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Read an excerpt from Jennifer Armentrout's If There's No Tomorrow
‘If There’s No Tomorrow’ hits shelves Sept. 5.
Posted on April 10, 2017 at 3:01pm EDT
Jennifer Armentrout, author of The Problem With Forever, is back with a new book this fall: If There’s No Tomorrow follows high school senior Lena Wise, who is finally about to tell her childhood best friend Sebastian her true feelings about him… when an accident that she helped cause derails that plan entirely. As her guilt grows every day, she wonders whether she’ll ever be able to move on, especially when Sebastian might never forgive her.
In advance of the book’s Sept. 5 publication, EW exclusively reveals the cover and a sneak peek inside, below.
Excerpt from If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer Armentrout
I couldn’t move, and everything hurt—my skin felt stretched too tight, muscles burned like they’d been lit on fire, and my bones ached deep into the marrow.
Confusion swamped me. My brain felt like it was full of cobwebs and fog. I tried to lift my arms, but they were weighed down, full of lead.
I thought I heard a steady beeping sound and voices, but all of it seemed far away, as if I was on one end of the tunnel and everything else was on the other.
I couldn’t speak. There… there was something in my throat, in the back of my throat. My arm twitched without warning, and there was a tug at the top of my hand.
Why wouldn’t my eyes open?
Panic started to dig in. Why couldn’t I move?
Something was wrong. Something was really wrong. I just wanted to open my eyes. I wanted—
The voices echoed in my head, one of them mine. Definitely mine, and the other…
“She’s starting to wake up,” a female voice interrupted my thoughts from somewhere on the other side of the tunnel.
Footsteps neared and a male spoke, “Getting the propofol in now.”
“This is the second time she’s woken up,” the woman replied. “Hell of a fighter. Her mother is going to be happy to hear that.”
Fighter? I didn’t understand what they were talking about, why they thought my mom would be happy to hear this—
“Maybe I should drive?”
Warmth hit my veins, starting at the base of my skull and then washing over me, cascading through my body and then there were no dreams, no thoughts, and no voices.
“All I have to say is that you almost had sex with that.”
Scrunching my nose, I stared down at the phone Darynda Jones—Dary for short—had shoved in my face five seconds after walking into Joanna’s.
Joanna’s had been a staple in downtown Clearbrook since I was knee high to a grasshopper. The restaurant was kind of stuck in the past, weirdly existing somewhere between big hair bands and the rise of Britney Spears, but it was clean and cozy, and practically everything that came out of the kitchen was fried. Plus it had the best sweet tea in the entire state of Virginia.
“Oh man,” I murmured. “What in the world is he doing?”
“What does it look like?” Dary’s eyes widened behind her white plastic framed glasses. “He’s basically humping a blow up dolphin.”
I pressed my lips together, because yep, that’s what it looked like.
Whipping her phone out of my face, she cocked her head to the side. “What were you thinking?”
“He’s cute—was cute,” I explained lamely as I glanced over my shoulder. Luckily no one else was within hearing range. “And I didn’t have sex with him.”
She rolled dark brown eyes. “Your mouth was on his mouth and his hands—”
“All right.” I threw up my hands, warding off whatever else was about to say. “I get it. Hooking up with Cody was a mistake. Trust me. I know. I’m trying to erase all of that from my memory and you’re not helping.”
Leaning over the counter I was standing behind, she whispered, “I’ll never let you live that down.” She grinned when my eyes narrowed. “But I understand. He has muscles on top of muscles. He’s kind of dumb-but-fun.”There was a dramatic pause,
Everything about Dary was dramatic, from the often abhorrently bright clothing she wore to the super short hair, cropped on the sides and a riot of curls on the top. Right now her hair was black. Last month it was lavender. In two months, it would probably be pink.
“And he’s Sebastian’s friend.”
I felt my stomach twist into knots. “That has nothing to do with Sebastian.”
“You’re so lucky I actually like you,” I shot back.
“Whatever. You love me.” She smacked her hands down on the counter. “You’re working this weekend, right?”
