New Beginnings

By: Katrina Abbott

The Rosewoods Series - Books 1 - 3

Taking the Reins


Playing the Part

From Taking the Reins:


I stood there with the horse, petting his velvet nose, trying to absorb his quiet calm to help ease my jangling nerves.

It worked a little, until he returned, striding toward the outdoor arena, looking amazingly sexy in his riding outfit. Suddenly, like he was on a mission, he walked straight up to me. His eyes burned into mine and when he didn’t stop a few feet away, I began to panic.

Because I was suddenly sure he was going to grab me and kiss me.

My lungs froze on a breath. My heart began to race.

And then he stopped right in front of me, inside my bubble and close enough that I could smell him; leather, saddle soap, boy.

I looked up at him. His lips were turned up in a slight smile and then they parted. He reached up toward my face, his eyes taking me in with his usual intensity. My cheeks flushed, but ached for his touch. I licked my dry lips and swallowed, suddenly worried about too much saliva. I did not want to ruin this kiss. My eyes fluttered closed as he leaned in.

Taking the Reins

The Rosewoods, Book 1


Katrina Abbott

Over The Cliff Publishing, 2014

For Steven,

who stole my underwear once.

Welcome to Rosewood

I should have felt insulated and safe in the back of the Town Car.

Instead, my heart was pounding like crazy as the driver pulled into the long circular drive that would bring me to the front of the Rosewood Academy for Academic Excellence—my new home for the next ten months. The windows of the car were tinted, so no one could see in, but as I was in one of several limos (mixed in with Range Rovers, Audis, Mercedes' and other cars of the famous and wealthy), no one really paid attention. And, gauging by the chaos on the front lawn of the school campus—registration, moving in, laughing and getting reacquainted—people were too wrapped up in their own stuff to notice a new girl, anyway.

The new girl.

I sighed and gave myself a couple moments to calm my nerves as the driver rolled to a stop at the curb. I took my long brown hair out of the ponytail holder, then second-guessed and put it back in again. Then realized it would look sloppy to have a ponytail, so I took it out one last time.

God, Brooklyn, get it together.

The driver put the car into park, turned halfway toward me and smiled. “This is it.”

“Yeah,” I said, glancing out at the crowd. There were several tables, including one with a banner that read, “Check in. Come here first.” Brilliant. At least that part was sorted. The fitting in and making friends part couldn’t possibly be quite so easy.

“It will be fine,” the driver assured me, as though he was reading my mind and standing in as my father or something, making me feel guilty that I’d forgotten his name already. “I hear it’s a good school.”

I almost snorted at his comment; Rosewood wasn’t a good school. Rosewood was the best school. The school governors and celebrities send their kids to. The place where no one asks how much the tuition is, because if you send your kid here, you can afford whatever it is and don’t care what it costs, as long as your child is getting the best education money can buy. Of course, this isn’t what the brochure says, it’s what I heard my dad tell my grandmother when he phoned to tell her he was sending me back to the States. He said he didn’t feel I was getting a quality education at my last school in London. Which is kind of ridiculous, because I’m pretty sure the Brits invented proper education, right?

Looking up at the big building now, I had seriously mixed feelings; I’d never been a huge fan of the school in London or maybe being in London altogether, and getting away from my parents was a distinct benefit. They were still there; probably it would be another year before they would move back to the States (though they promised to come for Christmas). But I knew exactly no one here at this school, and my old friends from before I left the U.S. were states away in Colorado, not exactly close enough to meet up for pizza on the weekend. And anyway, after two years away, we probably weren’t really friends anymore. We’d become what Mom called “Christmas Card Friends”—meaning we caught up like once a year and didn’t care for the other three-sixty-four.

At least in London I had some friends. Not super close ones, but still, friends I’d had to leave behind and would probably never see again who would also become “Christmas Card Friends”. At least I didn’t have a boyfriend I had to worry about leaving. No, leaving a boy behind had never been an issue for me; on the contrary, I was pretty much boy-repellent. Not that I was ugly or anything, I just wasn’t the fun girl or the popular girl. I was the plain girl: brown hair and eyes, a few freckles across my nose, average build. Not overly smart, not overly pretty: the girl no one noticed.

But as I looked out at the crowd consisting of what would be my fellow students, I thought maybe I could change that. Maybe this would be the opportunity to reinvent myself that I’d been too chicken to take when we moved to London. Back then, I’d been shy and insecure; starting at a new school in a different country will do that. But now, I was back on home soil and could, as Dad would say, ‘fake it till I made it’. And since Dad had paid whatever ridiculous amount of tuition it had cost to send me here, I had just as much right to be here as anyone else. I had no reason to be insecure or feel like I didn’t belong here.

Top Books