.
Suddenly, I was floating on a cloud, peering down at the young couple sitting on a bench on a winter day. Their hands were interlocked and . . .
“I really like you,” he said, recapturing my drifting mind with the exact words I wanted to say. “Like I’ve never liked a girl before. What I want to say is that I want to spend this year and many more together.”
“Together?” I said. I needed to be sure.
He laughed. Dropping his eyes, he began to scuff his sneakers on the snow-covered ground. “You’re going to make this difficult, aren’t you?” He shook his head. Lifting his eyes to hold my gaze, he asked, “Jewel Hart, will you be my girlfriend?”
For real? My body felt as if it had been pricked with tiny needles. It made me feel alive.
Please don’t wake me from this dream. He picked me. Of all the girls Kaiden could’ve had, I was the one he wanted.
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