Risking It All
S.M. Koz
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 18th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

A high-achieving teen who’s determined to become a fighter jet pilot is matched up with an accused criminal at an elite military boarding school in SM Koz’s YA novel, Risking It All.

Paige knows exactly what she wants—to graduate from Wallingford Academy and become a pilot in the US Air Force. She’s inherited her father’s no-nonsense attitude and whip-smart intelligence, all of which have made her the perfect Wallingford cadet.
Wallingford Academy is the last place in the world Logan wants to be. But after his girlfriend borrows his car and commits a crime, Logan takes the fall and ends up there with hopes of striking a decent plea bargain. For him, graduation can’t come soon enough.

When Paige is asked to mentor Logan, it’s the perfect opportunity to prove her leadership skills—but she doesn’t account for the feelings that start to develop or the baggage from Logan’s past which could threaten both of their futures.

Leaning against the wall, I watch all the others. Yesterday morning, I got to skip this part since I was still on the dean’s leash.
I have no intention of turning into one of these guys, standing with their shoulders back, head high, and arms straight against their sides. Why on Earth would they submit themselves to this every single morning? Besides appearing ridiculously uncomfortable, it’s degrading to have someone look you up and down and decide whether they can make your life even more of a living hell.
“Cadet Evans,” Commander Jernigan says when he’s directly in front of me. “I know for a fact Lieutenant Commander Durant has taught you the proper way to stand at attention.”
“I must’ve forgotten.”
“I see,” he says, tapping his chin with his finger. Then he turns and walks away. I can’t help but smile. Score one for Logan. I knew eventually I’d win one.
I push off the wall, ready to head for the door and breakfast, but Noah shakes his head. Everyone else continues to stand perfectly still.
“What?” I ask.
Just then, Jernigan returns with a water gun. “Stand up straight,” he says to me.
“Are you serious? You’re threatening me with a water gun?”
He squirts it at my junk. “What are you doing?” I ask, covering the now wet spot on my pants with my hand.
“You will stand at attention or I’ll have fun with this water gun. I’m sure all the girls would love to hear about the new guy who pissed his pants when his commander yelled at him.”
“You’re crazy,” I say, shaking my head.
He squirts it again and leaves a wet mark not even a centimeter from my hand. This prick has got incredible aim.
“Stop it!” I yell.
Another wet spot.
“Seriously. What’s your problem, man?”
Another spot.
“Dude! Enough!”
“Stand at attention.”
I narrow my eyes at him but pull my shoulders back.
He squirts me again.
“I’m standing at attention!”
“Not correctly. Do it the right way.”
I lower my arms and hold them at my sides. Then I slide my feet together.
Another wet spot.
“What now?!” I yell.
“Feet at a forty-five-degree angle. Heels together.”
I do it, and he finally lowers the water gun. With a nod, he says, “That’s better. Now, about your shoes.”
I look down at the shiny black leather on my feet. “What?”
“They’re scuffed.”
“No, they’re not.”
He motions with his finger for me to bend down for a closer look. Then he points to a faint—very faint—white line right above the sole on the left side of my shoe. “You’ve got to be kidding?”
He raises his eyebrows but remains silent.
“Seriously? No one can even see that.”
“I saw it.”
“You must have, like, Superman vision, then.”
“Fix it. Now!” he barks, apparently not appreciating my humor. “And tuck in your shirt!”
He moves down the line to the next person while I return to my room and search through the closet until I find the black shoe polish. This guy is the biggest asshole I’ve met so far. The first day, he took away my very limited free time just because I can’t run a marathon like him and everyone else. Today it’s how I stand and my shoe. I wonder what tomorrow will be. My now-buzzed hair is an eighth of an inch too long? My socks have too much lint on them? My underwear is too tight?
I run the brush over the white line, which disappears immediately, then put the polish away. The wet spots on my pants have combined, and it does look a little like I pissed myself. I wave my hand over them to try and get them to dry, but the sound of someone clearing his throat catches my attention. Noah is motioning for me to get back in the hallway. I give up on my pants and tuck in my shirt as I take my place again.
Jernigan returns, looks me up and down, and turns away without so much as a word. I shake my head and roll my eyes.
I freaking hate that guy.

Author Bio

SM Koz was born in Michigan, but moved to North Carolina for college and never left. She enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, photography, reading, spending time with foster kids who call her house home, and learning new things. When she’s not creating online training for pharmaceutical companies (her day job) or writing, Koz can be found at the local community college taking courses on various topics ranging from digital art to HTML to desktop publishing. SM Koz has written six novels. Although her stories differ by genre, ranging from contemporary realism to sci-fi to fanfiction, two things they all have in common are a young or new adult focus and romance. If you’d like to learn more about SM Koz, check her out on social media.



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