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My Heart to Hold

Boys fall in love with what they see.


I never believed a boy would like me. When I’m around Maiken, I feel like I can conquer the world. He gives me the confidence to stand up to my enemy. I vowed to Tessa Stevens that she would see a new me. But people don’t change overnight. I’m still the same girl she knew before Christmas break. I still live on a farm, stutter when I’m nervous, spit out random facts, and avoid confrontation. I’m not the type to punch first and ask questions later. But when she lays her paws on Maiken, all bets are off.


Since my dad died, I can’t seem to get my act together. I’m failing two classes. I’m suspended from basketball, and Chase Stevens makes playing the game difficult for the entire team, but none of that matters when my family is faced with yet another tragedy. My only lifeline is the girl with butterscotch hair, amber eyes, and quirky personality. The one whose flirty smiles and shy looks are only reserved for me. The girl who has a way of picking me up when I feel like I want to run and hide. The problem is I might not get the chance to see Quinn ever again when my mom has no choice but to move a thousand miles away.

My Heart to Hold is the second novel in the Maxwell Family Saga series. All books in the series should be read in order for a better reading experience. A sweet and clean wholesome romance with all the feels, hunky basketball star, high school drama, and a coming of age love story.

Books in this series:

1. My Heart to Touch

2. My Heart to Hold

3. My Heart to Give

4. My Heart to Keep

This book was fantastic! I'm so proud of the attitude the Maxwell family has and how they deal with the things that are thrown their way. Quinn is such a delight. You can't help but get wrapped up in their story and just keep turning page after page.
Goodreads Reviewer

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Chapter 1


Excitement comingled with dread as I walked down the hall toward my locker. My stomach was in knots, my hands were sweaty, and my mind worked overtime as I scanned the scarcely filled halls, looking more for Maiken than Tessa.

I didn’t know how Tessa was going to act when she saw me. I hadn’t seen Tessa since two weeks ago when she had not-so-accidentally pushed me into the pool. I would bet she would be her same old harridan self. Then again, maybe the freezing temps of the pool water had knocked some sense into her. Maybe she would be a new Tessa—nicer, friendlier.

I couldn’t say I was a different Quinn, at least not yet. I had no idea how I would handle Tessa if she lashed out at me. I was so nervous, I’d chewed my nails all the way to school. But I was also dying to see Maiken, and at the moment, that trumped any dread I felt over what Tessa had up her sleeve for me.

Maiken and his family had gone to Georgia for Christmas. His mom had decided at the last minute to visit her sister. We’d exchanged several texts, but that had been it. Nevertheless, the two weeks without Maiken had been lonely and depressing. I almost felt like I’d dreamt I had a boyfriend.

My heart pitter-pattered with each step I took toward my locker. A handful of students lingered, gushing about what they’d gotten for Christmas or what they’d done over the break. My two weeks had been filled with family stuff and chores, as usual. As far as presents, I’d gotten mostly money and a new saddle for Apple that I’d been wanting.

My best friend, Celia, had gone skiing with her family up in Vermont. She’d asked me to join her, but I didn’t know how to ski and didn’t care to learn. Instead, I found myself skating on the Maxwell lake along with Kade’s wife, Lacey, who had wanted to try her hand at the sport. Momma didn’t want me to be on the lake alone. When I’d asked Eleanor Maxwell if she would be around, she’d informed me that she and Martin were leaving on a month-long vacation.

“I’m sorry, Quinn,” Eleanor had said. “Kade and Lacey will be watching the house until Maiken and his family return. Why don’t you check with them? I’m sure Lacey might be up for skating.”

I’d raised an eyebrow when she mentioned Lacey and skating. To my surprise, Lacey had always wanted to try the sport but never had the chance.

I pulled out my phone and sent Maiken a text. Will you be at school today? I tried calling him the day before, but he hadn’t answered. I’d also sent him a text, but he hadn’t responded. I chalked up the silence to him driving the family back to Ashford.

I stood at my locker, staring at my phone, waiting for the three little bouncing dots that indicated he was typing a reply to appear. After several seconds, no dots or any sign that Maiken had read my text.

More voices peppered the air as the hall began to fill with students.

“Quinn!” Celia bounced up to my locker. Her espresso-colored hair was twisted up on her head, her cheeks were stained pink, and her eyes were swimming with happiness. “Guess what?”

“Tessa is going to boarding school?” I was teasing… but deep down, I wasn’t.

Her sculpted eyebrows lifted above her black-rimmed glasses. “Really?”

