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Take These Broken Wings - Summer Lake Seasons Book 1 (ebook)

Take These Broken Wings - Summer Lake Seasons Book 1 (ebook)

Sweet n Steamy

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 582+ 5-Star Reviews

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When you fall in love, can you ever have it all?

That’s a question Angel and Luke can’t answer—yet.

It’s taken these two a long time to get together. And it’s taken Luke even longer to get the chance at his dream job. Taking it will mean he has to move two thousand miles away from Angel.

What’s a guy supposed to do when he has to choose between his dream job and his dream girl?

She won’t ask him to choose her; she knows neither of them would be happy if he did.

He knows he can’t give her up.

Pick up your copy of this first book in the new Summer Lake Seasons series that will keep you turning the pages to discover how these two can find their way to forever.

Available to Read on Kindle, Nook, iThings, Kobo, Phone, Computer, Tablet, Etc! 

Your eBook will be delivered to your provided email address by BookFunnel. 

Take These Broken Wings is the first book in USA Today Bestselling Author SJ McCoy's international hit Summer Lake Seasons series, loved by over 1,000,000 fans of sweet and steamy romances. 

Readers say:

"My New Favorite Romance Writer!"

"Another Brilliant Journey!"

"Oh my gosh!!!!!!! I love this story so much." 

"This, like everything by SJ, is a definite must read. You will not be disappointed!"

"Beautifully written and always a great time returning to Summer Lake! Can’t wait for my next trip there!"

"I Love that I can jump into a McCoy book, and be lost for hours!"

"I fell in love with Luke!"

"Didn't want it to end. A few nail biting twists and turns. Awesome read!!!"

"Gripped from the first page as usual, drawn in by characters that seem like old friends and family. This new series follows on seamlessly from the other series either set in Summer Lake, Montana or Napa Valley as the same characters weave in and out of all the story lines, once read can't stop reading them! Waiting now, impatiently, for the next book!!!!!" 

Chapter One Look Inside

Chapter One

“I can’t make it.” Angel gave Kenzie a sad smile.

“Can’t or won’t?” asked Kenzie with a hard stare.

“Okay. I guess the honest answer is, I won’t.”

Kenzie’s face relaxed. “That’s fair enough. As long as you’re being honest, I don’t mind. If you prefer to stay here and work your ass off instead of coming down to the city with us, then that’s your choice. I just like to pull you up about it every now and then and make you admit that you do have a choice.”

Angel smiled. “I know, and I appreciate it. I tend to fall into the rut of believing that I can’t ever do anything but work. It does me good to be reminded that it’s my own doing.”

“I wish you’d choose to play instead of work more often,” said Maria.

“Hey, I’m doing better than I used to.”

“I’ll give you that,” said Kenzie. “There was a time, not so long ago, when you wouldn’t have dreamed of taking a night off like this.”

Angel nodded happily. “And now we do it every other Thursday, and I look forward to it.”

It was true. She didn’t want to admit just how much she looked forward to these Thursday evenings with the girls. If she was honest—and she didn’t really want to be honest out loud because she knew how sad it would sound—this was the highlight of her week. The highlight of the life she’d made since she moved to Summer Lake nearly eighteen months ago. She’d made some good friends, and she loved her job, but she’d allowed her job to be the center of her existence. People around here considered her a workaholic, and she had to concede that they had a point. At least, every other Thursday, she met up with the girls over here at the plaza, and they sat out on the terrace for dinner.

“So, if you’re not going to come to the city next weekend, when are you going to come out for some fun?” asked Kenzie.

“Two weeks from tonight?” Angel knew it wasn’t the answer Kenzie was looking for, but it was all she could come up with.

Kenzie gave her that hard stare again and shook her head. “That doesn’t count. I’ve already got you locked in for our Thursday girls’ nights; I’m looking to step it up.”

Angel shook her head. “I don’t need it stepping up. I’m perfectly fine with my little life. Work keeps me busy enough.”

Maria laughed. “You know what she’s trying to do, don’t you?”

“I do.” Kenzie had been hounding Angel for weeks, if not months now. She wanted her to start going out more—so that she could meet a guy. “And it’s not going to work.”

“Why not? You’ve had a couple of years to get over the asshole you were engaged to. What almost happened between you and Ben is ancient history. You need to get back in the saddle.”