“Yeah. Why? Thought you were going to DC with your family this weekend?”
She sighed. “A weekend? I wish. We’re going to DC for the whole week. We leave tomorrow morning. Mom can’t wait. I swear she actually has an itinerary for us, like which museums she wants to visit, the expected time in each one, and when we will have our lunches and dinners.”
My lips twitched. Her mom was ridiculously organized, down to labeled baskets for gloves and scarfs. “The museums will be fun.”
“Of course you think that. You’re a nerd.”
“No point in denying that. It’s true.” And I had no problem admitting it. I wanted to go to college and study anthropology. Most people would ask what in the hell would you do with a degree in that, but there were a lot of opportunities like working in forensics, corporate gigs, teaching, and more. What I wanted to do actually involved working in museums, so I would’ve loved a trip to D.C.
“Yeah. Yeah.” Dary hopped off the red-vinyl barstool. “I got to go before Mom freaks. If I’m five minutes passed my curfew, she’ll call the cops, convinced I’ve been abducted.”
I grinned. “Text me later, okay?”
Waving goodbye, I grabbed the damp rag and ran it along the narrow countertop. Pots clanged together, echoing out from the kitchen, signaling it was close to shutting down for the night.
I could not wait to get home, shower off the scent of fried chicken tenders and burnt tomato soup, and finish reading the latest drama surrounding Feyre and the fae courts. Then I was moving on to that sexy contemporary read I’d seen people talking about in the Facebook book club I lurked in, something about Royals and hot brothers. Five of them.
Sign me up for that.
I swore half the money I made waitressing at Joanna’s went to buying books instead of my savings account, but I couldn’t help myself.
After wiping around the napkin dispensers, I lifted my chin and blew a strand of brown hair that had escaped my bun out of my face as the bell above the door rang and a slight figure stepped inside.
I dropped the lemony-scented rag with surprise. A breeze could’ve knocked me flat on my face.
For the most part, the only time anyone under the age of sixty came into Joanna’s was on Friday nights after the football games, and sometimes Saturday evenings during the summer. Definitely not on Thursday nights.
Joanna’s made its bread and butter off of certified AARP members, which was one of the reasons why I started waitressing here during the summer. It was easy and I needed the extra money.
The fact that Skylar Welch was standing just inside of Joanna’s, ten minutes before closing, was a shock. She never came in here alone. Never.
Bright headlights pierced the darkness outside. She’d left her BMW running, and I was willing to bet she had a car full of girls just as pretty and perfect as her.
But nowhere near as nice.
I’d spent the last million years harboring a rabid case of bitter jealousy when it came to Skylar. But the worse part was that she was genuinely sweet, which made hating her a crime against humanity, puppies and rainbows.
Tentatively walking forward like she expected the black and white linoleum floor to rip open and swallow her whole, she brushed her light brown, blonde at the end, hair over her shoulder. Even in the horrible fluorescent lights, her summer tan was deep and flawless.
“Hey.” I straightened, hoping she wasn’t going to place an order. If she wanted something to eat, Bobby was going to be pissed, and I was going to have to spend five minutes convincing him to cook whatever she wanted. “What’s going on?”
“Nothing much.” She bit down on her glossy, bubble-gum pink lip. Stopping next to the red-vinyl barstools, she took a deep breath. “You’re about to close, aren’t you?”
I nodded slowly. “In about ten minutes.”
“Sorry. I won’t take long. I actually wasn’t planning to stop here.” I silently added a sarcastic ‘Really?’ “The girls and I were heading out to the lake. Some of the guys are having a party, and we drove past here,” she explained. “I thought I’d stop by and see if… if you knew when Sebastian was coming home.”
I clenched my jaw shut. It should’ve been obvious the moment Skylar walked through those doors that she was here about Sebastian, because why else would she be talking to me? Yeah, she was sugary sweet, but we didn’t operate in the same circles at school. Half of the time I was invisible to her and her friends.
Which was okay with me.
“I don’t know.” That was a lie. Sebastian was supposed to come home from North Carolina on Saturday morning. He and his parents were visiting his cousins for the summer.
