Authors: Laura L Smith
|Laura L Smith|
Lindsey feels alone, like no one truly understands her. That is, until she meets Noah, who possesses a calm self-confidence that Lindsey craves. But what price will she pay to escape to the comfort of Noah’s soft words and strong arms?
This novel uses the power of story to challenge teens to discover the relevance of faith. Young adults will identify with Lindsey’s feelings of insecurity and uncertainty. Promoting a personal trust in God, this story awakens the imagination through personal discovery, dynamic characters, and unexpected plot twists.
Includes bonus chapter taken from
by Laura L. Smith.
captures the struggles, temptations, trials and victories of a generation battling for purity. A great read for teens and parents! --National Director, Silver Ring Thing, Jason Burtt
Readers will easily identify as Lindsey navigates first love, social pressure, and church teaching to determine her own convictions about chastity. Smith writes with unlimited grace. --Bethany Pierce, author of Feeling for Bones
Have you ever done anything you've regretted?
At the time it might have felt like a chance worth taking, it might have seemed like the only way out or maybe it was something you felt you deserved. But later, maybe years or the next week or the morning after your decision, you regretted your action, or your choice not to act, and its consequences.
In my new novel,
, Lindsey has always planned on saving herself, even wanted to wear a purity ring, but she is smitten with her boyfriend, Noah, who seems to understand her when no one else does. Everywhere she turns, the world tells her sex is not only okay, but it is romantic and thrilling. Well, everywhere seems to tell her that except for the Bible, but it was written thousands of years ago, right?
The problem is, with sex there are no do-overs. Once you've had it, you are no longer saving yourself for anyone or anything. The saving is over, or is it?
, you will follow Lindsey down her road of indecision and witness the consequences of her choices. You will also see God's amazing grace offered to her, if only she is willing to reach out to Him.
“Laura is not only an outstanding author but also an inspirational friend who I look up to in so many ways. Her book inspires me to live a pure and fruitful life, the way God has planned.
made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me feel blessed to have God’s grace glisten between relationships seen and unseen.”
, communications and entrepreneurship
undergraduate student, Miami University
“Laura L. Smith has thoughtfully crafted the true temptations of teens into a tender story of forgiveness and mercy. Her accurate interpretation of the constant struggle to balance living God’s Word while living in this world makes her characters believable and relatable. This muchneeded book handles its tough topic both delicately and profoundly.”
T. L. BUNDY
, English teacher and author
, Laura Smith coolly addresses the issue of that three-letter word in a way that’s current, applicable, and authentic. Every teenage girl must read this book (or she’ll look back and wish she had).”
, author of
A Night Night Prayer,
God’s Promises for Boys
God’s Promises for Girls
“It was all of the feelings I have ever felt with trying to remain pure. Thank you, Laura, for tackling a difficult topic that all young girls deal with. This book shows us the importance of God’s plan for our purity and provides hope for our own personal lives.”
, graduate student, Miami University
“I read the whole book in one sitting! I’ve worked with so many teen girls who would be able to identify with Lindsey’s dreams and feelings. Lindsey is not perfect, but she learns from her choices. I’ve seen in ministry how important it is for young people to get their hearts clean with God and their friends.”
, missionary, Youth With A Mission
“I started to read
thinking it would be a book I could pick up in between my homework and busy life. But once I began reading, I found that I couldn’t put the book down. It kept me turning page after page in anxious anticipation for how it would all turn out. This book brings hard, controversial issues to the surface and deals with them in a very real way. I loved
, student, Miami University
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© 2010 by Laura L. Smith
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from NavPress, P.O. Box 35001, Colorado Springs, CO 80935. www.navpress.com
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Cover design by Disciple Design
Cover image by Veer
Author photo by Kelci House
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or publisher.
Scripture quotations in this publication are taken from the New King James Version (
). Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved; and the
, New Living Translation (
), copyright © 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Smith, Laura L., 1969-
Hot : a novel / Laura L. Smith.
Summary: High-schooler Lindsey has always attracted boys who seem only interested in her body, but when she begins dating handsome senior Noah, she finds the real connection she has craved, but her Christian faith and commitment to celibacy are tested.
[1. Dating (Social customs)--Fiction. 2. Sexual abstinence--Fiction. 3. High schools--Fiction. 4. Schools--Fiction. 5. Christian life--Fiction.]
Printed in the United States of America
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 / 14 13 12 11 10
To Brett: thank you for your outpouring of the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13 and rarely exhibited in real life. I will never be able to express my gratitude and love to you for being blind to my past. You are integral in every particle of my present and our moments together are what I most look forward to in my future.
od, thank You for the gift of forgiveness. Thank You also for rays of inspiration that nurture the plots and characters You plant in my mind. Without Your love my words are but a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
Maddie, Max, Mallory, and Maguire: Thank you for your priceless love. You’ll never know how much you warm my heart. I praise God each day for giving me such amazing children. I pray you will always turn to Him to make wise decisions and that you will always be confident in His love and my love for you.