Angel rolled her eyes and looked at Maria for help.

Maria shrugged. “Don’t look at me. I agree with her. You should start dating again, have some fun. Life isn’t supposed to be all about work, and I hate to say it, but you’re not getting any younger.”

Angel laughed. “And what’s that got to do with anything?”

“Just that if you want to get married and have children, you don’t want to wait forever.”

Angel held her gaze for a moment. She wanted to feel angry or insulted, but she didn’t. She knew where Maria was coming from. She was simply projecting her own desires and fears. “I’m in no hurry.”

Kenzie rolled her eyes. “Just because you want to settle down doesn’t mean Angel does, and it sure as hell isn’t why I’m trying to get her out. She needs to have some fun.”

“I do have fun. I enjoy my job. I love what I do.”

They all looked up as the server came to their table with another round of drinks. “Here you go, ladies. Is it just the three of you tonight?”

Angel nodded. “Yeah …” She was about to explain that all the other girls who usually came were busy, but as she thought about it, she realized that they were all doing things with their husbands or children or helping out their best friends. The realization that she didn’t have any of those made her close her mouth again. Maria caught her eye but didn’t say anything.

Kenzie blew out a sigh. “We’re the ones who are out for a good time. Right?”

Angel laughed. “Yes, and I’m having a good time, thank you. Hanging out with the two of you like this is my idea of fun.”

“Hey, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy this, too,” said Kenzie, “but I have a hot husband to go home to. I have no interest in babies—or children other than my two nephews. I have my sister around the corner and more friends and relatives here than I know what to do with. I have so much, I want you to have something; that’s all.”

“I keep telling you; I’m fine. And why do you keep focusing on me, anyway? Maria’s in the same boat.”

“Not really,” said Maria with a smile. “I get out and do things. I don’t have my family here, but I spend a lot of my time on the phone with them.”

“Yeah, and she’s dated a couple of guys, too,” added Kenzie.

Maria shrugged.

Angel wanted to set Kenzie straight about that, but the look Maria shot her made her think better of it. “I don’t want to date anyone. You know my history. I’m a total screw-up when it comes to men.”

“No, you’re not. You just had a run of bad luck. You need to put it behind you.” Kenzie smiled. “Have you seen anything of Luke lately?”

“No.” If Angel wanted to date anyone, it’d be Luke. Even the mention of his name sent shivers down her spine. “He’s not interested anymore. I missed my chance there.”

“Pft!” Kenzie gave her a withering look. “You so have not. The poor guy just got tired of getting the cold shoulder. You froze him out. If you showed him just the tiniest bit of warmth, I’ll bet it’d heat him right back up, and the two of you would be burning up the sheets in no time.”

Maria nodded eagerly. “You know she’s right. If you really are thinking about dating again, Luke’s the place to start.”

“I’m not, though, am I? It’s Kenzie who’s thinking about me dating again.” Angel turned and looked across the square to the clock tower. She was starting to want the evening to be over. She’d forced herself to forget about Luke. He’d been interested in her, she wouldn’t deny that, and she’d been interested in him. She still was, but she’d put him off so many times that he’d stopped asking. She couldn’t blame the guy.

When she turned back, Kenzie met her gaze. “Regrets?”

Angel gave her a rueful smile. “Is it being a bartender that makes you so perceptive, or did you become a bartender because you see through people so well—and don’t mind telling them what they should do?”

Kenzie shrugged. “I found my calling in life, I guess. And being a bartender means I need to be able to tell when people have had enough. And I think you have, for tonight. I’ll let you off the hook. But do me a favor? Think about it. Wouldn’t your life be a little more enjoyable if you got to go out and have fun with Luke occasionally?” She smiled. “And wouldn’t you be a little happier if you got to take him to bed and have fun with him sometimes?”

“Maybe. But I blew my chance with him a long time ago.”

Maria shook her head. “I don’t think so. If he thought you were interested, he’d come back around like a flash.”

Angel shrugged. She’d like to think they were right, but it was easier for her to keep believing that she’d blown her chance. That door was closed.

A little while later, Angel walked them back to Maria’s car. They’d driven over here together to meet her when she finished work.

“Do you want us to wait and you can follow us back?” Maria asked.

“No, thanks. It’s fine. I make that drive every night. I know it like the back of my hand now.”

