Going Under Series Book 2
By Georgia Cates
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Formats available: ebook
Cover Artist: Georgia Cates
Nick Hawke likes his car fast and his girls even faster. He blows through females quicker than his muscle car races down the drag strip in Collinsville and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Determined to avoid the devastation he has watched his father endure in the aftermath of his mother leaving, he believes there is no room in his life or his heart for a relationship lasting more than one night. He seeks happiness in things that won’t let him down...fast cars, parties and one night stands. To his absolute dismay, all of that changes when he unexpectedly runs into an old friend and is introduced to Payton Archer, the first girl he ever wanted for more than one night. There’s only one catch...she is completely immune to him and his smooth talking ways.
Payton Archer is looking for what Claire has with Jessie, but she has given up on finding it...at least until she leaves for college in the Fall because she is certain that is where she will find the perfect guy to fit into her perfect world. She plans on Summer being nothing but three uneventful months of fun, but it turns out to be anything but ordinary when Payton is introduced to Nick Hawke, one of Jessie’s old Collinsville friends. She is shocked by her immediate and intense attraction for “Hawke” because nothing about him is what Payton is looking for. Sure, he’s hot and sexy but he comes from Collinsville and that is definitely not on her list of prerequisites. Everything about him makes Payton’s heart speed because he is exciting and dangerous, but his fast car and the dangerous chances he takes isn’t what scares Payton the most...it’s the way Nick Hawke makes her feel every time he looks at her. Can Payton find that moment of total fearlessness and make the decision to leave the safe, shallow end of love to risk going under completely?
Sex Tricks Jedi
Why the hell was I driving to Collinsville to watch Dane Wickam race? And better yet, how had I let him talk me into making a two-hundred dollar bet that he would win? I didn’t know jack about racing and if I had to guess, Dane didn’t either. Sure, his parents bought him a fast, new Porsche for graduation, but that didn’t mean he knew how to race it.
I came to a stop at a red light just before we entered Collinsville, Jessie’s old stomping ground, and looked up in my rearview mirror at him sitting in my backseat. “Hey, Jessie, do you know this guy Dane is going to race?”
“Yeah, I went to school with Hawke at Collinsville. We were in the same class.”
“Hawke?” I laughed and the only thing I could picture was some guy with a big hooked nose like a bad cartoon. “What kind of name is Hawke? His mom is wrong for doing that to him.”
“His name is Nick Hawke, but everyone calls him Hawke and the name suits him pretty well. He’s well known as somewhat of a predator.”
That didn’t sound like a compliment. “A predator? You mean like a hunter?”
I watched Jessie laughing in my mirror. “No, girls are his chosen prey.”
Claire turned around in her seat to look at Jessie. “That’s funny because I was under the impression that the Collinsville ladies’ man left when you came to East Franklin.”
“No, Hawke was always the favorite among the chicks. They love his pretty face. I swear he can sweet talk himself into any girl’s pants, so I want you to keep your distance from him. I don’t want you falling for any of his Jedi sex tricks.”
What tha’? I spun around to look at Jessie sitting in the backseat behind Claire. “Did you just say Jedi sex tricks?”
Somehow in the midst of turning to look at Jessie, I forgot I was the one in the driver’s seat and my foot accidentally slipped off the brake and pounded onto the accelerator.
“Payton, look out!” Claire squealed just before I rammed into the back of the car stopped in front of us.
The whole thing happened in a split second. Shit. My parents were going to kill me. I didn’t have the best driving record ever, but at least I’d never gotten into an accident. So much for my clean accident-free driving history.
Jessie leaned toward me in the driver’s seat. “Yes, I said Jedi sex tricks.”
“Shut up,” I barked as I looked at the car in front of us to assess the damage but I couldn’t tell anything from inside the car. I watched the driver sling his door open and get out to look at the back of his car before he turned and stared at me with narrowed eyes.
Oh. My. Gosh. I just mated my Lexus with a P.O.S. Camaro being driven by quite possibly the hottest guy I’d ever seen. The problem, other than the obvious? He was pissed about it...like really pissed and he was staring at me like he could strangle me.
“Uh, I don’t think you should get out of the car. He looks really mad. Maybe we should just call in the accident and wait on the police to come,” Claire suggested.
“Nah, I’ve got this.” Jessie opened the door and was out of my car before Claire could object. He was Claire’s knight in shining armor and because I was the bestie without a boyfriend, he took it upon himself to be my protector as well. That was just Jessie.
I cracked my window as he walked by. “Hey, Kimosabe, do you think you can manage to not take a gunshot wound or knife to the gut? You know you don’t have a really great track record with confrontation.”
Without looking back, he flipped me off over his shoulder and I turned to Claire. “You really need to teach your boyfriend some manners.”
She rolled her eyes as she shook her head. “Apparently I’m not very successful at that. I haven’t managed to teach you any over the years.”
