First Crush, Last Love by Elizabeth McKenna (Excerpt & #Giveaway)

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to my tour stop! I'm sharing an excerpt, so check that out as well as the giveaway below...

First Crush, Last Love
by Elizabeth McKenna
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 314 pages
August 1st 2017


Back in high school, Lee Archer made Jessie Baxter’s cheeks flush and her heart race. But the popular athlete never wanted to be more than just friends. Ten years later, after a failed marriage and with her journalism career on shaky ground, Jessie’s come home for her high school reunion—and Lee still has the power to make her knees weak and her pulse pound.

Lee’s teenage years were filled with more trauma and drama than anyone guessed. Though his damaged past has helped make him a successful police detective, it’s hurt every relationship he’s tried. But seeing the grown-up, stunning Jessie might just change his commitment-phobic mind.

Jessie’s psycho ex-husband had her convinced no one would ever love her, but Lee is ready to step out of the friend zone and into her heart. Can she learn to trust again before she loses her chance to turn her first crush into her last love?

Elizabeth McKenna’s novel will have you remembering the angst of high school, the grief of a failed relationship, and the joy of finding true love at last.

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Part I Senior Year, February 1984

“Hey, Jester, wait up!” Lee hustled down the school hallway. The red and pink Valentine hearts hanging from the ceiling fluttered in his wake.

When he reached Jessie, she offered him a tentative smile. Her wistful, blue-gray eyes met his before skittering away, and guilt hit him like a blitzing linebacker. He rubbed a palm across his stomach. He wished he could give her what she wanted—what she deserved—but he didn’t have it in him.

“Where are you going?” she asked.

“I have to drop a book off at the library. Mrs. Graham is going to fine me if it’s another day late. You?”

“Library. Sarah needs help with calculus.”

As they walked, they bumped shoulders every few steps, and he told her about biology class. “Tom Vogel dared Jim Keene to throw a worm at Joan Beyers. When he did, it stuck in her hair and then fell down the back of her shirt.”

Jessie covered her mouth with her hand. “Keene is such an idiot.”

“That’s not even the best part. Then Tom threw one at Michelle Canton. She threw it back and a worm fight broke out. Worms were flying everywhere. Some sophomore girls were screaming and crying. Arnott had to cancel class after that.”

“That’s gross!” She laughed so hard she snorted through her nose.

“Nice snort.” Lee smiled at her, and the guilt that had almost sidelined him a few minutes ago hit him again. He knew he was leading her on, but he was too selfish to give up the easygoing conversations they had together.

They turned into the library wing, and he stopped. At the far end of the hall, Tina leaned against a locker with her back and one foot pressed against it. His friend, Dean, stood in front of her, his head bent to her uplifted face. Unaware of Lee and Jessie, she played with the ties of his sweatshirt. Tina smiled and then pushed off the locker and bumped hips with Dean. She grabbed his hand and pulled him down the hall and into the next. Her high-pitched laughter echoed as it drifted back to Jessie and Lee.

Lee and Tina had been “on a break” for the past two weeks. Rumor had it Tina wanted to make a play for Dean, but Lee never imagined his friend would be interested. He clenched his right hand into a fist, and rage clouded his vision until the warmth of Jessie’s fingers on his upper arm diffused it. Her hand slid down and shook his fist until it opened.

“She’s not worth beating up your best friend.”

She didn’t say, “I told you so” or “What did you expect?” The genuine look of concern on her face should have made him feel better, but it didn’t. He wasn’t worthy of her friendship or the love he couldn’t return. He didn’t deserve anything. He turned on his heel and pulled away from her grip.

“Lee, stop!”

He did, but he couldn’t look at her.

“Why do you let her do it?” Her voice sounded small and uncertain.

He lifted his shoulders and let them drop.

“Don’t take that crap from her.” Her voice was stronger now.

“I . . . I gotta go.”

He sprinted down the hall, trying to outrun the anger, hurt, and shame that had joined his guilt. In the nearest boys’ bathroom, he threw his books against the wall and punched a stall door until the pain from his hand eclipsed all the other swirling emotions. He wiped the sweat from his forehead with his sleeve, and then held his bruised hand under the cold-water faucet. Flexing his stiff fingers, he wondered what lie he could tell his basketball coach this time.

About the Author

Though Elizabeth McKenna’s love of books reaches back to her childhood, she had never read a romance novel until her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). With the urging of her children, she decided to write her own Happily Ever Afters.

Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.

Tour-Wide Giveaway

- 1 winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card and ebook of Venice in the Moonlight
- Open internationally
- Ends April 25th

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