Lust (Robin Wasserman's Seven Deadly Sins Series #1)

Lust (Robin Wasserman's Seven Deadly Sins Series #1)

4.2 45
by Robin Wasserman, Howard Pyle
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Alpha girl Harper is used to getting what she wants,
and that means Adam,
Beth's all-American boytoy.
Blond, boring Beth, who Kane,
the charming playah, secretly wants too.
Miranda thinks Kane is out of her league,
but she wants him all the same.
And then there's the new girl.
Kaia. Who only wants trouble —
and he's

See more details below

Overview

Alpha girl Harper is used to getting what she wants,
and that means Adam,
Beth's all-American boytoy.
Blond, boring Beth, who Kane,
the charming playah, secretly wants too.
Miranda thinks Kane is out of her league,
but she wants him all the same.
And then there's the new girl.
Kaia. Who only wants trouble —
and he's definitely on his way.
Want to know more?
Commit

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this launch title of Wasserman's titillating Seven Deadly Sins series, popular high school seniors, including a designer-dressed transfer student from New York City, scheme to win the objects of their affection-even if it means busting up a friend's relationship, or making a bold play for a teacher. Readers may tire of predictable characters and situations: Beth, "the blah blonde," is with jock Adam, player Kane wants Beth, while both sultry Harper and bold Kaia want Adam (Kaia's interest is only temporary-she's really after the new British teacher, who makes a pass at Beth), and sharp Miranda has fallen for Kane. In an unusual twist from the Gossip Girls-style mode, the book is not set in a glamorous city, but instead a run-down California town: Harper has to mail-order her Victoria's Secret underwear and the kids hold a private formal dance-after-party at an abandoned motel. The narrative rotates through the different character's perspectives as they deal with their love lives and resulting complications (including scheming, feuding, cheating and, in Miranda's case, bulimia). The narrative brims with gooey romance-style passages ("She could reach out, take his hand in hers beneath the table, massage his fingertips and then press him against her body, so hungry for his touch"), and will likely appeal only on a guilty-pleasure level. Ages 14-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
Grace, California is a small town full of teenagers who are friendly, well behaved, and boring. That's how it seems to spoiled rich girl Kaia, who has just moved there from New York City. She misses her friends, the parties, and the finest clothes money can buy. Then she meets Harper and her clique, and decides to make things more interesting. Under the guise of helping organize an after-party for the high school formal, Kaia intends to get what she wants, no matter who gets hurt. It shouldn't be too hard to separate dumb jock Adam from his chaste girlfriend Beth by giving him the sex he's looking for. Harper has been after Adam for ages, so it's double the fun to seduce him and make Harper jealous. Meanwhile, Harper's best friend Miranda is after sleazy Kane, who has slept with almost all of the available women in town, but Kane is interested in making Kaia his next conquest. The first in a series of seven books, each based on a deadly sin, Lust fulfills its promise as all of the characters are involved with thinking about sex, talking about it, or concocting elaborate schemes to get it. The story is utterly predictable, and the characters are nothing special, but teen readers will flock to it. Recommend this series to older readers of Gossip Girl. Please note that the book contains fairly explicit descriptions of sexual situations. (Seven Deadly Sins). KLIATT Codes: S—Recommended for senior high school students. 2005, Simon & Schuster, Pulse, 292p., Ages 15 to 18.
—Olivia Durant
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Grace, CA, is populated by bored young adults who are obsessed with sex. This first entry in the series contains enough gossiping, scheming, and unrequited love to categorize it as a teen soap opera. Harper can have almost any boy she wants. Unfortunately, she wants Adam, who's infatuated with Beth, but she is not ready to consummate their relationship. Adam's frustration leads him to sleep with Kaia, the new girl who may usurp Harper's position as most popular. After Kaia seduces Adam, she moves on to Kane, who's as self-centered as she is. Meanwhile, Harper's friend Miranda longs for a date with the egotistical Kane. The only adult character is a teacher who makes advances on one of his students. Despite all, this is an entertaining novel. The same impulse that lures teens to Desperate Housewives or Zoey Dean's "A-List" and Cecily von Ziegesar's "Gossip Girls" series (both Little, Brown) will draw teens to it.-Stephanie L. Petruso, Anne Arundel County Public Library, Odenton, MD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689877827
Publisher:
Simon Pulse
Publication date:
09/27/2005
Series:
Robin Wasserman's Seven Deadly Sins Series, #1
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
887,321
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


Chapter One

"And it was the best sex I'd ever had." Harper finished off the story with her favorite line and a lascivious grin.

