Author: Valia Lind
Series: Falling, #2
Genre: Contemporary YA
Publication: August 1, 2014
For Chance, there's always only been Dakota.
He's been in love with the girl since the day they met. He's tried everything to get her to notice him and nothing has worked. So when things suddenly start moving in the right direction, Chance can't believe his luck.
Until Kyle comes along.
Kyle is like a new shiny toy and Dakota loves new and shiny. She falls for the tall, blonde and gorgeous fast and without looking back. Dating the summer before college wasn't in the plans, but come on, Kyle is perfect. So why does Chance and his snarky grin keeps popping up in her mind now that Dakota has found her happiness?
When Chance's world comes crashing down, Dakota proves the strength of their friendship, surprising herself and everyone around her, by helping him pick up the pieces. In return, Chance is finally able to crack her hard shell, discovering that not everything is sunny in Dakota-land. Her world is not what it seems on the outside, and together, they're able to pull each other to the brink of safety and sanity.
Dakota likes that things are simple with Kyle, so why does she feel more like herself around Chance?
As graduation grows closer, both Chance and Dakota learn that the plans you make for your life don't always play out the way you expect them and sometimes, everything starts to make sense when you find yourself on the edge of falling.
It doesn't take me long to reach the cabin. Grayson greets me as I run up to the house. The girls are already inside, getting settled. So is Kyle. I can see them inside the main room, the one with all the large windows.
"You guys are here early."
"Well, you know how Brooklynn loves her early mornings." I roll my eyes at my friend, because Brooklynn is not the morning person of the group. Dakota is. And now, apparently so is Kyle because he comes bouncing down those stairs with a huge smile on his face.
"This place is sweet!" He grabs one of the bags, and heads back into the house without another word.
"He's very cheerful in the mornings." Grayson comments.
The girls walk out then, coming down the porch stairs. Brook heads toward me, but before she can hug me, she crinkles her nose and frowns. I know Dakota is standing next to her, but I'm keeping my eyes strictly on Brook.
"Really, Chance? This is how you greet your guests?" She waves her hand over my sweaty body.
"Yep. Come here, darling." I reach for her, but she drags Dakota to block the path, nearly making us collide. Dakota is wearing her usual annoyed expression and the simplicity of practiced interactions make me braver. With a gleam in my eyes, I lunge at the girls, wrapping Dakota in my arms as I reach for Brook hiding behind her. Both of them squeal, trying to wiggle out of my embrace.
The movement does weird things to my insides as Dakota's frame fits so perfectly against mine. Brook manages to escape, and now it's just Dakota and me, locked in an embrace. I look down at her, my eyes crashing into hers and it's like everything I've ever imagined. Time stands still for one perfect moment, before I'm bending over and gasping for breath.
"Did you seriously just punch me in the stomach?" I rasp, glaring at Dakota's smug smile.
"You're lucky that's all I did." Oh is this how we're going to play it? Good thing I know this game. Right then and there, I decide that I'm going for it. Just for this weekend, I won't hide from Dakota and my feelings for her. I'm going to rebuild the awkward friendship we've established last year and see where it takes us. I know she sees the change as my eyes light up, mischievously.
"You know, Dakota. You stink a bit of sweat. Maybe you should take a little bath." I reach for her, my intentions clear. She smacks at my arms, turning to run back into the house and away from the hot tub that's a lot closer than she'd like. I haven't been running all my life for nothing. I catch up to her easily, grabbing her from behind and lifting her clear off the ground.
"Chance! Don't you dare put me into that water. I swear I will get you for it."
"Awe, honey. Promises, promises."
Author. Photographer. Artist. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, Valia Lind always had a love for the written word. She wrote her first full book on the bathroom floor of her dormitory, while procrastinating to study for her college classes. Upon graduation, she has moved her writing to more respectable places, and have found her voice in Young Adult fiction. Falling by Design is her debut young adult novel. You can visit her online at www.valialind.blogspot.com or follow her on twitter, where she spends way too much time, @ValiaLind.