SMARTS: ESCAPE FROM WONDER
(Book 1 in The Smarts Series)
Twenty years ago American scholars stumbled across a gene exclusive to people with abnormally high intelligence levels. They were nicknamed Smarts, the Einsteins and Mozarts of the world.
Since childhood, JENNIFER RICHARDSON has been forced to hide her Smarts. Obeying her parent’s wishes to stay under the radar, she’s perfected invisibility as a shy freshman at Princeton University.
But someone knows who, and what, she is.
When motorcycle riding bad-boy LUKE STRONG abducts her and takes her to his home of Wonder, a hidden village of Smarts, Jennifer has one goal: escape. But motives shift when she uncovers a globally devastating plot, the bitter secrets threatening everything she knows and loves.
Yet she has a dark secret of her own: an intense attachment to her kidnapper. Will Luke turn out to be the hardened enemy he plays, or could he possibly be her rugged and loyal rescuer? And can they both see past their lies and learn to trust each other before it’s too late?
As he walks toward the crowd, girls hug each other and scream like they’re at a rock concert and he’s a mega superstar. A group of five girls to my left are particularly salivating.
“I’ve died and gone to heaven,” one of them says, hanging onto the girl beside her.
“What I wouldn’t give to have him all to myself for a night,” the other says back. I hug my arms in and hide the fact that I’m sizing the girl up.
“Are you crazy?” the one with a low ponytail cries. “That’s way too much testosterone for you to handle, Kirsten.”
They laugh through wide, excited smiles and Kirsten says, “But wouldn’t we all give up our souls for the chance…”
“He’s coming closer!” another shouts.
I follow her dreamy gaze to the back of the outdoor arena and my right heel begins a nervous, rhythmic tap as Luke gets closer. He walks ten yards behind his opponent, dressed in the same black, long sleeve shirt and bottoms. His fitted attire manifests his strength, from his broad shoulders and protruding chest down to his strong, muscled legs. He really is built to perfection.
“Oh sweet mother of Adonis, look at him,” Kirsten breathes out.
“We are,” another says reverently, and I can’t help but roll my eyes. I hear them join in on the shouts and cheers while my focus stays centered on Luke.
His body language screams power. His head is casually bent, he’s got a natural swagger, and he exudes confidence. I can’t imagine anyone standing a chance against him in the cage.
“You know what always gets me scratching my head?” Nash asks. “It’s the way none of this ever ruffles him.”
He’s right. As Luke moves into the cage through the door next to where I sit, he looks like he’s casually climbing into bed for the night. And I’m trying my hardest to think of something other than the guy I can’t stop staring at.
He’s fascinating. I feel a strong desire to know him, find out what drives him, discover why he’s willing to kidnap and fight. I want to understand the way he handles his family, why he teases someone he loathes, and how we’re connected.