Book Info

Story Ballads by Mia Kerick
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Mia Kerick
3 March 2021
Book Type


He risks his life and finds his heart.

Kyle is a swaggering bully; Lenny strives to be invisible.
Kyle has been left alone in the world; Lenny is the world’s biggest loner.
When Kyle saves Lenny from drowning, their lives will never be the same.

After a brutal encounter with school bullies, Lenny swims out into the ocean, determined to let the current whisk him away. Next thing he knows the meanest kid in town is pulling him from the waves, promising to be his Dead Sea, and to never let him sink.

All Kyle wants is to get out of beach cleanup, is that too much to ask? So he goes for a swim, only to come upon the most epic loser in the senior class drowning in a riptide. Lenny’s haunted gaze grips him, and Kyle makes the impulsive decision to save his life or die trying. Through this ordeal, Kyle and Lenny are transformed.

Kyle’s heroic act sets him on the straight and narrow, and he opens his heart to the young man he dragged from the ocean. Lenny changes too but is still unable to reveal the truth of his pain. While drowning in a sea of secrets, the reformed bully and wary victim fall in love. But staying afloat in the Dead Sea is not as simple as it seems.

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My ass is getting numb from zoning out for so long on the couch in front of the boob tube. I crack a smile. It’s what you used to call the TV, Grampa. Remember? Not that it’s got boobs—I’d have surely noticed that, seeing as most nights I stare at the damn thing until my eyes go blurry.

I pop open the bag of Ruffles I found on top of the fridge—you can’t hide junk food from this dude—and stick my bare feet on the coffee table. Mom would kick them off, her big feet wedged into a pair of clunky boots with lugged soles that always leave a mark. She’s not here, though, so I might as well make myself comfortable.

I didn’t want to sneak into the dumb gay bar with those assholes, anyhow. But would it have killed them to ask me if I was up for it? Nope—that didn’t happen. The three fuckin’ musketeers, my ass. Sisti and Zane snuck off with two hot sophomore girls without a word. So, this guy’s parked in front of the boob tube. Like, again.

Makes sense no girl will come near me, though. They smell my meanness from a mile away. Can’t say as I blame them—my own mother smells my meanness and steers clear. But shit, I can’t get a date to save myself.

I stuff a handful of chips into my pie hole and savor the salt and grease. They taste almost too good—I haven’t had a bite to eat since noon when I swiped the school lunch of some dweeb who dared to wear jeans that made him look like he was waiting for a flood. The loser should’ve come to school in pants that hit his damn ankles—he might’ve escaped my attention.

And another fist full of chips…down the hatch.

My best pals bailed on me tonight—I would’ve been a total fifth wheel. You used to tell me with friends like Sisti and Zane I didn’t need no enemies. Whatevs.

I only give about half a shit I couldn’t find a girl to go out with tonight. None of the babes Gil and Damon drool over do it for me. Sure, they’re hot—sweet smelling with painted-on jeans and I’m-all-that smiles. There’s just something I want to see in their eyes that’s not there. Could be because most girls are always glaring at me in that stay-the-hell-away-from-me-you-caveman way. Or it could be the other thing…

Yup, the thing I’ve never admitted to nobody. Never even told you, Gramps, about how I sometimes get hot for the look in certain dudes’ eyes. Grampa didn’t need to know that shit—it’s TMI, for sure. And it’s not like I stand a chance with the smart quiet types of guys I’m into.

I lean back on the ancient couch in our living room for my third episode of Cops. Lucky me, tonight’s a Cops marathon. Hope like hell I’m never one of the bad boys on it.

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