“Okay. Come over to the store tomorrow if you want to go for lunch.”

“I might do that.” Angel smiled at Kenzie. “And I’ll see you soon.”

“Yep. Call me, and we’ll see what we can set up. Just because you don’t want to come to the city doesn’t mean you get to hide from me for two weeks.”

“I won’t hide. We can go for coffee on my day off or something.”

“Sounds good. And you know if you don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

Angel waved as she watched them drive away. She was grateful she had them in her life. Maria worked at Laura Hamilton’s jewelry store and had since it first opened. The two of them had met in the first few weeks Angel had been managing the lodge at Four Mile Creek. As two of the first employees at the new development, and both being new to town, they’d made friends quickly and easily, and in the last eighteen months had discovered that their friendship was more than one of convenience.

Kenzie had been a very different story. None of the locals had been too welcoming to Angel because they’d felt that Ben, who owned the resort, was showing too much interest in her, and they were all holding out for him to get back with his long-lost love, Charlotte. Kenzie had been the least welcoming of all. Angel understood now that she was simply protecting Ben in her own way, and once he and Charlotte had gotten back together and gotten married, Kenzie had gone out of her way to make Angel welcome. Theirs was an unlikely friendship, but it was one that Angel treasured.

She turned back to the lodge. She didn’t need to go in. She had her car keys in her purse, she could just get in the car and go home. She set out and climbed the steps to the reception area. Who was she kidding? She couldn’t just go home. She had to check on everything, make sure there were no issues she needed to handle before she headed back to the other side of the lake.

Roxy rolled her eyes when she saw her. “I thought you were having dinner with your friends and then going home?”

Angel approached the reception desk where she was sitting. “It’s nice to see you, too. Is everything okay?”

“Everything’s fine. There are no problems, no issues, and everything is under control. It’s a good thing that I understand you; otherwise, I might be offended. I’m the night manager. I’m paid to manage things—at night—when you’re supposed to be off work and out with your friends, or at least at home, relaxing.”

Angel smiled. “But you do understand me. It’s not about you. I don’t doubt you or your abilities. I just … I can’t … I need …” She drew in a deep breath. She didn’t normally get tongue-tied around her staff.

Roxy let out a low chuckle. “I know what you need, but it isn’t any of the things you were about to say.”

Angel raised an eyebrow. “Go on then, wise one. What do I need?”

Roxy laughed again. “You need to get laid. Then you wouldn’t be so uptight.”

Angel had to laugh with her. “You might have a point there. But I already heard all about it from Kenzie. I don’t need to hear it again tonight, thank you.”

Roxy shrugged. “Fair enough. But you should listen. Kenzie’s smart.” The phone started to ring, and Roxy reached for it quickly before Angel could. “You’re off work. Go home, relax. Watch a movie.” She smirked. “I’d suggest a session with a battery-operated boyfriend, but you wouldn’t be this uptight if you had one.”

“I …” Angel began indignantly, but Roxy smiled sweetly as she picked up the phone.

“The Lodge at Four Mile Creek. This is Roxy speaking. How may I help you?”

Angel made a face at her and turned on her heel. Roxy was right—about a lot of things. She should just head on home and enjoy what was left of the evening. Maybe she’d take a bath or watch a movie. She needed to hurry if she was going to do anything before she had to go to bed so she could be up in the morning and get back over here.

She loved the drive around the lake from the development at Four Mile back into town. The mountains rose up to the left, and the lake shimmered on the right, reflecting a half-moon riding high in a clear sky. She glanced out the window and smiled at the sight of a million stars twinkling. She might not have much of a life, but she loved that she got to live it here. She frowned. It was a good life, no matter what Kenzie said. She loved her job. She didn’t need anything else. She didn’t need a man, even if she would like one. Luke’s face danced before her eyes. He was such a good guy. There was nothing flashy about him. He was homegrown, down to earth. That telltale shiver ran down her back again. He was sexy in a quiet way. She could picture him in his pilot’s uniform, and she’d spent far too much time daydreaming about him out of it. She shook her head. She’d blown her chance.

A flash of movement made her turn to look out the driver’s window, and she gasped at the sight of the grill of a pickup truck bearing down on her. She had no time to react. The impact was all bright lights, the sound of crumpling metal, and then pain. Her arm, her head, her chest.

And then nothing.

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