Blog Tour! Rules We’re Meant to Break by Natalie Williamson (Excerpt)

I’m excited to be a part of the blog tour for Natalie Williamson’s young adult novel Rules We’re Meant to Break! This dramatic sounding synopsis makes it sound like a one night read!

Synopsis: Honest and full of heart, this clever contemporary romance debut deftly combines utterly relatable family drama with all the sweetness and uncertainty that comes with falling in love.

Rule #1: Don’t get attached.

Amber lives by strict rules to survive her mother’s love life: Always keep your eyes on the horizon and never get close to anyone connected to Mom’s boyfriends.

But after they move in with Kevin, the latest of her mom’s “soul mates,” the rules become increasingly difficult to follow. Kevin’s daughter, Cammie, keeps acting like Amber’s friend, even though she’s definitely not. And Jordan—star basketball player, hottest boy in school, and Cammie’s best friend—keeps showing up at the most inconvenient moments.

Amber has reasons for every one of her rules, and following them is the only way to protect her heart when her mom inevitably moves on. But as she spends more time with Kevin, his daughter, and especially Jordan, she starts to wonder if the rules might be worth breaking this time.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, Rules We’re Meant to Break is a charming, heartachingly real story of family and young love by debut author Natalie Williamson.

Here’s a sample excerpt of the novel, enjoy!

A little while later Hannah comes out to join me, food and smoothies for both of us in hand. “Thanks,” I say, taking mine from her and immediately digging in to my sandwich. 

“Of course,” she says, sliding in across from me. The restaurant is a lot quieter now, and the line that was snaking to the door when I got here is now completely gone. “Ugh, my feet are killing me.” 

“Busy morning?” 

She nods, reaching for her spoon and taking a bite of soup. “Totally wild. The post-church crowd always is though.” 

“Amen,” I say, and we both laugh. 

Then Hannah’s grin fades and she levels me with an expectant look. “So. How’d it go yesterday?” 

And there it is. I’m surprised it took her this long to bring it up. 

“Fine.” I reach for my sandwich again. “My room’s pretty big, and it’s on the opposite side of the house from Cammie’s, so that’s a bonus.” 

“That’s good,” Hannah says, still watching me carefully. She knows how much I’ve been dreading this weekend, and even though we got into a fight over me not wanting her to help with the move, she still wants to make sure I’m okay about it. Hannah has a big heart. It’s one of the many reasons I’ve kept her around so long. “Was she there at all? Cammie, I mean.” 

I shake my head. “It was supposed to be her weekend with Kevin too. At least that’s what Mom said.” 

“Awkward,” Hannah says.

“Tell me about it.”

Honestly, Cammie is the part of this whole move that’s been stressing me out the most. Kevin is the fifth guy since my dad that we’ve lived with, the third who has kids of his own. But he’s the first person my mom has dated who has a kid that goes to my school, and when you add in the fact that Cammie and I are only a year apart and that her parents’ divorce was Big News last year, awkward doesn’t even begin to describe it. 

“Well,” Hannah says, because there’s really nothing else to say about this whole situation that we haven’t covered ad nauseam in the last few weeks. “Is the unpacking going okay at least?” 

I think of the maze of boxes I had to navigate this morning when I was trying to find my work clothes, and of the judgmental look Buffy gave me when I tripped over a stack of books on my way to get her more water from the bathroom. No way am I telling Hannah this though. It’d make her worry more, and she already does enough of that where I’m concerned. “Yeah. I mean, it’s slow. But it’s coming along.” 

“Good,” she says, smiling now. “You know I’m always game to help if you need it, right?” 

This last part comes out a little uncertain, and I get this prickle of guilt that she’s still so clearly worried about our fight. 

“I know you are. It’s just, you know the rules, Han, and you know why they matter more than ever now. I don’t want to mess with the status quo this early in the game.”  

She nods, her smile fading a little even as a grim sort of under- standing settles over her face. “Of course,” she says quickly. “I get it.” 

Desperate for a change of subject, I reach for my smoothie, take a long drink, and then say the first thing that pops into my head. “Did you know Jordan Baugh lives in Harper Ridge?” 

“What!” Hannah sits up straighter in her seat. “How did I not know this? How do you know this?” 

“I saw him while I was walking Buffy last night,” I admit. “His house is next door to The Castle.” 

“No shit?” she says, her expression gleeful. “Maybe he can be, like, your escape plan if things get too weird at home. You can walk Buffy over to his house all the time.” 

“I think you’re getting a little ahead of yourself, Han. I don’t even really know him.” 

“Yeah, but you’ve always wanted to get to know him.” She waggles her eyebrows at me. “So this new proximity can be your in.” 

I shake my head at her, but I’m fighting a smile now. And I can’t help picturing Jordan how I saw him last night, lit up from behind, his expression earnest as he watched me leave. “Maybe.” 

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Rules We’re Meant to Break

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