Friday, August 15

Blog Tour: Better Than Perfect (Wildcards #1) by Simone Elkeles

Better Than Perfect (Wildcards #1)
Simone Elkeles

Published By: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: August 14, 2014
Genre: YA - Contemporary Romance

From Goodreads:
Ashtyn's life just got complicated. Her boyfriend is being distant and her sister's back at home after ten years - with a stepson in tow!

Derek has a perfect body, THE sexiest smile and a car - Ashtyn's only way to escape from her crazy life. But Derek likes to play by his own rules and is keen to take Ashtyn on a ride she'll never forget. As they spend more and more time alone together, will Derek's flirty games drive Ashtyn wild?

A sweet and steamy romance from New York Times bestselling author Simone Elkeles.

Derek has got her step brother and her sister worshipping the ground he walks on and now he wants to take her dog too? Ashtyn would love to plot her revenge on this cowboy but her fury is redirected as soon as she spots what the rival football team have done to her drive… See what they have done in the extract.


I’ve been curled up in bed for the past three hours with my eyes
closed tight, wishing my life would stop spinning out of control.
Landon and I didn’t get along last night at all. I don’t even know
where things stand now.
I look at my phone to see if he’s called or texted. He hasn’t,
although it’s Saturday.He’s probably still sleeping.
I slowly head for the bathroom. I’m about to sit on the toilet
when I’m suddenly off balance and feel like I’m going to fall in.
The damn seat is up. I cringe as I set it back down, silently cursing
Derek and fully intending to call him out.
First I need to eat.Then I can confront Derek and head to the
field to practice. Though Dieter doesn’t have official practice on
the weekends, we don’t want to lose our momentum.
Derek walks in the kitchen a few minutes after I do, wearing
shorts and a T-shirt. His long hair is messed up and he looks
sweet and innocent. I know guys like Derek, who look innocent
but are just the opposite. Falkor, who’d disappeared from my
room in the middle of the night, comes prancing in on Derek’s
“Did you lure my dog back in your room last night?” I ask in an
accusatory tone.
“He kept scratching on my door and whining like a baby until
I let him in.”
“You’re stealing him.”
He shrugs. “Maybe he’s sick of you and wants new company.”
“A dog can’t be sick of his owner, Derek, and I’ll have you know
that I’m great company. My dog loves me.”
“If you say so.” He rummages through the fridge, pulls out
some eggs, then grabs a loaf of bread from the pantry. “What happened
at the beach between you and Loverboy? Looked like you
two were havin’ one hell of a night,” he says in a lazy drawl as he
makes himself scrambled eggs and toast.
“What happened to my rule about not leaving the toilet seat
up?” I counter.
The side of his mouth quirks up. “I’ve got this condition, you
see. It prevents me from being ordered around.”
“Uh-huh. A condition, you say?”
“Yeah. It’s real serious.”
“Ooh, I feel so bad for you. You poor baby, being told to do
something by a female. That must’ve threatened your masculinity.”
I pull out a bag of Skittles from the pantry and sort out the
purple ones like I always do, then start munching on the rest.
Derek leans close and whispers in my ear, “Nothing threatens
my masculinity, Sugar Pie.”
 A tingly sensation zings up my spine when his warm breath
touches my skin. I’m momentarily paralyzed.
He opens the fridge again. “Besides eggs and toast, you got
anythin’ in here besides junk and processed food?”
I pretend he has no effect on me. “Nope.”
Derek sits down with his eggs and toast, but stares at my collection
of purple Skittles with those clear blue eyes that belong on
someone who doesn’t leave the toilet seat up on purpose.
“Nutritious,” he says.
“It’s comfort food,” I tell him.
He quirks his eyebrow, clearly amused. “If you say so.”
“Ugh. Don’t tell me you’re a health nut.”
He scoops up a forkful of eggs. “I’m not a health nut.”
“Good.Here,” I say, pushing my collection of purple Skittles
toward him. “You can have the purple ones. I’m allergic to them.”
He raises a brow. “You’re allergic to purple Skittles?” he asks,
skepticism laced in his voice.
“I’m allergic to purple dye.” I grab an orange one and pop it
into my mouth. “But I’m not allergic to the rest of them. I love
“I’m good with my own breakfast, but thanks.”Derek takes bite
after bite of eggs and toast. When Julian walks in, Derek focuses
on my nephew. “Hey, buddy,” he says. “Want some breakfast?”
Julian nods.
“I can help,” I quickly tell Derek. I need to redeem myself so
Julian doesn’t think I’m the worst aunt who ever lived. If I have to
work hard and long for that hug, I’m gonna do it.
I start to get out of my chair, but Derek holds up a hand. “I
got it.”
After my mom left, my dad never made home-cooked meals.
I had to fend for myself and ate what he brought home from the
store: frozen, microwavable food and junk. Obviously Derek’s
mom spent more time with him than my mom did with me.While
it’s not his fault, I’m overwhelmingly jealous.
Julian sits in the chair next to where Derek had been sitting.
Derek’s presence in my house makes me feel insignificant and
unneeded. I might as well be invisible.
“Want some Skittles?” I wave the bag in front of my nephew’s
face in a lame attempt to get him to bond with me. I’ve never
seen a kid who didn’t like candy. “It’s super good breakfast junk
He shakes his head. My nephew wants nothing to do with me.
My nemesis puts a plate of steaming scrambled eggs and toast
in front of Julian.My mouth waters from the smell of freshly
toasted bread. Julian eats, humming enthusiastically with each
bite.The tune reminds me of our school fight song,which is chanted
by the fans during halftime at our games.
Thinking of our fight song reminds me that I didn’t look outside
to make sure my house hasn’t been tp’d by Fairfield. It was all
clear when I went to bed last night,but Falkor slept in the den and
might not have heard anything. I pull back the curtains in the living
room. My hand flies to my mouth as I take in the sight of my
entire front yard.
No! No, no, no, no, no!
It’s worse than being tp’d. Worse than I could have ever imagined,
and completely humiliating.
Toilet paper isn’t hanging down like white flags waving from
branches of every tree. Instead, hundreds of maxi pads are stuck
to the tree trunks, and tampons are tied to the branches like a
bunch of little Christmas ornaments fluttering in the wind.
As if that wasn’t sick enough, all of the pads and tampons have
fake bright red blood marks on them. Even my mailbox has pads
stuck all over it.
I seethe with anger and burn in embarrassment as I rush to
clean up the yard, then suck in a breath when my eyes focus on my
driveway. In big letters are two words written in a multitude of

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