cover image Played


Liz Fichera. Harlequin Teen, $9.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-373-21094-7

Fifteen-year-old Riley Berenger is a smart girl who loves to wear pink; Sam Tracy is equally smart, but he hides his intellectual side from his Native American friends. During a leadership weekend trip in the wilderness, Riley falls onto a mountain ledge; Sam tries to help her, and they spend the night together—nearly naked for warmth—until they are rescued. To thank Sam, Riley promises to help him break up her brother Ryan’s relationship with a Native girl, Fred, who Sam is in love with (Ryan and Fred will be familiar to readers of Fichera’s Hooked). Fichera reprises the theme of cross-cultural romance as misunderstandings ensue and Sam and Riley fall for each other, but the story is let down by overdone situations where Sam comes to Riley’s rescue. Beyond the initial mountain scene, Sam also fights a boy who takes advantage of Riley at a party and protects her from a menacing biker gang. Riley is the perpetual damsel in distress, repeatedly finding herself in sexually vulnerable positions, waiting for Sam to save the day. Ages 14–up. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. (June)