Book Title: A Date for Hannah
Author: Callie Henry
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: August 6, 2018
High-schooler, Hannah, has always been self-conscious about her weight, so when hottie swimmer, Liam, pays her extra attention at her sister’s wedding, she has a hard time trusting his interest. Throughout the evening, Liam’s charm wins her over, until they’re falling hard for each other. But the next day, Hannah learns something that may ruin it all.
A Date for Hannah was so surprisingly sweet and emotional for me, it’s difficult to know where to start. First let me say, to be honest, when I first learned that one of my absolute must read authors, Katy Regnery, was flexing her creative story-telling chops under the new pen name of Callie Henry and was writing a young adult story, I was a little unsure and had a sprinkling of doubt as to whether this would be a story for me. I’m a 50 something romance reader and pretty much stick to the older couple genre with a bit more intense relationship experiences if you know what I mean. But I really couldn’t pass on this opportunity so forced my doubts aside and I am so glad I did.
As we all do from time to time, even as adults, teenager Hannah suffers with self-image and inner doubt issues. But from the moment she meets Liam at her sister’s wedding, who is a gorgeous boy and on the swim team at his school, Hannah begins to feel an attraction to him though never believing that he would have any interest in her. But as they spend time together, it soon becomes apparent that they are both feeling a connection they have never before experienced. Though the struggle of uncertainty rears its head inside Hannah’s mind, Liam slowly begins to whittle away the walls she has built around her heart until she finally waivers and they both begin to fall. But when a misunderstanding is revealed, will Hannah be able to get beyond what she overhears and see the truth of Liam’s feelings as they truly are?
Callie Henry (aka Ms. Regnery) absolutely scored big time with this thoughtful and lovely romance. She shows us that hearts of any age can fight battles from within but finding that one soul who truly sees who we are is sometimes all we need to finally believe in ourselves.
“Hey, you know what? You didn’t let me finish my pitch before, when I asked you to go on a date with me.”
Hannah sighed, her eyes losing a little brightness and her smile dimming as she turned away to look at the reception guests on the dance floor. He tilted his head to see her better, and though he didn’t know her well enough to read her expression with accuracy, he saw wariness as her eyebrows knitted together. But when she sucked her lower lip into her mouth, he perceived a little bit of longing too, which made him press his advantage.
“Didn’t you wonder how I knew all that Shakespeare stuff?” Liam asked.
“Yes, actually,” she said, looking surprised by his question. “I did wonder, but then you distracted me.”
He grinned. “Good distraction, right?”
She rolled her eyes, but her lips tilted up a little, which made him happy. “You were saying?”
“The OSF is twenty minutes from my house. I worked there taking tickets over spring break last year. So, if you’d like to go with me sometime—as a date—I might even be able to take you backstage. I’m sure Julia would give us a tour of the Allen Elizabethan Theatre.”
“Julia?” said Hannah, raising an eyebrow.
He saw it in her eyes, the way she was mentally backing away from him at the mere mention of another woman. Is that how she saw all men? As players? As someone who’d hurt her and cheat on her if she let her guard down? He couldn’t help the way his feelings for her surged as he watched her—how much he wanted to be the person to prove to her that she could give her heart to someone who would keep it safe.
“Julia is my Mom’s friend who works in group sales, is married, and has two kids.” He pulled Hannah’s hand behind his back, holding it hostage and drawing her closer until her chest pressed against his. “And to be clear? I wouldn’t ask you out if I was seeing someone else. I don’t do that. I’m not with anyone right now, Hannah … except you.”
She flinched, and her face went utterly blank, except for her eyes, which looked worried and uncomfortable.
“You’re not with me,” she said softly, loosening her hand from his grasp and stepping away from him.
“I didn’t mean—”
“I have to use the ladies’ room. I’ll find you in a little bit, okay?”
She turned and started walking away, while he babbled incoherently at her back:
“Wait. Hannah! No. I didn’t…I just—I just meant…Crap!”
He stopped talking when she was out of sight.
Dang it, Liam! Why do you have to be so freaking intense?
Probably because it bothered him that she kept trying to friend-zone him when he didn’t feel friendly toward her and pretty much hadn’t from the moment he’d laid eyes on her.
There were some girls he met—especially the shallow, self-absorbed ones—who turned him off the moment he met them. Most of the popular girls at his high school thought he was trouble, and even after he’d straightened himself out, they didn’t give him a chance. Not really. They’d fool around with him at a party—there was never a shortage of popular girls who wanted to make out with a bad boy—but on Monday morning, they’d act like they were too drunk to remember kissing him. And it sort of sucked, because Liam Callahan was one of those guys who quietly longed for a girlfriend, even though his reputation had pegged him inaccurately as a player.
He wanted to date someone. He wanted to leave a party with her on Saturday night, and hold her hand when he walked into school on Monday morning. He wanted to be the first person she texted when she was happy or upset about something. He wanted to invite her over for dinner with his mom. He wanted to introduce her to his friends:
You guys, this is my girlfriend.
He’d imagined saying those words about a thousand times, but he’d never had the chance to say them, and it bothered him. A lot.
But tonight? Meeting Hannah? Somehow it felt like maybe what he wanted was actually, finally, possible.
When Hannah looked up at him with those huge, vulnerable, dark brown eyes, he felt hopeful.
“Damn it,” he growled softly, frustrated that he’d pushed her too hard.
Maybe he was being pushy, but he liked her, and for all he knew, she was driving back up to Brookings in the morning. He wanted her to say yes to a date—his heart needed to know that he’d see her again.
Katy claims authorship of the multititled New York Times and USA Today bestselling Blueberry Lane Series; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; the Summerhaven Trio and several other stand-alone novels and novellas, including the 2018 RITA® nominated, USA Today bestselling contemporary romance, Unloved, a love story.
Katy’s books are available in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, and Turkish.
Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.
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Appropriate for ages 12+ / Buy a copy for your teenager today!