“I have manners, but you know my motto. Why be difficult, when with only a little bit of effort, you can be impossible?”
Claire shifted uncomfortably in her seat as she watched Jessie put his hands on his hips and turn back to look at us in the car. “There are a lot of other things you could excel at besides being a smart ass,” she argued.
“I'm sorry you find my normal behavior to be highly inappropriate, Princess.”
“Nope, you know that you don’t get to call me that,” Claire protested. “Jessie is the only one with that privilege.”
Jessie turned from talking with ‘hot guy I just slammed into’ and walked around to Claire’s side of the car. She rolled down her window and Jessie leaned in with his arms resting on top of my car and looked at Claire. “Warning...This is going to go over like a turd in the punchbowl.”
I leaned around Claire to see Jessie. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“He says that he won’t sue if you’ll go out with him.” He was laughing as he said it.
I looked at Jessie and waited for the punchline. “You need to stop trying to be a clown because there’s not a circus in town.”
He held his hands up like he was an innocent party, but he was still laughing. “That’s what he said.”
“Oh, hell to the naw,” I announced as I waved my finger in the pattern of an imaginary zig zag. I slung my car door open and said, “I only need a minute to take care of this.”
“Be nice, Payton. You did just run into the back of his car,” Claire reminded me.
I slung my car door shut and straightened my short skirt before I walked toward Mr. Prince of Nothing Charming in my four inch wedge heels. This was going to be the most fun I would have all night so I better take advantage of it.
Damn. The closer I got, the more I realized how great looking this jerk was. His hair was dark and longer than I liked, but it fit him so perfectly the way the untamed tendrils curled and stuck to the perspiration along his hairline. He reached to shove a lock out of his face and his chocolate brown eyes pierced mine as though he saw straight through to my soul. My own heart betrayed me as it began to race without my permission and my breath was held hostage in the back of my throat as I wondered what his slightly scruffy face would feel like against my jaw.
Snap out of it, Dummy! I reminded myself that this guy was actually trying to blackmail me into a date.
Cars crept by and the occupants rubbernecked in our direction hoping to see something exciting. I stopped in front of him, crossed my arms and got down to business. “So, I have to go out with you if I don’t want to get sued, huh? Are you kiddin’ me, dude? That’s called blackmail.”
He gave me a big lopsided seductive grin and I was certain it wasn’t the first time he had used it to get what he wanted. “Some might call it extortion, but yeah...I think a date would be adequate compensation for any damage that may have occurred.”
I turned to look at the back of his car and saw that neither of our vehicles had suffered any damage during my unfortunate Jedi sex trick mishap. I could have argued that there was nothing to be compensated for, but I felt like having a little fun with this guy. “Do you have something I could use to write my contact information on?”
His lopsided grin oozed with satisfaction and turned up on both sides to reveal two of the cutest dimples I had ever seen. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell. “Don’t need it. I’ll put you in my phone,” he said as he stood there waiting to hear my digits.
He was going to add me in his cell phone, today’s version of the Little Black Book. He didn’t see the smirk on my face because he was busy looking at his phone while I called off, “5-5-5-3-9-8-5. Vivian Archer, Attorney at Law. She’s my mother and your attorney may contact her so they may discuss the conditions of your claim against me.”
Okay, that was a little bit of a lie. My mother had not practiced law in years, but he didn’t have to know that. His sexy little grin faded and mine spread bigger as I said, “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have money riding on a race and I’d like to be there to collect my winnings.”
Then his lopsided grin returned. “A race, huh? I heard about that. I hope you bet on Hawke instead of that spoiled rich kid from East Franklin or you can expect to kiss your money good-bye.”
So, he was a ‘know it all’ also. “As a matter of fact, I did not bet on anyone named after a bird. My money is riding on the brand new Porsche.”
In his fitted black T-shirt and dark washed jeans, he stepped back and leaned against his old black Camaro. He crossed his arms and I suspected he did so to call attention to his muscular, tanned biceps. Mission accomplished.
“You placed a bet on a car with no consideration for the driver? That’s known as bad betting, Doll Face. I hope you didn’t wager a lot of money because you are going to lose.”
I shifted my weight to one leg and kept my arms crossed over my chest. “I have two Benjamins on the Porsche that is going to win.”
He let out a high pitched whistle. “Wow, you seem very confident in your car, so how would you feel about upping your ante since you’re so positive the Porsche will leave Hawke in the dust?”
I wish I could, but I didn’t have cash on me and I doubted this jerk took credit. “Sorry, no can do unless I can swipe my Visa up your ass crack.”
He laughed as he said, “Wow, I didn’t expect anything like that to come out of that beautiful little delicate mouth of yours.”
His statement alone showed he didn’t know all he thought he did because it was a rare occasion that anything delicate came out of my mouth. “You’d be surprised.”
He cocked his head slightly and smiled, a sure sign that he was intrigued by my less than ladylike statement. “I love surprises.”
