Skylar Fletcher is a proud Harris Academy Bulldog! She has everything she’s ever wanted: a perfect boyfriend, great friends, and her dream college waiting for her in the fall. But nothing lasts forever. Skylar’s world shatters when her mom decides it is time to move and drags Skylar, kicking and screaming, into Bobcat territory.
At Delmont High School, home of the Bobcats, Skylar has no friends and is often bullied. To make matters worse, her home life sucks thanks to all-star quarterback Caleb Morgan, nephew of her mom’s live-in boyfriend.
At first Skylar and Caleb want nothing to do with one another. But they soon discover they’re not that different after all–and each is harboring a secret attraction to the other. But can a Bulldog and a Bobcat ever really be more than friends? And are Skylar and Caleb willing to risk everything to find out? Rival Love is a debut young adult contemporary romance from Natalie Decker.
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My eyes expand. Morgan? Why do I know that name? My mother makes her way toward the commotion. I stifle back a remark and wander off into the other rooms of the house. A loud snapping sound pulls my focus from a set of mahogany chairs and table, to a black and white kitchen. Taking a seat on one of the barstools is a tall, cute guy with shaggy, dark brown hair.
I watch a bottle of water shift from one hand to the other. Why am I staring at him? I don’t know why, and for some reason can’t stop. Black cords string from his ears down to a small iPod secured to his left bicep. He unscrews the cap and starts to take a drink from the bottle. All at once, it hits me: I’m staring at the all-star Bobcat quarterback. Caleb Morgan. My life just became a whole lot worse.
“Liv!” my mother calls.
I flinch and glance back at the dining room. My mother continues to yell my name but I don’t answer. Facing the boy again, his green eyes lock with mine, and I stand there frozen and say nothing.
His eyes trail up and down my body. “Well, well, well. A freaking Bulldog is in my house. Hell must’ve frozen over,” Caleb says.
I glare at him. “I was just leaving.”
“Uh-huh. Guess I could give you some parting wisdom before you go.” He stands and makes his way to me. “Changing your name to Liv isn’t going to save you from getting your assed kicked in school. You do know that, right, Skylar?” The way he says my name sends a shiver down my spine. His face cringes a little when my mother’s voice carries into the kitchen.
I flip him the bird. “That’s what I think about your parting wisdom. And FYI, I’m not changing my name, that’s just what my mother calls me, moron!”
I turn on my heels and my mother enters the room with Brian in tow. Damn. “Oh, there you are. I wanted you to see … oh … ” She looks past me and smiles. “Hi, Caleb. I’m glad you two have met then. See, Liv, you already know someone. It’s not going to be so bad.”
She has no idea. Not a freaking clue. I want her to stop talking now. Why won’t she stop talking? “I’m so glad someone Liv’s age will be around to help her get adjusted to the school.”
“My pleasure. I’d love to stay and chat, but I need to get my run in.” My mother is oblivious to the sarcasm lacing his words, but I notice.
Brian blocks the exit to the back door. “Hold up. I need your help with their bags and we need to talk about the Danielle Samson episode on my front porch.”
I smirk as Caleb’s face slowly changes from a smile to a frown.
Ha. Stupid Bobcat! “Fine,” Caleb grumbles. They make their way past my mother and I.
My mother gets a peck on the lips from Brian, and I get a snort from Caleb.
As soon as the boys leave, my mother squeals, “What do you think?”
“I think this place sucks. Are we done pretending yet? If we leave now, I might be able to get my life back.”
My comments bring her down from her glowing high. “Skylar, I’m happy. This is our home now. As soon as you start accepting that the better off things will be for the both of us.”
“I’m a Bulldog, Mother! This isn’t my home. I’m far from it.”
Natalie Decker is the Author of Rival Love. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn’t her favorite time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books. She’s a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome dog infinity times infinity. If she’s not writing, reading, traveling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she’s off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!
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