Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Blog Tour + #Giveaway: The Bad Boy Bargain by Kendra C. Highley @KendraHighley @chapterxchapter @entangledteen

The Bad Boy Bargain by Kendra C. Highley
Publication Date: November 14, 2016
Publisher:  Entangled Teen Crush

Baseball player Kyle Sawyer has many labels: bad boy, delinquent, ladies’ man, fearless outfielder… Only one of them is actually true. But then sweet ballet dancer Faith Gladwell asks him to help wreck her reputation, and everything goes sideways.

Faith knows a thing or two about love, and what she had with her cheating jerk of an ex wasn’t it. When he starts spreading rumors about her being an Ice Queen, Faith decides it’s time to let a little bad into her life.

Lucky for her, Kyle Sawyer—dark, dangerous, totally swoonworthy Kyle Sawyer—is landscaping her backyard over Spring Break. Shirtless. And if she can convince him to play along, “dating” Kyle will silence the rumors.

But Faith’s plan threatens to expose Sawyer’s biggest secret of all…and that’s a risk he’s not willing to take.

Disclaimer: This book contains drop-the-book-and-fan-yourself kisses…and touches. Fall in love with a bad boy at your own risk.

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Chapter One


Badass, troublemaker, girl magnet—familiar words always followed Kyle from his locker to his senior English classroom. Or from the cafeteria to the parking lot. Or from the locker room to the baseball field. Anywhere he went, the whispers followed.
Today, it went something like, “Ooh, I know who we should vote most likely to drop out before graduation,” as he walked by. Or, “I heard he banged two girls at once at North Texas last weekend. College girls, man!” Or, “Dude, I heard MLB scouts are coming to the games to watch him play.”

He wished that last one were true.

Kyle zipped his hoodie up tighter, acting like he couldn’t hear a word. The dark red hoodie and a pair of headphones were pretty thin armor, even if he did encourage the stories…the lies. Suttonville High was a big enough maze of suck without letting the truth out.

And no way, no how, was he showing any sort of weakness ever again.

“Dude! Wait up!” a guy called.

For a second, Kyle stiffened. Old habits died hard. But he recognized the voice and let his shoulders relax. Cade Adams, unlike the hundreds of rich, snobby kids crowding the halls, was worth waiting for. He slowed his stride until Cade caught up, looking disheveled. For an amused moment, he wondered if Cade was running from a pack of zombified football players, then he noticed the pleading look on Cade’s face. The same one he’d ignored from a half dozen other guys.

He shook his head. “Nope, still not going.”

“It’s supposed to be a great party,” Cade said, running a hand over his hair to coerce it back into shape. It was a little too long, and curls kept springing up on his head. “First night of spring break, man. All the seniors are going.”

“Everyone except me,” Kyle said, quickening his pace.

“Come on,” Cade pleaded. “I need to be your wingman. Just once. Your leftovers would be a feast to us mere mortals.”

That’s what half the baseball team said, too. But if he let someone be his wingman, they’d find out really quick that he wasn’t what everyone assumed. “Sorry, not my scene.”

“Fine. Okay, I get it.” Cade’s crooked smile didn’t do much to hide his disappointment. “Just…think about it.”

He strode off, breezing through the hall filled with students in designer clothes as if his Iron Man T-shirt, wild hair, and faded jeans didn’t matter to him. And it didn’t—at some point last fall, Cade had become cool. Either that, or he’d stopped caring what any of them thought.

Lucky bastard.

Kyle stalked to chemistry, praying he’d pass today’s test. Being dyslexic turned the periodic table into a medieval torture device, even if his teacher was good about giving him tutoring on the down low. He couldn’t let anyone know he actually cared about his grades, aside from passing to play baseball.

“I heard he’s going out with some girl at Texas Woman’s,” a girl whispered to another as he walked in, as if he couldn’t hear them.

“Wish I knew for sure if anyone here has a chance,” said the other girl, a pretty senior who had a reputation of being a man-eater. “Because I’d ride that pony all over town.”

Kyle’s ears flamed up. To hide his discomfort, he rolled his neck, getting a little satisfaction out of the wary stares after the vertebrae cracked. That’s right, the scary kid just cracked his back. You puny humans shouldn’t try that at home.

The bell rang and he sank into his desk, adopting his typical pose of “I’m only here because the truant officer made me show up today” with his legs stretched out in the aisle. Mrs. Moody, the chem teacher, rolled her eyes. She saw right through him. And if she could, how much longer would it be before everyone else did?

During the test—in which chemical compounds morphed into ancient Hebrew right before his eyes—he couldn’t shake the conversation with Cade. He felt bad about letting the guy down, especially since he hadn’t been much of a friend the last few years, but he hated those parties because of the baggage that rode on them. Namely, his reputation.

Because who at Suttonville would believe that the resident delinquent, skateboard-riding, drag-racing, smart-mouthed chick magnet Kyle Sawyer was actually none of those things?

An Interview with Kendra C. Highley

What inspired you to write The Bad Boy Bargain?

My editor heard a song (“Please” by Sawyer Fredericks) and it gave her the initial idea. I volunteered to write it, so it plotted it out from there.

When or at what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Probably in college—I was an English major—but I didn’t start getting serious until my mid-thirties.

What is the earliest age you remember reading your first book?

I was four—it was Richard Scarry’s The Busy World. My kindergarten teachers didn’t believe me when I said I could read and one challenged me by handing me a Dick and Jane book (yes, I’m that old). I read it cover to cover, so they had to move me into the readers’ group.

What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

Young Adult first and foremost, primarily fantasy.

What is your favorite book?

Oh, no…just one?

Hmm, I think the most recent one that had the biggest impact was Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I stayed up until three in the morning in the middle of a thunderstorm (in a tent! We were camping) to finish it.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

Probably Jane Austen. If you think about it, she was the first YA author. All her protagonists are teenagers and faced with life changing circumstances. Plus, her dry wit is extraordinary.

If you could travel back in time here on earth to any place or time. Where would you go and why?

That’s a very good question…Victorian London probably. That seemed like an elegant time.

When writing a book do you find that writing comes easy for you or is it a difficult task?

It really depends on the book. Some fall onto the page like they were waiting for you to write it down (The Bad Boy Bargain definitely fell into this category). Others are like pulling teeth the entire way.

Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?

I have four cats. In my defense, there are four people in my home, so we say one cat per person. Every one of them is spoiled rotten.

What is your "to die for", favorite food/foods to eat?

I could eat ice cream every day…which is why I don’t buy it very much. Chocolate pie (my grandma’s recipe especially). If it’s chocolate, I’ll give it a try.

Do you have any advice for anyone that would like to be an author?

Two things. First, read. Some authors are scared to read in their genre for fear of copying, etc. Don’t worry about that. Read bestsellers. Read authors you respect. Doing that will give you the tools you need. Second, join a critique group. The biggest mistake I made was subbing a book I hadn’t vetted enough. I could’ve papered my kitchen with the rejection letters. Make sure other writers have helped you develop your manuscript before letting it out in public.

Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to four self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes in everyday magic, extraordinary love stories, and the restorative powers of dark chocolate.

Giveaway Information:  Contest ends November 11, 2016

·        $25 Amazon gift card, a paperback copy of Defying Gravity, and bookmarks from Finding Perfect, Defying Gravity, and The Bad Boy Bargain (US ONLY)