The Make-Up Test Read Online Jenny L. Howe

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 109
Estimated words: 102567 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 513(@200wpm)___ 410(@250wpm)___ 342(@300wpm)

ONE TO WATCH meets BEACH READ in this smart, swoony, romantic comedy, in which two college exes find themselves battling against each other—and their unresolved feelings—for a spot in a prestigious literature Ph.D. program.

Allison Avery loves to win. After acing every academic challenge she’s come up against, she’s finally been accepted into her dream Ph.D. program at Claymore University, studying medieval literature under a professor she’s admired for years. Sure, grad school isn’t easy—the classes are intense, her best friend is drifting away, and her students would rather pull all-nighters than discuss The Knight’s Tale—but she’s got this. Until she discovers her ex-boyfriend has also been accepted. Colin Benjamin might be the only person who loves winning more than Allison does, and when they’re both assigned to TA for the same professor, the game is on.
What starts as a personal battle of wits (and lit) turns into all-out war when their professor announces a career-changing research trip opportunity—with one spot to fill. Competing with Colin is as natural as breathing, and after he shattered her heart two years ago, Allison refuses to let him come out on top. But when a family emergency and a late night road trip—plus a very sexy game of Scrabble—throw them together for a weekend, she starts to wonder if they could be stronger on the same team. And if they fall for each other all over again, Allison will have to choose between a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and what could be a twice-in-a-lifetime love.

Charmingly bookish and unequivocally fat positive, The Make-Up Test embraces the truth that people can sometimes change and grow, even when you least expect it.


Chapter 1

If one more person used the word hegemonic, Allison Avery was going to scream.

After almost two full weeks of classes at Claymore University, she should be more adjusted to the quirks of graduate-level literature courses, but it still felt like … a lot.

Everyone seemed so much older, like Link with his suspenders and bowties themed for every class, and Kara, whose button-downs were so freshly pressed she could roll down a grassy hill and still not have a wrinkle. And they all had laptops (new shiny ones), and were typing away with a gusto Allison couldn’t muster while scribbling frantically into her notebook like some kind of Luddite as she missed every other word Professor Behi said.

When Allison had sat through the commencement address at her college graduation in May, listening to some politician whose name she should have known droning on about making the most of every opportunity, she’d let her mind drift to the fall, imagining herself in cute floral dresses, sitting in a snug corner of the library in a worn easy chair, listening raptly to professors wax poetic about Chaucer and Julian of Norwich and Boccaccio. She certainly hadn’t planned on being crammed into the same cramped desk/chair combos from undergrad that jabbed at her curves no matter how she angled herself. Nor letting her eyes burn until the wee hours of the morning, trying to make sense of two paragraphs of Jacques Derrida.

And never, ever, ever had she expected to be sitting across the discussion circle from Colin Benjamin. Her ex-boyfriend.

Colin, not surprisingly, had been the latest person to cause Allison’s brain to pucker by finding a way to work hegemonic into a sentence. That was the only reason she was staring at him right now.

He slouched lower in his chair as their professor’s gaze shifted to a new raised hand. One of his spindly ankles sat upon his equally spindly knee—there was a reason she used to jokingly call him Ichabod Crane—revealing purple socks with the word cats! scrawled around drawings of felines in various stages of stretching and sleeping.

Allison bit the inside of her cheek to keep from reacting. It should be illegal for Colin Benjamin to wear cute socks. Or do anything cute, for that matter. The only adjectives reserved for him should be words like irritating, maddening, vexatious.

Behind glasses with thick, maroon frames, his hazel eyes slid toward her, and his hand reached for his dark blond hair. He kept the top long and the sides shaved, and despite all the gel that glued it back from his brow, Allison knew the strands were soft like silk.

The thought turned her stomach. To dismiss it, she thrust her arm into the air.

A smile warmed Professor Behi’s face. It sliced a good decade off the age suggested by the thick streaks of gray in her black hair and the crow’s feet etched deeply into the skin at the corners of her brown eyes. “Yes, Allison?”

Even from the safety of her desk, Allison’s cheeks burned, and her voice turned squeaky. “Professo—er—Isha—” They’d been instructed at orientation to call their professors by their first names. You’re peers now, the fourth-year graduate student had insisted, proudly, as if to remind everyone what a huge deal it was to be in one of the most prestigious Ph.D. programs in the country. Like Allison could ever forget. Her mom had framed the acceptance letter and hung it above the fireplace. She made guests stand in front of it and admire the creamy white paper for at least ten seconds, an icon to worship.