A twisty pang lit up my chest, a mixture of yearning and panic—two feelings I was well acquainted with when it came to Sebastian.
“Really?” Surprise colored her tone.
I fixed a blank expression on my face. “I’m guessing he’ll be back this weekend sometime. Maybe.”
“Yeah. I guess.” Her gaze dropped to the counter as she fidgeted with the hem of her slinky black tank top. “He hasn’t…I haven’t heard from him. I’ve texted and called, but….”
I wiped my hands along my shorts. I had no idea what to say. This was so incredibly awkward. Part of me wanted to be a total bitch and point out that if Sebastian wanted to talk to her, he would’ve responded, but that just wasn’t me.
I was the kind of person who thought things but never said them.
“I think he’s been really busy,” I said finally. “His dad wanted him to check out some of the universities down there and he hadn’t seen his cousins in years.”
Someone out in the BMW slammed on the horn and Skylar looked over her shoulder. My brows rose while I silently prayed that whoever was in the car stayed in that car. A moment passed, and Skylar tucked bone-straight hair behind her ear as she turned back to face me. “Can I ask you one more thing?”
“Sure.” Not like I was actually going to say no even though I was picturing a black hole appearing in the diner and sucking me into its vortex.
A faint smile appeared. “Is he with someone else?”
I stared at her, wondering if I lived through a different history of Sebastian and Skylar.
From the moment she moved to Clearbrook, population meh, she’d attached herself to Sebastian. Not that anyone would blame her. Sebastian came out of his mom’s womb stunning and charming everyone around him. Those two got together in middle school and had dated all through high school, becoming the King and Queen of Coupledom. I’d resigned myself to the fact I’d have to force myself to attend their wedding at some point in the future.
But then spring happened….
“You broke up with him,” I reminded her as gently as I could. “I’m not trying to sound like a bitch, but what does it matter if he’s with someone else?”
Skylar curled a slender arm across her waist. “I know, I know. But it matters. I just…. Have you never made a huge mistake?”
“Tons,” I replied dryly. The list was longer than my leg and arm combined.
“Well, breaking up with him was one of my mistakes. I think, at least.” She stepped back from the counter. “Anyway, if you see him, can you tell him that I stopped by?”
That was the last thing I wanted to do, but I nodded because I would tell him. Because I was that person.
Skylar smiled then. It was real, and made me feel like I should be a better person or something. “Thanks,” she said. “I guess I’ll see you at school in a week or so? Or at one of the parties?”
“Yep.” I fixed a smile on my face that felt brittle and probably looked half-crazed.
Wiggling her fingers goodbye, Skylar turned and walked toward the door. She reached for the handle, but stopped and looked over her shoulder at me. A strange look crossed her face. “Does he know about you?”
The corners of my lips started to turn down. What was there to know about me that Sebastian didn’t already know? I was legit boring. I read more than I actually talked to people, And was obsessed with the History Channel and shows like Ancient Aliens. I played volleyball and even though I really wasn’t that good at it, our school sucked so I made the team. Honestly, I would’ve never started playing if it hadn’t been for Megan conniving me into it when we were freshman. Not that I didn’t have fun, but yeah, I was as stimulating as white bread.
There were literally no hidden secrets to uncover.
Well, I was scared to death of squirrels. They were like rats with bushy tails, and they were mean.No one knew that, because that was super embarrassing. But I doubted that was what Skylar was talking about.
Jarred out of my thoughts, I blinked. “What about me?”
She was quiet for a moment. “Does he know you’re in love with him?”Get the latest TV news from Entertainment Weekly Ken Liu tells 'Star Wars' tall tales in 'The Legends of Luke Skywalker' novel Watch the chilling trailer for Krysten Ritter's new book 'Bonfire' How Neil Gaiman made the scariest horror comic of all time Preview the Harry Potter anniversary exhibit at the British Library Most Popular
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It’s getting to be that time of year! You all know what we’re talking about … chilly weather, a great cup of hot chocolate (or coffee, or tea, or a hot toddy, maybe?), a warm blanket, and of course a good book! Since we can’t possibly wait any longer to snuggle up with the winter anthology BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE by Jennifer Probst, Emma Chase, Kristen Proby, Melody Anne and Kate Meader, we’re offering all you XOXO’ers out there a chance to read excerpts from all five stories before the book is even on sale on October 28th! First up? An excerpt from Searching For You by Jennifer Probst. Be sure to check back every day this week for a new excerpt from these five lovely ladies!
