Excerpt: Love Hazard - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

A spin off…
From
THE BET

When hate leads to love next door…

My dad is protective. Scratch that. He’s like the person who would grab a chair, place it on the lawn, and watch me walk across the street just to deliver an apple. So, when a bet between the rude, good-looking guy across the way becomes a full-on battle, it turns into absolute chaos.

He says my degree is useless and that I’m a rich, spoiled princess.

I say he’s an idiot who only knows how to fix motorcycles and is incapable of having a clean-shaven face.

He gives me a tiara. Thanks.

I buy him a razor. Perfect.

He follows that up with a book… Like. I. Can’t. Read.

I then give him soap—explanation easy there.

The following day, I receive a pink princess blanket that I may or may not have burned and tossed on his front doorstep, not realizing his dad is a cop. Now, both dads want the war to stop between us, forcing us to go on a camping trip to bury the hatchet—which I’m convinced he actually brought.

He’s a hazard to my health.

But it’s only a weekend. I honestly don’t know if we’ll make it out alive, but the dads are tired of it all. Regardless, I’ll come out, and prove I’m not the princess he thinks I am. Maybe he’ll end up lost in the woods—one can only hope.

One thing’s for sure. I will never, ever fall for him.

Ever.

A bet with the boy next door? Challenge accepted. I’ll be waiting for my trophy at the finish line.

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Excerpt: Love Hazard
By Rachel Van Dyken

Excerpt: Love Hazard

From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken comes a highly anticipated spinoff from THE BET! LOVE HAZARD is out Tuesday, but you can read a sneak peek right now below!

I groaned, pulled my hair into a ponytail, and got back to my book, only to hear a throat clearing at the base of the tree.

I knew that sound.

It was a trigger.

One I had nightmares about. “No.”

“Hazel.” His voice was deep and raspy. “You know your dad’s going to be pissed if he finds you shirking your responsibilities up there. We all have crosses to bear.”

I slammed my book shut and looked down.

The person with the inability to not clear his throat in my presence, also known as August Wellington III, stood grinning up at me. He was one of our rich neighbors—a class above me, just graduated, and a total waste of space.

He’d rather fix motorcycles than join the family business, which was some weird art empire that stretched from the East Coast to the West, with around seven locations.

Then again, I couldn’t imagine him being an art dealer when he couldn’t even shower.

“Shirking. Is it a big-word day?”

He leaned his muscular body against the tree. I hated that we almost matched with his ripped jeans and tight, dirty white tank top. He was so annoying.

“Just because I don’t want to go to college doesn’t mean I’m stupid,” he argued, running a hand through his sandy-brown hair.

I rolled my eyes and went back to my book. “Your hand’s greasy, and now your hair looks even worse than it did before. Actually, maybe it’s an improvement since it takes the attention away from your nose. Shouldn’t you be worrying about yourself? You’re a hot mess and probably couldn’t get into college unless your dad bribed the board.”

He laughed. I hated his laugh. It was always mocking as if what I said was funny—but only to him. It was so stupid. “You mean how your dad bribed me so I’d be your friend?”

I lifted the book into the air, ready to chuck it at him. “Take it back.”

“It’s true, though.” He smiled. I hated how good-looking he was, even with grease all over his face. His high cheekbones and green eyes should be a crime against humanity. “Remember? When you were fourteen and getting bullied, and he gave me money to protect you? Damn, I was like the mafia. Getting paid for protection and to make sure you were safe.”

Tears welled in my eyes. “It’s just a rumor.”

“Rumor?” He leaned against the tree until he was close enough to my leg to tug it. “I’m shocked you don’t still wear Keds. Then again, you are still growing. Maybe future you has a serious responsibility. Not all heroes wear capes. Maybe instead of college, your thing is to find the magic bean to make people tall.”

“Hilarious. And we all know your girlfriend started that rumor.”

“Not a rumor. Truth.” He leaned in. “Which means it’s my responsibility to tell your dad right now that you’ve taken a time out because the heat is just so intense. Poor spoiled little princess.”

“Poor spoiled prince!” I yelled back at him, flailing my arms, only to slip and fall.

He broke my fall with his head, but my arm hit the ground at a weird angle. The crack was so loud that I shook with it.

Tears burned the backs of my eyes. “Leave me alone, August.”

“But your arm…” He reached for me, but I jerked away in pain. “I think it’s broken. I heard a crack.”

“Oh. Well, maybe my dad will give you more money to make it feel better,” I yelled as tears started to truly fall down my cheeks.

I hated him.

I hated him so much. He always made everything worse. Made me feel worse. He teased and teased and teased.

Just like everyone else.

What if my dad really did pay him to be my friend?

My stomach sank. Knowing that I had to go into senior year while facing the rumors that he and his girlfriend spread—that I was so pathetic and friendless that my rich dad had to pay the boy next door—was worse than the physical throbbing in my left arm.

“Is it?” I asked in a choked whisper. “Is it actually true? Did he pay you?”

August’s eyes locked on mine, and he slowly nodded. “But not in the way you think—“

“I never want to see you again.” I sounded calm, but I was shaking from both emotional and physical pain. “Go away.”

“Hazel, I was just teasing earlier. I would—“

“Leave me alone,” I spat. “Now.”

The loudness brought both my mom and dad out.

“Hazel…” August leaned down to touch me, but I kicked at him, jarring my arm more as I rolled over in pain. “Stay still.”

“Stay gone,” I whispered. “You’re a hazard to my health.”

“But—“

“GO AWAY!” I screamed.

So, he did.

And I wouldn’t see him again for six years.

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