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Dare to Love the Guy I Hate

Dare to Love the Guy I Hate

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With the high school reunion approaching, according to a pact among my friends, I have to find my Marriage Match. Too bad I hate him.

Narrated by Lorana Hoopes

  • Hate to love
  • Road trip romance
  • Rockstar
  • Second chance
  • Found family
  • Dating dare


With the high school reunion approaching, according to a pact among my friends, I have to find my Marriage Match. Too bad I hate him.

I know exactly what I want: an epic adventure on the open road, alone. Forget the silly dating dare. My quest is to visit all fifty states and find a place to call home. When my mom asks for a favor to help a family friend, I can’t say no even though I despise the guy.

Elliot O'Connell is a rock star in recovery with a debilitating fear of flying, but he needs to get to an awards show. To him, a road trip with a pretty woman sounds like a song in the making. Turns out, he’s my number one nemesis—not a fan of his lifestyle or that thing he did that time.

Me, forgive and forget? Not on your life, buddy.

We clash when tailed by a crazy ex, try to detour from past heartbreak, and take a wrong turn that leads us to discover what we have in common. When the trip comes to an end and real-life intervenes, sending us in different directions, he says I’m like a tune he can’t get out of his head.

Forgive? Forget? Maybe...

Will these speedbumps slow us down or are we destined for love?

Chapter 1 Look Inside

Chapter 1: Mila

If I were to name the soundtrack to my life lately, it
would be dubbed “Rocky Road.” This is not to be
confused with the ice cream flavor.

Side note: I stopped at an ice cream shop in a little town
during my travels and hands down, it was the best ever—and I’m kind of a snob about things like that, especially if they involve chocolate. I think the place was called Queens Cones in Liberty Lake, if you find yourself passing through.
I could really go for some ice cream right now. I’d even take
Rum Raisin, which is my least favorite kind.

Back to the soundtrack. Nor am I on an actual rocky road cut through the woods or in the desert. Although, I’ll be hitting the road again soon enough.
Rather, I’ve hit a rough patch in my life.

My phone jingles with a ringtone by my dad’s band, the
Vines. In their heyday, they were like a combination of the
Beatles or Led Zeppelin but from the United States. They still tour, mostly overseas. This song used to bring a little smile to my face every time I’d hear it, but now it’s like static, confusion, uncertainty. But that’s life lately.

However, right now, my stomach tightens at the sound of my cell phone’s jingle, indicating an incoming message because last
night, I “accidentally” asked Siri if a guy I’d been seeing for a
while a few months ago would ever text me back.

Was it a moment of weakness and stupidity? Yes, yes it was.

Do I regret it and wish I had a take-back machine? Yes, yes
I do.

It was a moment of weakness because I’m leaving New York
in a few days, so dating is off the table—though I doubt he’s in this city, state, or country anyway. Like Dad, the heartbreaker I call Mr. X is in a band. Dating musicians is complicated. I’ve heard the sordid tales and should’ve known better.

A little voice that sounds an awful lot like my father’s low
rumble when he’s testing out lyrics whispers in my ear. But is it too complicated for love?

Little known fact, Bobby Strickland, guitarist and singer for the Vines and the guy I call Dad, may be six-feet of bearded ferocity, but he’s a romantic at heart—at least when it comes to my mom.

Mr. X, on the other hand, is also six-feet, but beardless and

As far as everyone knows, I am not into ooey-gooey sugary
sweet expressions of love, but as time passes and my best friends pair off, deep down it would be nice for someone to do things like bring me ice cream when I’m feeling down.

Even though Cora’s a cook, her guy Shaw is all about
making sure she always has something delish-ical at her

Or, you know, someone who is always there, rain or shine.
Paisley and Griffin have weathered some storms together, proving they can survive (and surf) anything.

I wouldn’t mind a handy guy who can fix things when
they’re broken. I’m not talking about my heart. Nope. That thing is fully intact. Mostly. I was thinking specifically about Blakely and Dean—the guy can do anything.

Oh, and about last night’s blunder, it was also a moment of stupidity because I was acting like a twelve-year-old with one of those Magic Eight Ball toys and not a device that has the ability to TEXT THE GUY.

Seriously, I don’t know what Siri was thinking. Oh, right, she
wasn’t thinking because she’s a voice-activated virtual assistant and somehow her wires got crossed.

The real question is what was I thinking? Sure, Mr. X and I
had chemistry. But it was nothing more than a fireworks and rainbows fling. Not a deep inside the heart connection. Or the fast and furious love that would compel two people to follow each other down any road, no matter where it led.


I take the risk and pick up my phone. Thankfully, the text I
just received is not a reply from Mr. X. It’s from my mom. I drop
back onto my pillows and sling my arm over my face before I
read it. But Mr. X could still reply and that would be humiliating.

Can today be over already?

Not likely, it’s only eight in the

I’m supposed to be the cool girl in my group, the one who
breezes through life without a care in the world. Not the dummy-dumb-dumb who accidentally texts a guy late at night as if I were desperate.

If you look up the word mortified in the dictionary, you’ll see my photo—red bed head hair and all.

I’m so embarrassed that I’d like to text Mr. X back and
suggest that he plan my funeral. I’d like a proper burial too.

White lilies. Long eulogy, the whole thing.

But that notion hits a little close to the chest.
Instead, I’ll pretend it didn’t happen...just like other things in my life.

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