Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Swoon Worthy Wednesday: Matt Quinn (Possess by Gretchen McNeil)

Character: Matt Quinn


Synopsis: Rule #1: Do not show fear.
Rule #2: Do not show pity.
Rule #3: Do not engage.
Rule #4: Do not let your guard down.
Rule #5: They lie.

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

Why We Love Him: Matt is the loveable boy next door with hazel eyes and sandy blond hair! He is so sweet and caring and loyal. He stands by Bridget’s side throughout the book even with how crazy things get throughout the story. He helps to build up her brother’s self-confidence and helps him not to feel so lonely by training him in baseball so Bridget’s little brother has someone to confide in. He's also willing to put his life on the line to protect the girl he loves. Matt is just so crush-worthy, we couldn't help but fall for him!


Bridget stared out the window and tried to ignore Matt’s fidgeting while they waited for the light to change. In thirty seconds he had adjusted his rearview mirror, turned on the radio, checked his cell phone, readjusted the mirror, and changed the radio station. Twice. Now Coldplay was blasting through the subwoofers. Really? Coldplay? Holy crap, this was her own personal nightmare: trapped in a pickup truck with Matt Quinn and Coldplay. Add some spiders and a porcelain doll or two, and she’d be curled up on the floor of the cab in the fetal position.

“I’m sorry, okay?”

She refused to look at him. “There are a lot of things I can forgive,  but bad taste in music isn’t one of them.”


Bridget wrinkled her nose.

“Will you forgive me if I change the station?”

“I’ll try.”

Matt switched to the local indie station as the light changed. “Perfect. So you forgive me for getting you grounded. Awesome.”

Bridget swore under her breath. She had walked right into that one.

“You know,” he said, turning onto Sunset Boulevard. “You know, if you weren’t so much trouble, I wouldn’t worry about you.”

“If I weren’t so much trouble?”


“And how would you know anything about my life?”

Matt shrugged.

“Because unless you’ve been talking to the two dorks in the back of your truck, I’m guessing you don’t know jack about it.”

“I’ve heard about where you go on the weekends. Clubs and stuff.”

Clubs and stuff? She and Hector hit the occasional concert south of Market or in Berkley, but it was hardly “stuff”—and not on her mom’s radar. What the hell was he talking about?”

Bridget shifted her hips to face him and immediately noticed the flush spreading up his neck. Suddenly she knew exactly who had been spreading the rumors about her. Bridget dug her fingernails into the faux leather seat. That bitch.

“For your information, the only words Alexa Darlington’s spoken to me since the sixth grade are the ones you witnessed this afternoon, and as far as her or you knowing anything about my life, let’s just say you’re both clueless, okay?”

“But that’s what I mean.”

“Right. I’m sure you’d be perfectly happy if I spent my time beerbonging it at the football team’s latest blowout. Or perhaps you’d prefer it if I just partied with Kappa Sig like your ex-girlfriend? You’d be comfortable with that, right? Because that’s the world you know? As long as I’m letting some college sophomore ply me with Keystone, it’s all good.”

Matt’s tanned face flushed a deep shade of scarlet, and Bridget knew she’d hot close to home. But she didn’t care. She was tired of everyone sticking their noses in her business. She’d done fine for years without Matt Quinn in her life, and just because her dad was dead didn’t mean she needed any help from Mr. Perfect Grades, Perfect Body, Starting Pitcher, no matter how cute he looked when he smiled.

Matt slammed on the brakes, and Bridget snickered as Hector rolled into Peter. Matt rapped his knuckles against the can window. “Library.”

The shock absorbers bounced as two bodies scrambled over the tailgate—first Hector’s fumbling, then Peter’s slow, careful tread. Peter’s face was at her window instantly, trying to ask a question through the glass, but Matt didn’t wait; he peeled away from the curb with an ear-shattering tire squeal.

As they drove in silence, Bridget stole a glance at Matt. His mouth was clamped tight, the muscles of his jawline bulging out from below his sculpted cheek, and his eyebrows were scrunched low. He ran his hand through his sandy blond hair, and the longish strands stood up straight for a split second before flopping down over his ear.

Without thinking Bridget reached to change the station. At the same time, Matt’s hand shot forward and his fingers grazed the top of hers. Bridget was surprised how soft his fingers felt; she’d assumed a pitcher would have rough, calloused hands. Matt let his fingertips linger, and even though ridget’s first instinct was to pull back, she didn’t.

What the hell was wrong with her? Bridget shook herself and whipped her hand away from the radio. Matt’s hand fell to his lap.

“Why are you so difficult?” he blurted out.

“Yeah. You know, I’ve tried really hard to be your friend since I moved back to San Francisco. But you’re so prickly all the time. Always looking for a right.”

“I am not!”


Bridget threw up her hands. “What?”

That look of concern crept back into Matt’s face. “You weren’t like that when we were kids. You were more fun. You used to smile. And laugh.”

Bridget sighed. She was so tired. Tired of fighting with everyone. Tired of having no one to confide in. Hector wasn’t exactly a confidant, and Peter would only get two seconds into a serious conversation about her feelings before the words “I love you” came spilling out of his mouth. Her dad had been her best friend. Now that he was gone and her mom had a revolving door of boyfriends, it was like she had no one to talk to.

She glanced sidelong at her chauffeur. Maybe Matt understood? They’d been close once, a long time ago, and in a way, he’d also lost a parent. Although in his case it was to a dot-com millionaire who moved is mom to Dubai. Still, they must have been close since he’d lived with her for all those years after his parents divorced. When she left, it must have felt like she’d ripped from his life too. Just like her dad.

The truck slowed as Matt pulled into her driveway.

“Are you going to Winter Formal?”

His question caught her so off guard, she burst out laughing.

“What’s so funny?”

“I don’t do dances.”

“Why not?”

“Well, the lameness factor for starters.”

“You ever been?”

“Hell, no.”

“Then you can’t judge.”

Bridget shook her head. “Dude, are you applying for my mom’s job?”

Mat ignored the jab, “You should go.”

“To Winter Formal?”

“Yeah, You should go with me.”

Did he just invite himself to her school dance. “No way.”

“Are you afraid?”

“Of a dance? You’re kidding, right?”

Matt looked right at her. There was a hint of a smile he couldn’t suppress. “Then prove me wrong.”

Bridget wasn’t a complete moron. She knew when she was being played. Matt had found her sore spot: her inability to refuse a challenge.

“Fine,” she said meeting his steady gaze. “Hope you don’t mind a date in combat boots.”

Matt smiled, flashing that lethal combination of perfect teeth and hazel eyes. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Check out Possess on Goodreads!

Purchase on Barnes & Noble and Amazon!

Stalk Gretchn McNeil on her website, Goodreads page, Twitter and Facebook!

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