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Fight Like You've Never Lost - Summer Lake Book 14 (ebook)

Fight Like You've Never Lost - Summer Lake Book 14 (ebook)

Sweet n Steamy Romance

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 459+ 5-Star Reviews

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Leanne and Ryan have a whole lot of history. Their story has been a long time coming. It's a second chance romance which could also be described as enemies-to-lovers.

I'm so excited to share this one with you.

We first met them Leanne in Dance Like Nobody's Watching. She's Dan's lawyer. She went on to make herself very unpopular in Fly Like You've Never Been Grounded - Smoke still hasn't forgiven her completely.

Ryan first showed up in Dance, too, and then we've seen glimpses of him most recently in Silhouettes, Shadows and Sunsets.

Here's the official blurb:
Ryan and Leanne.

Once upon a time they had it all.

Two strong personalities.

The power couple.

Fire and ice.

Love and passion.

They had a lifetime of love ahead of them and the world at their feet.

Until it all went wrong.

Her heart froze over, and he went out to burn the whole world down.

There's only one place to go to get over a past like that ...

It's time to go back to the lake!

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

Fight Like You've Never Lost is the fourteenth 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. 

This book is intended for readers aged 18+ 

Readers say:

"I like that I cannot stop reading until I finish each book. This was a great story."

"Best story yet!"

"This series is the best I've read in a while." 

"I was enthralled throughout this riveting and addictive page turner and look forward to reading more from this talented author whose work I highly recommend for all."

"I absolutely loved it! Because of what happened in previous books I wasn't sure that I could make myself like Leanne, but SJ has done it again."

" Such passion and romance! Incredible 🤗 I am reading it for a second time now just in case I missed something 😉"

"I really really enjoyed this book. SJ McCoy never disappoints me. I was pulled into the story from the beginning and read into the night."

"I’m so in love with this book..."

"I would recommend this book and all of her books in every series! Leanne and Ryan have waited a long time for their book but didn't disappoint in any way, tears and smiles galore as usual! Once you read one you have to read all of them! Spoil yourself and read read read!!!

    Chapter One Look Inside

    Chapter One

    Leanne slid her laptop back into her carry-on case and her feet back into her shoes. She hated flying. At least, she hated flying commercial. The whole security thing drove her nuts. She slung her purse strap over her shoulder and pushed her case in front of her glancing up at the board as she went.

    Once she’d confirmed that the gate on her boarding pass was still the one being displayed, she scanned the stores. Another thing that she hated about flying was that she couldn’t bring her water through security. She needed to get a new bottle and … She stopped dead, frozen in her tracks.

    It couldn’t be.

    She drew in a shaky breath.

    It was.

    That was Ryan standing in line for coffee. Her hand shook as she tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear and allowed herself to drink in the sight of him. He was still gorgeous. He looked older, but it suited him. He’d always been a big guy—tall and built. He looked even more solid, if that were possible. His shoulders were broad, his waist narrow, though not so narrow as it used to be.

    Her heart raced. He was still the most attractive man she’d ever known. How could he still have this effect on her? She realized she was frozen to the spot and gave herself a little shake. She had to move. She gave him one last glance before she started heading for her gate. She could get water farther down the concourse—or on the plane if she had to wait until then. There was no way she was going to risk going within a hundred yards of him if she could help it.

    She froze again when he turned to look in her direction. Her heart leaped into her mouth. She wanted to look away, but he caught her gaze and held it with his deep blue eyes. She might not be able to make out the color of them at this distance, but she could never unsee that blue; it was etched too deeply into her heart.

    He didn’t smile. She wouldn’t expect him to. He just stared into her eyes, as though he could see right into her soul. The busy concourse around her faded away. They were the only two people on earth. Neither of them moved—not until the woman standing behind him touched his arm and said something to him with a smile. He frowned, still holding Leanne’s gaze for a long moment before he dragged his eyes away to turn and smile back at the woman.

