Genres: New Adult
New York Times bestselling authors Angela Graham and S.E. Hall have teamed up again to bring you a full-length, steamy new romance.
Echo Kelly is loyal to her studies, family, and aerial artistry. She has no time for or interest in anything else, and is heartbroken when her oldest brother, Sebastian, gets accepted to a study-abroad programÔÇö exchanging places with cocky, not-at-all-shy foreign exchange student Kingston Hawthorne.
Kingston Hawthorne had the life every twenty-year-old guy dreams ofÔÇö endless cash, easy women, and fast carsÔÇö until his father ripped it all away, shipping him off to the States and placing him temptingly close to the underage virgin who fascinates him in the most challenging of ways.
With KingstonÔÇÖs bedroom just a connecting bathroom away from EchoÔÇÖs, the chemistry between them is even more enticing than the notes he leaves for her on the shower door.
How long can you pretend youÔÇÖre just friends?
Temptation is ONLY a room awayÔÇª.
Filthy Foreign Exchange Releases April 24th!
On Monday morning, I find myself ripping off my clothes and jumping in the shower like IÔÇÖm going for the gold at an Olympic race. I crank the nozzle as far right as itÔÇÖll goÔÇöthe hotter the better, for the steam to build quickly.
More than I want a cleansing, I want the hidden messageÔÇöour secret exchange of thoughts, belonging to only usÔÇöto appear.
But as the shower glass fogs, no words emerge. And the depth of my disappointment is irrational; there should not be the sting of tears in my eyes right now.
Kingston is forbidden fruit in so many ways: heÔÇÖs our exchange student, my father has already warned him against meÔÇªand his departure date is set and inevitable. So my anticipation of these messages is not only foolish, but self-destructive. Because the more attached I get, the worse it will hurt when theyÔÇÖre no longer even a possibility.
I hurry through my now-mundane shower with a heavy lump of disenchanted sensibility in my gut.
But when I turn off the water and step out, every thought IÔÇÖd just told myself made sense is replaced with a swell of immeasurable bliss.
Guess what else fogs up in a steamy bathroom?
And on it is his message to meÔÇöthe best one yet.
There was something in her movements that made you think she never walked but always danced.
IÔÇÖm instantly awareÔÇöthis is bad, because once you think somethingÔÇÖs gone and it comes back better than ever, your craving for it reaches a whole new, dangerous level.
You only fully realize the depth of want and need immediately after experiencing loss.
Too many emotions to name surge inside of me, my head a good kind of hazy while the muscles around my heart cinch tighter. I know Kingston and I are merely friends, albeit becoming better ones with every effortless interaction. WeÔÇÖre just housemates whoÔÇÖve found a clever, entertaining way to match wits.
But if it was, if it could be, moreÔÇªheÔÇÖd be damn good at it.
I now understand how heÔÇÖs able to bewitch girls by the droves. ItÔÇÖs not just his strikingly good looks, or enticing accentÔÇªitÔÇÖs him. Those girls are such simpletons, so spellbound by the outside package that they donÔÇÖt even realize the entirety of his allure.
But I do. I see his invisible, inherent charm; the sheer seductiveness that emits from his every smile and move; and his keen mind.
Shaking off the silly, romantic musings that have no place in my life, I hustle to get ready for school.
But once IÔÇÖm in the parking lot, ignoring the bell warning me IÔÇÖm about to be late, I throw cautionÔÇöand my better judgmentÔÇöto the wind, and type out a text.
Me: YouÔÇÖve read Anne of Green Gables?
The second bell rings as I wait for a response, but for some inexplicable reason, I simply donÔÇÖt care. Then a different ding soundsÔÇöand with it, my heart thrums an anxious beat.
Kingston: No, should I have?
Me: Yes, great books. But I asked bc the quote you left me this morning, which I really liked btwÔÇª itÔÇÖs from one of the books.
Kingston: Ah, well they stole your story then, Love.
IÔÇÖve definitely unfairly judged the girls caught under his spell. The choice was never theirs. HeÔÇÖs that good.
Me: How do you figure?
Kingston: I searched ÔÇ£quotes for Echo KellyÔÇØ and that came up. As it should. Said it perfectly.
ThisÔÇöheÔÇöcould get addictive. And lines clearly drawn in my head and heart could easily become blurry, if not completely obliterated, should I sit here any longer.
So I force myself back into friend mode and reply accordingly.
Me: YouÔÇÖre on a roll this morning. Better save some of those savvy lines for the tarts.
I hesitate before sending one last message.
Me: IÔÇÖm late. Have a good day playboy!
I run into school, out of breath for two reasons but satisfied with myself for taking back control of the situation that was headed in a direction I dare not explore.
First, you donÔÇÖt leap from shy introvert who doesnÔÇÖt date to Kingston Hawthorne: a smooth-talker with a face made for dreams, a body of unworldly men, and the entourage of a celebrity. HeÔÇÖs not the type of guy to get your feet wet with, or youÔÇÖre sure to drown on your first swim. And secondly, the detour I threw worked, because the texts that continue the rest of the day are back on the track they need to be.