I heard a car honk its horn in the distance. “In case you forgot, we’re in the middle of the road holding up traffic,” I reminded him.
He displayed his lack of concern with the traffic by the wave of his hand in their direction. “They can wait. I have a proposal for you.”
I suddenly thought of Demi Moore and Robert Redford in Indecent Proposal. “A decent proposal, I hope.”
He smiled and I was pretty sure he understood my reference to the movie.
“Don’t worry, Doll Face. It’s a decent proposal,” he promised. “I’d like to make a side bet with you. If your car wins, I’ll give you two-hundred bucks in addition to the winnings you’ll receive from the pot on the bet you have already placed.”
Wait for it. Wait for it. Where was the catch? “I’m listening, but I didn’t hear what you are proposing I wager?”
There was that seductive lopsided grin again. “I only ask that you agree to one night with me.”
Was he kiddin’ me? There was no way that could be considered a decent proposal. The way he said it was so seductive and I wasn’t quite sure what he meant by ‘one night with him.’ I was speechless. I was breathless. I was curious.
His expression became smug as he lifted one eyebrow and said, “I guess you’re not as confident as you claim to be or this would be a no-brainer.”
Shizzle, that eyebrow lift thing he did was sexy. I mentally pimp slapped myself and doused my face with ice water. I managed to gather some words but I wasn’t sure how convincing I sounded when I squeaked out, “I’m very confident that my driver is going to win.”
“Okay, prove it then. Accept my bet,” he provoked.
There it was. He challenged me and totally got my competitive juices flowing. I knew I shouldn’t agree to it because what would I be proving? Nothing...but it sure would be funny to wipe that grin of his face and it never hurt to make an extra two-hundred bucks. “I’m not afraid, so I’ll take your challenge.”
He held his hand out to me and I looked at it like it was a snake in the Garden of Eden. I reached to take it and asked, “Can I safely assume that you will be at the race and that you won’t run off with my money after Dane wins?”
He laughed at me and I might have been pissed about it except I got to see his gorgeous dimples again. “There won’t be any running off with your money, Doll Face. I’ll be looking for you so we can settle up on our night together.”
His cockiness pissed me off so I was the one to pull my hand free from his. “I think you’ve delighted me long enough with your trash talk. I have a race to watch.”
“And I have a race to win,” he said before he got into his car. He started the engine and it roared loudly, just like a race car. I stood frozen in the middle of the road and watched him pull away as I realized I never asked his name.
Shit! Was that Nick Hawke and had I unknowingly been preyed upon by the Sex Tricks Jedi? I did not want to admit it, but I think I had just been bested. I walked with my tail tucked between my legs and got into the car.
“What’s wrong, Payton?” Claire asked when I didn’t volunteer an explanation.
“Hell just froze over,” I said as I stared ahead at the spot once occupied by a Camaro and its driver.
“Oh, shit!” I heard Jessie growl from the back seat. “I know that look.”
I turned around and said, “That was him, wasn’t it? Nick Hawke? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“You didn’t give me a chance to tell you anything before you hopped out of the car with promises of man handling him. You said that you only needed a minute to straighten him out and I believed you,” Jessie reminded me.
I pinched the bridge of my nose and Claire recognized that as my signature move when I was stressed. “You’re pinching your nose. What’s wrong? What did he say to you?”
I felt stupid and played and I wasn’t telling them about my ignorant bet with Nick Hawke unless I had to...if I lost.
“Nothing, Claire. Let’s just go watch this race and get it over with.” And hope Dane drove that Porsche like he stole it.
Oh, I LOVED this book soooo much. It was even better than the first one, a lot better actually. But I did expected it to be better, because the main characters in this book are Payton and Nick, and we know Payton from Going Under, so, I'm glad it lived to my expectations.
I loved the connection between Payton and Nick. We have a bad boy here, but Payton isn't much of a goody-goody, so you know how interesting their relationship must be.
This book has made me laugh my ass off at times, but also made me bawl my eyes out. I loved every single page of it. I read it in one sitting, and just couln't stop, 'cause I always wanted to know what happens next.
I really hope this isn't the last book in the series and that Georgia Cates writes another one, maybe on Dallas or Dave, or whoever as long as she writes it.
About the Author:
Georgia resides in rural Mississippi with her wonderful husband, Jeff, and their two beautiful daughters. She spent fourteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an author.
Blood of Anteros, Book One in The Vampire Agápe Series, was her first novel and it was released in September 2011. She decided to briefly step away from the paranormal genre to try her hand at a young adult contemporary romance when she wrote Going Under, but returned to the paranormal romance platform to complete the second book in The Vampire Agápe Series, Blood Jewel.
Her current works in progress are Shallow (A Going Under Novel) which will release on September 27th and Blood Doll (The Vampire Agápe Series #3), to be released in January 2013.
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