Searching For You by Jennifer Probst in BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
The world tumbled in slow motion, then stopped for a brief moment. Her blood rushed in her veins, wetness seeped between her thighs, her pulse pounded with a mad glee, and then he kissed her and it was all over.
A low moan ripped from her throat at contact and his tongue plunged deep. Completely raw, with little finesse and all dark hunger, he invaded her mouth.
The past and present blurred together, but this time, there was no retreat. Meeting him halfway, their tongues tangled and fought in a sensual dual she was happy to lose. He claimed and plundered, pressing her back over the chair until she was stretched out and he loomed over her. His other hand cupped her breast, flicking the tight bud of her nipple. She gripped his shoulders and arched against him, asking for more, and without breaking the kiss, his hand slipped underneath the V neck, under the lace of her bra, and hit bare skin.
Oh, God. It felt so good, his fingers tweaking, causing a lightning bolt to hit straight to her clit, which was so full and desperate for pressure. Never had her body lit up so fast, with just a kiss and simple touch. Usually it took awhile for foreplay to get her going, but holy crap, she was going to come right now if she could just lift her hips a bit and rub—
“Don’t think so, my little hellcat.” He murmured the words against her lips, pausing to bite, then suck. “I waited ten years to have you. I’m not letting you get off on a quick rub in the chair.”
She should be completely embarrassed, but Riley was beyond caring how she got there. She wasn’t into casual sex or one-night stands—she was on the hunt for a husband. But right now, tonight, the need in her body hurt too much. Her hunger reached beyond any type of rationality. Riley craved the hard fall of the unknown, living the fantasy of becoming his lover for one night. Plenty of time to restock and get her plan back in order tomorrow. She tugged harder, trying to lift her ass higher. “You win. I want you.”
He chuckled low and dirty. “Oh, baby, you’re still gonna pay.”
Shivers raced down her spine. He teased her nipple, flicking it back and forth, until it was so taut and swollen she knew one swipe of his tongue could take care of the agony. “I didn’t do anything.”
He broke the kiss and looked deep in her eyes. “You did everything. You just don’t know it yet.”
The words made no sense, but he gave her no time to ponder. He lifted her up and pressed her down on the dining room table. With deft motions, he moved the empty plates and her wineglass. Her legs dangled over the side, her back supported by the marble. Riley waited for the frantic pull of clothes, the feel of skin on skin, the mad rush toward orgasm that usually accompanied a passionate encounter. Instead, he towered over her at the edge. With his exotic, simmering gaze trained on hers, Dylan smiled, telling her immediately he was in no rush.
Oh, God, he was going to kill her.
He toed off his shoes and pulled off his sweater with one easy motion. His skin gleamed in the firelight, a beautiful golden brown, with well-defined pecs and biceps. A line of light hair traveled down washboard abs and disappeared into his jeans. Her fingers fisted to unsnap, rip them off, and feast. Riley was just about to jump him when he moved out of reach.
“Stay there. Don’t move.”
He grabbed one of the candles and disappeared, coming back with a few wrapped packages he placed beside him. Oh yeah. Condoms. Thank God he remembered, because her mind had become putty, just like her body.
Without a word, he pulled off each of her boots, rubbing her foot through the stockings in a slow massage. As he pressed into her instep, she swallowed a moan and kicked her leg a bit so he’d get on with the more important parts. Her body throbbed for relief, but he took his time with each foot, then gently let them sway back, dangling in midair.
“Umm, we started at a good pace there, but things have slowed.”
A glint of white teeth flashed. “Ever hear the motto ‘it’s all in the journey and not the destination’?”
