Crushes are a part of growing up.
In My Summer Storm, we learn right off the bat that Bailey Baxter, now seventeen, has a crush on her childhood friend, Max Martin.
Max, who was once Bailey’s nemesis, is now the object of her affection.
Check out this teaser from Chapter 3.
“Are you looking forward to this summer?” Max pulled a forkful of spaghetti from his plate and placed it into his mouth.
Looking forward to seeing your gorgeous face every day, I thought. But I didn’t say that, of course. My answer was much cooler. “Um, yeah. I am especially looking forward to meeting new people. It’ll be so much fun.”
“Boys. She’s looking forward to meeting boys.” Dad looked at me nervously. “Of course, she hasn’t said that, but I know it’s true. You know, she hasn’t had a boyfriend since that boy, Bryce, moved away.” Dad looked at Max. “You’ll watch out for her over there, won’t you?”
Talk about complete and utter mortification. I seriously wanted to crawl beneath the table and stab myself in the eyes with my fork. That is, until I heard Max’s answer to Dad’s question.
“Of course I will, Mr. B. Bailey’s safe with me. I’ll be watching her closely.” I looked up at Max and he winked at me from across the table. Was that flirting? I think it was.
“I appreciate that.” Dad grinned at him.
“May I be excused?” Gracie pulled the napkin from her lap and balled it up into a ball. She had already cleaned her plate. (The girl eats like a vacuum cleaner. I kid you not!)
“Yes ma’am. Take your dishes to the sink,” Dad reminded Gracie as she stood up.
“Are you all packed?” Max’s blue eyes met mine from across the table. My heart skipped a beat.
“Yeah, I guess so. I don’t have much.”
“I’m sure we’ll have plenty of room for whatever you want to bring. We should leave early, though. It’s a long drive, and we need to be at the staff meeting by 2:00 p.m.”
“Sounds good.” Suddenly, he was all business. Playfully, I smiled at him and raised my eyebrows.
“You know, I’ve got my license, now. You could even let me drive a bit if you get tired.”
“No offense, but I do want to make it there alive, you know.” Max chuckled and took a sip of his iced tea.
Dad even laughed at Max’s little wisecrack. Somewhat agitated by his teasing, I balled my napkin up in a wad and chucked it across the table at him. It hit Max right smack dab on his forehead. His mouth dropped open in surprise, and then he grinned. But I would not be won over. Not even by his perfect smile.
“Whatever. I am a perfectly capable driver.” I stood from the table and smirked at Max. “May I be excused? I’ve got some phone calls to make. I’ll leave you guys to the dishes.”
“Sure, honey,” Dad replied as I walked over to the sink, deposited my dishes, and marched right past Gracie, who was on her way into the kitchen to get dessert.
“What’s up with her?” Gracie wanted to know.
“Just your typical night with Max and Bailey,” Dad joked.
Crushes are exciting. They’re heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. And they keep us wondering about what could happen if we just let it.
I’ll never forget my first crush. I was in the ninth grade, and he was a senior. He was tall, dark, and very handsome. He had these piercing blue eyes that I swear could melt glass. And he was a huge Batman fan. The guy wore a Batman shirt every day. Well, maybe 3 out of 5 days a week. So pretty often. Yeah… looking back, I think that was pretty gross (hygienically) but at the time, it didn’t matter. I couldn’t get past those eyes. I don’t even know what his name was. His alias was, of course, Batman, and he inspired much gossip between my seat partner and myself. Will Batman ride the bus today? Does Batman have a girlfriend? Did he look at me? Will Batman say hi to me today?
I wasn’t even sure he knew my name , but one day when I was getting on the bus (yes, I was a cool kid who rode the bus to school every day) he stepped onto the steps behind me. “Nice shirt,” I said to him, my heart pounding out of my chest. He looked down at me with those baby blues, smiled at me, and said, “Thanks, Kim.”
So you can probably guess that I was over the moon. I spent the next week obsessing over the fact that he knew my name and trying to make eye contact. Sadly, my lack of flirting skills coupled with my super shy social awkwardness kept me from ever having another conversation with the Dark Knight. But having a crush on him was just so… much… fun!
In My Summer Storm, you’ll see these kinds of encounters as Bailey works out her feelings for the boys in her life. It’s a fun-filled love story written for both the young and the young at heart.