Her Teen Dream: Summer Heartbreak
Series: Her Teen Dream Series , Book 2
By: Devon Vaughn Archer | Other books by Devon Vaughn Archer
Published By: R. Barri Flowers
Published: Aug 05, 2012
ISBN # RFBRFL0000005
By: Devon Vaughn Archer | Other books by Devon Vaughn Archer
Published By: R. Barri Flowers
Published: Aug 05, 2012
ISBN # RFBRFL0000005
Word Count: 63,100
Available in: HTML, Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc)
DescriptionHER TEEN DREAM: Summer Heartbreak is the second novel in this realistic coming of age series for teenagers from Devon Vaughn Archer, author of the runaway bestseller, Her Teen Dream.
After finding her true love in the senior basketball star Reese McKenzie, sixteen-year-old Karin Blanch attends summer school for some extra credits at Elmwood High in Crescent Heights, California. As in the first book of the series, she experiences the ups and downs of first love. While Reese prepares to go to college in LA, Karin continues her strong friendship with next-door neighbor Lesley Rochester, makes new friends, and has to deal with summer heartbreak.
As her summer rolls along, Karin also finds herself attracted to a new guy at school, gets caught up in a school lockdown where she comes face to face with a bank robber, and catches Reese kissing his ex-girlfriend and cheerleader, Cheryl Green.
Meanwhile, Lesley, sixteen, is still dealing with being the victim of sexual abuse. She starts dating Marcus again, and her mother begins dating a friend of her late father's. When Lesley receives some devastating news, her own romance is threatened.
Fans of the first book in the series will find themselves equally entertained by this novel and Karin's coming of age as she and Lesley prepare to start their junior year in the fall in the upcoming third book in the series, HER TEEN DREAM: Junior Year.
Reader Rating: Not rated (0 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating: Not rated
Sixteen-year-old Karin Blanch headed to her locker on the first day of summer school at Elmwood High in Crescent Heights, a town in Northern California. It wasn't exactly how she had planned to spend part of her summer vacation, but her parents convinced her that it was worth it to get a jump on her junior year in the fall by taking government and economics courses.
The fact that her eighteen-year-old boyfriend, Reese McKenzie, was busy coming and going to the University of Southern California where he would be headed in the fall as a pre law student, meant she had more time on her hands than she wanted. Another incentive to go to summer school was that her next door neighbor and best friend, Lesley Rochester, was also going since she had to make up a couple of classes where she received a failing grade during the regular year, even if it wasn't her fault really.
After all, how could anyone focus on studying after being molested by her mother's creepy boyfriend? The one saving grace was that he was in jail now where he belonged and Lesley had been on the road to recovery for months.
But Karin wondered if any amount of time was long enough to get over such a horrible ordeal.
Karin could only hope she never experienced anything like that. And that she never falsely accused someone other than the culprit of victimizing her, as Lesley had done when she pointed the finger at Reese. It had nearly derailed Karin's relationship with him until the truth came out and Reese was completely cleared of any wrongdoing while the real molester was brought to justice.
Karin didn't pretend to know what Lesley was thinking in doing what she did, but she accepted that the trauma of the situation and the intimidation factor had caused her to make some poor decisions. Neither of them had wanted their friendship to end because of it, but there was definitely some strain between them for a while.
On a good note, they were both still virgins, in spite of the pressures to have sex that seemed to be all around them. For her part, Karin was in no hurry to do something that could only spell trouble in one way or another. Admittedly, she had almost succumbed once with Reese, but realized before it was too late that she wasn't ready. He respected that and was seemingly content to be romantic without the sex thing coming up, at least for now.
"Well, well, well...look who we have here—" Karin heard the familiar sardonic voice, breaking her reverie.
Karin gazed with brown eyes that matched her straight, shoulder-length hair at Cheryl Green, a cheerleader who had just finished her junior year and was probably the best-looking girl at school. She seemed perfect in every way except for the major attitude. Cheryl had long dark hair, dark eyes, and was taller than Karin's five-eight with a body that most guys at school drooled over. That included Reese, who used to date her. Cheryl seemed to go out of her way every chance she got to remind her that it was she who ditched Reese and could have him back whenever she wanted at the snap of her finger.
