Sunday, July 13, 2014

Anniversary Celebration: Delicate by Steph Campbell

Title: Delicate
Author: Steph Campbell
Age: Mature YA
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: July 2012

Sydney Pierce has just met the guy of her dreams…just don’t tell her psycho boyfriend, Trevor.

With a gorgeous boyfriend, a thriving gymnastics career and a stellar academic record, anyone would assume that Sydney has it all. That's precisely what the seventeen-year-old perfectionist wants you to believe, and she works hard to keep up the pretense. Especially now that there are cameras following her for a documentary on Olympic hopefuls.

When Grant, the charming new student, disrupts her carefully crafted routine, the cracks beneath her perfect façade begin to rise to the surface and despite Trevor's objections to their friendship, she can't stay away from him.

As her connection to Grant pulls her closer to him, the once lighthearted relationship with Trevor takes an intense and dark turn, forcing her into a position in which not only her happiness, but her safety is at stake. Can Sydney learn to let go of everything she is clinging to in order to gain everything she has ever wanted, or will she realize her breaking point too late?

Excerpt: “Thanks for spending your birthday with me.”

He sits next to me on the sofa. It’s wildly inappropriate how good it feels to be this close to him.

“I spent my birthday exactly how I wanted to.”

I can feel his warm breath on my face. I look at him. At his perfectly, unruly hair, a total contradiction, just like our entire relationship. At the small, brown, braided necklace he always wears. At the collar of his brown t-shirt under his white button-up. I look everywhere but his eyes. I know that if I meet his gaze, I will surely lose what little self control I have. I’ll end up making a fool out of myself.

Without a word, he lightly places a small box on my lap. It’s about the size of a book, wrapped neatly in a crisp, navy paper and a dainty silver ribbon. I hope it’s a book. Something simple and impersonal. I can handle  a book.

“You really shouldn’t have done this. I don’t deserve it,” I say.

“Yes, you do. Besides, I told you, I wanted to. I hope you like it.”

I untie the ribbon and lay it neatly across my lap. I feel uneasy with him sitting next to me. I move in slow motion, carefully opening each side of the paper and gently pealing it back. Inside is a dark blue, velvet box that I recognize immediately. It’s the same kind of box that Maisy’s snow globe was put in after I bought it from the aquarium. My heart slams in my chest when I realize what must be inside. It’s definitely not a book. Tears already start to brim in my eyes before I can even get the box open.

“Don’t cry, Syd.” He nudges my hands. “I can take them back, if you want.”

Inside is the elegant strand of fresh water pearls. The strand that’s somehow identical to Mom’s. The one I’d destroyed in my argument with Trevor.

“No. I just, I don’t know what to say. Thank you so much.” I dab at the tears in my eyes with the corner of my sleeve before they can fall.

“You’re welcome,” he says. 

Steph’s Fav quotes:

"Letting go is never easy. Especially when you can’t see where you’re going to land. But I’ve learned that sometimes, you just have to throw your weight behind the change. Take the chance that you may fall."

“I loved Trevor wholly. In all the good ways that made me feel alive and special and important. But also, in the bad ways. The ways that shut me off from others and left me alone with my pain. The ways that had me keep secrets. I loved Trevor in all the ways that I thought mattered, even though I knew that I didn’t.” 

“So, what, Trevor was the quid and Shayna was the pro quo? I don’t think so, Syd. Playing games is not my style.” 

1 signed copy of Delicate and an audiobook of Grounding Quinn


About the Author:
Steph Campbell grew up in Southern California, but now calls Southwest Louisiana home. She has one husband, four children and a serious nail polish obsession.

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