Book Excerpt | Competing with the Star @rararesources

I have another excerpt for you today this time it is a YA romance.


Competing with the Star
Krysten Lindsay Hager

The perfect guy, the perfect location. What could go wrong?

Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect. Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams. She and Nick form a deep bond, but insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend—who just happens to be the beautiful teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson. Nick claims to be over Simone, but then Hadley is blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school. Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. 

Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs TV drama when you’re busy competing with a star?

Amazon UK | Goodreads | Amazon US

In this scene, Hadley is on a perfect date with her boyfriend, Nick. However, then she overhears some girls talking about how Nick has always had a crush on her friend, Simone, who just happens to be a gorgeous teen TV star. Hadley doesn’t know what to think–is her perfect relationship real or not?

“You know, this is the first time we haven’t had people watching our every move,” Nick said and then he wrapped his arms around my waist and smiled at me. I felt like I was melting and my cheeks flushed.

“You know what would be nice?” he asked. “A date where we’re alone. Don’t get me wrong, group dates are fun, but maybe we could do something with just the two of us soon.”

I nodded. “Do you want to watch the football game Sunday at my house?”

“Sounds perfect,” he said, and then leaned over and kissed me.

It was the first time we had a long kiss and it was exactly like all my YA novels described the perfect kiss—like the rest of the world had drifted away and there was just the two of

us and we were so happy.

Then he kissed my forehead and just held me for a minute and I never wanted to go back to where our parents were sitting. I just wanted to stay like this forever—in a place

where everything was perfect and we were happy.

“Okay, one more kiss and I’ll let you go to the bathroom,” he said, leaning over.

I went inside and went in the first stall.

“How awkward is it that Simone Hendrickson is with Nick Jenkins and some other chick?” said a voice a stall or two over.

“Oh, I know! I wonder if that’s to make her jealous or what? You can tell he still likes Simone so much. I mean, his arm around her? So sweet.”

“It’s obvious he never got over his crush on her,” the first girl said. “And they’re together all the time.”

“Yeah, I think before she saw him as a brother, but now it’s clear there’s something there.”

“Well, he looks older since last summer. It’s like he matured super fast.”

“He got hot. He was cute before, but now he’s hot.”

“The way he ran to her side when she was freaking out over the fun house—oh my gosh, so sweet. I legit died when he held her hand.”

“They’re adorable together, don’t you think?” “Yeah, but I feel bad for the girl he’s with.

She’s seems clueless about what’s going on right in front of her face.”

“Mmhmm, but she looks young and dumb, so she’s probably just happy to be with him and not expecting it to last.”

I stood there feeling all the blood drain away from my face. I wanted to scream and cry, but all I could do was feel my stomach twist up. I prayed I wouldn’t throw up. Simone and Nick? No, this couldn’t be happening. She was supposed to be my friend—my guide to get me through high school. I trusted her and counted on her to be there for me. And Nick

wasn’t just my boyfriend—he was my best guy friend. And even though I hadn’t gotten the courage to say it to him, I was in love with him. He was the last thing I thought about before

I went to sleep, and just knowing he was out there and on my side, supporting me in everything I did, made life seem a little easier. I thought it was us against the world, and now, according to these girls in the bathroom, the “us” I believed in might not even be real.

I blinked back tears and tried to convince myself they didn’t know what they were talking about, but they seemed so sure of themselves. The worst part was they hadn’t seen

me walk in, so they had no clue I was standing there listening to all of this. This wasn’t some set up to make me feel insecure or stupid—it was just some random thing where I overheard the worst thing I could possibly hear.

I waited for the girls to wash their hands and leave before I left the stall. Going into the bathroom I had been the happiest girl in the world, and now I looked at myself and I saw what they did—a clueless idiot who thought she had a dream, but in reality, she was just something to pass the time until her boyfriend could be with the one he truly liked.

Simone came into the bathroom then.

“Hey, you okay?” she asked. “You’ve been in here for a while. Are you feeling all right?”

She seemed concerned, but was it real? Nodding, I focused on washing and drying my hands. I followed her out of the bathroom and saw Nick standing with his arms folded, talking to some people. He glanced over and smiled at me—or was it at Simone? I walked over to him, but she went to talk to some older guy. Nick frowned.

“Why is she talking to him?” he asked. 

“Who? Why do you care?”

He kept his eyes on them. “Because Chance is her jerk of an ex. He never treated her well and she’s gotta be stupid to give him the time of day. I’ve always hated that guy.”

I shrugged. “That’s her problem, isn’t it? Not yours.”

He looked down at me. “Yeah, but she’s my friend and I don’t want her to get hurt again. You should have seen how upset she was the last time he dumped her. She cried for

hours.”

Nick’s mouth was set in a firm line as he started to walk away from them. I had to half run to keep up.

“He’s such a jerk. What does she see in him?” he asked. 

My feelings were all in a jumble after what I heard in the bathroom. And frankly, his knight in shining armor routine of running to Simone’s rescue wasn’t putting my insecurities to rest at all.



Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. Her work includes YA contemporary, middle grade fiction, and adult and young adult rom-coms. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star,  Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star,Dating the It Guy, Can Dreams Come True, and In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety.

Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on the talk show Living Dayton. She received her BA in English and master’s degree in liberal studies from the University of Michigan-Flint.

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