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Live Like There's No Tomorrow - Summer Lake Book 12 (ebook)

Live Like There's No Tomorrow - Summer Lake Book 12 (ebook)

Sweet n Steamy Romance

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1522+ 5-Star Reviews

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Ben Walton is the guy everyone can turn to. He's been a shoulder to cry on and a helping hand for all his friends as they've each met the love of their life and embarked upon their happily-ever-after.

He's the only one who's still single. He lost the first and only love of his life when he was still only eighteen years old. He never thought he'd get Charlotte back, and he never thought he'd want another woman.

He should have learned by now—never say never. He hasn't heard from Charlotte in months, but he believes that she meant it when she said she was coming back—to the lake and to him. Even though he could never see himself with another woman, there is another woman who could happily see herself with him. He hired Angel to run the lodge for him. They have so much in common and she's a beautiful woman—but she's not Charlotte.

If you’re reading this, I assume that you’ve been waiting for Ben’s happily-ever-after for a while. I hope you’ll enjoy seeing him finally find the happiness he so deserves.

Available to Read on Kindle, Nook, iThings, Kobo, Phone, Computer, Tablet, Etc! Your eBook will be delivered to your provided email address by BookFunnel. 

Live Like There's No Tomorrow is the twelfth book in USA Today Bestselling Author SJ McCoy's international hit Summer Lake Romance series, loved by over 1,000,000 fans of sweet and steamy romances. 

Readers say:

"I have not so patiently waited for the story of Ben and Charlie. When I started reading this series 11 books ago, I fell in love with Ben's character and as each new book came out, I was a little upset that once again it wasn't about Ben. All I can say is that it was definitely worth the wait and SJ McCoy didn't disappoint."

"This story was beyond FANTASTIC! Don't get me wrong; I absolutely loved every single book in this series for different reasons, but there was just something about Ben & Charlotte tragic past that kept me hoping that they'd one day, that they'd finally find their way back to each other."

"The story was so romantic, sweet, sexy and fulfilling!!!!" 

 "A series that was fantastic, filled with hope, dreams, love and forever!"

"What a great series! As soon as I finished one book, I was on to the next. They all flow so easily into the next book and set of characters. The dialog is funny. The men are tough and strong, until they meet the girl that brings them to their knees."

"I read every single one of them and could barely put them down to go to sleep!"

"This series has brought tears to my eyes, made me smile and even laugh out loud."

"SJ McCoy is my new favorite author! Love love love the Summer Lake Series! This hard to put down book did not disappoint! Loved Ben and Charolette's story! It was a dream come true!"

"This has to be one of the best series I have read in a long time. You can't help getting wrapped up in everyone's story, and then you can't wait to read the next book to continue on and see what happens.

    Chapter One Look Inside

    Chapter One

    Ben ran down the steps from the lodge. He liked to check in with the night auditor before going to drink his morning coffee out on the deck over the lake. He loved this time of day; the resort was still quiet, and he felt as though he had the world to himself for a while. The day was still untouched, ready for him to make of it all that he could.

    He made his way to one of the big picnic benches and sat on it, taking a sip of his coffee and staring out at the lake. He had a busy day ahead of him. Saturday was changeover day—the morning filled with guests checking out and the afternoon with new guests checking in. It was a routine that had been a part of his life for as long as he could remember. Even when he was a little kid he’d helped his grandpa Joe out on Saturdays. As he’d grown into his teens, he’d pretty much taken over the process since his parents screwed it up so often. He sighed and took another sip of his coffee. He’d spent his whole life in this place, doing the same things over and over, year in, year out. And he still loved it.

    He looked up at the sound of footsteps approaching and smiled when he saw Joe.


    “Morning. What are you doing down here so early?”

    “Early? I’m late for my doughnuts.”

    Ben laughed. “Yeah. The bakery’s been open for a good hour already, you won’t get the first batch this morning.”

    Joe shrugged and heaved himself up onto the table beside Ben. “I won’t get the first coffee down here either, but I’ll be happy to take the second.” He eyed Ben’s cup.

