Pretty Lies – Astrid Scott Series Book 1 by Blake Blessing

Pretty Lies
Astrid Scott Series Book 1
By
Blake Blessing

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New town. New school. Same lies.

This is my senior year, and not only have my parents moved me to a new place where I know nothing and no one, they are determined to make me fall in line with the life they want me to have.

Not the life that I want. But what fits perfectly into their world.

I’m looking for any possible way to escape this prison and leave them behind. Which has been harder than I thought.

An opportunity to escape appears. And I’m going to take it. I’m going to use four so-called perfect guys in this new town to make it happen. The ones that have it all, or so everyone thinks.

And they’re going to be my ticket out.

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Astrid is new to Silver Ranch, she’s a senior in high school and likes to stay out of the spotlight. She has a bit of a hobby taking candid pictures that no one seems to notice. What she doesn’t realize is how talented a photographer she is.

As the book opens, we get a glimpse of her relationship with her mother, since she’s forgotten to pick up the chicken for dinner and has to run to the store. It’s while she’s out that she meets Beck who saves her by fixing the headlight she breaks by colliding with a light pole in the parking lot. Although he calls her jail-bait, he will be part of the group that befriends her.

Now we all know there are bullies in high school and staying off the radar with them can be difficult to near impossible. Astrid managed a whole week before she was accosted near her locker. Four jocks approach her with a welcome she doesn’t need or want.

This is a favorite scene.

The door popped open easily and my steps echoed in the hallway as I headed toward my locker. First period was conveniently located next to the library, so that’s where I’d spend the next thirty minutes. I grabbed my books and slammed the door shut.

Shoes squeaking down the hallway caught my attention and I glanced through the strands of my hair. I tried not to be super obvious I was watching but I had just shut my locker. Frayed edges of stray papers were sticking out of my math book, I fidgeted with those so I wouldn’t be the weirdo kid facing the locker.

Four guys in gym shorts and wife beaters were strolling down the hallway like they owned the school. Hell, they probably did. Like every school, the jocks reigned at the top.

Someone said something funny because they busted up laughing, and one of the guys broke away to make some skating motion down the hallway.

“Dude, that party last weekend was killer. You think Remy will be able to host them on the reg?” The guy closest to me asked.

“Her parents are divorced now, so good chance.” Another responded.

“You would not believe the things she did with her mouth.” The first guy moaned under his breath. “Little Remy got some practice somewhere this summer.”

They were passing directly behind me, and my shoulders relaxed, because soon I could disappear into the shelves of books.

A shoulder collided with the locker next to me, scaring the ever-loving crap out of me. I jumped a foot in the air and backpedaled away from whoever invaded my space. Hands clasped my shoulders, stopping me in my tracks.

The guy in front of me leaned against the locker with his arms and ankles crossed, a cocky smirk gracing his lips. Nice, the four jocks decided I was a fun distraction. I’d seen him around. Brent, I think his name was, was a senior. The hands never left my body, instead sliding down to cup my arms. When I glanced up, a red head with a curly fro and gap-toothed grin stared down at me.

“You’re the new girl. What’s your name? Aslin, or Anna, or something?” The red head pursed his lips in concentration.

Note to self. Duck lips was not an attractive thinking face.

“Astrid.” I pulled away from his grasp but he held strong.

“What’s with the flowy pajama pants. Are those the in thing, right now?” Curly asked.

“It’s boho.”

“The training room is empty for a while, want to go with us and get to know each other better?” Smarm smothered his voice like southern gravy over fried chicken.

Like I would ever put out just because I was the new girl. Yeah, no.

“I don’t think so. I have somewhere to be, anyway.” I pulled away again, but the guy’s fingers dug into the meat of my arm. “You need to let go.” My voice lowered to barely above a whisper and my pulse sped up.

“We’re having fun. Want to welcome the new girl. Hasn’t anyone given you a warm welcome yet?” Brent pushed off the lockers.

“No, I can’t say I’ve had a welcome quite like this, and sorry, but I don’t want this one either.” I snark and stomped down on red head’s foot.

“Shit, you bitch!” he released me, and I immediately sidestepped the group, turning to face them.

The other two guys were hanging back looking uncomfortable. No, only the shrimp of the group looked nervous as he glanced up and down the deserted hallway. The other was at least half a head taller than the other three, with dirty blonde hair and blue eyes. He didn’t look uncomfortable; he was massively angry. His hands were clenched into tight fists at his sides and he was sending giant stabby daggers at curly and Brent.

“Don’t come near me again. Any of you.” I made eye contact with each guy.

Brent and redhead pierced me with a look that said I will end you, shrimpy blushed like he wasn’t sure how he got here. Then there was Ragnar. Not really, I didn’t know what his name actually was, but with his blond hair and blue eyes, he reminded me of a Viking. His thunderous expression also lent to that outcome.

I backed up slowly at first, testing to see if they would follow me. Brent and redhead started to take a step forward but Ragnar punched an arm out, knocking red head into Brent. He muttered something too low for me to hear and shook his head. Then they stopped and whispered back and forth.

Taking advantage of their distraction, I spun on my heels and ran toward the library. Did running make me look like a coward? Yeah, maybe. But I did not like being the center of attention and even more, I hated being the object of other’s jokes.

And those guys, they were trying to one, get some, and two, turn me into the next victim of their games. No thank you.
Blessing, Blake. Pretty Lies: A contemporary YA Romance (Astrid Scott Series Book 1). Kindle Locations (200-239). Kindle Edition.

I love her description of these guys especially Ragnar, he’ll be important later.

At the library we meet Jonah, Student Council President and serious geek. Then we meet her best friend so far, Ryan in art class and their teacher Mr. Music announces an art scholarship. This could change everything for Astrid.

Her parents throw a dinner party for neighbors and we learn a couple of interesting things about ‘Ragnar’ and Red-head from that confrontation. Ragnar’s name is Rhys and redhead is his cousin Trey. Rhys’ parents apparently are important to her father.

Photography is going to be Astrid’s medium for the scholarship competition, and Mr. Music has a professor friend who is lending her equipment. That’s where we get to meet Thatcher, who will also play a part in this series.

I love the way this tale begins, from the not so subtle aggression from Astrid’s mother, to the friendships that form under rather interesting circumstances. To the final OMG did that just happen ending.

I am already reading the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Blake!

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Winter Blog About Author

Blake Blessing is no longer new on the Indie scene, but she’s still ecstatic about this chapter in life. She is a mom, wife, art enthusiast, and author.

She attended ten different schools growing up, so books became her constant friend. Escaping into books of all different genres made life fun and exciting. Blake was also raised on music and still blasts it through the house and car at every opportunity.

She has a weird sense of humor and a penchant for chocolate milk. It only makes sense she would one day go on to write her own stories.

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