“Yeah. I always thought that was bullshit.” She scooted an inch down and wiggled her hips. “Getting to goal is a good thing.” The thought of a mind-blowing orgasm with her secret fantasy had all her circuits firing. She enjoyed sex, but found her mind was way too involved, so she did best with a quick, intense session that got her to climax. Riley had accepted her limitations and issues a long time ago, and though many times she wished to be less complicated, she also realized it was easier to accept and move on than try and fight her natural inclinations.
“What if I told you I intend to change your mind?” He played with her ankle, slipping his fingers under her pants and rubbing her calf. Damn, the man could’ve been a massage therapist and made a million. Her muscles flexed while he kneaded, then caressed the back of her knee. Bolts of pleasure streaked through her. “What if I told you I don’t intend to let you get to goal until you’re begging me?”
Uh, yeah. Good try. But she was so hot right now, as soon as he got close for any friction she’d take care of herself. Besides, he didn’t know about her issues of nonstop mental chatter. Still, she smiled. “I’d say good luck.”
His grin was very smug and very male. A shiver of warning trickled down her spine. She’d never begged for anything in her life, especially for a man to satisfy her. She didn’t intend to start now.
Dylan leaned over and skated both hands higher, pausing right underneath her thighs. He squeezed hard, and her hips lifted unconsciously. “I’m going to love every moment of this.” With one deft movement, he gripped the material of her pants and pulled them off her. The white lace of her panties was already past damp, but when she tried to close her legs an inch, he lifted her legs high and placed them on the edge of the table. Far apart.
Riley sucked in a breath, feeling exposed everywhere. His hot gaze took in every inch of her skin, lingering on her most private parts, until a secret thrill began to build. Something dark and dirty stirred to life. A man never took the time to study her body with such razor intent, as if dying to ravish, taste, mate. She trembled, not knowing what to do with the crazy feelings beginning to surge.
“So pretty,” he murmured, tracing one index finger over the elastic, skimming over the front so she struggled to remain still. “So wet. But not enough. Not yet.”
His talk shocked her. Men didn’t talk . . . like that. Did they? And why did she like it? Dylan leaned over, and she released a sigh, waiting for the final barrier to be off and feel him inside her.
Instead, he lowered his mouth and pressed kisses over her thighs with a leisurely intent that told her he was in no rush. His tongue lashed out at her, tasting the sensitive skin of her inner thigh, knee, calves, and slowly back up. Her mind spun and grabbed for purchase, but there was no logic. She tried to grab his head and urge him upward, but he ignored her. A nibble here, a lick there; his hands consistently roved, pushing up her sweater and dipping into her belly button, squeezing her hips, playing with the damn elastic of her panties until a whimper broke from her lips.
Finally, he inched his way back up. The heat of his skin burned into hers, and with the same easy pace, he pushed up the sweater, propped her up, and guided it over her head.
“You taste like I imagined. Exotic. Sweet.”
Her voice sounded like sandpaper. “Orange blossom body lotion.”
“Yes, that’s in there, too. Dylan, what are you doing?” Her eyes begged him to give her the orgasm and stop the torture, but the wicked grin that tugged at his lips told her he had other plans.
“Everything. By the time I taste your pussy, you’ll beg me to let you come against my tongue. And I’ll demand it, Riley. Every last bit of it is mine.”
Filthy. Words like this had never been spoken to her, but she grew wetter, and her skin itched with such sensitivity she rolled back and forth in an effort to soothe. He laughed, cupping her breasts through the sheer white lace that matched her panties. Her nipples were already hard and aching, desperate to be released from their prison, but he just dipped his head and began licking her through the material, scraping his teeth over the sensitive nub again and again until a low scream built at the back of her throat. His erection behind his jeans seemed massive, pressed against her swollen core, and she half lifted to press against him. His teeth nipped sharply against her nipple and she cried out. The pain lashed and turned to excruciating pleasure, forcing her head to thrash back and forth. Too much. It was all too much.
“I can’t do this,” she moaned. “It’s taking too long.”
