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HOW TO GET AINSLEY BISHOP TO FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU

HOW TO GET AINSLEY BISHOP TO FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU

A sweet and funny nerd-gets-the-girl YA romance...

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Goal #1 – Get an A in Chemistry. Check.
Goal #2 – Get accepted into MIT. Check.
Goal #3 – Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with Me.

17-year-old Oliver Holmes loves lists. He has a step-by-step procedure for everything. His classmates think he’s weird, and he’s okay with that because he’s got his eye on the prize: Ainsley Bishop.

She’s smart. She’s gorgeous. She’s the girl of his dreams. But she’s unavailable and way out of his league.

Her approaching birthday gives Oliver a prime opportunity to demonstrate everything he has to offer. But what do you get a girl who seems to have everything?

If Oliver wants to win her heart, he’s going to need a perfect plan. But first, he must solve a mystery: What does Ainsley Bishop truly want?

And does he have what it takes to give it to her?
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“Watch it, freak!”

I tensed and looked up at the familiar taunt, but for once it wasn’t aimed at me. Still, out of reflex, my eyes darted around the crowded gymnasium, my stomach curling tightly when I saw my best friend, Viney, stumble and straighten below on the gymnasium floor, obviously recovering from a push. He glared at the back of the jock walking away from him—Nathan McCallister, big surprise—and flipped him off before climbing the bleachers two steps at a time to slump down on the bench below me.

“Hey, Oliver,” Viney said.

“Hey.” I watched him carefully. Viney liked to pretend everything was fine, even when it wasn’t. “You okay?”

He shrugged and shook the wispy, blond hair out of his eyes as he turned to observe the four rather haphazard games of volleyball underway. I set aside my homework and opened my laptop, dodging the school’s firewall so I could access Craigslist.

“What are you doing?” Viney asked, twisting his head back to get a look at the screen. “The personals? Scoping out a hot date?” He grinned and waggled his eyebrows.

“Nah. I thought maybe Nathan McCallister might be lonely for a little company.” I clicked a few keys. “How’s this sound? ‘High School Hottie Seeks Sugar Mama.’ ”

Viney snorted and scooted up to get a better view of the screen. “Where’d you get that picture?”

“Swim team yearbook pic,” I said with a sideways glance. “Online security at this school is sadly lacking.”

Viney chuckled. “He’s going to kill you.”

I clicked Post and shut my laptop. “I’m wounded you doubt me. I do know how to cover my tracks, Vine. It’s Craigslist, not the NSA.”

He held up both hands. “My mistake. So how’d you get out of PE today, anyway?”

I pulled my trig homework back onto my lap to finish up the last few problems. “Ulcer.”

“You don’t have an ulcer.”

“I might. I’m under a tremendous amount of pressure. Best not to risk it.” I scribbled a few lines, then frowned and erased them to make it a bit more legible.

He let out a loud yawn and slipped down onto the step between seats, resting his elbows next to me, his feet dangling over the edge of the bench below him. It wasn’t unusual for Viney to come hang out in the gym sixth period. He was supposed to be the TA for Mr. Larson, the shop teacher, but it turned out there wasn’t a lot of TAing to do for a shop teacher. Especially when said shop teacher spent most of the time sleeping through his classes.

“You really sure you want to do this?” Viney asked after a while.

This. I knew what he was talking about, and it was a question I’d asked myself repeatedly. Still, Viney needed assurance, so I swallowed my own nerves. “Of course I’m sure. And you’re going to do it with me.”

“I don’t understand why you’re dragging me into it,” he said, a whiny edge to his voice.

“Because you need extracurriculars as much as I do,” I mumbled, not looking up from a particularly intricate problem. I erased a negative and made it a positive, then changed it back again. Viney was distracting me. “You know grades and SAT scores aren’t enough for MIT.”

“I’m not going to MIT.”

I continued as if my best friend hadn’t said something absolutely ridiculous and untrue. “And I need you there. I need the moral support.”

Viney huffed but said nothing more, and I knew he’d be there for me. He always was.

“It’ll be fine.” I closed my trig book and stuffed it into my backpack. “It’ll be easy.”

