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Love Me Never (Lovely Vicious Series #1)

Love Me Never (Lovely Vicious Series #1)

by Sara Wolf
Love Me Never (Lovely Vicious Series #1)

Love Me Never (Lovely Vicious Series #1)

by Sara Wolf

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Overview

Read the book that Kirkus Review called: "A complex, witty page-turner, ideal for YA fans of scandal and romance."

Seventeen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, nine weeks, and five days, and after what happened last time, she intends to keep it that way. Since then she’s lost eighty-five pounds, gotten four streaks of purple in her hair, and moved to Buttcrack-of-Nowhere, Ohio, to help her mom escape a bad relationship.

All the girls in her new school want one thing—Jack Hunter, the Ice Prince of East Summit High. Hot as an Armani ad, smart enough to get into Yale, and colder than the Arctic, Jack Hunter’s never gone out with anyone. Sure, people have seen him downtown with beautiful women, but he’s never given high school girls the time of day. Until Isis punches him in the face.

Jack’s met his match. Suddenly everything is a game.

The goal: Make the other beg for mercy.

The game board: East Summit High.
The reward: Something neither of them expected.

Previously published as Lovely Vicious, this fully revised and updated edition is full of romance, intrigue, and laugh-out-loud moments.

The Lovely Vicious series is best enjoyed in order.
Reading Order:
Book #1 Love Me Never
Book #2 Forget Me Always
Book #3 Remember Me Forever



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633752306
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 04/05/2016
Series: Lovely Vicious Series , #1
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: eBook
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 522,901
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Sara Wolf lives in San Diego, California, where she burns instead of tans. When she isn't pouring her allotted lifeforce into writing, she's reading, accidentally burning houses down whilst baking, or making faces at her highly appreciative cat.

Read an Excerpt

Love Me Never


By Sara Wolf, Stacy Abrams, Lydia Sharp

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2016 Sara Wolf
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-230-6


CHAPTER 1

3 years, 9 weeks, 5 days


WHEN I WAS SIX, Dad told me something really true: everyone has a to-do list.

It took me another eleven years to actually get around to making one, but thanks to a certain asshole in my life, it's finished:

1. Don't talk about love.

2. Don't think about love.

3. Thinking and talking about love leads to Love, which is the enemy. Do not consort with the enemy. Even if those hot-ass actors in the movies make it look cuddly and nice and tempting, don't fall for it. It's the biggest bad in the world, the worst villain ever created by hormone-pumped pubescent morons. It's the Joker, Lex Luthor, that one overweight guy who's always messing with the Scooby-Doo gang. It's the final boss in the massive joke of a video game you call your life.


Everyone at Avery Brighton's party right now has their own to-do list, and most of them look identical to the following:

1. Get drunk.

2. Get more drunk.

3. Try not to vomit on anyone cute.

4. Try to score with the cute person you tried your best not to vomit on.


It's a foolproof list that's easy for even idiots to follow. It ensures you're drunk enough to think everyone is cute, so that you don't throw up on anyone, and so you try to score with everyone. It's basically a how-to for people who watch too much TV and think having fun is getting blind drunk and making out with someone they don't remember. It makes everyone here intolerable. Especially the boys. One of them slings his arm around my shoulders, red in the face and murmuring suggestively about going somewhere quieter.

He has no idea who I am. He has no idea what I've been through.

He's an idiot. But then again, most people are.

I wrinkle my lip and push him off before I hurry into the kitchen. People are too busy boozing up here to bother hitting on girls. Not that I get hit on a lot. Getting hit on is still a new thing, a weird thing, because boys don't generally hit on fat girls and that's what I used to be. The fat girl.

I pull my Florence and the Machine T-shirt lower to make sure it covers everything. Flaunting your stretch marks to the entire "cool" populace of East Summit High probably isn't the best way to make influential friends. Or friends, period. I'd settle for either. Hell, I'd settle for an enemy at this rate. Without an anchor, the sea of high school is the shittiest ride in the world.

"Isis!" A drunk girl sloshes up to me, black hair plastered to her face with sweat. "Hiiiii! How are ... What ... You're doing in here?"

