The Dylan Dilemma
Patricia B. Tighe
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: April 24th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
High school senior Kenzie Harper-Shea has no time for dating, especially after the arrival of the basketball coach from hell. Now Kenzie has lost her confidence, is in a slump, and in danger of losing out on a scholarship to play college ball. The last thing she needs is her “vacation boyfriend,” Dylan McCoy, distracting her with warm smiles, inside jokes, and swoony kisses.
Dylan, however, is totally ready to date. He finally lives in the same town as Kenzie and is not about to lose the chance to let their relationship grow into something more. But for now, he’ll stay in the friend zone because he’s determined to find out what has her running scared. It can’t be just about basketball.
As Kenzie spends more time around Dylan, her feelings become a jumbled-up mess. It’s obvious they’re into each other. So, why does she panic whenever she thinks about dating him? Is it connected to basketball or to something deeper? She’s not sure. Does she have the courage to examine her heart, even if it means breaking Dylan’s?
At the school gym on Monday, I wiped sweat from under my eye with the collar of my T-shirt. Jana thumped me on the back before jogging back to her place in line.
“Keep moving,” she said under her breath.
Right. I threw the basketball to Carly, who jerked when she caught it and then passed it to the next girl. Tension filled the air like when you step outside and a thunder storm is about to hit. Coach Dunbar, gray hair flattened like a steel helmet, prowled among us, her whistle at the ready. We were all freaked about the changes. You could see it in the way my usually confident teammates stumbled over their feet or missed shots or flubbed passes.
This passing drill, normally something I could do in my sleep, was making me crazy. I’d already jammed my index finger on one catch, but after a scowl from Coach, I shook my hand and kept going. No one wanted to get on her bad side, which made us so nervous that we looked like amateurs.
Sneakers squeaked on the gym floor, exclamations rang out, and the girls beside me breathed so hard I could hear it. Holy crap. When would we all settle down? Things just didn’t feel right and last Friday hadn’t been any better. Halfway through, Coach sat us down and gave us a lecture on teamwork because she said she wasn’t happy about what she saw.
Well, neither was I. I missed Coach Shultz. I missed how her happiness gave all of us a lift—even when we were working hard.
“Kenzie!” Carly shouted.
I turned and a basketball hit me in the stomach. But miracle of miracles, I caught it. Coach blew her whistle in one long shrill sound.
“All right, girls!” she called. “This is pathetic. Time for laps.”
Laps? That wasn’t how practice was supposed to go. “But we never run until—”
Jana, who I hadn’t realized was beside me, squeezed my elbow, cutting off my words. What the heck was I doing? I should know by now the woman didn’t appreciate my helpful hints.
Coach Dunbar walked toward me through the crowd of my frozen teammates, favoring her right leg. Maybe Jana had been right and there was something wrong with the woman. “Mackenzie,” she said, her voice hard. “If you have a suggestion, you can raise your hand. Otherwise, if you don’t like the way I conduct practice, you can leave. There’s nothing stopping you.”
The mother of two grown sons, Patricia B. Tighe lives in West Texas with her husband and dog. She eats way too much pizza, drinks way too much coffee, and watches way too much NFL football. On the bright side, she also reads and writes teen fiction. She promises to include as much romance, angst, and adventure as possible in her books.
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