Today JL Campbell is visiting on the blog tour sharing from her book Perfection. In this excerpt we see an interesting conversation between Natasha and Karim.
About the Book:
After six months of serial breakups with her two-timing boyfriend, Natasha is ready to give relationships a break. Malik has no plans to give up and schemes to get her back, but his efforts throw his cousin in the middle of his campaign. Natasha doesn't need another guy messing with her brain, or her plans for the future, but Karim is different from anyone she's ever met. The fact that he's off-limits deepens her guilt over her attraction and puts her judgment into question. Can she move beyond the mistakes of the past and trust someone who's no angel?
Karim is back in Jamaica for the summer and has no plans to tie himself to anyone, because girls are complicated and he's been burned a time or two. He's knee-deep in responsibility as a result of a thoughtless act that changed his life. But Natasha is a girl with a difference, who makes him want things he has sworn to give up. Will she give him the time of day and will she want him when she finds out about his past and the present he wants to keep hidden, but can't?
Something from our texting marathon occurred to me. "So, how do I know you're not really engaged and just messing around with me?"
"One. I'm not a liar. Two. I'm not dishonest. I would have told you eventually. Three. I really like you and wouldn't play with you that way."
"But you did exactly that with your ... ex."
"I told you, we weren't—"
"In a relationship. You're beginning to sound like a scratched CD."
"It's the truth."
"So you say." Nailing Karim with a direct stare, I asked, "Does she know you're not a couple?"
His eyes opened wide before he squeezed his face into a frown.
"Don't look at me like that. I have to ask."
"Yes, she knows."
He sucked at the straw and then scowled. His drink had to taste as nasty as mine by now. He laid the cup down and smiled in a way that had me softening, even as I warned myself not to be fooled by him.
"So tell me about you and Malik. Are you still together or did you break up again?"
"Don't be mean. We broke up." I leaned back, frowning. "You have some nerve to try and get with your cousin's girl. I'm thinking it's kinda icky."
"You're something else, Tasha. That's the first time I've been described as nasty." He laughed, sucking the air from my chest.
This guy was more handsome than one person had a right to be.
When he stopped laughing, he said, "If it makes you feel any better, we're not cousins by blood, but my marriage."
"Really?" I thought about that for a second. "I still think it's too close and you have to know Malik has problems with it."
"Yeah, I've been getting that vibe from him, though he hasn't put it in the open."
"We haven't done anything, so there's nothing to regret."
He crooked a finger at me and we both leaned forward. Over the tiny table, he murmured, "Have you had sex with him?"
My face and neck went hot and I snapped, louder than I intended, "That's none of your business."
He looked deep into my eyes. "Have you?"
As if hypnotized, I shook my head, unable to look away.
"Good. That makes things simpler." Leaning back, he smiled, taking his time about it. "Why did you change your mind about seeing me?"
Using one shoulder, I shrugged. "It's not what I want, but ... I like you too. Does that make me a terrible girlfriend?"
"Didn't you just tell me you two broke up?"
"I'm not in a hurry to find another boyfriend."
"And I have all the time in the world."
"I haven't said yes to you or anything."
He dragged his teeth over his bottom lip as if holding back laughter. "I haven't asked you anything yet."
He looked away from me and then said, "I think your friends are ready to go."
Kelleigh mouthed something to me, but I was too distracted by Landy wriggling her brows to understand Kelleigh's message. When I turned back to Karim, he was watching me. "I'll call."
I was a little disappointed, but relieved at the same time. In my mind, I still hadn't worked out whether I wanted to go forward with Karim and it niggled at me. There were more cons than pros between us and I didn't see a way around them. I wasn't brilliant at Math, but in my mind, three people in a relationship always equaled trouble.
The reality was, I knew only what Karim told me and had no guarantee any of it was true.
About the Author:
J.L. Campbell is an award-winning, Jamaican author who writes romantic suspense, women's fiction, new and young adult novels. She has written thirteen books, two novellas and two short story collections. Her novels include the Island Adventure Romance series, which currently has four exciting, stand-alone stories and features feisty women and determined men. Her alter ego is Jayda McTyson. Campbell is a certified editor, who also writes non-fiction. Visit her on the web at http://www.joylcampbell.com or at her Amazon Author Page.
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