"Uh, yes?" I try. She giggles.

"I'm Kayla. We met in history of the ... planet."

"World history," I offer.

"Yeah!" She claps and points at me. "Wow. You are really smart."

"I'll be really wet if you don't stop that." I gently position her hand upright, her red cup of beer precariously dripping on the floor and my jeans.

"Oh, will you be wet?" She closes both her eyes really hard and smiles. When I don't react, she does it again.

"What are you doing?" I ask.

"Winking!"

"Where I come from, that's called drunk."

"Drunk?" She buzzes her lips in a laugh, spraying a bit of beer-spit over me. "Not little a even!"

"Look, you're really" — I pause as Kayla burps — "great, and thanks for talking to the weird new girl, but I think you need to lie down. Or possibly go back in time. Before the invention of liquor."

"You're so funny! Who invited you?"

"Avery."

"Ohhh, she's doing that thing again." Kayla laughs. "Don't drink the punch!"

"What thing?"

"She invites alllll the new kids to a party. If they stay the entire night without crying or wetting themselves, they're cool in our book."

Great. Seven hours of binge drinking crappy beer bought by someone's older brother is the proving ground for who's cool and who's not. I should've expected that from a boring, sterile little Ohio suburb like this one.

"What's in the punch?" I ask, looking over my shoulder at the giant plastic bowl filled with ruby liquid.

"Powdered lax ... laxa ... pooping powder!" Kayla concludes. A few boys circle around her like sharks, just waiting for the moment she passes the threshold from drunk to too-drunk-to-protest. I glower at them over her shoulder, pull her by the hand upstairs, and go to the second landing, where it's quiet and not full of horny vultures. We lean on the banister and watch the chaos below.

"So where are you from again?" Kayla asks. Now that she isn't swaying crazily, I can get a good look at her. Her dark hair and eyes make her one of the few nonwhite people in the school. Her skin's amber, the color of honeycomb. She's really pretty. Better than most of the girls here, anyway, and definitely way better than me.

"I'm from Florida," I say. "Good Falls. Tiny, boring place. Lots of mosquitoes and football jocks."

"Sounds a lot like here." She giggles, chugging the rest of her beer. Someone downstairs opens a can of cocktail wieners and starts throwing them around. Girls shriek and duck and pick them out of their hair and boys chuck them at each other and try to get them down girls' shirts. A wiener flies up and gets stuck in the chandelier, and Kayla ooohs.

"Avery's mom isn't gonna like that," she says.

"Her parents are probably loaded snobs."

"How did you know? They're VEOs or something."

"CEOs."

"Yeah! I guess it's a really important job, but then I thought about it really hard and how can it be so important if it's only three letters?"

"You may be onto something. Something very drunk, but definitely something."

She beams at me, and then reaches over to touch a piece of my hair. "I like that color."

"Violet Madness," I say. "That's what the box called it."

"Oh, you dyed it yourself? Cool!"

It was part of my pact with myself: lose weight, dye my hair, get clothes that actually fit. Become a better person. Become the person a certain someone would wanna date. But I don't tell Kayla that, because that was the old me — the one who thought love wasn't stupid. The one who'd do anything for a boy, even lose eighty-five pounds dieting and sweating like a pig. The one who'd go to crappy little clubs to drink and smoke just to hang out with his friends. Not even him. His friends. I tried to get accepted by them, like it'd make him like me more.

But that's not me anymore. I'm not in Good Falls, Florida. I'm in Northplains, Ohio. No one knows the old me, so I won't drag her into the limelight just to embarrass the new me. I'm desperate for friends, not socially suicidal. There's a fine, pathetic line between the two and I'm toeing it like a ballet dancer at her first recital.

"Oh shit," Kayla hisses suddenly. "I didn't know he'd be here."

I look to where her eyes are riveted. It's unmistakable who she's talking about.