    “Okay, I’ll be back in a few.” Ben let himself into the restaurant and made two fresh mugs before heading back outside. He stopped at the edge of the deck. The sun was just peeking above the horizon, and Joe sat silhouetted, bathed in golden light. Ben caught his breath. Joe was probably the person he was closest to in the whole world. He was more than a parent, more than a friend, more than a mentor, he was all of those wrapped into one. Right now, though, sitting there staring out at the lake in the early morning light, Ben saw the silhouette of a frail old man. It made his heart stop beating for a moment. He’d been aware for a long time that Joe wouldn’t be around forever, but the sight of him perched up there on the picnic table really rammed that fact home.

    Joe turned and met his gaze. “Any chance I can get that coffee while I’m still breathing?”

    Ben hurried toward him with a smile. “Sorry.”

    Joe nodded and took the mug from him. “Nah. I’m sorry, son. I seem to be losing my patience. I can’t have many years left on this earth, and I don’t like to waste the moments, you know?”

    Ben nodded. He did know, but he didn’t like to admit it out loud. “So, what do you want to do with the moments?”

    Joe’s bushy eyebrows knit together. “I’ve done most everything I want to do.” He gave a deep chuckle, “And I don’t reckon I could manage much of what I’d like to do now anyways.”

    Ben laughed. “Don’t give me that. You could pull off just about anything you want to and we both know it.”

    Joe nodded slowly and rubbed his fingers over his chin. “I reckon you might be right there.” He turned and met Ben’s gaze, his eyes serious now. “Just about anything, but not quite everything.”

    Ben raised an eyebrow. “That’s sounds to me as though you’ve got something in particular in mind.”

    “I sure do.”

    “So, tell me. What do you want, and how can I help you get on with it? You know I’ll do anything I can to help you out.”

    Joe’s stare bored into him. “You’re the only one who can help me with the one thing I still want in life.” He shook his head. “But, see, I should be keeping my lip buttoned.”


    Joe shrugged. “The one thing I still want is to see you happy before I die.”

    Ben dropped his gaze.

    Joe elbowed him in the ribs with a chuckle. “Don’t you think I’d have turned up my toes and called it quits years ago, if I knew you were going to be all right?”

    “I am all right.  In fact, I think I’m doing pretty well.” He swung his arm out in a gesture that took in the restaurant, the lodge, and the marina. “I’m happy with what I’ve achieved here, I took what you gave me and I’ve run with it, though you know I’ll always be working to improve. To do more.”

    “Course I know that. Don’t treat me like an old fool, Ben. I might play the part sometimes, but we both know the score.”

    “I’m not! I…”

    Joe gave him a hard stare and Ben closed his mouth. There was no point denying he knew damned well what Joe was talking about—and it wasn’t the resort.

    “When we saw Charlie in Vegas, I thought it was just a matter of time.”

    Ben nodded. So had he.

    “But it’s been a long time now. A very long time.”

    Ben nodded again.

    “And now there’s Angel.”

    Ben jerked his head up and met Joe’s gaze. “What do you mean?”

    Joe pursed his lips. “I might be knocking on, but my eyes and my ears ain’t failed me yet.”

    Ben shrugged. He didn’t want to talk about Angel. He didn’t know what to say.

    “Come on. Put me out of my misery. What’s going on between you and her? And why hasn’t Charlie come back yet?”

    Ben sighed. “There’s nothing going on between Angel and me.”

    Joe raised a bushy eyebrow and lifted his chin.

    “There isn’t! At least, nothing like you’re thinking. She works for me. She’s running the lodge over at Four Mile. She’s—”

    “A good-looking woman,” Joe finished for him.

    Ben brought both hands up and rubbed them over his face. “She is, but that’s got nothing to do with anything.” He knew there were rumors flying around about Angel and him, but there was no truth to them.

    “So, you’re telling me she’s just an employee?”

    “No, she’s … She’s …” Ben sighed while he considered what she really was. “She’s become a friend. And I don’t see why everyone has a problem with that. Kenzie’s a good-looking woman, she came to work for me, and she became a friend, too. So did Renée and April, for that matter.” He met Joe’s gaze. “Why is everyone so interested in Angel?”

    Joe looked away and then looked back. “Because, son, maybe we can all see that you seem to be interested in Angel, and the two of you might be a good match.”

    Ben’s heart hammered in his chest. “No!”