Dylan unsnapped her bra and cupped her bare breasts, lifting them up to his mouth. “It’s never enough. Not for you. Don’t know what dickheads you’ve been with, but ‘wham bam thank you ma’am’ is not your style.”
His lips closed around her nipple and he sucked. She held on to him in a fierce grip, arched upward, burning alive to satisfy the ache between her legs and the need for this man to take all of her, any way he wanted, over and over and over.
“Open your mouth for me, Riley.” His eyes seethed with demand and lust. “Now.”
His tongue surged between her lips and she almost wept with the pleasure. He plundered every last secret, then softened the pressure so he could play. The dual effects of hard and soft, rough and gentle, slow and fast, broke down her mental barriers and left her with nothing.
By the time he broke the kiss and moved his way back down her body, Riley was ready to surrender. “Oh, please,” she whispered. “Please.”
“Better. You’re almost there.” He tugged off her panties and laid her bare for his gaze. “Do you know how long I fantasized about tasting you here?” He dragged a finger over her dripping slit, lightly playing on her clit, and Riley writhed with a dark need to let him do anything. “Is that what you want?”
“Ask me, Riley. Beg me.”
“P-p-please kiss me there.”
Shame burned within but she was past caring. “Please kiss my pussy. Please lick me.”
“Beautiful. You’re so beautiful, you were made for this. For me.” He cupped her ass and lifted her up for his mouth. The first wet swipe of his tongue caused a long wail to escape her lips. He avoided her clit, once again taking his time, murmuring terrible, dirty words about her pussy, curling two fingers and plunging inside her at the same time he licked her clit, so lightly and gently Riley felt the last of her sanity shred.
“Dylan, please! I need—I’m begging!”
Without hesitation, he increased the pressure and pounded three fingers into her weeping channel.
The climax tore through her, stole her breath, and ripped her to pieces. She screamed and bucked beneath him, but he never stopped, dragging the pleasure on and on until she was a shivering, trembling mass of exposed nerves.
Riley collapsed, boneless. The hiss of a zipper cut to her ears. The rip of a wrapper. And then he was dragging her down the length of the table, her legs spread wide, feet propped high on his shoulders, completely open to anything he wanted to do.
His cock paused at her entrance. Pushed in an inch. Another. Slowly, he filled her completely, taking everything she had without apology. She stretched to accommodate him, relishing the tightness, and when he was buried deep within her, he interweaved his fingers with hers.
His voice broke. “It’s you. Why didn’t I realize? It’s always been you.”
She had no time to process the words or their meaning. He withdrew all the way, then slammed himself fully back, sheathing his throbbing dick to the hilt. Again. Again. Again.
The ride was wild, long, choppy, thrilling. The second climax shimmered just out of reach, the feeling of him taking over her body, his hips working in a primitive dance, sweat drenching their skin, over and over until—
Riley broke apart, dimly noting him following her over the edge. She gripped his hands as her only anchor, his weight pressing her against the table, until they collapsed.
She closed her eyes.
Her mind was completely and blissfully empty.Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Jennifer Probst, Emma Chase, Kristen Proby, Melody Anne & Kate Meader
Outside it may be frosty, so turn the heat way up with these stories of desire!Searching for Someday by Jennifer Probst Available until August 21st
When Kate launches her own matchmaking company, Kinnection, with her two best friends in a cozy New York town, she has to put aside her own romantic disasters to make her business a success. But when a furious Slade stalks into her office and accuses her business of being a scam, Kate is given the ultimate challenge to prove herself--find Slade his match.Searching for Perfect by Jennifer Probst
The highly anticipated second novel in the new Searching For series from Jennifer Probst, "one of the most exciting breakout novelists" (USA TODAY)—a spin-off of the bestselling Marriage to a Billionaire series—featuring a sexy matchmaker, and the rocket scientist who becomes her special project…Searching for Beautiful
Genevieve MacKenzie has her life completely under control. About to wed the charming Chief doctor at the local hospital, she’s an up-and-coming surgeon with everything she could ever want. Until an escape through the church window on the day of her wedding sends her life into a tailspin…and flings her right into her (hunky) best friend’s arms.Leave a Reply
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