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Bobby, Breaking the Pattern - BTP 3 paperback

Bobby, Breaking the Pattern - BTP 3 paperback

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From USA Today Bestselling Author, P.D. Workman!

It’s better when she’s happy.

Bobby is a geeky teen who is convinced that his new foster home is everything he has ever hoped for.

His foster mom Katya is so different than any he has ever had; but as her behavior becomes more and more unpredictable and disturbing, he comes to realize that both he and Katya’s daughter Zane are in trouble.

The crazy thing is, Bobby doesn’t want to leave her, and new revelations from Bobby’s own forgotten past throw his quest for a real family into further turmoil.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Poignant and heart wrenching but at the same time exciting, thrilling edge of your seat unputdownable

If you enjoy gritty contemporary young adult books like those by John Green and Stephen Chbosky, give P.D. Workman’s Breaking the Pattern series a try.

By the author of Tattooed Teardrops, winner of the Top Fiction Award, In the Margins Committee, 2016, Bobby’s efforts to make a place for himself with Katya and Zane will enthrall you and keep you guessing.

Start your journey today!

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Chapter 1

Bobby watched the scenery flash past the window, feeling a little car sick. He swallowed and glanced at Elsie.

“What are they like?” he squeaked. He swallowed and cleared his throat. “I wish I didn’t have to l-leave Devonish’s.”

“I know,” Elsie agreed in a low, soothing voice. She fiddled with the radio dial, looking for something to provide background, something to help Bobby stay calm. “But I really think this is going to be good for you. And at your age… it could even be your last foster home.”

Bobby shook his head. Sometimes he stayed in one foster home for a few years, but he always got moved again sooner or later. He wished that this could be his last foster home, but he would’ not count on it.

“Katya is the mom,” Elsie told him. “I really think you’ll like her. She seems really nice, very warm and outgoing. She’s single, no husband or boyfriend on the scene.”

Bobby sucked his cheeks in, thinking about that. Elsie knew that he’d had conflicts with foster fathers before. It didn’t seem to matter whether they were nice or abusive; he always butted heads with them over something. The sporty ones hated how uncoordinated and hopelessly unathletic he was. The brainy ones thought that he should work harder and not be so concerned about his social life. And the abusive ones… well, it didn’t matter what you did, they just didn’t like you out of principle. There was always something.

“That’s good,” he agreed. “And other kids?”

“Just one. A little girl. She’s Katya’s natural daughter. You’re her first foster child.”

“She’s just s-starting out?” Bobby questioned, surprised. Usually, the homes he went to, they’d been fostering for years. All the rules were set up, and they could be as hard-nosed as any social worker.

“Yes, but don’t you go trying to take advantage of her,” she warned. “Show her how much fun it can be.”

Bobby rested his head back against the headrest, closing his eyes. “Yeah. Fun.”

“Now come on,” Elsie remonstrated. “You’ve had some good families. Some good experiences.”

“Yeah. But when you get the g-good ones… then it’s that much worse when you have to l-leave.”

She sighed, tapping her nails on the steering wheel. “I suppose.”

Bobby looked out the window again, looking at the neighborhood. “I haven’t been around here b-before,” he observed.

Elsie nodded. “It’s kind of a funny area. Close to downtown. There’s a real mix of inner-city families that struggle to make ends meet, and then there are the… sort of yuppie families, I guess. Professionals who want to be close to the office. Nice condos, single family dwellings, all that. Quite a combination.”

Bobby nodded. “Which is Katya?” he questioned.

He’d lived with poor families. Some families that really struggled. Families that fostered kids just to have the extra money to try to put food on the table for everyone. Or that they gambled away, trying to make it big.

“Katya would be the latter,” Elsie said, looking as if she were trying to hold back the smile that tugged at the corners of her mouth. “She’s not hurting. It will be a nice change for you.”


Bobby was used to Elsie trying to push him into liking a family before he even saw them. Telling him how great they were, trying to hype it up so that he would be excited about meeting them. But he wasn’t excited about meeting anyone new. He wanted a permanent home. Somewhere he could stay until… until he aged out of the system, he supposed. That was as much as a guy could hope for from the system. Semi-permanent permanence.

“I’ll give them a ch-chance,” he assured Elsie.

