She's Got a Way (Echo Lake #3) - Maggie McGinnis Page 0,1

out of their defensive postures, apparently believing there might be more power in pretending they didn’t care. Madison and Waverly probably didn’t, actually. They’d just transfer to another boarding school, decorate their new rooms in next year’s designer colors, and stir up trouble once again.

But Sam and Eve wouldn’t know a designer color if it landed on their heads. If they lost their scholarships at Briarwood, they’d be headed back to Boston—back to foster homes that would hardly notice they were back … if they even landed in the same ones they’d come from.

“Have any of you ever heard of Camp Echo?” Priscilla raised her eyebrows, that snarky little smile lurking at the corners of her lips. At her question, Gabi’s butterflies started banging on the walls of her stomach.

Priscilla took a couple more steps into the room, then sat down in a hard-backed chair facing them. “It’s a lovely little place on the shores of Echo Lake, Vermont, just three hours from here. Briarwood recently bought the property, and the board is anxious to get started using it. Luckily for us, it seems we have suddenly been presented with the perfect opportunity.”

Gabi sat down hard. Oh, holy hell. Priscilla was sending the girls to … camp?

“So.” Priscilla put her hands together like a delighted grandma on the verge of giving her grandchildren a new car. “With the permission of all of your parents … or guardians, we have come up with an alternative to expulsion. The four of you will leave your rooms next week only to take your exams and eat your meals, and on Friday, you’ll pack your bags for a four-week stay at Camp Echo.”

Madison narrowed her eyes. “Not possible. My father would never have agreed to this.”

“He did.” Priscilla pointed to each girl in turn. “As did everyone else’s. You’re lucky this is the consequence we came up with. You’re extremely lucky the board didn’t elect to send you to my first choice of camps, where you would have to make your own clothing, your own soap, and your own shelters.”

Gabi felt her teeth almost bite through her bottom lip. As much as she was relieved that someone had taken expulsion off the table, Priscilla was far too delighted about this consequence to have Gabi believing the girls were headed to some sort of pristine lakeside paradise for half the summer.

There had to be a catch.

Eve adjusted her arms so they were tighter to her chest. “This Camp Echo—does it have, like, cabins?”

Priscilla shrugged her shoulders delicately. “I haven’t been there, but I was assured by the director just now that the facilities would be appropriate for the situation.”

Gabi darted her eyes toward her. Right now, “appropriate for the situation” would be pup tents in bear country, with loaves of bread for pillows.

Waverly blinked hard. “But I’m supposed to go to Paris.”

Gabi pictured her own flight reservation, currently tacked to the bulletin board above her desk. Next Friday night—apparently now after she’d seen this little crew off to Camp Echo—she’d be boarding a flight to Barbados for a well-deserved trip to paradise. Ideally, it would have been a honeymoon—say, with her favorite rom-com hero—but with her thirtieth birthday looming, she’d yet to find a guy she could imagine lasting much past the honeymoon.

It wasn’t that her expectations were unrealistic, of course, even if the girls did accuse her of living in some sort of Hollywood-induced romancelandia. And it wasn’t her fault that she firmly believed a guy, with the right influence, could actually turn out to be perfect. It was just … well, she had no idea what it was, really. But here she was, twenty-nine years old, living in a tiny apartment at a girls’ boarding school, and oddly enough, Prince Charming hadn’t yet found his way to her door.

So she was taking her own damn self to the Caribbean. Maybe, among the lovestruck honeymooners at the tiki bar, she’d find a kindred soul looking for his happily-ever-after.


Sam drew her knees up to her chest, settling into the corner of the couch in a defensive move Gabi recognized from when she’d first arrived at Briarwood. The girl could hotwire a school van, drive across state lines without a license, and probably drink a twenty-one-year-old under the table, but right now, she actually looked scared. Gabi almost felt sympathetic, until she remembered the hours she’d spent on the road last night, praying that the girls were alive.

“How are we getting to this camp?” Eve asked.