Amid the chaos of the wiener-throwing and drunk flail-dancing to Skrillex is a single island of still calm. He's gotta be six feet at least. His shoulders are broad, and everything about him is lean — his waist, his long legs, his ridiculously sharp cheekbones. His messy hair isn't quite blond but isn't quite brown, either, more like a tumbleweed color. Next to me, Kayla is ogling him with all she's got, and she isn't the only one. Girls froze when he walked in, and guys are throwing him stink eye. Whoever he is, I can already tell he's one of those people who are popular in all the wrong ways.

He walks farther into the party, keeping to himself. Normally you nod at people as you walk in or look for someone you know in the sea of the crowd. But not this guy. He just walks. He doesn't have to push or shove his way through — people part naturally. It's like he's got an invisible shield around him. He wears a permanent bored expression, like everything around him is completely uninteresting.

"That's Jack. Jack Hunter," Kayla whispers. "He never comes to parties like this. They're way beneath him."

"Beneath him? He's in high school, Kayla, not the royal goddamn court."

"He's got a nickname around here — Ice Prince. So he sort of is royalty."

I laugh. When Kayla's face remains serious, I stop.

"Wait, you're not kidding? You guys actually call him that?"

She flushes. "Well, yeah! Just like we call Carlos the Mexican quarterback Hot Tortilla and the creepy guy with too many knives who likes to hang around the library Creeper McJeepers. Jack is Ice Prince because that's what he is!"

I splutter another laugh, and this one must be too loud, because it makes Jack look up. Now that he's closer, I can see his face well. The bored expression does nothing for him. Kayla's whispering, "He's cute," to me, but that's not it at all. He's not baby-faced, boy-next-door cute in the way girls giggle about during sleepovers or between classes. He's handsome; the kind of lion-eyed, sharp-nosed, broad-lipped handsome you see in Italian suit ads. I can see why they call him Ice Prince. Aside from the thick fog of pretentiousness that follows him, his eyes are the color of a lake frozen through — a blue so light it looks almost translucent.

And they're looking right at me.

Kayla makes a noise disturbingly similar to a small monkey and hides behind my shoulder. "He's looking at us!" she hisses.

"Why are you hiding?"

Kayla mumbles something into my shirt.

I roll my eyes. "You like him."

"Not so loud!" She pinches my neck and pulls.

"Ow, ow! You can't have my vertebrae, I need those!"

"Then don't say dumb things like that so loud!"

"But you do like him!"

She twists, and I yelp. Our din is doing nothing to avert Jack's eyes — or anyone else's. I manage to pry her fingers off the part of my nervous system that keeps me breathing and duck into the bathroom to pee. In the semi-quiet only a bathroom surrounded by a raging party can offer, I realize Kayla's the first person who's bothered to talk to me since I've moved here. Everyone else stared, whispered, but never actually talked to me. I was beginning to think I was diseased, or awful, or possibly even dead. Either Kayla can talk to ghosts or she's just a nice person. Too nice.

I was like that, once upon a time.

The toilet's a mess, and I pat it in sympathy on my way out. Stay strong, buddy. One way or another, this will all be over soon. Either we'll all drop dead of alcohol poisoning, or your bowl will erode from the acidity of the gallons of vomit you've been subjected to. Do they give you retirement benefits? No? They should. We should protest. Picket. Toilet Union United.

When I'm done talking to the toilet in a completely sane manner, I walk out to the exact thing I didn't want to see — Kayla, downstairs again. The boys are leaving her alone, thank God. All except one. Or rather, it's one boy she's not leaving alone.

"I don't u-usually see you at these kinds of parties," Kayla stammers to none other than Jack Hunter himself.

"No. I don't particularly enjoy rolling in mud. Tonight's an exception." He looks around the room, his lip curling. "But you do, I'm guessing."

"W-What? No, I mean, I'm just Avery's friend. She makes me come. I don't even really like these parties —"

"Your speech is slurred and you're stumbling. You can barely control your own body. If you have to get this drunk to stand the parties your friends make you go to, you're an idiot who's made the wrong friends."

Kayla's expression stiffens, like she's been slapped, and then her eyes start watering. My blood boils. Who the hell does he think he is?

"That's n-not what I meant —" Kayla starts.

"And you seem exactly like the type of girl to stay with friends she hates. They probably hate you, too. It must be easy, hiding it behind all that booze and all those name brands."

Kayla's tears overflow onto her cheeks. Jack sighs.

"You're so spineless you collapse into tears the second anyone says the truth?"

My heart's thumping in my chest. My fists squeeze so tight I can't feel my fingers. His cruelty leaves a bitter taste in my mouth — it's a lot like someone I used to know.

Someone who ruined my life forever.

I shove aside the red-faced boy who tries to hit on me again and launch myself through the crowd. Kayla isn't my friend. No one here is. But she's been four seconds of nice to me — true nice, not Avery's sugary poison of inviting-me-to-this-weird-test-party nice. And four seconds is more than I ever thought I'd get. It's the most I've had in a long time. Jack's lip quirks up in a sneer. Say it. Say one more thing, pretty boy. I dare you to.

"You're pathetic," he says.

That's the first time I punch Jack Hunter's face.

And as my knuckles connect with his stupid high cheekbones and he staggers back with a furious blizzard brewing in his icy eyes, I somehow get the feeling it won't be the last.

"Apologize to Kayla," I demand, and the entire house goes quiet. It starts like a ripple, the people next to me and Kayla and Jack falling silent. And then it moves, jumping like a flea, like a disease, silent and ominous and spreading faster than a cat picture among aunts on Facebook. It's like the entire party has stopped, slowed down just to see what Jack will do. They want a show. They're a pack of ruthless little hyenas and I just bit the lion. Maybe Jack can sense that, because once he gets over his shock, he glances around carefully like he's plotting his next move, and then fixes me with a glare so frigid it could probably freeze lava.

"Judging by your expression" — I cross my arms and glower — "getting punched for being an ass is something new."

He dabs at his nose with his hand, a little blood trickling down to his mouth. He licks it leisurely off his thumb. Kayla's white-faced and stuck in place like a mannequin. The music blares hollowly and the bass thumps, the only thing daring to interfere with the tense quiet the entire room is waiting on.

Jack doesn't speak. So I do.

"Let me use really small words so you understand," I say with exaggerated slowness. "Apologize to Kayla for what you said before I make you bleed harder."

Someone in the crowd snickers. Whispers move into people's ears and out their mouths. I don't care what they think or whether or not I failed the stupid party test. I only care that he apologizes to Kayla. He hurt her in more ways than he knows.

"Why are you defending a girl you don't know?" Jack finally asks, his voice deep and with a sable deadly quality to it. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you new? That would explain the moronic ignorance. Do they have schools in Florida? Or do you learn from the crocodiles and the rednecks?"

Of course he knows where I'm from — word spreads fast in a town like this. A collective "ooooh" goes around the room. A flush creeps on my cheeks, but I don't let it faze me. I've gotten worse insults. This is nothing. I scoff.

"I can't stand by and watch while a stuck-up bastard steps on another girl's heart. It's not my style."

This second "ooooh" is a lot louder. I feel pride blossom in my chest. My hands and face are hot, and I'm shaking, but I won't show it. I won't let him win. I won't back down. I dealt with entitled mama's boys like him by the dozens in my old school in Florida. They're all the same; we'll trade insults until I humiliate him in front of these people so badly he can't fire back. That's the best way this could happen. Kayla would get her justice.

But that's not how it happens. He doesn't fire back. He leans in for the kill, over my shoulder, his lips so close I feel hot air glancing my earlobe.

"Because that happened to you, didn't it?"

My breath catches. I try to suppress it but I flinch, and when Jack sees that, he laughs. The sound is brittle and cool, like a frozen thing snapping in two. He laughs. Like it's nothing. I feel like I'm the one who's been punched. A second of tension passes between our eyes, and then he holds up a hand as if in farewell to the room and leaves through the door, the night lawn crowded with poorly parked cars swallowing him up.

The house starts talking again. People laugh and dance and drink again, making out against walls with renewed vigor. Heat and ice are sloshing through my veins all at once, back and forth. A heavy iron fist is squeezing my heart, and I can't breathe.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Love Me Never by Sara Wolf, Stacy Abrams, Lydia Sharp. Copyright © 2016 Sara Wolf. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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