The other girls tanning themselves on the makeshift beach (though chaise lounges plus backyard plus desert sun and margaritas did not an island paradise make) sighed appreciatively. All but Miranda, who rolled her eyes and -- just barely -- stifled a snort. Harper had already given her best friend the full download on this guy, so she knew very well that the previous evening's encounter had been nothing if not nasty, brutish, and (perhaps mercifully) short.

But Harper knew Miranda would keep her mouth shut. After all, when had she ever dared ruin a Harper Grace story? Never -- which is exactly why their friendship had lasted so long.

"So what now?" Beth asked, tucking her long blond hair behind her ears. A nervous habit. Miranda and Harper exchanged a smirk: The hallmark of any good Beth Manning imitation was to get the hair tuck just right, at a frequency of about one per every three sentences. "Are you going to see him again?"

Harper just laughed and shook her head, a crest of wavy auburn hair whipping across her face. "Maybe when hell freezes over -- or when pashminas come back in style -- but not before. Not even great sex is worth dealing with that again, if you know what I mean..."

The girls all burst into laughter and, clinking their plastic margarita glasses, toasted -- to good stories, and better decisions. In the rock-paper-scissors of life in Grace, California, sex sometimes trumped boredom -- but often (given the quality of guys available in Grace) it was the other way around.

But this -- sun, fun, and booze, girls only -- this was the life. They'd been meeting once a week all summer, setting up shop in Harper's backyard -- and given that the rest of the week was generally filled with sweat, lethargy, and dead-end part-time jobs off the highway, serving fast food or gas or porn to skeezy travelers, "beach day" was always a highlight. Even if instead of sexy bronzed lifeguards, they were watched over by a couple of spiny, brownish cacti. Even if the only available view consisted of the low-slung hills that loomed on the fringes of town, lumps of dirt and dust irregularly spotted with scrub brush as if they'd been struck by a fatal dose of desert leprosy. Even if the only water in sight sat warming in the pitcher Harper periodically tipped into the mouth of the tequila bottle, replacing what she'd taken in hopes her parents would remain none the wiser. So what? The sun still bore down on them from a cloudless sky, mixing with their carefully applied sunscreen to create the picture-perfect tan. The day was hot, the drinks were cool, and it was still summer. At least for now.

"But the really unbelievable thing -- ," Harper began again, then stopped abruptly. "Aren't you a little old for the Peeping Tom act?" she called out in a louder voice, gesturing toward the sliding glass door of the house next door, where a strikingly handsome face had just shown itself. Harper's neighbor, and another highlight of the week: the handsome, hunky, and utterly unavailable Adam Morgan. It wouldn't be a day at the beach without putting in some scoping time. And there was no one better to scope -- too bad he always showed up fully clothed.

Adam crept into the backyard with one hand splayed loosely over his eyes.

"Is it safe for me to look, or have you ladies started up the nude tanning portion of your afternoon?" he asked, as the girls frantically threw themselves into poses that maximized their good parts -- not that, in their skimpy bikinis, there was much of anywhere to hide the bad.

"This is reality, Adam, not your favorite porn movie," Harper drawled. "What are you doing here, anyway? Shouldn't you be off somewhere celebrating your last day of freedom? There's only" -- she checked her watch -- "nineteen hours left before that first bell rings."

"Yeah, good-bye summer, hello torture. Don't worry, I'm headed out to the courts now -- just thought I'd stop by to say hello." He ruffled Harper's hair and then squeezed onto the plastic chaise lounge next to Beth, slinging a tan, well-muscled arm around his girlfriend.

"Nice to see you, too," Beth giggled. "Now get out of here so that Harper can finish telling us about her date."

"Another date?" He flashed Harper a knowing grin and took a swig from Beth's drink. "I just hope you're not teaching my girl here any of your tricks." He winked at Harper, then leaned over to give Beth a quick peck on the lips.

That was Adam -- equal opportunity friend, one-woman man.

