Romeo and What’s Her Name
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: February 7th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Understudies never get to perform
. . . which is why being Juliet’s understudy in the school’s yearly “Evening with Shakespeare” is the perfect role for Emily. She can earn some much-needed extra credit while pursuing her main goal of spending time with Wes, aka Romeo, aka the hottest, nicest guy in school (in her completely unbiased opinion). And she meant to learn her lines, really, it’s just:
a) Shakespeare is HARD,
b) Amanda, aka the “real” Juliet, makes her run errands instead of lines, and
c) there’s no point because Amanda would never miss the chance to be the star of the show.
Then, Amanda ends up in the hospital and Emily, as the (completely unprepared!) understudy, has to star opposite the guy of her dreams. Oops?
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She was probably going to kill me now but thank me later, because like it or not I was going to help her romance along. “I was asking her about the dance.” I pulled a flyer out of my bag. I still had a bunch from when Amanda made me pass them out. “It’s Friday. I helped organize it, and I want Jill to go. Maybe you can help me convince her?”
Jill dug her heel into my foot, but I wasn’t one to let a little pain stop me. My love life was a question mark, but that didn’t mean my friend couldn’t wind up with the guy of her dreams.
“I’ve never been to one of the dances,” Seth said.
“Really?” Jill asked.
He shrugged. “I’m not a great dancer.”
“That’s not a problem,” I butted in. “Jill can teach you. She’s awesome.”
“Yeah?” he asked.
“I wouldn’t say awesome,” she answered, and this time it was my turn to kick her. She had the perfect opening and was blowing it. “But . . . ” she snapped out of her stupor. “I’m okay. I’d definitely show you. If you wanted.”
Seth stole a glance at her. “It could be fun. Sure.”
“Cool,” she said, sneaking a look back.
“Great, it’s a date,” I chimed in so there would be no confusion later on.
Jill stomped on my foot extrahard this time, but I knew she was happy. Not only did I help snag her a date to the dance, but I also saved her countless hours of wondering if they were going as friends, dance teacher/dance student, or as a couple.
I was tempted to butt in some more, but I didn’t think my foot could handle another Jill hit, so I left them alone and went back to obsessing over my own problem. What was Wes going to think about my tagging his brother? I hated GroupIt. Why hadn’t I been faster to log back on? If only I had taken the tag off the photo before Neal commented. I cringed when I thought about what he wrote. Cool, Emily, I like older women. Then he threw in a winky face. My name was now emblazoned for posterity under his picture. I thought about messaging him to take it down. But it didn’t really matter. Either way, he was bound to tell his brother. Neal didn’t know me; our only real connection was Wes. If he was as smart as everyone said he was, he’d definitely put two and two together. So there was basically no getting around it. I had to own up to everything. Lunch couldn’t come fast enough.
After class, Jill held me back. “What was that?”
“My paying back my best friend. I told you I’d make it up to you.”
“And did you ever.” A huge smile spread over her face. “I just got a date with Seth. I think I’m in shock. Over-the-moon, ecstatic shock. Now we just have to get things right with you and Wes.”
“I know,” I said, and I linked arms with her. “And I had a lot of time to think while you and Seth were busy swooning over each other. I know what I’m going to do. I’m just going to fess up that I was looking at his brother’s pics because I wanted to know more about his family, because I like him. Then I’m going to do it.”
“Ask him to the dance.”
I, Emily Stein, was about to pour my heart out to Wes Rosenthal and pray he didn’t break it.
Shani Petroff is a writer living in New York City. She’s the author of the “Bedeviled” series, which includes Daddy’s Little Angel, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Dress, Careful What You Wish For, and Love Struck, and is the co-author of the “Destined” series which includes Ash and Ultraviolet. She also writes for television news programs and several other venues. When she’s not locked in her apartment typing away, she spends a whole lot of time on books, boys, TV, daydreaming, and shopping online.
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