Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: October 18th 2016
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
In Kiss Cam, teen author Kiara London asks, what’s a little harmless kissing between friends?
Juniper, Jasper, and Lenny have been friends forever and co-own a vlog channel called WereVloggingHere. Their fans are huge “shippers” who believe that Juniper and Jasper are perfect for each other, and, despite warnings from friends and family, a simple Truth-or-Dare inspired kiss soon spirals out of control into a whole new world of making out and surprise kisses.
Juniper and Jasper’s relationship begins to shift. But as fan requests for different “Kiss Cam” segments keep pouring in, Juniper puts her worries aside and convinces herself that it doesn’t mean anything. After all, it’s just kissing… right?
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“It was an awkward situation,” I add, and shove a couple of chips into my mouth to let the crunching fill the silence. He nods and reaches across me for my textbook to look for the corresponding problem to the answer in his notebook.
After a few moments, he suddenly dumps the books onto the coffee table and grabs the bag of chips from my hands. “Want to make sure?”
Frowning, I roll forward and reach for the chips. “What are you talking about?” I groan when he pulls the bag away from me.
“That there’s nothing there—you know, feelings?” Like before, he’s uncharacteristically calm about the subject. His eyes remain steady on mine; there’s no involuntary charm. It’s Jasper being serious.
“I’d rather not find out,” I admit, because once upon a time fourteen-year-old me had a crush on Jasper Lahey, and eighteen-year-old me would rather not find out if it still exists. I’m sure it doesn’t. We’ve grown too close for those kinds of feelings to blossom. My reluctance is based on the idea that this could create wiggle room our friendship probably doesn’t need.
“You aren’t curious?” he asks me.
I laugh a little at the absurdity. “Curious? Jas, bad things happen when friends experiment.”
“Not if we do it right.” He shrugs and then bumps his leg against mine. “So, what do you say? Want to make sure?” The usual playful twinkle is in his eyes when he says this, and I know I’ve got no choice but to give in. Now it’s like a challenge to prove I’m wrong about experimenting.
I slap my hands on my thighs and turn to him with a pointed look. “All right, fine. Better now than never—because you know that’s not the last kissing-on-camera request we’re going to get, right?”
“That’s why I want to make sure.” He nods and then turns himself completely toward me. “Proper kiss.”
“This is not normal,” I remind him, and he chuckles.
“Have we ever been normal, June?”
I think about this, and well, maybe he’s right. The dynamics of our relationship have been irregular since I can remember, and we’re thrown into weird situations because of our chosen hobby—which is also not normal. I guess this was bound to happen anyway.
“Guess not,” I say.
“All right then.” He smiles, and with that leans forward to capture my lips with his own.
This time it’s not a little lip touch. It’s leaning completely forward, turning heads so noses don’t bump, open-mouth kisses but avoiding tongue—because, yeah, that’s going too far—and fingers tugging at the back of each other’s necks. It’s long, longer than anticipated, and I know because soon I don’t taste Dr. Pepper on his lips anymore. I just taste Jasper.
When we finally pull away, I’m startled to find that I actually don’t mind kissing him—it’s nice and comfortable. And the best part? I can look him in the eye, fingers trailing down his shirt, and say, “Nothing.”
He nods with a cheeky smile and replies, “Me too.”
Kiara London is the internet savvy, hopelessly romantic alter ego of Bethany Novak-Tveten, who in real life is part of the US Air Force. She started writing on the online writing site Booksie when she was thirteen and then transferred to Wattpad where her debut novel Kiss Cam was originally posted. She spends most of her time scrolling down Tumblr, attempting to read everything she can get her hands on, and drooling over fictional men.
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