Mischief and Magnolias by Kristi Cook
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Series: Magnolia #1.5
on February 7th 2017
When Ryder Marsden and Jemma Cafferty return to Magnolia Branch for Christmas break following their first semester at their respective universities in New York City (Columbia and NYU), their secret relationship is revealed—they’re literally caught under the mistletoe, kissing. Unexpectedly, their parents—who’ve spent their entire lives pushing them together—are somehow less than thrilled, especially when they realize the depth of their deception.Tensions mount as the Marsden and Cafferty families struggle to come to terms with Jemma’s and Ryder’s feelings for each other, especially as they prepare to send them back to New York City together. At the same time, Jemma and Ryder must face their own problems that have arisen as a result of attending different schools—there are jealousies to be sorted out and hurt feelings to mend if their relationship is going to stand the test of time.Will their love last, or are they star-crossed lovers, after all?
Laura Grace nods and turns toward Ryder and me. “You two kids try and play nice for a little bit. Dinner’s in fifteen minutes—get yourselves cleaned up and to the dining room by then, okay?”
“Got it,” Ryder murmurs.
And off they go, leaving us totally and blissfully alone.
Ryder sidles up beside me. “So, last night was nice,” he says, his breath warm against my ear.
Shivers race down my spine. “Yes, it was.”
“Think you can sneak out again tonight?”
“Probably. You know my parents—always in bed by ten.”
He runs a hand through his dark hair, leaving it sticking up in all directions. “How am I going to last until then? Sitting at the dinner table across from the prettiest girl in the world and not allowed to touch her?”
“Well, would you look at that…” I tip my head toward the doorway, where a sprig of mistletoe is conveniently hanging. “Should we risk it? Maybe if we’re really quick?”
His dark eyes spark with mischief, and I grab his hand and dash toward the door, dragging him with me as I position myself directly under the waxy green leaves.
“You sure like to live dangerously, Jemma Cafferty,” he says, wrapping his arms around me.
I rise up on tiptoe, my head tipped back as I gaze up at him adoringly. “Shut up and kiss me, Ryder Marsden.”
His kiss is gentle at first—almost tentative. But then…it’s like the room falls away and there’s nothing left, nothing but me and Ryder and this kiss that literally steals away my breath and turns my knees to Jell-O and my brain to mush.
And that’s pretty much when all hell breaks loose.