    All the air rushed out of Leanne’s lungs and she hurried away. Damn him. Damn him all the way to hell and back. Her heels tapped out a staccato rhythm as she put as much distance between them as she could as quickly as she could. She wasn’t going to wonder who the woman was. What did it matter? It didn’t. It didn’t matter a bit. Ryan was the past. The long gone, dim and distant past. She didn’t need to waste another thought on him.

    ~ ~ ~

    Ryan tried to focus on the woman behind him in line.

    She was still smiling. “Are you waiting?”

    He glanced back at Leanne. No matter what lies he told himself, he’d wait for her until hell froze over—but there was no point. Then he came to his senses. The woman wasn’t asking about Leanne. She was talking about the big gap in the line in front of him that had lengthened while he’d been staring at the only woman he’d ever loved.

    He shook his head and gestured for her to go ahead of him. The guy behind her made a move to follow, but Ryan frowned, and he stood back. He’d let the woman pass since he’d held her up, but he still needed coffee. Hell, right now, he needed something much stronger, but coffee would have to do.

    Once he had it, he made his way toward his gate. He should erase all thoughts of Leanne from his mind. He’d done it for years—repeatedly, since she always found her way back inside his head. But today, he didn’t want to. There was always the chance of running into her when he was back in San Francisco, or at least he liked to believe there was—if he cared to admit it, the truth was that he hoped there was. Her long blonde hair and big blue eyes had haunted his mind and his dreams for years, but most of the time there was zero chance of seeing her in the flesh. Whenever he came here, he tormented himself with the possibility of running into her, lying awake at night reliving the memories they’d made here.

    He’d seen her a couple years back—not here, but at Dan’s wedding. He blew out a sigh and picked up his pace. That had almost killed him. In the weeks leading up to that weekend in Vegas, he’d played out every conceivable scenario in his mind, imagining all the ways it might go. At least, he thought he’d examined all the possibilities. He hadn’t expected the way it played out, though. He’d expected anger, animosity. He’d thought she might ignore him, freeze him out, but no, it’d been so much worse than that. She’d been indifferent. He let out a short laugh.

    Anyone who knew her would forgive him for not expecting that. Indifferent was not a word anyone would associate with Leanne. She wasn’t indifferent about anything. She was a passionate woman in every sense. She loved hard and she hated even harder. He should know—he’d been on the receiving end of the entire spectrum of her passions, from love to hate, heaven to hell and back again. More than once.

    He reached the gate and looked around. Hopefully, the flight wouldn’t be too full. He took a seat opposite the big window looking out onto the tarmac and sipped his coffee. Most people believe that the opposite of love is hate. Ryan knew better. His relationship with Leanne had taught him just how fine the line between love and hate really was. They weren’t opposites; they were two sides of the same coin. That weekend in Vegas for Dan’s wedding, Leanne had taught him that the true opposite of love was indifference, and it had almost killed him.

    ~ ~ ~

    Leanne emerged from the ladies’ room and checked her watch. They should be boarding any minute. She pulled her phone out and dialed Dan’s number.

    “Hi, Lee. Is everything okay?”

    “Yep. Great. I should be boarding in a minute. I wanted to check with you about the rental car.”

    “What about it?” Dan sounded edgy, which wasn’t like him. He must be busy.

    “You said you’d send me the confirmation and you haven’t. It’s fine if you forgot to book me one. I’ll let Karen know to get one arranged while I’m in the air.”

    “No! There’s no need. It’ll be fine.”

    “Okay. Will you email me the confirmation, then? I don’t even know which company you booked.”

    “I’ll take care of it.”

    “Thanks. Is everything okay?”

    “All’s well here. Is everything okay with you?”

    She pursed her lips. If anyone understood how much seeing Ryan had shaken her, Dan would. But telling him would only drag it out. She needed to forget about it, forget him. She forced herself to smile, knowing that Dan would hear it in her voice. “I’m fine. I’m disappointed in you though, Danny. You could have sent the jet for me. Flying commercial is a pain in the ass.”

