Tour: As Long As You Love Me by Ann Aguirre


As Long As You Love MeMost people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. There are the justifications she gives to everyone else—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. And then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He can’t pinpoint exactly what’s missing until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her. But he’s the guy that women love and leave—not the one who makes them think of forever.

Though she’s terrified of opening up, Lauren’s ready to take that chance. Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.

   

I pulled into the Stop & Go parking lot, along with four other cars. In another two minutes, I would’ve passed the store.
After the deepening dusk outside, the lights were so bright that I stood for a few seconds blinking as I wiped my feet. A red-haired woman had her back to me, browsing the snack shelves. From behind, she was slender and graceful, even bundled for cold weather. I have a bad feeling about this. As if she sensed me looking at her, she turned—and across the racks of pastries and engine oil, I locked eyes with Avery Jacobs.
Seeing her with Rob last Thanksgiving had driven me crazy. I’d gone out of my way to avoid her; we hadn’t exchanged more than ten words. But seeing her now that she was Rob’s ex wasn’t any better, especially when I compared us. There was no question she was beautiful: tall and slim, natural red hair, stunning features and cool green eyes. Girls had whispered they must be contacts, but if you peered close enough, there was no telltale ring. Her hair was a little shorter, a few more layers, and if anything, she was even thinner than she had been in November.
Shit. Well, this will be awkward. I swung my gaze away and headed for the freezer at the back of the store. Gallon of milk, coming up. But before I could open it, someone grabbed my arm. I didn’t need to turn around to know who it was.
Pulling free, I said, “Hey, Avery. I didn’t know you were back in town.”
“How can you stand yourself?” she demanded.
“Excuse me?” There was an old man trying to get past me to the beer, so I sidestepped, coming up against the hot dog-and-nacho counter.
“You crashed and burned in Michigan, and then, it wasn’t enough to ruin your life, you had to take a run at mine, too.”
“Look, whatever your friend told you, I have nothing to do with any problems you had with Rob.” It seemed best to get it out in the open.
“Bullshit. My cousin saw him kissing you at the Grove.”
Fucking small town. No question, this looked bad, but I refused to accept the home-wrecker tiara. Whatever my feelings for Rob, I’d indulged none of them while he was taken. “After you broke up, because you accused him of cheating.”
“So I gave him the idea? Rob’s slow, but he’s not clueless. In other words, fuck you.”
I sighed. My feet hurt, and my mom was waiting for the damn milk. “How, exactly, do you see this conversation ending?”
“With you admitting that you’re a bitch and a blight on womankind.”
With some effort, I swallowed a scorching retort, mostly because we were attracting an audience. “Agree to disagree. If you’ll excuse me—” She wrenched on my arm, whirling me around, and it fucking hurt. “Get your hands off me.”
“Don’t walk away. I’m not done talking.”
“Well, I am.”
“Don’t you think you owe me something after stealing my boyfriend? Everyone knows you’re desperate, a college dropout.” Her gaze dropped to my stomach. “Oh, I see. You’re hoping to trick poor Rob into thinking the kid’s his.”
 “ “Nice. And I’m the bitch in this situation?” I spoke the b-word deliberately, and she reacted by slapping me so hard I saw stars.
Lifting a palm, I touched my cheek incredulously. “Did you seriously just hit me?”
She opened her mouth to reply, but before she could, I smacked her back. No turning the other cheek. I tried to be fucking reasonable; I tried to leave, but no. She was furious and wanted to kick my ass. So fine, bring it. Avery grabbed my hair and pulled, so I yanked on her earrings. She landed a kick on my shins, which was so third-grade that I rolled my eyes. I stumbled back and laid hands on a cold tray of abandoned nachos. When she came at me, I flung it at her and burst out laughing at her murderous expression as the goopy orange cheese slid down her pretty blue jacket. 
“That’s enough out of you crazy bitches,” the cashier shouted. “Keep it up and I call the cops. How’d you like that?”
Avery’s eyes narrowed. She glanced between me and the redneck behind the register. “What did you say to me?”
“I’m wondering if you want to repeat it, too.” I picked up a jar from the aisle next to me. “Because if I heard you right, I’m about to get crazy with the Cheez Whiz.”


Make sure you grab the entire 2B Trilogy!

2B Trilogy




Author PhotoAnn Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.


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