What to expect

Between her dad’s pest-control company, her mom’s pond-cleaning service, and her side gig at Caddysnack (Santa Barbara’s premier small plates and minigolf destination), Hallie Mayhew puts the “work” in working class. But Hal has qualms about gassing gophers, she’s tired of ditching friends to skim dead fish from fountains, and she’s freaking weary of divorced-parent politics. So she has a plan: win the prestigious Verhaag Scholarship, go to an east-coast school, never come back.

But the Verhaag Scholarship has a proud history of nepotism and a last-minute contender just crawled out of the woodwork. Hal’s parking-lot nemesis usurps Yearbook Committee, depriving Hal of her only extracurricular credit, her Montecito clients are in a defensive frenzy over a rash of estate burglaries, and, if her jobs keep making her tardy, she may not even graduate. To salvage her scholarship, she needs the help of Spencer Salazar, the dim, infuriating, and (kinda hot) rich kid next door. To save her college prospects, she must restore the natural order of the Yearbook Committee. To preserve her graduation eligibility, she needs a happy first-period history teacher. And, ideally, she’ll avoid death by doberman. Now, in her nonexistent spare time, Hal is adding private eye, matchmaker, and rat commando to her list of side gigs and wondering―maybe too late―if she misjudged the boy next door.

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