    Joe shrugged. “No?”


    “So, when’s Charlie coming back?”

    Ben closed his eyes. “I don’t know.”

    “But you said that she wouldn’t come back until you asked her to.”


    “And you haven’t asked her to?”

    He shook his head.


    “Because, I already told you, because I can’t ask her to come to me while she’s still a married woman.”

    Joe nodded. “I haven’t pried all this time. I figured you’d tell me as much as you wanted to. I’m sorry I can’t keep my nose out any longer. I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting, thinking one day you’d just turn around and tell me Charlie’s coming home tomorrow. Or maybe she’d just waltz in. But that day hasn’t come. And Angel, well, she’s here, and I dunno, Ben.”

    Ben nodded. “I’ve told you, there’s nothing going on between Angel and me.”

    “Fair enough. But is there going to be? And is there ever going to be anything going on between you and Charlie? Or is it finally over?”

    Ben sucked in a deep breath and looked up to meet Joe’s gaze.

    Joe placed his mug firmly down on the picnic table and eased himself back down to the ground. “Anyways. Thanks for the coffee. I’m off to get my doughnuts. I’ll be out at Max’s place if you need me.” Ben watched him amble away. He took hold of the railing as he started down the steps, then turned and looked back. “I’m not asking those questions because I need to know the answers. I’m asking the questions that you need to answer for yourself.”

    Once he’d gone Ben turned back to look out at the lake. As if he didn’t know that! He’d been asking himself those questions for weeks now. Why hadn’t he heard from Charlotte? He knew the answer, to that one at least. He’d told her not to. After they’d said good-bye at the airport in Vegas, they’d started talking a little, emailing, texting sometimes, but he hadn’t felt right about it. She was married. He’d always thought of her as his, but, in reality, she was another man’s wife. He’d told her that they should wait. Wait until she was single. She hadn’t liked it, neither had he, but they’d agreed it was the right thing to do. He hadn’t thought it would take this long though. The doubts had started to creep in. Maybe she’d changed her mind? Maybe when it came down to it, she didn’t want to leave her husband? Maybe … maybe … maybe … Those maybes kept him awake at night. As for the questions about him and Angel … he blew out a big sigh. He couldn’t think about that. She worked for him; that was all. She understood him; that was nice. She … He shook his head and got down from the picnic bench. It was time to get on with the day.

    ~ ~ ~

    Charlotte sat at the kitchen table holding the envelope. She took the papers out and stared at them. “Decree Absolute.” She read the words out loud and sighed.

    So, this was it, it was final. Alastair had divorced her—just like she’d asked him to. She stared out the window at the rain and nodded sadly. He’d divorced her on the grounds of unreasonable behavior. He hadn’t wanted to. He claimed she hadn’t been unreasonable. But it was the quickest way. And in her heart, Charlotte knew she had behaved unreasonably toward him. What was reasonable about marrying him when she’d known all along that her heart still belonged to Ben?

    Looking at the papers she felt relieved. She felt free. But she also felt sad. She was sad for the years she felt she’d stolen from Alastair. Years in which he might have met someone else, someone who could have given him her whole heart—and children. She got up from the table and went to pour herself more coffee. She hated this flat. It was small and dark. She liked to sit at the table in the kitchen because it was under the window, the one spot in the whole place where she could get some natural light. There wasn’t much sunshine to be had, but even the view of the gray drizzle outside made her feel better than the tired flowers on the wallpaper inside.

    She jumped at the sound of her cell phone ringing. It was Alastair.

    “Hi, Lottie.”


    “Did you get the papers?”

    “I did. You too?”


    Charlotte closed her eyes. “I’m sorry.”

    “Don’t be. Please? It was the right thing to do. It’s hard, I’m not saying it isn’t, but it’s better this way. This way we both stand a chance of making ourselves happy instead of spending the rest of our lives making each other miserable.”

    “I never meant to make you miserable.” A tear escaped and rolled down her cheek. He was a good man. He didn’t deserve any of what she’d done to him.

    He sighed. “I know. And I never meant to make you miserable, either, but we did. What are you doing today?”

    Charlotte swallowed. “I don’t know.” Usually she went grocery shopping on a Saturday, sometimes she met up with friends from work. She didn’t feel like doing either.