I giggled. “No, silly. What’s up? You were finally brave enough to ski down a black diamond?” That was all she’d talked about before she left.

She wrinkled her button nose, which was red from the cold or maybe sunburned. “I chickened out. The wind was too brutal.” She extracted a flyer from her purse. “I saw this on the announcement board outside the admin office. The school paper has an opening.”

“That’s great.” I sounded down in the dumps when I should’ve been excited for my best friend. She’d wanted to work on the school’s newspaper since freshman year.

“What’s wrong? Are you worried about Tessa?”

I scanned the hall but still didn’t see Maiken. And since we were on the topic of my enemy, I didn’t see Tessa either. A cold chill zinged down my spine. Maybe Maiken had decided he didn’t want to date me anymore. Or maybe his mom had decided to stay in Georgia. Maybe something bad had happened to him. Or maybe, and this one was out there, Tessa had gotten him to somehow, and he’d had a change of heart about our relationship. After all, she had bragged that I hadn’t won anything yet when I’d stormed out of her house at her holiday party.

Stop freaking out. He probably got in late last night.

“I haven’t heard from Maiken since Friday.”

She swatted me lightly. “Don’t think the worst. He’ll be here.” She sounded so sure.

I wished I had her confidence. You better find some quickly if you’re going to be a different Quinn.

“Do you know something I don’t?” I asked.

“The basketball team needs him.”

I snorted. “He was suspended for three games. I doubt Coach is eager to have Chase and Maiken punching it out on the court again.” I checked my phone once more.

She covered my screen with her hand. “Take a breath. If he doesn’t show, then we’ll go down to Georgia.”

I feigned a smile, although I was all for the idea.

She opened her locker. “So if I get on the school newspaper, I want to cover sports.”

I pressed my shoulder into the locker. “Really?” I shouldn’t have been surprised. She was into skiing and loved going to football games and basketball games. She even enjoyed skating. “I thought you wanted to write about the issues we face at school?”

“Nah. That’s boring and doesn’t involve cute boys.” She giggled.

I joined in, and the tension eased slightly.

“See? I got you to laugh. For real, though. Sports is my new thing.” She closed her locker. “Okay, back to Tessa. If she dishes out any shit, stand up to her like you did at her party.”

I gnawed on a hangnail, praying I could. I hadn’t changed at all in two weeks. I was still Quinn Thompson. I still lived on a farm, stuttered when I was nervous, spit out random facts, and didn’t like confrontation. Not only that, I wasn’t a bully and wasn’t about to resort to being one either. My brother’s fights had done nothing but incite more violence, and that wasn’t in my nature.

Glancing past me, Celia flicked her chin. “See? I told you he would return.”

As if in slow motion, I swiveled my head, and my heartbeat ramped up from idle to a hundred beats per minute.

Maiken strutted down the hall. His skin was tanned, and his long legs ate up the space as he remained absorbed with something on his phone.

I stared, willing him to look up—to look at me. Maybe he was texting me. But my phone, which was tethered to my hand, didn’t vibrate or alert me to a text.

Girls ogled him, some tittering, others whispering, and I spied some blushing. I couldn’t blame them. I felt like I was noticing him for the first time all over again. His sandy-blond hair was unruly on top as though the wind had whipped up its own hairstyle for Maiken. His black T-shirt stretched across his broad chest and hung over his tattered jeans, and he had a confident aura about him as if he owned the world.

I even ogled the boy who before long would also own my heart. Or maybe he already did and I was too scared to acknowledge it. Nevertheless, I couldn’t believe a handsome boy like Maiken was into me. At times, I worried that I would wake up one day, and he would be gone.

“Go see him,” Celia said.

I wanted to run and jump into his arms, but my feet and legs seemed glued to the shiny white floor. Honestly, I wanted him to look up and acknowledge me. I wanted that connection we had in which our gazes melded together from afar as though no one around us existed.

Then as if glass had shattered somewhere near me, my dreamy state turned into a nightmare as Tessa all but skipped down the hall, calling out to Maiken.

I gritted my teeth as anger set in.

She bounced up to Maiken, her black ponytail swinging in the wind. “Wait up.”

Maiken came to a full stop in the middle of the hall, actually waiting for the harridan.

My heart fell to the floor.

Don’t scream. Don’t cry.

Her fingers went around his arm, guiding him out of traffic. Then her mouth started moving.

I couldn’t hear what she was saying over the other voices in the hall. Or maybe the pounding of my pulse in my ears masked all other sound.

Maiken listened to Tessa intently as if she were telling him a riveting story.

What in the world?

