Title: Best Foot Forward
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Autumn Arch Publishing
After one bad experience, Iowa high school senior, triathlete, and fangirl Lucia “Luc” Guzman swore off relationships. Well, that was until Connor Kohlton and his southern accent moved to town. With the help of her childhood best friend, Jax Weber, she discovers her “college only” dating rule may be causing her to miss out on a great guy. Luc's parents have always taught her and her sister to put safety first and she applies that rule in all areas of her life; her training, her work, and her heart. However, she must throw caution to the wind when she decides she can’t fight her feelings anymore… But what will it cost her? When things start to fall apart, it’s hard to tell who’s to blame, because everyone is putting their Best Foot Forward.
I hear my parents yelling, "Go, Lucia!" I know it's them because they're the only people in town who still call me that, and get away with it. I know Tanya must be with them, but she is probably lost in the depths of her iPhone, not cheering or watching for me to pass by. We all know I won't look for them, but it's enough encouragement for me to hear them.
It seems like I've only just started when I hear my parents again and realize I can see the finish line ahead. I zero in on it and run hard with everything I have left. After I cross the line and spend a few minutes in recovery mode to cool down and drink some chocolate milk, I make my way over to the time table. I have to look at it for a few minutes to make sure I’m seeing what I think I’m seeing. It looks like I just beat my personal best time by close to a minute and every section was a personal record too: swimming, biking, running, and both transitions. I pump my fist in the air three times before I look around for someone else to celebrate with.
My parents rarely make an appearance at the finish line anymore, so I figure I won’t see them, but honestly anyone else whose face I recognize would do at this point. Looking around frantically, I can’t believe my luck when my eyes land on none other than Connor Kohlton leaning against a tree, all by himself.
Hail Mary full of grace, he looks hot in a tri-suit. I mean, obviously he looks hot, he just did a triathlon, but I mean hot hot, like the holy-crap-I-want-to-wrap-my-arms-around-him-and-never-let-go kind of steaming, melting me HOT!
I don't know how I almost missed him there, trying to catch his breath, looking like the beginning of a workout montage in a movie. Before he sees me, I need to look away, but I can't-it's like I'm caught in a tractor beam, sucking me in. I’m trying to commit to memory the look of his hair all messy and sticking straight up in front when my traitor feet start carrying me to him without my brain’s permission. Before I can do anything about the internal disagreement, he catches my eye and there’s no turning back.
How lame can I be? Honestly. Kill. Me. Now.