    She expected him to laugh and tell her to get over herself. Instead, he sounded wary. “I’m sorry, Lee. I …”

    She laughed. “Come on, Dan. I’m messing with you. I’m not that much of a diva.”

    He chuckled.

    “Hey! I’m not. I just like to play one sometimes.”

    “I know. And I’m sorry. I would have sent someone for you, but …”

    “It’s not a problem. I’m just bitching. You know what I’m like.”

    Dan didn’t reply.

    “Are you busy? Do I need to shut up and leave you to it?”

    “No. It’s not that.”

    The way he said it made her wonder what it was then. Dan wasn’t much of a talker, but she could tell there was something off with him.

    She looked up when the gate agent announced that they’d be starting boarding in a few minutes. “That’s my call. I’ll see you when I get there. Or will I? Will I see you tonight or at the office tomorrow?”

    “How about you call me when you get to town?”

    “Okay. Are you sure everything’s okay, Dan?”

    “I am. See you later, Lee.”

    “See ya, and don’t forget to send me that confirmation email. I don’t want to have to hitchhike up to your lake.” She ended the call and checked her emails before going to join the line to board.

    ~ ~ ~

    Ryan threw his empty coffee cup in the recycling bin and went to join the line. It felt good to be going home. It made him smile to even think of the place that way—home. He’d never had one of those. Never even wanted one. Well, apart from during the time that he and Leanne had been together. Her apartment here had been home. And he’d wanted them to build a home and a life together. He sucked in a deep breath and blew it out with a sigh. He needed to get over that shit. Okay, so he’d seen a fleeting glimpse of her. He didn’t need to let it drag him back down into the memories.

    He looked up when the gate agent announced that first-class passengers could now board. He did a double take when he saw a blonde head at the front of the line.

    It couldn’t be.

    It was.

    Leanne stepped forward and handed her boarding pass to the gate agent before disappearing through the doors. He couldn’t help watching her ass. She had the greatest ass. The only trouble was that seeing it again only brought the memories flooding back. Every time he’d held her ass in his hands. Every time … No. He had to stop. He shuffled forward with the other passengers until his turn came to show his boarding pass.

    The gate agent smiled at him. “Have a wonderful flight, Mr. Brady.”

    He nodded. There was no chance of that happening. Not while he was cocooned in the same space as Leanne. He almost wondered if he should ask the flight attendants if he could move back into coach. The first-class cabin on these commuter flights only had twelve seats. That wouldn’t be enough distance to put between Leanne and him.

    He stopped once he was inside the cabin and shook his head in disbelief.

    “Is everything all right, sir? Can I do anything for you?” The flight attendant’s smile told him she’d be happy to do whatever he suggested once they landed.

    He shook his head and looked down at his boarding pass. His seat was 2B. Leanne was sitting in 2A. “Is the flight full?”

    The flight attendant nodded. “It is.” She reached to check his boarding pass. “But you’re up front here with me.” She smiled. “I’ll take care of you.” She glanced back at the passengers waiting to come on board. “If you could take your seat.”

    “Thanks.” There was nothing for it. He was going to have to go and sit next to Leanne. At least, she hadn’t seen him yet. She’d been looking down, he assumed at her phone, when he got on. Now all he could see was the top of her head.

    His heart raced as he covered the short distance to the second row. He could think of nothing worse than to spend the next hour of his life sitting next to Leanne. Why? Because he wanted nothing more than to spend the next hour of his life sitting next to her.

    She looked up as he slid into his seat. Her gaze met his. Her blue eyes were still as beautiful as he remembered. Her mouth formed a little round O of surprise and he had to drag his mind away from all the memories that stirred.

    He sat down without looking away from those big, beautiful eyes.

    “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

    He had to laugh. Not the wisest move; he knew that. She hated to be laughed at, but he just couldn’t help it. He held his hands up in a helpless gesture and shook his head. He didn’t speak. He didn’t know what to say, but even if he had, he wasn’t sure he’d have been able to. His breath caught in his chest and his heart hammered at being this close to her again.

    She glared at him. “What are you playing at?”

