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Stupid Girl by Cindy Miles Blog Tour Stop

Stupid Girl (Stupid in Love, #1)Only fools fall in love... 
After her senior year of high school leaves behind nothing but heartache, Olivia Beaumont is sure of this: She’s no stupid girl. She sets out for Winston College, promising herself that she will remain focused on her first and only love – astronomy. But all it takes is cocky sophomore Brax Jenkins and an accidental collision with a football, to throw her entire year off course. 
A quick-tempered Southie who escaped the inner city streets of Boston to pitch for Winston, Brax is known to play way more fields than just the baseball diamond. So, when his name is drawn to take part in his fraternity’s hazing dare, Brax eagerly accepts the mission to take Olivia’s virginity. But he doesn’t plan on falling hard for the sweet and sassy Texas girl who sees right through his bad-boy persona. 
As Olivia and Brax battle their feelings for each other, echoes of the past year begin to surface. A boy who once turned Olivia’s whole world upside down reappears, and “harmless” pranks wreak havoc. Pretty soon the aspiring astronomer is on the verge of revealing her most difficult, heartbreaking secret. All the while, Brax must wrestle with the irrevocable dare, and Olivia struggles against all logic as she does the one thin

g only a stupid girl would do: fall in love.
"I’m such an idiot. Please don’t cry.” Brax’s calloused fingers grasped my jaw, forcing my gaze to his. Embarrassment swamped over me and I blinked, trying to convince my treacherous eyeballs to stop leaking. But Brax’s roughened knuckle brushed away the trail of dampness. He crouched down then, the material pulling taut over his muscled thighs, the tee shirt snugged over his broad shoulders, and he looked up from his lowered position. His hands now rested on my knee. He squeezed it, slightly, exhaled and stared at the ground between his feet, then back up to me. “You gotta believe me when I say I’m sorry, Gracie. I lost it back there.” He glanced away, thinking. “I thought he’d convinced you I was no good.” His eyes seared into mine, and I saw doubt there. A lot of it; more than what he probably meant for me to see. “I thought you believed him.” 

Brax’s confessions from that night on the ball diamond came rushing back, and I was struck by the force of the fears he still had buried deep inside. Abandonment seemed an empty description. In many ways he was the strongest person I knew; his turmoil growing up had made him a survivor, valiant. Yet a part of him, no matter how small it might seem, lingered inside of him like a small, frightened kid—scared of being left alone in a dumpster to just … stop existing. It saddened me; it didn’t make me pity him, but just the opposite. I respected him for showing me this vulnerable side of Braxton Jenkins, for letting me in, and I was positive not another soul in Texas had witnessed it. I wondered if it meant something. If he might care for me as much as I secretly cared for him. I reached for his hands then, where they still gripped my knee, and threaded my fingers through his strong ones. My voice felt unsteady, shaky. “I draw my own conclusions, Brax. About everyone, and everything. That doesn’t just include you. It especially includes you.” I chose my next words carefully. “I don’t typically let people in”—I pressed one of my hands to my heart—“here. So trust me, if the rumors I heard about you from the get-go didn’t scare me away, nothing will.” His fingers tightened around mine, and I saw instant relief flood the harsh planes and unique features that the shadows tried so hard to hide. “Noah was wrong for what he said. Even he admitted having overstepped his boundaries, and he was right about that. And I have no idea what caused him to feel the need to warn me about you.” I peered closely at him. “I don’t need any more warnings. And I don’t like being yelled at, Brax, or accused falsely. I understand you felt like you’d walked up on something between Noah and I, but you didn’t. That’s not me, not the kind of person I am.” I smiled then, and I saw regret soften his unusual eyes. “I’m different. Remember?” 

Brax stood, his body filling the space left by my opened door. With one arm, he braced his weight against the frame and leaned in. His hand lowered, pushed my braid over my shoulder, then grasped my jaw and drew his mouth over mine. “I know you are,” he whispered, and his lips brushed feathery over mine. Then, he nudged my mouth open as he deepened the kiss, and the gentle swipe of his tongue, so possessive and erotic, made my lips tingle. Without thinking, I eased across the bench seat, Brax slid behind the wheel, pulled the door closed and laid me back, our tongues and mouths fusing, tasting. My heart raced out of control. God, that kiss could have gone on and on. 

Or maybe even further. And just when I thought it would, Brax stopped, his big palms resting against the bare skin of my ribs, our breathing in sync and fast and deliciously fogging up the windows. He instead helped me from the cab of my truck. Walked with one arm around my shoulders as he carried my scope to the dorm entrance. Kissed me again and swiped my card. Gave me a little push inside after we kissed some more. Watched me until the shadows swallowed me up in the darkened common room. Even inside the stairwell, the rumble of his muffler sounded, and I listened to it as it carried him further away. It was a double-edged sword, that distinct sound; one of comfort, of familiarity. And then, one of departure, an echo of Brax departing. Leaving. Fading away. That sound and thought thumped heavier in the pit of my stomach than it should have, and I didn’t understand why.

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