Bad Girl Reputation – Avalon Bay Read Online Elle Kennedy

Categories Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary, New Adult Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 103
Estimated words: 98048 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 490(@200wpm)___ 392(@250wpm)___ 327(@300wpm)
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When former bad girl Genevieve West returns home for her mother’s funeral, she’s prepared to keep her distance from her ex-boyfriend, Evan Hartley. Their history is rife with turbulence. And passion. A heck of a lot of passion... which she’s trying desperately to forget.

But it’s impossible not to run into Evan in the small coastal town where they once ran wild. And the moment she sees her gorgeous ex again, it’s clear to Gen that Evan is still as unruly, sexy, and irresistible as ever. This time around, however, she’s resolved to walk a new path. No more partying. No more foolish mistakes. Her plan is to temporarily remain in town to help her father run his business, but the second he finds somebody else, she’s out of there.

Evan has other ideas. He knows they can be good together, but he just has to convince Genevieve of that, even if it means turning over a new leaf himself. But can a bad reputation ever truly be shed? Do second chances really work? Genevieve and Evan are about to find out.

Bestselling author Elle Kennedy returns to Avalon Bay in this sexy second chance story about two exes who can't stay away from each other, Bad Girl Reputation.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

CHAPTER 1

GENEVIEVE

Everyone even vaguely related to me is in this house. Dressed in black and huddled together in awkward conversation around cheese plates and casserole dishes. My baby pictures on the wall. In fits and starts, someone clinks a fork against a bottle of Guinness or a glass of Jameson to raise a toast and tell an inappropriate story about how Mom once rode a Jet Ski topless through the Independence Day boat parade. While my dad looks uncomfortable and stares out the window, I sit with my brothers and pretend we’re familiar with these old stories about our mother, the fun-loving, life-by-the-balls-grabbing Laurie Christine West … when in reality we never knew her at all.

“So we were hot-boxing it to Florida in the back of an old ice-cream truck,” starts Cary, one of my mother’s cousins. “And somewhere south of Savannah, we hear this noise, like a rustling around, coming from the back …”

I cling to a bottle of water, fearing what I’ll do without something in my hands. I picked a hell of a time to get sober. Everyone I’ve run into is trying to shove a drink in my hand because they don’t know what else to say to the poor motherless girl.

I’ve considered it. Sliding up to my old bedroom with a bottle of anything and knocking it back until this day ends. Except I’m still regretting the last time I slipped.

But it would certainly make this entire ordeal slightly more tolerable.

Great-aunt Milly is doing circles around the house like a goldfish in a bowl. Every pass, she stops at the sofa to pat my arm and weakly squeeze my wrist and tell me I look just like my mother.

Great.

“Someone’s gotta stop her,” my younger brother Billy whispers beside me. “She’s going to collapse. Those skinny little ankles.”

She’s sweet, but she’s starting to creep me out. If she calls me by my mom’s name, I might lose my shit.

“I tell Louis to turn down the radio,” Cousin Cary continues, getting excited about his story. “Because I’m trying to figure out exactly where the noise is coming from. Thought we might be dragging something.”

Mom had been sick for months before she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. According to Dad, she’d dealt with a constant pain in her back and abdomen that she’d ignored as the aches of getting older—and then a month later she was dead. But to me, this all started only a week ago. A call in the middle of the afternoon from my brother Jay urging me to come home, followed by another from my dad saying Mom wasn’t going to be around much longer.

They’d all kept me in the dark. Because she hadn’t wanted me to know.

How messed up is that?

“I’m talking about, for miles, this knocking around in there. Now, we’re all pretty baked, okay? You gotta understand. Ran into this old-timer hippie freak back in Myrtle Beach who hooked us up with some kush—”

Someone coughs, grumbles under their breath.

“Let’s not bore them with the details,” Cousin Eddie says. Knowing glances and conspiratorial smirks travel among the cousins.

“Anyway.” Cary starts up again, hushing them. “So we hear this, whatever it is. Tony’s driving, and your mom,” he says, gesturing his glass at us kids, “is standing in front of the freezer with a bong over her head like she’s about to beat a raccoon to death or something.”

My mind is far, far away from this ridiculous anecdote, jumbled and twisted with thoughts of my mother. She spent weeks lying in bed, preparing to die. Her last wish was for her only daughter to find out she was sick at the last possible moment. Even my brothers were forbidden from being at her bedside in the slow, agonizing slip into her final days. Mom preferring, as always, to suffer in silence while keeping her children at a distance. On the surface it might seem she did it for the benefit of her kids, but I suspect it was for her own sake—she wanted to avoid all those emotional, intimate moments that her impending death would no doubt trigger, the same way she avoided those moments in life.

In the end, she was relieved to have an excuse not to act like our mother.

“None of us want to open the freezer, and someone’s shouting at Tony to pull over, but he’s freaking out because he sees a cop a few cars behind us and, oh yeah, it occurs to us we’re carrying contraband across state lines, so …”

And I can forgive her. Until her last breath, she was herself. Never pretending to be anything else. Since we were kids, she’d made it clear she wasn’t particularly interested in us, so we never expected much. My dad and brothers, though—they should have told me about her illness. How do you keep something like that from your child, your sister? Even if I was living a hundred miles away. They should have told me, damn it. There might have been things I wanted to say to her. If I’d had the time to think about it more.


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