She nodded, giving him a warm smile. “I know you will. You’re a good kid.”

Bobby shrugged and felt the warmth of a blush filling his ears and creeping up his face. He flipped down the visor and opened the flap for the vanity mirror and examined himself. He did want to make a good impression on the new family; however much he might hate starting somewhere new again. But what he saw in the mirror wasn’t too impressive. He looked too short, thin, and gawky. His hair was messy. Again. Even though he had combed it and pressed it down before leaving the Devonish house and getting into the car. He hated its tendency to curl. He should have worn a cap to keep it pressed down and keep it from getting messed up. But he didn’t even have a cap to put on. All his clothes were carefully folded and stuffed into his backpack. Anything he couldn’t fit in the backpack was free-for-all for the other kids. All his worldly possessions were in that one bag.

In the visor mirror, his teeth were too prominent. No one wanted to give foster kids braces. It was hugely expensive. And the system wouldn’t pay for it. He could get braces once he was older, an adult looking after himself. Assuming he actually was looking after himself and not in jail or homeless. Many foster kids ended up in dead-end jobs. That’s just the way it was.

Bobby sighed and pushed the visor back up again. He didn’t need to see any more. He could pretend that he didn’t see the rest. The glasses. The slightly misaligned eyes and crooked smile. All the things that made it painfully obvious to the rest of the world that he would never be popular or a jock. He pushed up his glasses as they slid down his sweaty nose, then changed his mind and pulled them off, sliding them out of sight into his shirt pocket.

“You look fine,” Elsie said. “You just smile and be friendly; they’ll love you.”


“You always get along somehow.”

Bobby chewed on his bottom lip. “Yeah.”

She turned the music up a bit, and looked ahead as she drove, leaving him to mentally prepare himself.

Chapter 2

They pulled up in front of a big white house with dark green trim and shutters. Bobby looked at it, his eyes opening wide. That was quite some house. He looked over at Elsie.

“This is it?” he questioned. “Are you s-serious?”

She nodded. “Nice, eh?”

“Holy!” He drew the word out long.

She grinned. “Like I said. She’s not hurting.”

“And only three people l-live here,” Bobby said, shaking his head in wonder.

“That’s right. Just you and Katya and the little girl.”

“Man. Do I get a whole wing to m-myself?”

Elsie laughed. She opened her door and got out of the car. Bobby pushed himself out of his seat. Coming around the car, Elsie put her arm around his shoulders and gave him a friendly squeeze.

“Give them a chance,” she reminded him.

“I’ve got incentive now.” 

They walked up the sidewalk together. Not just a sidewalk with big square slabs of concrete. A beautifully crafted cobblestone, laid out in patterns, lined with bright flowers and greenery on either side. Everything looked as though it had been trimmed to perfection with nail scissors. Bobby adjusted his backpack on his shoulder, inching it up a bit further.

“Okay,” he whispered.

Elsie rang the doorbell.

It was a couple of minutes before the door was opened. Bobby stared slack jawed up at the tall, blond woman. She had to be some kind of model. She was slim, wearing clothes that clung to her curves. And despite her already significant height, she was also wearing platform shoes with long spiked heels, making her tower over both Bobby and Elsie. She gave them a brilliant, wide smile.

“Hello! I am so excited to meet you!”

Elsie nodded. “Katya, this is Bobby Thomas. Bobby, Katya Bernosky, your new foster mom.”

Bobby was still gaping at her speechlessly. He thrust his hand out to her to shake, unable to find any words. Katya laughed and took his hand, not in a firm, businesslike handshake, but in a sort of soft caress. She pulled him to her and gave him a welcoming hug.

“Come in, come in, and see your new home,” she invited.

Elsie remained on the doorstep as Bobby was dragged in the door. “I’ll just leave you to it, Katya,” she said, “I don’t need to stick around.”

Katya made a careless motion with her hand. “Of course,” she agreed. “We’ve already signed all the papers. Unless you want to see…?”

Elsie smiled. “All right. Bye, Bobby. You behave yourself.”

He nodded. “B-b-bye,” he stammered, as Katya shut the big, heavy door.

His stomach was cramping, and he felt sick. The first word he said in front of her. After almost a decade of speech therapy, he should have had the stammer licked.

