In this young-adult coming-of-age novel, Karin Blanch is a 16-year-old sophomore at Elmwood High in Crescent Heights, California. She experiences the trials, tribulations, and peer and familial pressures of first love when she becomes involved with senior basketball star Reese McKenzie.
Reese solicits Karin's help after fellow basketball player Marcus Payne gets into trouble, involving alcohol abuse and vandalism. Karin asks her criminal-attorney father to represent Marcus pro bono, which he agrees to do.
After that crisis is resolved, Karin's neighbor and best friend, Lesley Rochester, starts to date Marcus. While Karin has a home with both parents, Lesley lives with her widowed mother, who has a new boyfriend.
Karin's involvement with Reese is tested as she tries to resist his pressures to go all the way in the face of competition from Reese's ex-girlfriend, Cheryl Gibson, a gorgeous cheerleader, who still pines for him and goes out of her way to try and sabotage their relationship.
Just when it seems as if Reese is all Karin could ask for in a dream guy, Lesley drops a bombshell by claiming that Reese sexually assaulted her at a party. Karin is stunned and conflicted. Once again, she turns to her father to help Reese legally, though uncertain of his innocence. Karin finds herself torn between her best friend and boyfriend as she seeks to get to the truth, while hoping it's possible to keep both relationships intact.
The shocking ending will reveal all to Karin - but at what price to her budding romance?