    “Do you want to have lunch with me? We can celebrate.”

    She smiled. “Yeah. I’d like that.”

    “Great. Meet me at the Boar’s Head at twelve-thirty?”

    “Okay. I’ll see you there.”

    When she arrived at the pub she shook the water off her umbrella and shrugged out of her coat as she looked around. Alastair was sitting at a corner table and waved when he spotted her. He was a good-looking guy, no doubt about it. Charlotte smiled and made her way over to him.

    “Hi.” He stood to greet her and kissed her cheek.

    For a moment, Charlotte hugged him too tight and then let go and sat down.

    “How’ve you been?”

    She nodded. “Okay. Work’s been keeping me busy. How about you?”

    “Same here. I got the contract to promote the tour in Australia. We’ve been crazy busy pulling it all together.”

    “That’s great. When will you leave?”

    “In a couple of weeks.”

    “And how’s Anita working out?”

    Alastair rolled his eyes. “She’s doing her best, bless her, but she’s not you. There’s no way I’m ever going to be able to replace you.” He reached across the table and took hold of her hand.

    Charlotte squeezed his hand and dropped her gaze. “I’m sorry.”

    “Don’t be. It’s okay. We’re supposed to be celebrating, remember?” He pushed her glass toward her and lifted his own. “Champagne didn’t seem right, so I thought we could toast our new beginnings with a Chardonnay instead.”

    She smiled and touched her glass against his. “I hope this marks a wonderful new beginning for you, Alastair. I really do. You deserve to be happy.”

    He nodded. “I will be, and so will you.” He pursed his lips. “Is it going to be a new beginning for you? Are you going to go forward in life, or are you going back?”

    Charlotte shrugged. “I’d like to go back. You know that.”

    “I’ve always known that. It’s not as though you didn’t tell me right from the beginning that you still loved him. I just wish I’d believed you. I wish I’d understood just how powerful a love like that can be. I thought you’d forget him … I thought ….”

    “I’m sorry.”

    “No, I’m trying to say I’m sorry. If I’d understood it was possible to feel what you felt—what you still feel—I would never have put either of us in that situation. I’m sorry that I let what I wanted deafen me to what you were telling me. You told me you still loved him. I wanted you to love me more, and I believed that you would.” He gave her a sad smile. “I guess my ego couldn’t accept that I wasn’t enough to make you forget him.”

    “I hoped you would.”

    “So did I.” Alastair sucked in a deep breath. “But here we are.” He lifted his glass again. “I wish you only the best, Lottie. I hope you and Ben can fix what you broke and have a happy future together.”

    “Thank you. I hope you find someone who’ll love you the way you deserve to be loved.”

    He smiled. “Me too. I hope we’ll always be friends?”

    Charlotte nodded and swallowed the lump in her throat. “I’d love to, but I don’t feel like I deserve your friendship.”

    Alastair scowled at her. “Come on, Lottie. This is hard and it’s sad, but don’t go turning into one of those women who thinks she’s not worthy. It wouldn’t suit you. We might not have made it as a couple, but we’re still two pretty amazing people. I don’t want to lose you completely.”

    She smiled and squeezed his hand. “I don’t want to lose you, either. I’d love for us to stay friends.”

    “Then we will.”

    After they’d eaten, Alastair looked at his watch. “I suppose I’d better get going.”

    “Okay. Thanks for having lunch with me. I’m glad we did this.”

    “We needed this. Let’s do it again before I leave?”

    She nodded. “I’d like that.”

    “Me too.” Alastair sighed. “I promised myself I wouldn’t ask you this, but how is Ben? What are your plans?”

    She met his gaze and sighed. “I haven’t been in touch with him.”

    Alastair raised an eyebrow. “Still?”

    “No. He respected our marriage. He didn’t want to …” She shrugged. She didn’t know what words to say, and she didn’t think Alastair would want to hear them anyway.

    Alastair nodded. “He’s a good guy, isn’t he?”

    Charlotte nodded, not trusting herself to speak.

    “Well,” he gave her a forced smile, “now the divorce is final the two of you can get on with it.”

    Charlotte flung her arms around his neck. He hugged her back and kissed the top of her head. “Good luck, Lottie.”

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