Karin chose not to believe that, especially with Reese assuring her that she was the only one he wanted as his girlfriend. She took him at his word, even if he was going off to college where she knew there would be plenty of pretty female students. At least Cheryl wouldn't be one of them.
Cheryl was flanked by fellow cheerleaders Amy Flaunders and Jayne Hathaway, who were also gorgeous, flawless, and her puppets more often than not.
"Let's not start anything, Cheryl," Karin said, trying hard not to seem intimidated by the trio.
Cheryl put her hand on her hip and gave Karin the once over. "There's nothing to start that I can't finish," she said, batting her eyes boldly. "I'm just surprised to see you in summer school, that's all. Or maybe I shouldn't be," she said with a sneer. "You probably have to take some classes over after spending too much time obsessing about Reese."
Cheryl chuckled, and Amy and Jayne did the same almost on cue.
"If you must know, I didn't fail any classes," Karin made perfectly clear. "I'm just getting some extra credits. What's your excuse for being here?" Karin knew she was openly challenging the three of them, but somehow couldn't resist.
"We make no excuses," Cheryl said tartly. "We're here to sharpen our cheerleading skills before senior year starts, and to mentor students."
Karin wished that Cheryl didn't always seem to have the right answers, making the distance between them seem that much greater. She eyed Jayne, who was generally nicer to her when she was out from under Cheryl's shadow. "Well, I have to get to class."
"Don't let us stop you," Amy said, running a hand through her long golden locks.
"We should go, too," Jayne said, flipping back her long curly raven hair as she met Karin's eyes before turning to Cheryl.
"Yes, let's go have some fun," Cheryl said. She sneered at Karin and then proceeded to walk away in a well-practiced strut while her two puppets did the same.
When Karin reached her locker, Lesley was there waiting for her.
"Hey," Karin said to her shorter, but more well developed friend.
"Hey," Lesley said. She ran a hand through her curly short black hair with thin bangs and frowned. "I saw you talking to the Queen B and her hornets. What did they want?"
Karin shrugged. "Nothing, really," she said, "other than to push my buttons and play the superiority card as soon to be seniors."
"I thought you and Jayne were cool now," Lesley said.
"We are, sort of," Karin responded. "Just not when Cheryl's around, I guess."
"Her loss," Lesley said. "Better to have my friendship for all seasons and weather."
"Same here," Karin assured her as they headed to class.
* * *
"Want to get something to eat?" Reese McKenzie asked Karin during a FaceTime chat on her iPad after school.
She was at home, but would much rather be with him. Smiling at his handsome face, Karin said, "Sure, sounds good."
He grinned and said: "Great. I'll be there in ten minutes."
"I'll be waiting," she told him.
Karin was in her room while her mom was downstairs making dinner. She had to walk a delicate line to get out of eating with her parents, something they usually frowned upon. Especially where it concerned Reese. Though he had made a good impression on her parents, the fact that Reese was eighteen and going off to college soon made them less than thrilled with him being her boyfriend.
She went down the curving stairwell and found her mother in the kitchen, just where she expected.
"Are you ready to eat?" Josephine Blanch asked without bothering to look at Karin.
"Actually, Reese invited me out for dinner," she said.
Her mother frowned. "And you're just telling me this now?"
"Sorry, but he just asked me."
"Maybe you should go out to eat with him tomorrow instead," her mother suggested.
"I'd rather do it today," Karin said flatly.
"You don't have to do whatever he wants when he wants," her mother emphasized.
"I know," she said, "but we haven't seen each other since he got back from L.A." Karin sighed. "And we have stuff to catch up on."
"You've got stuff to catch up on here, young lady," she said, "like your household chores."
"I'll do them when I get back. I promise." Karin gazed at her mother across the kitchen. "Please, Momma. I'm sure Daddy would understand."
"I'm sure he would," her mother remarked wryly. "He always does. Go ahead, but don't stay out too late."
Karin smiled. "Thanks, Momma! I won't."
By the time Reese arrived, she was ready and out the door before her mother had a chance to grill him as though this were their first date.
"Hey, gorgeous," Reese said to her with a big grin.
"Hi, Reese." She blushed, looking up at the six-foot-three, muscular former starting point guard for the Elmwood High Spartans.
He bent down, tilted his shaved head just right, and kissed her.
