June 20, 2018

Love Me, Love Me Not Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway


Love Me, Love Me Not
Author: S.M. Koz

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: June 19, 2018

Publisher: Swoon Reads


Family, abandonment, and forbidden romance are at the core of SM Koz’s powerful and emotionally charged novel about a teen who falls for her foster brother.
When Hailey Brown is removed from her home and put into foster care, all she wants is a safe, comfortable place where she can finish school and move on with her life. It’s not easy adjusting to a new school and a new life, but Mr. and Mrs. Campbell and their teenage son, Brad, welcome Hailey with open arms.

As Hailey begins to adjust to her new life, she and Brad grow closer. For the first time, Hailey feels like she might have a real shot at a future. Soon, however, Hailey realizes her relationship with Brad has crossed the line from friendship into something more. But being with Brad would mean giving up the perfect life that Hailey has waited so long to have.

Can Hailey and Brad resist the feelings that are developing between them—or will they risk it all to be together?

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, SM Koz delivers a powerful debut about the ups and downs of being a foster child.

I have to talk to Brittany. This whole Brad thing is messing with my head. For the past four nights, I hardly got any sleep as homecoming kept replaying in my mind. I finally decided I needed help. Maybe someone on the outside can provide me with a better perspective and get my stupid hormones in line.

“Can we talk?” I ask, sliding in next to her and her friends.

“What’s up?” she replies.

I motion for her to follow me to the other end of the table so we can have some privacy.

“This must be big,” she says, pulling a fruit cup out of her lunch bag.

“I like Brad.”

There. I said it. You can’t fix a problem until you admit you have one, right?

“No kidding,” she replies, rolling her eyes.

“This is a huge problem!”

“How so?”

“He’s my foster brother! What is wrong with me? How can I even think of him like that?”

She opens her fruit, then says, “Because he’s hot as hell and the nicest guy in school?”

“And also my brother.”

“Come on,” she says, waving the plastic lid in her hand. “He’s not really your brother.”

I stare at her like she’s got a unicorn horn coming out of her forehead. “He is as long as I’m living in his home with his parents. Do you ever think about your foster brother’s gorgeous eyes?”

She cringes. “No, gross.”

“Exactly my point.”

“Jonas is ten, Hailey.”

“Oh.” I thought he was older. “I need to figure out a way to only think sister thoughts around him.”

She drains the fruit cup in three bites. “I’m pretty sure he’s not thinking brotherly thoughts around you.”

“What? Of course he is. He’s been the perfect big brother.”

She searches in her lunch bag for something while saying, “I saw the way he looked at you at homecoming.” She pulls out her hand, holding a plastic bag of Oreos. “Michelle wishes she could get that look. Want one?”

I grab an Oreo. “You’re being ridiculous. He was acting nice. Trying to make me comfortable.”

“Uh-huh,” she says, laying the cookies on the table and reaching down to her backpack on the floor.

“What are you doing?”

“Texting a friend. I want to know if there’s a DSS rule about dating your foster sibling.”

I practically spit out my Oreo. “Of course there is!”

She shakes her head. “I’m not so sure. They want us to be normal. They aren’t going to tell us we can’t date.”

“Dating in general is way different than dating the boy whose house you live in.”

She types a message and then lays her phone on the table. “Maybe.”

When I’m done with the cookie, I turn to my chicken wings. After swallowing a bite, I ask, “How do you convince yourself a guy is physically repulsive?”

“Never gonna happen with Brad.”

“It has to happen.” If not, I’ll end up driving myself crazy.

Her phone vibrates on the table and she picks it up. After scanning the screen, she says, “Bummer.”

“What?” I ask, licking sauce off my fingers and craning my neck to see her phone.

“There were two foster kids in the same house who started dating a while back. DSS moved one of them somewhere else. So, you’ve got to decide—Brad or your placement.”

“There’s nothing to decide. Brad’s not into me. I just need to get my hormones under control.”

She smiles. “Maybe if you convince yourself he’s a serial killer?”

I frown. “That’s the best you’ve got?”

“Yeah, sorry.”

SM KOZ is a medical writer from North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and numerous pets. She has a BS in Biology from Duke University and a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from North Carolina State University. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, photographing nature and her family, gardening, travelling, and attempting, usually unsuccessfully, to decorate birthday cakes. Love Me, Love Me Not is her first traditionally published novel.



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