Mom: Thank you for sparking my love for books, both reading and writing them, and for being my number one fan.
Rebekah Guzman: Thank you for believing in me, Lindsey, and her friends. Thank you for being brave enough to take on such steamy subjects. It is your faith and support that ignited these stories to life.
Amy Parker: Thank you for your incredible gift of word-smithing. You simmered this story taking it from warm to
. You are an incredible source of inspiration in both my faith and my writing.
Todd Agnew: Thank you for inspiring me, Lindsey, and countless others with your powerful, heated lyrics.
Father John Ferrone: Thank you for homilies that speak
directly to my heart as if “you knew everything I ever did.”
Reverend Jim Zippay: Thank you for challenging me in my faith. Your “Sacred Sexuality” series helped me soothe old burns with the calming aloe of God’s grace.
changed my look this morning. I straightened my curls into poker-straight, shiny locks. I like it. It’s sleek. The only problem is, without my curls my headband is too loose and keeps slipping off my head. I had to fix it in the girls’ room between classes. So now I bolt toward English with seconds to spare.
As I scurry toward the door, I run smack into Noah Hornung. He’s about twice as tall as me. He’s running his fingers through his dark hair that seems to naturally spike up in a messy kind of way. He probably can’t even see me from up there.
“Man, I am so sorry, Lindsey,” he says in a rich voice that reminds me of the dark brown suede vest I splurged on last week.
“No problem.” I crane my neck to look at him. How did he know my name, and has he always been that hot? I mean he’s always been here. Noah goes to youth group with us at my best friend Emma’s church. But so do a ton of other kids. And he always sits with a bunch of guys I hardly know. He lives in my sprawling subdivision, but on the other end. He’s a junior, so even when we were kids and played in the neighborhood, he hung out with kids a year older than me. Noah’s dark green eyes, topped by thick, dark eyebrows, lock with mine. I feel my cheeks turning as pink as my headband.
The class bell, announcing that I am officially late, echoes through the vacant hallways.
“We’re late,” he laughs.
“Yeah, see ya.” I cock my head and smile as I duck into my doorway.
Mrs. Pearson shoots me a dirty look as I try to sneak into my row.
I slide into my seat. My books softly thud on the desk. I lift my head to see Noah in the doorway winking at me before disappearing down the hall. Lights dance in my head, like flashbulbs of the paparazzi. His eyes are so big and my fingers itch to touch that messy hair. I don’t know much about him, but I feel all tingly and freezing and burning at the same time, like my hand feels when I’ve held my hair dryer for too long.
I tell myself.
This is the first time he’s ever spoken to you.
I should relax, anyway. Boys and I put together have always been a “Fashion Don’t.” I’ve been asked on plenty of dates, but the boys all seem to want one thing: something physical. Nobody wants to listen to me or talk to me or even watch a movie with me. Sometimes I curse the fact that I’m pretty. I know it doesn’t seem to make sense. I can’t say that out loud to any of my friends. Who would understand?
I was so gawky when I was younger. I remember wishing I could look like my sister, Kristine, so that boys would notice me. Then, in eighth grade, I had eye surgery and said good-bye to my glasses. The orthodontist removed my braces. Kristine gave me a full makeover before I entered high school so I wouldn’t embarrass her by being her “nerdy little sister.” Now it seems like overnight, I’m not the geeky girl anymore, but I’ve evolved into the pretty girl I dreamed of being. It’s so ironic. Now that I got my wish and people do think I’m pretty, I’m wishing for something
else, that boys would be interested in
— what kind of music I listen to and what my thoughts on God are and how I feel about my family — instead of what I look like.
Tommy Bayer invited me to his house to watch a movie with his family. That seemed innocent enough. But it turned out his family wasn’t even home. So about ten minutes into
Shrek the Third
, he leaned over and tried to stick his tongue down my throat. When I turned my face away from his, he turned from “Tommy Bayer” into “Tommy Bear” and tried to grab every part of my body he could with his grubby paws.
To prevent that from happening again, when Warren Adler asked me out, I suggested he come to
house. Wrong! He came over and kept trying to slide his hand in between my legs under the kitchen table. I squeezed my knees together so tight, my thighs ached by the time his mom came to take him home.
A beautiful boy named Brock invited me to our Christmas dance, the Sugarplum Stomp, last year. Mom bought me this amazing dress with a fitted waist. We had a seamstress take it in to fit perfectly, and it had a skirt that flared out just enough to
while I was dancing. I told my friends I ended it with him because he popped his gum. The truth is, Brock tried to slip his hands into that gorgeous gown anywhere he thought they could fit.