Suspecting that her mother might be watching from the window, Karin quickly pulled away. "Better save that for later," she told him. "I don't want my mother to get the wrong idea."
They drove in his black BMW to a restaurant called Tammy's Place. Once inside, they were told they could take a seat wherever they wanted.
After ordering, Karin said, "I'm dying to hear all about USC." And, hopefully, how much he missed being away from her, she thought.
"It was great," Reese told her. "The campus is huge and seems like a good place to get an education."
"And it's also a long way from here...and me," she said, pouting.
He frowned. "I know, but maybe you'll be able to come down for a visit," he suggested.
"I want to," she admitted, loving the thought of spending a romantic weekend there away from her nosey parents. But she also knew that it would be a hard sell to get them to agree to it. "I can try..."
"If not, then I'll just have to come back here as often as I can to see my girl," Reese said.
Karin's eyes widened. "You'd do that?"
He flashed a half smile. "How could I not?" he said. "I'm too crazy about you to let distance come between us."
Karin tingled all over after hearing that. "I feel the same way about you," she told him. Her feelings might have even been more powerful. He was her first true love and maybe her only one.
"We'll find a way to make this work," he promised, and took out his cell phone. "Here are some pictures I took of the campus and the ocean..."
She looked at the photos with awe. "These are great," she said.
He nodded. "Yeah, and they'd look even better with you in them," Reese said.
"How about us?" she gushed.
He chuckled. "Yeah, that too." He met her eyes. "You could always go to USC when you graduate. Then we could hang out every day."
"I'd love that," she made no bones about it. "But there's still a long way to go before I reach that point." She had to get through her junior and senior years of high school first, and then hope she could get a scholarship and find the right major.
"I know," he said lowly. "Until then, I guess we'll just have to keep video chatting and texting between visits..."
"I agree," Karin said, smiling as their food arrived.
* * *
After they left the restaurant, Reese drove to his house, where they sat in the gazebo in his backyard and talked some more. One of the things Karin liked best about dating Reese was that she could talk to him about virtually anything. Though she could also talk to Lesley about most things, it wasn't quite the same as with someone you were in love with.
"So how was the first day of summer school?" Reese asked, putting his arm around her shoulders.
"It was okay," she responded.
Karin nodded. "It's not all that fun being cooped inside when I'd much rather be outside," she said.
He chuckled. "Well, it's only for a few weeks."
"Thank goodness for that," she said as she leaned her head against his shoulder. "I ran into Cheryl and her minions at school."
"Yeah, she told me she was putting in some time at summer school," Reese said casually.
Karin looked up. "When did you talk to her?"
He shrugged. "It was before spring session ended, I think."
"You think or you know?" she asked him.
"I know," he said. "We're still friends, it's no big deal."
"Never said it was," Karin told him. She was trying hard not to act like a jealous girlfriend. Just because Cheryl was his ex, didn't mean he was still into her. Besides, Cheryl had moved on and was dating Jeffrey Jamison, a senior who was also president of the Student Council.
"Is Cheryl messing with you again?" Reese asked.
Every chance she gets, Karin thought while admitting: "She likes to get in my face sometimes."
"You want me to tell her to lay off?"
"Right, she would just love that," Karin said, rolling her eyes. "No thanks. I can take care of myself."
"I'm sure you can," Reese said. "Just know that I'm there for you, even if I'm not around, to take care of my girl, too."
She smiled. "That's good to know."
"And this is even better," Reese said. He leaned down and kissed her.
Karin was only too happy to kiss him back. She closed her eyes and cast aside all thoughts other than being with her dream guy.
The next day, Karin filed into her economics class and took a seat. She watched as a tall, solidly built guy with short hair practically stumbled into the room.
Mr. Chapman, the teacher, also noticed. "Let me guess," Mr. Chapman said. "You must be Connor Keaton."
"Yeah, that's me."
"That's good to know," Mr. Chapman said. "Problem is the class started yesterday."
Connor frowned. "I know," he said. "Sorry, but I just moved here and was—"
"I'm not interested in your excuses," Mr. Chapman scolded him. "You're only allowed two absences for summer school and there are no excusable absences. That means you have one to spare before you're tossed out of class with a failing grade. Do we understand each other, Mr. Keaton?"
Connor nodded. "Yeah, I understand," he said glumly.
"Excellent. Then take a seat so class can begin."
