Everyone believes that everything about Brittany Ellis’ life is perfect but her. She works hard to keep up the charade because her parents have taught her that “outward appearances mean everything/” Her mother’s anxiety isn’t easily controlled and her father goes to work early and stays late so that he doesn’t have to deal. Only her best friend Sierra knows about her seriously disabled older sister Shelley. She wants everything about her first day of senior year to be perfect since she hasn’t seen her boyfriend of two years, Colin, all summer.
Alex Fuentes could be the first member of his family to graduate from high school if he passes his senior year at Fairfield. The eldest of three boys, his mother works at the neighborhood grocery store to support the family in the wake of their father’s death due to gang violence. Even though he is smart, for Alex, college is a dream. Caught up in the life of the Latino Blood gang, there is no way out for him and would die before he would let his brothers make the same mistake. He has a rough reputation and history defines who he is.
For both Brittany and Alex, the first day of school begins with a slight altercation in the parking lot. Brittany, driving her new car, almost hits Alex’s motorcycle when she attempted to park in the space he was already in. Brittany and Sierra literally fear for their lives trying to back out of the space. They are able to find a space on the other side of the lot and head to class. They find Alex and his gang blocking their way into the front doors. He attempts to intimidate Brittany but she stands up to his bullying and mouths off to him. Sierra asks Brittany if she has a death wish.
From opposite sides of town, Brittany and Alex would normally never cross paths. Their worlds collide during Mrs. Peterson’s sixth period senior chemistry class. A hard-nosed teacher, Mrs. Peterson assigns lab partners alphabetically. Instead of being partnered with her boyfriend Colin Adams, Brittany Ellis finds herself with Alex Fuentes. The barbs and insults start immediately. Neither is happy to learn they will have to partner on a joint project.
When one of Alex’s friends proposes a bet that he cannot have sex with the perfect Brittany Ellis before thanksgiving, he takes it. There isn’t a better way to get back at Brittany and Colin than taking her reputation to the toilet and being chem. Partners is the perfect place to start. For Brittany Ellis is very beautiful, very rich and very white while Alex Fuentes is the opposite; very poor, very Mexican and leads a very dark life. At Fairfield high, where you live is what matters and opposites are about to collide.
Forced to work as chemistry partners, it isn’t too long before Alex realizes that he underestimated Brittany and she him. Soon the heat is ratchet up between them and the sparks begin to fly. Will Brittany and Alex ever be able to break down one another’s walls or will they ultimately decide it isn’t worth the trouble?
It has been two years since the events in Perfect Chemistry. Mrs. Fuentes and her two younger sons, Carlos and Luis, have been living and eking out a living in Mexico. Carlos unfortunately has fallen victim to the local gang and Alex is bringing him back to the United States to make a fresh start. Bitter with a chip on his shoulder, Carlos thinks his older brother has left behind his Mexican heritage and is trying to live his life as a white man. Carlos believes that the gang life, not the college life is for him. Rebelling against Alex is the only way to strike back.Kiara Westford has worked with her speech therapist all summer to stop her issue with stuttering.
She is excited to start the school year but her boyfriend dumps her via a text message. Lamenting to her best friend tuck, Kiara is determined to have a great year. Remembering she needs to go to the auto body shop to pick up a radio for the vintage car she is trying to restore, she heads out to meet Alex Fuentes. One of her father’s former students, Alex has been helping her find the parts she needs. When Alex inquires if she could help show Carlos around Flatiron High, Kiara immediately offers to be his peer guide. Alex attempts to warn her about Carlos’ attitude but she quips that she loves a challenge.
Carlos and Kiara are soon like oil and water. He finds that he loves to give her a hard time and soon realizes that she is up to the challenge. Things change when the police bring the drug dogs to search the high school and drugs are found in Carlos’ locker. He insists that they aren’t his but even Alex is skeptical. When the judge discovers that Carlos live with Alex in subsidized housing, they are given two choices. Carlos can be deported back to Mexico even though he is a US citizen or he can live with the Westford family. Alex is desperate to keep Carlos in the US and the Westford family all agree that Carlos can live with them.
It’s not long before Carlos finds himself not only under the spell of Kiara, but the entire Westford family as well. As he figures out who set him up with the drugs and why, Carlos realizes that he will not be able to just walk away from the gang life as he hoped. But when it comes to the middle Fuentes brother, he would willingly lay down his life for the girl and her family that he loves. Can Carlos leave the gang life behind and make a life for himself? Is Carlos a challenge that Kiara and the Westford family are willing to take on? And what happens when Carlos and Kiara realize what the rules of attraction are?
Book Three - Chain Reaction
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