Huffing, I stomped down the hall, pushing my way through students tall and short, big and small. A cloud of fury hung over me, and with each step I took, I swore that cloud would open up and rain down on Tessa if she didn’t get her paws off of Maiken.

This was not how I envisioned my first day back at school or my first time seeing Maiken in two weeks. Then again, where Tessa was involved, all bets were off the table.

Momma had made a point to tell me that morning that fighting wasn’t the answer in solving problems. But wars were won by fighting on the battlefield. At the moment, my battlefield was the school hallway, and my enemy was about to get what was coming to her.

Celia rushed up to me. “I got your back.”

My hands were fisted at my sides, and my nails dug into my palms the closer I got.

“Watch this,” a boy said to his friend as I passed them.

I’d never punched someone before. But I imagined bone hitting bone hurt.

“First day back, and we’re already going to see trouble,” the same boy said in an excited tone as though he lived for those moments.

The word trouble catapulted me out of my haze, and Momma’s reprimand rang loud and clear in my head. “If I hear you’re fighting or you get in trouble in school, you will not be allowed to date Maiken.”

She knew how to hit a nerve. I certainly didn’t want to mess up my chances of dating Maiken. Besides, somehow I had to put Tessa in her place. I couldn’t let her continue to bully me. The problem was that I had no clue how to get her to back off.

Flaring my nostrils while looking at Tessa, I enclosed Maiken’s hand in mine. “Hey, there you are.”

He flinched for some reason, and a stabbing pain poked my chest. I shifted my eyes from Tessa to him, on the verge of tears. But when Maiken’s slow grin emerged as his gaze roamed all over me, any doubts I had about him and me vanished.

Tessa sneered. “This is a private conversation.”

Ignore her. You haven’t seen your boyfriend in two weeks. Steal him away. Find a hiding spot and don’t come out until high school is over. I smiled at the thought of blinking away my high school years mainly to avoid Tessa. But I was living in a fairytale, especially when Celia’s acid tone burned through my senses.

“Private?” Celia got in Tessa’s personal space. “Right? All you’re trying to do is start trouble.”

Tessa puffed out her chest. “Shut up, Celia.”

I was tempted to let Celia and Tessa duke it out. But I couldn’t let my best friend get sent to the principal’s office on my behalf.

A crowd started to form around us.

Tessa swung her dark gaze to me. “And I thought you would be the one to start a fight.” Her condescending tone scraped along my arms as though my cat, Betty, were dragging her claws over them.

“T-the day is y-young,” I stuttered out. Damn nervous habit.

She pouted. “Aw, she still stutters.”

I let go of Maiken and fisted my hands at my sides.

Remember, no trouble, or you won’t be allowed to date Maiken.

Tessa let out a laugh that dared me to hit her. “You wouldn’t.”

“Babe,” Maiken drawled. “She wants you to hit her.”

The word babe rolled off his lips and melted the icy anger that had taken over my body.

The bell rang, and Tessa hiked her bag over her shoulder. “Still the same old scared Quinn, who can’t stand up for herself.” She shook her head. “Maiken, we’ll talk after school.” Then she ambled away, her head held high.

“What is sh-she talking about?” I asked Maiken, who was shaking his head.

If he were chumming up to Tessa, I would definitely punch her, despite my mom’s edict.

“Some cheerleader basketball fundraiser.”

Celia’s lips parted. “Oh, that.” She hooked her arm in mine. “Come on, Quinn. I’ll tell you all about it. It’s nothing to worry about.”

Like heck. When it came to Tessa, I had to worry.

Maiken grasped my other arm. “She’ll catch up with you, Celia.”

The final bell hadn’t rung yet, so we had time. Besides, my classroom was only two doors down.

“Don’t be late for class.” Celia faded from view.

The hall had all but emptied except for two students running by Maiken and me.

He drank me in from head to toe. “I’m sorry I didn’t text you back. My phone died, and I didn’t have my charger with me. I missed you.” Sadness threaded through the last three words.

I was about to tell him I missed him too when his lips were on mine, kissing me like I was his world. In that moment, I was the luckiest girl ever to walk the halls of Kensington High.

I cannot get enough of the Maiken and Quinn storyline. From the opening paragraphs to the last page the reader is taken back to high school with all the trials and tribulations of first love. Add in the drama of the cheerleader/bully Tessa and the lovable Maxwell family and you have the perfect read.
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Bundled books available

Maiken & Quinn Ebook

Books in this Series

My Heart to Hold Sweet Sports Romance
My Heart to Give ebook
My Heart to Keep ebook

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