Karin watched as the new student plopped down in the chair next to hers.
He turned her way and offered a slight smile. She returned it while thinking: He's hot. But she left it there. She was not in search of a boyfriend, as she was happy with Reese, even if he would soon become a long distance boyfriend.
Maybe Connor and Lesley could hit it off, assuming she was ready to date again. Karin thought about how things had cooled down between Lesley and her former jock boyfriend, Marcus Payne, following the molestation by her mother's boyfriend.
Karin thought Lesley and Marcus made a good couple, but she wouldn't push her friend into getting back together if Lesley wasn't ready for it. Especially if someone better just happened to come along.
She glanced over at Connor again and wondered what his story was as far as starting school at Elmwood High during the summer. Maybe he would tell her sometime.
Or tell Lesley, and then she could pass it along.
During the break, Karin met Lesley outside.
"I feel like I'm just going over the same stuff," Lesley complained.
"That's because you are, silly," Karin told her. "And that means you should have no trouble passing the classes."
"I suppose you're right," she said. "I just wish it hadn't come down to this."
Karin assumed she was referring to the sexual assault. "Hey, you're not responsible for what happened," she tried to reassure her. "That jerk Edgar is."
"I know," Lesley said, wiping a strand of hair from her face. "It's what my mom says, too. I just can't help but think that if I'd done something differently, none of it would've happened—including me telling everyone that Reese did it."
"He's over that now," Karin told her, in spite of the ordeal they had both been put through by the mere accusation. "And so am I. Though you probably could've handled that part differently, you did nothing wrong that made that child molester set his sights on you. Thank goodness you stopped him before it went too far."
Lesley nodded. "Yeah, I guess I was pretty lucky compared to what some girls have gone through," she said. "I just hope by the time my counseling sessions end, I'll be able to put it all behind me."
Karin hugged her sympathetically. "I know you can," she told her, "and I'll be there to help you."
"Thanks. I can always count on you, Karin."
"And vice versa," Karin told her, while thinking: At least most of the time. Which was good enough for her. She spotted Connor standing near the building talking on a cell phone. It was a good time to change the subject when she saw Lesley look his way. "His name's Connor," she said. "He's new here."
"And seemingly just your type," Lesley said.
Karin didn't necessarily disagree, but said, as if Lesley had forgotten she had a boyfriend: "Thanks, but I'm happy with Reese."
"You're happy now," Lesley said, "but who knows what the future holds..."
"We'll be together in the future," Karin declared, not wanting to think otherwise.
"Maybe or maybe not," Lesley told her. "He's going off to college and you'll be a junior in high school. What does that tell you?"
Karin frowned. "It doesn't tell me anything except that true love can overcome any obstacles."
"If you say so," Lesley said skeptically.
"Why are you so unsure about us?" Karin asked.
"I'm sorry," Lesley said. "Maybe you and Reese do belong together. I mean, he stuck by you after—"
Karin didn't let her finish, not wanting to stir up painful memories for either of them. "He's my boyfriend," she said. "It was just a bump in the road. Just like being apart. We got over it."
"I wish I could say the same about me and Marcus," Lesley muttered.
Karin's eyes widened. "I thought you wanted to break up with him?"
"Yeah, so did I," Lesley said, pouting. "Maybe things between us ended prematurely."
Karin wasn't so sure about that. Marcus seemed to have recovered quickly enough. She had seen him with other girls lately and wondered if it was too late for Lesley to get back together with him.
"Give him a call," Karin suggested anyway, if only for the sake of her friend.
Lesley shook her head. "If he was interested, he could have called me."
"Guys don't always make the first move," Karin told her.
"Or the second or third," Lesley laughed.
"That means it's up to us if we want to make things happen," Karin said, hoping she could take her own advice when it came to Reese.
The bell rang and they headed back inside. Karin noticed that Connor had disappeared and wondered if he would be in her other class, too.
* * *
That evening, Karin went out to dinner at a fancy restaurant with her parents to celebrate their anniversary. Everyone dressed up for the occasion and Karin thought that her mom and dad looked great together and seemed like they were still really in love. She wondered if she and Reese would someday get married and live happily ever after. Or was that something too distant to even consider at this point?
"Are we boring you, honey?" Greer Blanch asked his daughter lightheartedly.