Maybe I’ve just been interested in the wrong boys. The underclass guys seem unsure of themselves. They get all nervous and fidgety when they talk to me. Most of the upperclassmen seem so full of themselves. They act like they’re doing me a favor if they speak to me.
Which brings me back to Noah. How did he even know my name? I still can’t figure that out.
The fifty-minute class takes an eternity. Each second rigidly
ticks on the black and white circular clock affixed above the door. I look out the door, half expecting to see Noah winking. I must be going crazy. Clearly, he’s gone to class. I struggle to remain still. I have lots of practice from dance team. We are supposed to be like puppets, completely immobile until we’re brought to life by music.
Mrs. Pearson lectures about the symbolism of Shakespeare and his description of Queen Mab. I doodle swirly designs on the borders of my spiral-bound notebook with my favorite aqua blue pen. My swirls are like the dreams described in the Shakespeare passage, hard to follow but seemingly purposeful.
At lunch my right foot nervously taps up and down by my plastic chair as I sit with my plate of French fries and a chocolate shake — about the only two things the cafeteria serves that I trust. I wait for my girlfriends to find their way to our table. The cafeteria smells like the old gum that’s stuck under the tables and the mysterious gravy the cafeteria ladies ladle over suspiciously bright yellow mashed potatoes. I sip thick, frothy chocolate to avoid looking like a loser as I sit by myself and wait. One by one my friends plop their trays on the table.
“Hey, Linds,” Raven says. Today, her thick, dark hair is coaxed into a sixties flip. With her is Emma, who never lost her baby fat, but has gorgeous fiery hair and the eyes of a cat.
“Ladies.” Gracie nods. She is the classic beauty. With straight black hair and flawless skin, she’s one of the few girls in school I don’t have an urge to make over.
With her is Melissa, my partner from dance team, towering over me. “Hi, guys,” she says between crunches of the golden apple she’s holding.
Emma and I have known each other forever. Melissa and Gracie have been friends since grade school too. Freshman year,
Raven moved here from Atlanta, and she plays on the JV soccer team with Gracie. That’s how we all got connected.
Once they’re settled, I try to sound as casual as possible.
“So, do any of you know Noah Hornung?”
“Sure.” Raven nods. “He plays hockey with my brother.” Her eyes are as dark as the black coffee my dad drinks in the mornings, but somewhere in those inky irises, a glint of mischief lurks. She’s on to me.
“Really?” I lean over. And immediately, I lean back in my seat, adjusting my icy blue sweater with pink-striped cuffs.
“Somebody has a crush!” Emma sings, her red curls bouncing over her broad shoulders.
I tilt my head and raise my eyebrows, unable to deny it. “So, what if I do? What do we know about this boy? Is he a total dork?”
“Drew’s on the JV team, and varsity helps out a lot. Drew says Noah’s really nice and helpful and stuff — not like some of the other macho varsity players,” Gracie pipes in. Her narrow eyes smile like they always do when she talks about her boyfriend, Drew. “You should come to the games with me.”
“Yeah! Come to the games!” Raven cheers, her bag of Cheetos letting out a whoosh as she opens it. “I always sit with my folks, which is fine, but I’d love y’all to hang out with me. Plus Noah’s super cute.”
“How’d you meet him?” Melissa asks, munching another bite of apple. She’s the quiet one in our group. In the spring of freshman year, she confided in us that she’s struggling with an eating disorder. I think she’s tentative about piping in sometimes, afraid we’re judging her. We’re not.
“He’s in youth group,” adds Emma. “But I’ve never seen you talk to him.”
“Yeah, I thought he was.” I dip a fry in ketchup. “I never
had talked to him, until right before English. I know this sounds goofy. We just ran into each other in the hallway today — literally,
— and he knew my name, which was completely surprising, and I felt something.” I shake my head at myself. “I know it sounds cheesy, but it was like we connected or something.” To stop anything more ridiculous from coming out of my mouth, I pop a fry in, licking the tangy ketchup so it doesn’t drip on my chin.
I look past my friends and gaze out to the chaos of the lunchroom. A group of guys including Raven’s brother, Randy, is huddled around a broad-shouldered blond intently engrossed in his Nintendo DS. It’s the varsity hockey players. Noah stands in the back, watching his friend defeat electronic enemies, weaving his fingers through his messy hair. He looks up and sees me looking at him. I feel like grasshoppers are jumping inside my body. I drop my eyes and slurp the life out of my milkshake.
“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage,” Emma sings dramatically in her gorgeous voice.
I roll my eyes. “Please, God, don’t let him hear Emma,” I say with mock intent.
Melissa jumps in, “At least those babies have a chance at being tall, Linds.”
“You might have to marry him for that reason alone,” Raven adds.