“Come with me, Bobby,” Katya invited, pulling him along to keep up with her long strides, “I am so excited to show you your new bedroom.”

Bobby picked up his pace to avoid being dragged behind her. She released his hand, but put her hand on his back, guiding him along. Up the grand staircase from the front lobby, whisking past various rooms that he caught only a glimpse of, until she stopped in front of a door with a little wooden name sign mounted on it that said: ‘Bobby’s Room, Keep Out!’

“You like it?” Katya laughed, nodding to the sign. “I know how much teenagers need privacy. Especially teenage boys!”

“Yeah—” Bobby started.

But he didn’t get a chance to finish. She grabbed the door handle and pushed the door open with a whoosh, propelling him inside with the other hand. Bobby stumbled into the room and looked around.

He didn’t know whether she had hired a professional decorator or if she had done it all herself. All he knew was that he had never had a room like that before in his life. Not in any of his foster homes. He had rarely even had a room to himself, for a few days or a week between other foster children transferring out of the home and new ones transferring in. Usually, it was three or four to a room, in bunk beds, squeezed claustrophobically close together. But this… he’d never even seen something like this.

The ceiling was painted a deep blue, almost black, with stars dotting it. Not just random stars, but apparently a real picture of the night sky. Bobby didn’t know many constellations, but he recognized the big and little dippers and Orion’s belt. The bed was piled deep with white and red sheets, blankets, and pillows. There was a work desk with a computer set up on it and ‘Welcome Bobby’ running in a banner across the screen. Shelves full of books, including graphic novels, and a dictionary and thesaurus for reference. There was a display shelf with various miscellany. It included a baseball on a display plaque. Bobby took a closer look at it and could see that it was autographed, but he wasn’t sure whose signature it was. He smiled tentatively at Katya, sure that he was supposed to be impressed by it. There were framed posters on the wall, actors, and athletes. He could see from the door that there were already clothes hanging in the huge closet on his right. Katya looked at Bobby expectantly.

“Th-th-this is…” Bobby fumbled with his words. “Wow. Wow.”

“You like it?” she prompted, eyes bright.

Bobby nodded vigorously. “I d-do,” he agreed.

“Good. I put a lot of work into it for you,” she commented.

Bobby continued to nod. He swallowed and licked his lips. “It’s g-great,” he assured her.

“Well, I guess I’ll leave you to make yourself comfortable.” She indicated the computer. “There are movies on there if you want to watch something, and some music, but I didn’t know what you would like. You have your own bathroom.” She pointed to a closed door beside the closet. “Please try to keep it clean.”

“Yeah,” Bobby agreed. “I will.”

She gave him another impulsive squeeze around the shoulders. “It’s going to be so much fun having you around, Bobby,” she said, showing off her perfect, even teeth in a broad smile.

Bobby nodded and gave her a half-hearted pat on the back, wanting to return the affection, but not sure what to do. She was obviously a touchy person, and he wasn’t that into hugs.

“Thanks,” he said.

Katya giggled, and retreated from the room, shutting the door behind her. Bobby slowly looked around the room, taking in more details that he had missed the first time. A hand-held gaming system on the bedside table. A fancy-looking watch beside it. A beanbag chair in the corner with a set of headphones lying beside it. Bobby dropped backward onto the bed, landing with a poof in the pile of soft bedding.

This was going to be the most incredible foster home ever.

Available Formats

Bobby, Breaking the Pattern - BTP 3 paperbackBobby, Breaking the Pattern - BTP 3 ebook

P.D. (Pamela) Workman is a USA Today Bestselling author, winner of several awards from Library Services for Youth in Custody and the InD’tale Magazine’s Crowned Heart award, and has published over 100 mystery/suspense/thriller and young adult books.

Workman loves writing about the underdog. She has been praised for her realistic details, deep characterization, and sensitive handling of the serious social issues that appear in her stories, from light cozy mysteries to darker, grittier young adult and mystery/suspense books.

P. D. Workman does not shy from probing the deep psychological scars of childhood trauma, mental illness, and addiction. Also characteristic of this author, these extremely sensitive issues are explored with extensive empathy, described with incredible clarity, and portrayed with profound insight.
—Kim, Goodreads reviewer