Hot Girl Summer
Publication date: March 14th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Sophia DeLuca is over casual hook-ups. Between her sister’s eating disorder, her track record of falling for fuckboys, and a lifetime of being written off as a shallow flake, “failure to launch” may as well be her middle name.
Under false pretences and a fake name, she meets Danny Pearce, an obnoxious musician on the opposite end of the millennial spectrum. Danny is cocky, rude, and a contender for fuckboy of the year.
After a series of serendipitous encounters and a secret gig, Sophia unexpectedly falls for Danny. But when he is faced with his own demons, Sophia must reclaim her power and forgive the past, or risk losing the only thing that’s real.
Gently, he places a hand on the small of my back, guiding me into a small space in front of him. I want to lean into the warmth of his palm, to step back just a little to feel him behind me.
I close my eyes to savour his touch before turning around to thank him.
Dimples indent his cheeks as he returns the smile, and I spin back around. I’m dizzy, and my heart is racing. I can’t decide if it’s a delayed side effect of the alcohol, or a Danny side effect, but I could easily get used to this feeling. The only downside is that his proximity resurfaces every ache I’d tried to bury when he was up on that stage.
My only hope to avoid going completely overboard with want for Danny Pearce is to focus on the music; the beams of light oscillating between us and the stage; the sensation in my body as the bass ripples through the floor and diffuses at my feet.
I try to focus on anything but the ghost of his breath in my hair, teasing trails down my neck. I lose balance, swaying with no rhythm as his body heat radiates onto mine, and I hope to God this feeling goes both ways. If not, I might die.
Monty addresses the crowd, snapping me out of my stupor. Much like Ollie had done previously, he relays anecdotes and speaks about his music, although his demeanour errs on the side of cockiness over confidence. He introduces his band, thanks the audience, and shares more self-indulgence, but there is no denying his talent.
The band continue their upbeat energy over the next few songs, and the crowd rambunctiously bounce along to hit after hit. But I can’t ignore the all-consuming pulsing and throbbing taking over my entire body, especially when there’s no way of avoiding Danny’s addictive Riviera scent.
Without a glance behind, I finally gather the courage to test the waters. I’ve never made the first move with anyone before, and I like it that way. I’m terrified, but if there was ever a time to take agency over my life, facing the fear of rejection in favour of something better, fighting the voices in my head that tell me I’m not good enough, this is it.
If I don’t try, I won’t know.
Sonia Palermo writes fun, sexy, steamy contemporary romance with sex-positive, sassy-but-soft heroines and cinnamon roll heroes.