Beth nuzzled against her boyfriend. "Don't worry, Adam -- I think Harper's got all the guys in town staked out as her own personal property. I guess I'm just stuck with you."

No one who wasn't watching for it would have noticed, but with those words, Harper's face turned a definite shade of pale. And who could blame her? Listening to the happy couple's flirtatious simpering was enough to turn anyone's stomach. And given that Beth had only been invited in the first place by virtue of her connection to Adam, it seemed more than a bit inappropriate for her to be teasing Harper about her conquests. It was one thing when Harper and Miranda laughed about all the men -- but coming out of Beth's mouth, it just made Harper sound like...well...a slut.

But Harper suppressed the nasty comeback that threatened to leap off her tongue. No reason to let the blah blonde spoil her perfectly pleasant afternoon. Besides, Beth would learn her lesson -- soon enough.

"I mean, come on, Harper," Beth continued, oblivious to the dangerous ground she was treading. "After all these years and all these dates, is there even anyone left? Or have you been through every eligible guy in town?"

Harper aimed her most sugary grin at the happy couple, her gaze lingering on Adam's handsomely chiseled face and brawny shoulders.

"Not yet, Beth," she said, slowly shaking her head. "Trust me -- not yet."

With a sneer, Kaia wearily waved away the stewardess -- or flight attendant, if you wanted to bother being PC about it. Which she didn't, of course. Who cared if she offended little blond Charlotte, washed-up beauty queen from Tennessee, or Ricky, her so-gay-here-come-the-stereotype-police-to-come-drag-him-away partner in crime? As if she wanted a rancid plate of underdone potatoes and gravy-swaddled mystery meat sitting in front of her for the rest of the flight. She didn't need airplane food to make her nauseous -- these days, life was doing a good enough job of that on its own.

She squirmed in her seat, trying her best not to touch the greasy arm of the woman next to her, who'd only barely managed to squeeze her rolls of fat into the narrow seat. Talk about airplane clichés -- now all she needed was the screaming baby.

THUD.

Oh, that's right -- the universe's central casting office had instead saddled her with a bratty five-year-old who had a bad case of ADD and, apparently, a spastic kicking problem.

"Now, now, Taylor," a weary voice behind her said. "We don't kick the seat in front of us -- it's not nice."

Kaia wanted to turn around and explain to little Taylor and his wimpy mother exactly what would happen to "us" if the kicking continued throughout the rest of this interminable flight -- but she thought better of it.

Simple math: The in-flight movie (some tedious Adam Sandler bomb) would only last two hours, the flight would last at least six -- she needed to save some entertainment options for later.

THUD.

Kaia sighed, pulled out her iPod, and tried to relax. As the Shins warbled in her ear, she practiced the breathing exercises that Rashi -- her mother's yoga instructor, life coach, and all-around personal guru -- had taught her last year. Breathe in, breathe out. Clear your mind. Go to your safe place.

Of course it was all bullshit -- ancient wisdom dished out at $300 an hour, maybe -- but bullshit nonetheless.

She just needed to stop dwelling. Stress causes wrinkles, Kaia reminded herself, and just because her mother was the reigning Botox queen of Manhattan didn't mean that she was eager to claim the throne anytime soon. She needed to calm down...but exactly how was she supposed to do that with her hideous new life rushing toward her at six hundred miles an hour?

It was bad enough that she was being shipped across the country like a piece of furniture. (Last summer, for example, her mother had decided that her grandmother's mahogany armoire clashed with the new Danish modern decor and shipped it out to her father. This summer's "out of sight, out of mind" shipment was Kaia.) Bad enough that she was going to miss this year's Central Park fall gala, the winter benefit season, all the La Perla sample sales -- basically, every social event of the year. And she was sure that her so-called friends would waste no time in making her so-called boyfriend (okay, all her boyfriends) feel a little less lonely.

It was certainly bad enough that she was going to be stuck in the middle of nowhere -- literally exiled to the desert, and for a lot longer than forty days and forty nights. That tomorrow she'd be facing her first day at some hick school sure to be filled with a bunch of losers destined for community college or ranching school, and who probably thought that Gucci was a neato name for a pet cow.

THUD.

She winced. (One more time and that kid was going to learn about the emergency exits the hard way.)