“It’ll be boring,” he muttered.
“Like you have so many other interesting alternatives.”

“Dude.” Viney shifted around to glare at me. “Call of Duty, BioShock, Halo.” He ticked the list off on his fingers.

“There’s more to life than Xbox, Viney.”

His mouth dropped open, his eyes wide and appalled. “It’s like I don’t even know you anymore.”

It was ridiculous, of course. Viney knew me better than anyone. Still, I hummed in acknowledgement, pulled out my List Notebook and flipped to the To Do list at the front. With a little twinge of satisfaction, I checked off Trig Homework with a red Sharpie, the cap clenched in my teeth. The best part of having a list, after all, was checking something off it. I took a moment to admire the neat, red check mark before I capped the pen and turned to the College & Career section.

“Oh no, not the List,” Viney muttered, head rolling back as he closed his eyes.

“Number four on How to Get into MIT,” I said as I rotated the book so he could see it and then pointed with the capped Sharpie. “ ‘Enroll in no fewer than three extracurricular activities.’ Audio-Visual Club and Gamer’s Club are fine, but we need something creative to round out our portfolio.”

“But the drama club? It’s so . . . so . . .”

“It’s perfect,” I said, leaning forward as I warmed to the topic. I’d thought this through. Viney knew it. He just needed a little convincing. “I already talked to Ms. Sherman, and she’s so grateful we’re taking on sound and lights she’s sure to write us both great college recommendations.”

He shot me a pointed look, and it was only due to my vast experience with Viney seeing right through me that I was able to keep from squirming. Mostly.

“You and I both know this has nothing to do with college,” he said.

“Of course it does.” I looked away, my face heating as I fumbled with the notebook.

“Uh-huh.” He nodded slowly. “And the fact that Ainsley Bishop is in the drama club has absolutely no bearing on you choosing this particular extracurricular activity?”

I cursed under my breath. Sometimes it was a pain to have a friend who knew me so well. “It’s simply a, uh, fringe benefit.”

Viney opened his mouth, undoubtedly to tease me mercilessly, but was interrupted by the PE teacher’s booming voice.

“Palmari!” Mr. Hanson called up at us from the floor. “Don’t you have somewhere to be?”

Viney got to his feet with a mock salute. “Yes, sir.” He turned to me with a halfhearted glare. “Guess I’ll see you after school. And I don’t think I have to tell you that you owe me big for this one.”

As if on cue, a muffled curse from the gym floor drew our attention. Nathan McCallister was staring at his phone, his eyes wide with shock.

“I think we’re even,” I mumbled under my breath.

Viney blinked in confusion, his focus still on Nathan, then a slow smile of understanding lit his face. “That was quick.”

Nathan thumbed at his phone again, and I grinned. “Looks like there are a lot of over-forty women interested in, quote, ‘treating him like the naughty boy he is.’ ”

Viney slapped a hand over his mouth to stifle his laughter. Nathan, still staring at his phone, let out a horrified gasp.

“I might have suggested they include a picture,” I whispered.

“Palmari? Don’t make me say it again!” Mr. Hanson shouted up the bleachers, before turning to Nathan. “McCallister, put that thing away or it’s mine.” Nathan fumbled to turn off his phone and slid it into his duffle bag. I had to say he looked a little green around the gills. I almost felt bad for him.

Almost.

“Okay,” Viney said with a resigned sigh. “You win. See you after school.”

“Don’t be late.”

Viney clambered down the bleacher steps as Mr. Hanson turned and raised an eyebrow at me. “And Holmes, unless you have a doctor’s note, I expect to see you suited up and ready to go tomorrow, ulcer or no.”

I nodded and watched Viney leave before I flipped through the Notebook to the Personal section. I glanced around briefly to ensure I was unobserved before turning the pages and finally settling on the newest list. It was long—eleven items—and meticulously detailed as my lists always were, but I was determined to check off each and every box before the year was through.

It would work. It had to. The lists always did.

I couldn’t keep from smiling as I uncapped the red Sharpie, checked off number one, Join the Drama Club, and then drew a large red box around the title at the top of the page.

How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love With Me

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