"No, you're not boring me," Karin said, though she was pretty sure they would much rather be celebrating alone.
"Her head's always in the clouds," Karin's mother said.
"Not today," Karin protested. "I'm really happy for you guys."
"We're really happy for each other," Greer said and kissed his wife Josephine.
She smiled and used her pinkie to wipe lipstick from his mouth. "But it doesn't mean that you don't need to work at it to have a lasting marriage," her mother said. "We have, and that makes it all the more rewarding."
"Yeah, I'm taking notes," Karin said, half jokingly. "So I know what works and what doesn't."
"What doesn't work is rushing into marriage too soon and living to regret it," her mother warned.
Karin frowned and stirred her minestrone soup. "Are you talking about me and Reese?"
"Of course she's not, honey," Greer spoke for his wife. "You're way too young to think about marriage or even commitment. She's only speaking in general terms."
Karin wasn't buying that, but didn't want to make a fuss. Not on their anniversary. "Don't worry," she said nonetheless, "marriage is so overrated. Lots of couples are happy without a piece of paper to tie them together."
"Right now, your first priority should be graduating," Josephine said. "After that, you can see what the future holds..."
"When did this suddenly become all about me?" Karin asked. "I thought we were here to celebrate your anniversary."
"We are," Greer said, grinning. "And there's no better way to do that than as a family."
Karin forced a smile and then heard her cell phone buzz. She checked it and saw for the third time that it was Reese. The other times she let it go to voicemail so she wouldn't interrupt the dinner. But now she really wanted to hear his voice.
"Maybe you should get it this time," her father suggested.
"You're sure?" she asked hopefully.
"Yes. Just keep it short."
"I will." She stood up and moved away from their table, wanting to put a little distance between them and her conversation.
"Hey," Reese said.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm at a restaurant with my parents, celebrating their anniversary," Karin told him.
"Oh, right, you mentioned that," he said. "Tell them happy anniversary for me."
"I will." She smiled. "Wish you were here."
"So do I, but this about you and your parents," he said. "I'd better let you get back to it so they don't think I'm taking up all of your time."
"They won't," she promised, even if she could imagine her mother thinking that very thing. "Still, I should go."
"Yeah, same here," he said. "I'm just hanging out with my kid brother, but wanted to hear my girlfriend's sweet voice."
Karin blushed. "I'll call you later and you can hear more of it."
"I love you," she told him.
"Love you, too," he said before disconnecting.
When she got back to the table, Karin was sure her face was still flushed from her conversation with Reese.
"Did I miss anything good?" she asked, sitting down.
"Only a few kisses and tickles," her mother said, grinning.
Karin made a face. "Eww. Gross." Though her parents had always shown a romantic side, she preferred not to think of them that way when it came to sex and passion. On the other hand, she didn't mind thinking about Reese that way, even if they weren't doing anything out of bounds.
"I take it that was Reese," her father said.
For a moment, she thought about saying it was Lesley, but saw no reason to deny it. "Yes, it was Reese."
"So things are still good with you two then?" he asked.
"Of course," she said, lifting up her spoon.
His brows knitted. "He's not trying to get you to do something you shouldn't do, is he? If he is, I swear—"
"No, he's not trying to get me to have sex, Daddy," Karin said, hoping to put his mind at ease. "Reese respects that I'm not ready to go there yet."
"Let's hope so," her mother said. "Maybe now that he's heading to college, things will slow down a bit between you two."
"They're already pretty slow," Karin snorted. "Why can't you just be happy for us?"
"I am happy that you've found your first love, honey," her mother said softly. "But it doesn't mean it has to be your last."
"Maybe it's meant to be my last." Karin shot her mother a look. "Wasn't Daddy your first love?"
"Things were different back then," Josephine said.
"Are you saying that you and Daddy might not have stayed together if you had met and fell in love now?" Karin asked.
Her mother seemed stumped by the question before Karin's father spoke. "I'd like to think our love for each other is ageless," he said. "And yours could be, too. Just don't be in a hurry to find out."
Karin got the message, even if she didn't want to hear it: enjoy your teen romance, but don't commit yourself to him for life at the age of sixteen. She knew they were only trying to protect her. But she didn't need to be protected from Reese, or how he made her feel. They would have to decide for themselves what the future held. She hoped the future would only bring them closer together.