It was bad enough, to sum up, that the plane was hurtling toward a father she barely knew, a town whose name she couldn't remember, a year in hicksville hell --

THUD.

All that was bad enough -- but honestly, did they really have to make her fly coach?

Kane Geary released the ball from his fingertips and then turned away, as if to demonstrate his lack of interest in following its perfect arc across the court. But he grinned as, a moment later, he heard the swish.

"Check it out," he bragged. "Nothing but net."

Adam grabbed the ball and tossed it back to his friend in disgust. He should have known his early lead was just a false hope. He'd known Kane for almost ten years -- and the last time Kane lost a game of pickup ball, they'd both been about three feet tall. Kane may have been too lazy to show up for practices (so lazy, in fact, that he'd been thrown off the Haven High team in ninth grade, never to return), but when it came to actual games, he hated to lose. And thus, never did.

In other words, trailing by seven points and about five minutes away from utter exhaustion, Adam had no chance whatsoever.

"Okay, Shaq, how about we wrap it up for today?" he suggested. The tiny basketball court behind the high school offered no opportunities for shade (much like the rest of town), their bottles of water were long since empty, and after an hour of running back and forth in the searing desert heat, Adam's shorts looked like he'd just worn them in the shower. His shirt, now balled up at the foot of the basket, had long since become a lost cause, and his sweaty chest glistened in the sun.

Kane, on the other hand, looked as if he'd just stepped out of his air-conditioned Camaro; only a small trickle of sweat tracing a path down his cheekbone betrayed the afternoon's exertion in 103-degree heat.

Kane tossed up a casual layup, which rolled once around the rim and then tipped away, on the wrong side of the net. At least the guy misses sometimes, Adam told himself. Small comfort.

"In awe of my superior skills?" Kane smirked, jogging down the court to grab the rebound. "Terrified of going head-to-head against the reigning champ? Worried that by the time the winter season starts, you'll be so demoralized that you'll have to drop off your little team?"

Adam laughed, imagining the look on his coach's face after hearing that his star forward was too sad to play that season. Yeah, coach would just love that.

Adam darted across the court and snatched the ball away from Kane, shooting a jump shot from mid-court and watching with satisfaction as the ball soared toward the net.

Three points. Sweet.

"More like I need to get home and make myself pretty for my girlfriend," he corrected Kane. "I hope all those dreams of basketball glory keep you warm tonight while you're sitting home alone eating leftovers and watching The Simpsons. Beth and I will be thinking of you -- oh, wait, no we won't."

"Very funny. You should take that act on the road." Kane shook his head in disbelief. "I still don't understand what the hottest girl in school sees in a loser like you -- you're just lucky I'm too busy to give you much competition." Kane palmed the ball and tossed Adam his shirt, and they took off for the parking lot. In the waning hours of summer vacation it was still empty, Kane's lovingly restored Camaro and Adam's rusted Chevy the only evidence of human life in the concrete wasteland. As they walked, both guys tried their best to avoid looking directly at the low-slung red building that would soon imprison them for the next nine months. Ignoring the inevitable may have been a feeble defense, but it was all they had.

"And by 'busy,' I assume you mean hopping in and out of bed with half the cheerleading squad and three fifths of the girl's field hockey team?" Adam retorted. With his close-cropped black hair, piercing brown eyes, and impeccable physique, Kane could have any girl he wanted. And Adam knew that by now, he'd pretty much had them all.

"Dude, you know what they say -- idle hands are the devil's plaything." Kane gave Adam his best Sunday school smile. "You gotta keep them busy doing something."

"You're disgusting, you know that?" Adam slapped his friend good-naturedly on the back. "You give us all a bad name."

Kane shoved him in return, then began idly dribbling the ball as they walked.

"Seriously, Adam, I know she's hot, but you've been with her awhile -- aren't you bored yet? There's bound to be some freshman cuties this year..."

Adam bristled and walked a step faster, wondering -- not for the first time -- how disgusted Beth would be if she knew the kind of guy his best friend really was. Sure, she'd seen plenty of Kane and was already distinctly unimpressed -- but that was Kane in good behavior mode. Kane: Uncensored was not a pretty sight.

"I mean, she's gorgeous and all," Kane continued, "but she seems a little uptight, if you know what I mean."

Adam whirled on him, eyes blazing with anger.

