Lola Carlyle’s 12-Step Romance by Danielle Younge-Ullman
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Lola Carlyle is lonely, out of sorts, and in for a boring summer. So when her best friend, Sydney, calls to rave about her stay at a posh Malibu rehab and reveals that the love of Lola’s life, Wade Miller, is being admitted, she knows what she has to do. Never mind that her worst addiction is decaf cappuccino; Lola is going to rehab.
Lola arrives at Sunrise Rehab intent solely on finding Wade, saving him from himself, and—naturally—making him fall in love with her…only to discover she’s actually expected to be an addict. And get treatment. And talk about her issues with her parents, and with herself. Plus she has insane roommates, and an irritatingly attractive mentor, Adam, who’s determined to thwart her at every turn.
Oh, and Sydney? She’s gone.
Turns out, once her pride, her defenses, and her best friend are stripped away, Lola realizes she’s actually got a lot to overcome…if she can open her heart long enough to let it happen.
“Look,” I say, head snapping up finally to brave his gaze, “if you would stop giving me shit for five seconds, I would apologize!”
“Wow,” he says. “This should be good.”
“Except you’re annoying me again already, and that makes it hard to keep feeling remorseful. Which I am, actually.”
He shakes his head and turns, as if to leave.
“Wait!” I stand. “Please don’t leave.”
He turns back. Still having trouble looking into his eyes, I glance down and notice he has changed his clothes into a darker pair of jeans and a rather tight T-shirt. I wonder if he keeps extra ones here, or if he went home to Venice. I wonder when he finds time to work out, because obviously he does. Maybe he does it in one of the gyms here…
Amazing what my brain will jump to when I’m avoiding something difficult.
I yank my gaze up—God, what if he thinks I’m ogling him on top of everything else?—then I fill my lungs with air and let it all out in one long sentence. “I really am sorry; it was totally out of line to pour coffee on your stuff and I truly, honestly feel terrible about it and I really, really promise I won’t do it again.”
“And I want to add that it was very uncharacteristic behavior for me and I’m sure my parents will pay for the dry cleaning bills for the couch and your clothes, and for replacing your binder or the paper, or whatever. Seriously. In fact go ahead and get yourself a designer leather binder and, like, paper made from Indonesian silkworms or Mexican bark or whatever. I know you’re actually a hardworking guy.”
“That’s it? ‘Thanks’?”
“But I’ll pass on the silkworms. What were you expecting?”
“Well…it was a big step, I thought.”
“Yes! And I was very sincere, Adam.”
He walks closer, never taking his eyes off me. “Good.”
“And I’m embarrassed. I have no idea what came over me.”
“Because you’re usually one hundred percent charming,” he says with a smirk, now only a step away from me and staring right into my eyes like he’s trying to gauge my sincerity.
“Exactly,” I say, but then, again, I find myself looking away. “And I don’t want you to think I’m…I don’t want you to hate me.”
I must be looking pathetic all of a sudden because Adam puts his hands on my shoulders. His skin is warm but instead of soothing me, it makes me jumpy. Then he squeezes and says, “Relax, Lola. It’s all right.”
I reach up, thinking I need to pull his hands off my shoulders and step away, but instead I find myself—WTF?—falling into him for a hug like some kind of desperate little girl, or not-so-little girl. And he lets it happen. He actually wraps his arms around me and pulls me closer, and it feels—crap, I can’t put words to it; I don’t know. We’re not that physical a family and in general I don’t hug a lot of people, so it’s kind of a shock. He smells really nice—clean and somehow sharp and he’s so warm and solid, and it…aches. Shit. To my horror I suddenly feel like I might cry.
“You’d have to dish out a lot worse than that for me to hate you,” he says.
“Okay,” I say, blinking hard, swallowing, keeping my face turned away, head on his chest as I try to pull myself back together.
“But please,” he says, “don’t take that as a challenge.”
About the Author
Danielle Younge-Ullman is a novelist, playwright and freelance writer. She studied English and Theater at McGill University, then returned to her hometown of Toronto to work as professional actor for ten years. Danielle’s short story, Reconciliation, was published in MODERN MORSELS—a McGraw-Hill Anthology for young adults—in 2012, her one-act play, 7 Acts of Intercourse, debuted at Toronto’s SummerWorks Festival in 2005, and her adult novel, FALLING UNDER, was published by Penguin in 2008. Danielle lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters.
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