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Jenna and Ryder are far from friends—until a storm stirs up their passion in this contemporary southern romance from New York Times bestselling author Kristi Cook.
In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, The Cafferty and Marsden families are practically royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when the families finally have a baby boy and girl at the same time, the perfect opportunity seems to have arrived.
Except Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen—oh, and also? They hate each other. Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would prefer it if stubborn-headed Jemma didn’t exist. And their communication is not exactly effective: even a casual hello turns into a yelling match.
But when a violent Mississippi storm ravages through Magnolia Branch, it unearths feelings Jemma and Ryder didn’t know they had. And the line between love and hate just might be thin enough to cross…
Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden are destined to be together at least according to their families in Magnolia Branch, Miss., which have been intertwined for generations. Since Jemma and Ryder were kids (they're now 17) their parents have been planning their marriage, and Jemma finds it suffocating. Despite Jemma's attraction to Ryder, a star student and football player, she has been hot-tempered with him even years after he stood her up and insulted her behind her back in eighth grade. Instead, Jemma is attempting to shrug off her dutiful nature, dating a rebellious classmate and applying to film school at NYU, instead of Ole Miss. When Jemma's sister has to have a brain tumor removed and a tropical storm descends on Magnolia Branch, the two teenagers must weather the storm together, and few readers will be surprised by what happens next. While the brewing tempests (both literal and figural) are somewhat overblown, Cook's (the Haven series) central characters provide enough constancy to keep the storyline grounded. Ages 14 up.