"Enough! Don't talk about her like that. She's not one of your brainless floozies. She's -- " Adam cut himself off. He wasn't about to explain to Kane how Beth was different from all the girls he'd dated before (especially since he still didn't really understand it himself). Wasn't going to tell him about how beautiful she looked in the desert moonlight or how he could tell her things, secrets, about himself and his life and his dreams that he'd never told anyone before. He certainly wasn't telling Kane that he thought he might be in love with her.

They were guys, after all, and friendship -- even best friendship -- had its limits.

"Whatever," he finally continued. "Just give it a rest, okay? Beth and I are not breaking up anytime soon."

Kane winked and gave Adam an intentionally hokey leer.

"No problem. I guess if I had a girl like that willing to climb into bed with me, I wouldn't want to let her out anytime soon either."

Adam flushed and said a silent prayer to whoever watched over sex-obsessed teenagers that Kane wouldn't notice his sudden silence and obvious discomfort. Beth was willing to climb into the bed, all right. She would lie there next to him, her perfect body nestled against his. She would kiss him, and caress him, and drive him crazy with desire, and --

And that was about it.

Harper heard the old Chevy roar into the driveway and rushed to the window. There he was. Lean. Tan. Shirtless. His golden hair bronzed by the sun, his hundred-watt smile piercing through his obvious exhaustion.

Adam. Her next-door neighbor. Her childhood friend -- her partner for swimming lessons, playground dates, imaginary tea parties, and the occasional game of doctor.

And now, years later: Homecoming king. Star of the swim team. The basketball team. The lacrosse team. Basically, an All-American high school stud. None of which meant much to her, considering how lame their school was, and the fact that she usually saw sports as a crutch for the mentally weak. Besides, that's not what she saw when she looked at him. Or, at least, not all she saw, not anymore.

She opened the window, about to call out to him, to wave -- then thought better of it and just watched. What she saw when she looked at him was her oldest friend, the boy who knew all of her secrets and liked her anyway -- the boy she'd recently discovered was a man she wanted to be with. Might even be in love with.

What a hassle.

The poor little overlooked best friend, languishing in the shadows, the man of her dreams blinded by the bright glare of puppy love. Tossing his true soul mate aside in favor of a human Barbie doll. It was such a pathetic cliché -- and Harper didn't do clichés. She liked to consider herself unique, and she wasn't a huge fan of seeing her life turn into a second-rate knockoff of a third-rate teen chick flick. Especially one that starred her as the weepy protagonist too wimpy to open her mouth and take what she wanted.

But on the other hand -- just look at him.

Postgame, Adam was hot, sweaty, and shirtless, and his taut body gleamed in the sun. Harper couldn't take her eyes off him -- that tan six-pack, those firm pecs, the broad biceps that, if she used her imagination, she could feel ever so gently tightening around her...

There was just one problem with the picture-perfect romance -- the picture-perfect girlfriend. Beautiful Beth. Blond Beth. Bland and boring Beth.

Lately, the Blond One was all Adam could talk about, and it was driving Harper slowly but surely insane. He was probably even now heading inside to call her, to whisper sweet nothings in his lilting Southern accent (an adorable holdover from an early childhood in South Carolina). He was probably already planning some sickeningly sweet, romantic candlelit dinner for their last night of summer. He was just that kind of guy. It was disgusting. And it should have been her.

Harper slammed the window shut and crossed the room to her bed, which was covered in clothes -- a haphazard pile of unsuitable first-day-of-school possibilities. She burrowed through them in frustration, wondering how it was possible that with all these clothes, she never had anything to wear.

The beaded yellow tank top with pleated ruffles and an off-center sash that had looked so promising in the store? Hideous.

The stonewashed denim jacket that hugged her curves and made her feel like a supermodel? So last season.

The tan blouse and matching scarf her mother had brought home as a surprise last month? Yeah, maybe -- if she was forty. And was a desperate housewife.

No. She needed something special, something that would make her look good. Really good, Harper mused, fingering a lime green miniskirt that she knew would show off her tan -- and potentially, depending on how far she bent over, a lot more.

It was simple. Harper wanted Adam -- and Harper always got what she wanted.

It was just a matter of figuring out how.

Copyright © 2005 by Robin Wasserman

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >