After the humiliating events on the 4th of July, Gemma's trying to grapple with the fact that Hallie knew her true identity all summer, and that she was the one who stole Teddy from her.
Gemma vows revenge, but things immediately get more complicated than she planned. Her dad forces her to get a job, and the only one she can find involves scooping ice cream all day. Ford, Gemma's longtime crush, has arrived in the Hamptons, and is cuter than ever. Josh is refusing to speak to her after finding out she lied to him. And to top it all off, Teddy is back in the picture, and closer to home than Gemma would like.
Gemma and Hallie find themselves locked in an escalating revenge cycle involving everything from strawberry syrup to stolen identities. But just when Gemma thinks she has the upper hand, the biggest bombshell of all is dropped. And it's one that threatens to change her life forever.
Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold is the exciting sequel to Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend. Readers will be begging for the third and final book in the Broken Hearts & Revenge series from mastermind plotter, Katie Finn.
About the Author
Katie Finn is the author of the Top 8 trilogy. She's never plotted revenge on anyone (who didn't deserve it) but has been known to assume another identity. She's also acclaimed author Morgan Matson (Amy and Roger's Epic Detour). She lives in Los Angeles, in a house she wishes was a lot closer to the beach.
Read an Excerpt
Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold
By Katie Finn
Feiwel and FriendsCopyright © 2015 Katie Finn
All rights reserved.
I woke with a gasp, sitting straight up in bed. I was drenched in sweat, my heart pounding. Flashes of memories and dream fragments were swirling around in my head so quickly, it was like I couldn't catch my breath.
And the last dream — make that a nightmare — had been terrible. Hallie had known who I was all along, she'd been playing me all summer, and she was the reason that Teddy had broken up with me....
I made myself breathe more evenly, and felt my pulse start to slow. I lay back down again, settling into my pillow. I was just about to close my eyes and try to go back to sleep when I saw the pile of clothes in the corner. There was the white dress I'd worn to the Fourth of July beach party, crumpled on the rug. The clutch I'd picked to go with my dress. There were my flats, tossed in a heap, the soles still sandy. And it hit me, all at once, that it hadn't just been a terrible dream. It had all actually happened. It was worse than any nightmare I would have been able to fabricate, and it was the truth.
I closed my eyes for a minute, hoping against all logic and sense that I could unlearn what I now knew, go back to that restful time when I was just going under my best friend's name and trying to make things right with Hallie, when Josh still liked me....
The thought of him, and of the way he'd looked at me when he'd realized my true identity, was enough to jolt me awake. I sat up and squinted at the amber-colored numbers of the digital clock on my bedside table. It was six A.M., but I could tell I wasn't getting back to sleep any time soon. I pushed myself out of bed and headed downstairs in the tank top and shorts I was wearing as pajamas.
Normally, I would have put a robe on, or tried to make myself a bit more presentable, but it seemed like a small comfort this morning that I didn't have to worry about running into anyone, and not just because it was six A.M., or that the house — the beachfront Hamptons mansion of my dad's college roommate-turned- Hollywood-superproducer, Bruce Davidson — was big enough to defy all logic and sense. The real reason was that the only people currently staying in the house were myself and my best friend, Sophie Curtis.
My dad and I had been invited to spend the summer, but I knew Bruce's offer to stay with him was only partially generous. My dad was a screenwriter who worked on a lot of movies for Bruce, and I had a feeling Bruce liked being able to keep an eye on my dad's work progress, with the ability to shut off the Internet if he thought the pages weren't coming quickly enough. But Bruce and my dad — and Bruce's longtime assistant, Rosie — were currently in L.A. taking meetings, so I had the house to myself, since I knew Sophie wouldn't be up for a few hours yet. Bruce's kids, Ford and Gwyneth, were supposed to come to stay at some point this summer, but I'd never gotten an exact date from them. And at the moment I was very glad to be alone. I needed some space to try to get my head around the fact that everything I thought I'd believed this summer had been a lie.
I crossed through the dark empty kitchen, silent except for the subtle hum of the giant silver fridge, and saw the glint of water in the distance. The beach was right outside the house. It was where I'd found myself multiple times so far this summer when I needed to organize my thoughts, and there was nowhere else I wanted to be at the moment. I plucked a sweatshirt that was folded on one of the kitchen stools on the way out — the sun was barely up, and I knew how cold it could be down by the water. The sweatshirt was maroon and soft, and I pulled it on over my sleep tank as I walked past the pool house and down to the water. I had no idea whose it was, but I breathed it in for just a moment, feeling somehow comforted by the scent — like the ocean and dryer sheets and something sweet I couldn't quite place — almost like cinnamon rolls.
I made my way down to the sand in the half-darkness. There was nobody on the beach this early, though there were a few surfers bobbing in the waves, too far away to even make out their faces — just shapes in dark wetsuits. I sat down on the sand and hugged my knees to my chest. I'd come out to this very spot when I'd first arrived in the Hamptons. It was where I'd decided I was going to go along with the misunderstanding at the train station, try to make things right with Hallie. I let out a short laugh as I picked up a handful of sand and then let it trickle through my fingers. So much for that plan.
Even though I knew the facts — knew full well what had happened last night — I still couldn't quite make myself believe it.
It had been Hallie all along.
Hallie had been the reason that Teddy had broken up with me at the beginning of the summer. She had known who I was from the start and had been sabotaging me every step of the way.
And something else she had said last night was echoing in my head. She told me that she had been planning this for years. So, she hadn't been moving on with her life, letting go of what I'd done to her when we were kids. Instead she had been plotting revenge on me for who knows how long. I shivered, even though as the sun rose, it was starting to get warmer. It was all just such a reversal of the way I'd understood things that I was feeling like I had whiplash.
Needing a distraction from these thoughts, I stretched my legs out in front of me and looked at the surfers. Most seemed to be staying behind the breakline, just sitting on their boards and bobbing up and down, but there was one surfer who was riding nearly every wave in, and doing it with panache. It was clear he was really great at this, miles better than anyone else who was in the water with him. As he paddled back out, swimming against the current like it was nothing, I weighed my options.
Did I really want to stay here in the Hamptons, where I'd made such a mess of things? Where I apparently had a mortal enemy? Did I really want to put myself through that? I couldn't go back to our empty house in Putnam, Connecticut — my mother and my stepfather, Walter, were still in Scotland. Walter was a former professional fly-fisher and current salmon expert, neither of which I had known were actual things you could be before meeting him. He and my mother were staying in a castle while Walter advised the laird on his salmon. Though my mother had made it pretty clear I wasn't invited, I knew I could call and tell her that I absolutely had to leave the Hamptons, and she'd let me come. Or I could most likely convince Sophie to go back to Putnam and let me stay with her. They were both decent options, but ...
I dug my fingers into the sand. Somehow, I didn't like the thought of slinking back home and letting Hallie think she'd beaten me, despite the fact that she very clearly had. I knew I wasn't innocent in all this — I had put this thing in motion years ago — but I had been eleven then and scared out of my mind. Hallie, on the other hand, had apparently spent the last five years scheming, coldly plotting out how to ruin my life. How best to hurt me. And she had certainly figured it out. The image of her kissing Teddy flashed though my mind, and I closed my eyes tightly as though it would make the memory go away.
Seeing Teddy again — and seeing him with Hallie — had been more painful than I'd been prepared for. It was like my broken heart, which I'd just begun to put back together, had been shattered all over again.
I knew I couldn't just stay in the Hamptons and worry that Hallie was about to do something else to wreck my life again. I couldn't spend my summer that way. But I didn't have any other ideas at the moment. Feeling like I wasn't going to be able to make any coherent decisions until I was properly caffeinated, I pushed myself to my feet and brushed the sand off my hands. The sun was almost totally up now, and the beach was slowly starting to get populated with early morning joggers and power-walking senior citizens.
I had just turned to walk back to the house when one of the surfers — the good one — caught my eye. I watched as he rode a wave in then dove off his board and into the water. For a moment it was like the world went into slow motion as the surfer emerged from the water, slicking his hair back and reaching around to unzip his wetsuit. He peeled it down to his waist, and I felt my jaw drop. Then he started walking up to the beach, his surfboard tucked under his arm like it weighed nothing.
I suddenly wished I'd brought my sunglasses with me, even though it had been dark when I'd left the house, and it wasn't really all that bright now. But I would have liked a way to look at this guy without it being totally obvious what I was doing. Even without my sunglasses, it was really hard not to stare. It looked like this guy must surf a lot — or else do some other activity where you get crazy-defined abs and arms and shoulders. I expected him to head toward the parking lot, but to my surprise, the guy kept coming closer. I wasn't sure if I should get out of his path, and was just hoping he wasn't going to start lecturing me about objectifying him or something, when he dropped his surfboard onto the sand and started to run right toward me. Before I could even react, I was swept up in a huge hug, and as he set me down — though dropped might have been the right word for it, when I was still a few inches off the ground — I realized of course I knew who it was, and that I should have recognized him right away.
"Hey," he said, brushing his hand over the top of his black hair, and turning it into tiny spikes. He grinned at me, but his tone was light, like we were used to seeing each other daily and this was no big deal. "Morning, Gemma."
"Hey," I said in the same faux-casual way as I smiled back, hoping it wasn't obvious how hard my heart was pounding. Ford Davidson — Bruce's son, computer genius, and my long-standing crush — was back in the Hamptons.CHAPTER 2
"Hope I didn't scare you," Ford said as he pushed himself up to sit on the kitchen counter and then take a drink of his orange juice. We'd walked up to the house together, and then Ford had taken a detour into the pool house to shower and change — it seemed he had claimed it as his room for the summer, despite the fact that there were more rooms in Bruce's house than made any rational sense. Now he was wearing long shorts and a T-shirt with an equation written on it. Most of Ford's clothing was like this — obscure insider references that, to understand, you had to be a tech savant, a math genius, or a superfan of the British TV show Sergeant Which. But even though I had no idea what his shirt meant, I was happy to see it. It was allowing the surf god on the beach to morph back into the geeky guy who'd been my friend for as long as I could remember.
"Not at all," I said, trying for breezy, trying to hide the fact that Ford's appearance on the beach had been a huge shock. I'd known that Ford and Gwyneth were spending the first part of their summer in Hawaii with their mom and then coming to the Hamptons for the rest of it. Ford had told me they were due to arrive sometime after the Fourth, but I guess I just hadn't expected him to be so literal about it.
I pulled open the fridge door and peered in hopefully. Since it had just been Sophie and me in the house for the last week, it had been our responsibility to stock the fridge, and we were really not very good at remembering to do that. No food had magically materialized, so I shut the door and crossed to the counter.
"You sure about that?" Ford asked, setting his juice down and adjusting his glasses. They were hipster-cool square frames, tortoiseshell, and they brought out his dark eyes. He arched an eyebrow at me, just one, a trick he'd perfected years ago when we were kids. "Because you were really staring at me."
I closed the fridge and turned to face Ford. "I guess I was just confused?" I asked. "I mean, I thought you were supposed to be good at surfing." I shot him a grin. This was our dynamic, and I could feel myself easing back into it, as comfortable as your favorite pair of jeans.
I couldn't remember meeting Ford or Gwyneth — they were just there, family friends I grew up with, who I saw over the summers and vacations throughout the years. When my dad started working with Bruce, we'd all seen each other more, Ford and I always spending the bulk of our time together. I liked Gwyneth a lot too, but she spent more time in Hawaii with her mom, and wasn't always around. Gwyn was also a year younger than me, and since Ford was a year older, I was always trying to hang out with him.
I might also have been trying to hang out with him because of my long-standing crush. It had been going on so long, I couldn't even remember the moment it had started. I had liked him for what seemed like forever, even back when he was short and stocky, with bottle-thick glasses and headgear. It had been jarring for me, when Ford ditched the braces and turned tall and lanky, to realize that he was suddenly someone the rest of the world (or certain demographics of it, at least) saw as an unequivocal hottie. Because he really was, with his black-black hair and tan skin, and the faintest scattering of freckles across his nose. But I had liked him before all that, despite the fact that practically nothing had ever happened between us.
Well, practically nothing.
He had been the one to give me my first kiss, on my birthday the year I turned thirteen. But aside from that one instance, we'd stayed firmly in the friend zone. After all, it wasn't like we even lived in the same state (if Ford wasn't in Hawaii with his mom, or Los Angeles with his dad, he was at a boarding school for computer geniuses in Silicon Valley) or got to see each other that often. Not to mention the fact that I had been dating Teddy for the last two years.
I realized a moment too late that I was still staring at him, and I made myself look away as I crossed back to the fridge, despite the fact that it was still empty. "So, is Gwyneth still sleeping?"
Ford shook his head and took another drink of his juice. "She's not here for a few days. She's doing a young filmmakers workshop. Some documentary thing."
"Oh, really?" I asked, surprised. Bruce was always trying to get his kids to follow him into the family business, something that they so far had strenuously resisted.
Ford nodded. "She's trying to get into some festival," he said, then shrugged. "She can tell you all about it when she comes. I'm sure I'm getting most of the details wrong." I nodded and saw Ford was looking at me with a small smile on his face. "Nice sweatshirt, by the way."
"Oh," I said, looking down at it, and rubbing the soft fabric between my fingers. "I just found it this morning. It's not mine." I pushed myself to sit on the counter across from him just as Ford stifled a yawn. "When did you get in?"
"Late last night," he said, then yawned again. "Very late."
"So what are you doing up this early?" I asked, glancing at the clock and realizing that it was still very early in the morning L.A. time — which meant, I was pretty sure, that it was earlier still in Hawaii.
"I don't know, man, the waves were, like, calling to me," Ford said, dropping into the surfer-dude cadence he could adopt when it suited him, usually when he wanted to lull people into a false sense of security by not letting them know how smart he really was, always for his own advantage.
"So what's been happening?" I asked. We'd video-chatted a bit this summer, but they'd been brief conversations, both of us usually pressed for time, nobody going too deep. "How's your summer been so far?"
Ford gave me one of his half-smiles. I think it was because of all the years he spent in industrial headgear, but you rarely saw Ford's teeth when he smiled. When you did, you knew it was because he truly was happy about something. "Not bad," he said. "The island was fun, but it was getting a little boring toward the end. Though it did give me some time to work on my algorithm."
Excerpted from Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold by Katie Finn. Copyright © 2015 Katie Finn. Excerpted by permission of Feiwel and Friends.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold by Katie Finn delivers intense revenge. The story begins with a recap of past events. Hallie seems to be bent on revenge even though everything came to a head already. The revenge pit just keeps getting dug deeper and deeper. Both Gemma and Hallie go all out with their vengeful acts towards each other and the people around them suffer too. Interesting, heartbreaking and sometimes touching, this book was difficult to put down and the cliffhanger ending makes me want to dive into the next book in the series