Charlotte Penn Clark
(Extra Credit, #1)
Publication date: March 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
They’re just partners….
Kyle’s got a problem. He needs to pass college composition to graduate but he can’t get words on a page. And it’s landed him in a pilot class called Extra Credit for students in trouble — when all he wants is to be left alone.
Lani’s got a problem too. She doesn’t like making waves and it gets her stuck in that Extra Credit class. When she ends up partnered with Kyle things start getting complicated. Kyle is angry, restless, impatient; Lani is calm, introverted, bookish. But when these opposites attract how will they manage to stay “just partners”?
Extra Credit is a New Adult series that takes place on a college campus and puts three unlikely couples together to see what happens. Each novella is in dual point-of-view with a happy ending that can be read as a standalone, though they’re better together…! The series includes sexy times that are only meant for readers over 18.
(about 46,000 words) Extra Credit series Book 1 by Charlotte Penn Clark All rights reserved.
Chapter 1: KYLE
I hate this bullshit. I look around the classroom. A small gray-haired woman writes some stuff on the blackboard. A few students are already slumped in chairs dragged into a half circle. Others are still straggling in. They look young–like I’m here with freshmen and sophomores, for fuck’s sake!—and they must be losers if they’re here, right? But then I’m the loser who failed freshman comp and put off re- taking it til spring of senior year…. And it’s 8 a-fucking-m! Maybe I can sleep through this crap. I tip my baseball cap down, lean backwards until my chair is half off the floor, and close my eyes.
A low level of murmuring voices from the room runs under the hot dream I’m having. A chick wears short shorts that cling to her ass and wraps her long legs around a stripper’s pole. Her long hair sweeps forward as she twists and turns, her tits swaying in a brief top that shows a strip of bare skin at her waist.
“KYLE MADISON!” The teacher’s voice sends my chair crashing back to the ground and I jerk awake. Christ, did I groan? I raise my eyes and everyone’s staring. The girl in the next chair over turns to face me and I get stuck on a pair of golden brown eyes. Yeah, golden. Like, not light brown or dark brown, but brown and yellow mixed together. Wide-set and slightly tilted, with long, dark lashes. And calm. Not angry, not sad, not mocking, not accusing, not disappointed, not angry…. I blink. How long was I dreaming if I didn’t notice her come in?
“Uhh—“ I tear my gaze away from those eyes to search for the voice. The teacher reads from a piece of paper at the front of the room. She’s waiting for me to say something.
I hear some snickering and the teacher sighs, dropping her paper to study me.
“Is that a question? You tell me. Are you Kyle Madison and are you here?” Her voice is patient, but there’s more snickering. I just nod.
She continues calling the roster so I go back to Golden Eyes, but her eyes don’t meet mine now and I miss that shot of calm. Still, it gives me a minute to check out the rest of her. Creamy golden skin, lush pink mouth, high cheekbones, long, long, hair—very dark and very straight. My eyes are drifting down, looking forward to the rest of her, when I freeze in horror. Is that…even a sweater? It looks more like a rug with sleeves. I can’t tell if there’s a body under there at all. And the rest is
worse—she could be wearing three skirts for all the ruffles she’s got. I can’t help shaking my head. The waste!
Golden Eyes gives a little wave. “Please call me Lani,” she says in a quiet, husky voice. So much sexy potential there, just thrown away! She must have seen my expression because her eyes are back on mine and this time there’s a hint of laughter in them. What’s she laughing about? I scowl at her, but she smiles shyly. And again there’s that calm.
The teacher interrupts again. “Welcome to a pilot program we’re calling Extra Credit. I’m Marjorie Jordan. You can call me Marjorie. We’ll start today with some talking and some writing and some….”
I raise my hand impatiently and she pauses, perching on the edge of her desk. “Are we being graded for this?”
“No. This isn’t a course. It’s a required program for students in borderline situations. If you participate in good faith you’ll receive extra credit in the course you’re struggling in….” Her look at me seems pointed, which is annoying as fuck.
“Or your disciplinary problem will be excused….” Wait, was she looking at Golden Eyes? Disciplinary problems!? That I need to hear about.
“It depends on your situation. There will be some homework assignments but think of them more as exercises in self-knowledge.” She scans the room and I’m curious what we’re all in for, but mostly I’m speculating about Golden Eyes’ misbehavior. Maybe it’s for crimes against fashion. I snicker.
“Wait, back up, please.” A pretty blond chick raises her hand and she seems familiar. I wonder if I ever made out with her. Mostly I keep to myself, but a guy’s got needs.
“What do you mean by ‘good faith’?” she asks in accented English, frowning.
“Good question, Annika.” The teacher seems pleased, and I want to roll my eyes. “Good faith means you fulfill the spirit of this work as well as the letter. You question your assumptions, reflect on your behavior, keep an open mind about our process….”
“To begin, then, I’d like you to take out a piece of paper and pen and write for a few minutes about why you’re here and what you hope to get out of this experience.”
I drop my hand against my desk and the sound is surprisingly loud. Everyone looks at me.
“Anyone have a pen I can borrow–?” I didn’t think we were going to have to do anything the first day…. Isn’t that like a tradition? Someone hands me a pen.
“And a piece of paper?” Most of the others are writing already and I feel frustration rising as usual. I clench and unclench my fists, stretch out my legs, glance around again. Marjorie is watching me. This sucks. Golden Eyes shoves a piece of paper torn from her notebook at me and I mumble some thanks.
“Can we write on our laptops instead?”
LANI’S READING LIST
Lani Ito, the heroine of THE PARTNERSHIP (Extra Credit #1) by Charlotte Penn Clark, is a voracious reader and a gifted writer of dance criticism…. Here are ten of her favorite books! Enjoy!
- Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God is an amazing coming of age story that meant a lot to Lani.
- Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones offers great strategies for dealing with writer’s block.
- The Pocket Pena Chodron— because Buddhist nuns know how to stay calm.
- Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, where the pushover pushes back!
- F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby for the sheer beauty of the prose, and because the movie is gorgeous too.
- The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer is a classic romance with another irresistible cranky hero… (and it’s even on Kindle Unlimited!).
- To learn the craft of arts criticism you can’t do better than Pauline Kael, who makes it okay to have (and defend) a strong opinion.
- For ballet buffs and New Yorkers, George Balanchine and his New York City Ballet set a high bar(re!).
- Lani is right: Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own is a classic AND a short easy read.
- And finally, spoiler alert! By the end of the series Lani will make use of Molly Bloom’s famous last words in James Joyce’s Ulysses… wait and see!
Charlotte Penn Clark is a lifelong reader of historical romances and a writer of contemporary and new adult romances. She puts smart women and sexy men in complicated situations while trying to keep them away from Awful Misunderstandings. Her Carmichael series interweaves the lives and loves of five privileged sisters in a political family. Her new series, Extra Credit, tells the stories of three unlikely couples thrown together on a college campus. She lives in New York City with her family.
For updates on new releases and blog posts sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/b4VXN1
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