    He pressed his lips together and shook his head. He needed to get his act together. “Same thing as you and everyone else on this plane. Taking a flight. Trying to get home. And by the way … hello, Leanne.”

    Her nostrils flared as she continued to glare. She was so damned beautiful when she was angry. She reached up and stabbed her finger at the overhead call button.

    People were still boarding and making their way down the aisle. The attendant by the door gave Leanne a stern look. “I’ll be with you as soon as I can, ma’am.”

    Leanne turned on the charm. “I’m so sorry, hon. I don’t mean to be a pest. It’s just …” she glanced at Ryan. “Is the flight full? Are there any seats empty? I don’t mind going back into coach.”

    The attendant smiled before she too glanced at Ryan, apparently putting two and two together. “I’m sorry. The flight’s full. I’m afraid you two are stuck with each other.”

    Leanne slumped back down in her seat. Ryan didn’t know what possessed him—other than it was the same kind of crazy that came over him whenever he was around Leanne. He patted her hand and smiled at her. “Sorry, babes. It’s like she said, you’re stuck with me.”

    She glared at him and snatched her hand away. “We don’t have to talk.”

    He chuckled. “Why not? This will be a great chance for us to catch up.”

    She shook her head in disbelief. “There’s nothing for us to catch up about. Why do you think I would even want to talk to you?”

    He shrugged. He didn’t. He just wanted her to. “I thought you were over it.”

    Her lips pressed together into a thin line before she spat out, “Of course, I am! I’ve been over you for years!” She looked so indignant. If he didn’t know any better, it’d give him hope. In his experience, when a lady protested a little too much, it was because she was trying to hide her truth. He did know better though. Leanne was well and truly over him. He hadn’t realized that he still riled her this much though. The cool indifference she’d shown him in Vegas was gone. She was rattled.

    He smiled. “It’s been a couple years. You must have a lot to tell me about since Vegas.”

    She stared at him in disbelief. “You really think I’m just going to sit here and chat to you?”

    He shrugged. “Why not?”

    She held her phone up. “Because I need to make the most of the Wi-Fi before they make us switch off.”

    Ryan looked up at the sign above his seat; beneath the seat belt symbol was the Wi-Fi symbol. He smiled to himself and pulled his own phone out. He could wait.

    ~ ~ ~

    Leanne’s heart was hammering in her chest. This could not be happening. No way on earth could she sit next to Ryan for the next hour. That was the worst kind of torture imaginable. She could smell him; he still smelled the same—all leather and spicy and … man. She wanted to think that he should have updated his cologne, but she was too busy being grateful that he hadn’t.

    Her hand shook as she opened her texts. She didn’t even know who she wanted to message. Dan came up first. Maybe he could help her. He was the only person she’d tell about what was going on right now.

    Help me! You won’t believe this.

    I’m on the plane and Ryan just sat down next to me.

    She hit send and waited. Hoping that he’d reply and maybe talk her down. His reply didn’t do anything to calm her down when it came in.

    He lives here now.

    She stared at her screen in disbelief and then risked a sideways glance at Ryan. He was tapping away at his own phone.

    You’re shitting me? Why didn’t you tell me? I can’t come up there.

    Dan’s reply was almost instantaneous.

    Yes, you can. That’s why I didn’t tell you.

    Besides, you said you were fine with him at the wedding.

    Leanne rolled her eyes.

    I lied! I thought you knew that! I just didn’t want to cause any tension - it was your wedding!

    This time it took him longer to reply. She glanced at Ryan again and her heart sank at the thought that maybe he was talking to Dan, too.

    It’ll be okay. Don’t you think it’s time you two put the past behind you?

    She scowled at her phone. Of course, she did. But she couldn’t. She hated him. She blinked rapidly. She did. That was the only explanation there could be. No one else made her heart race, or her stomach churn, or made her lose her cool the way he did. And that was because no one else had ever hurt her the way he had. She hated him.

    I can’t.

    The flight attendant went back up the aisle and spoke into the intercom. “Good afternoon, folks. The doors are closed now, so I need to ask you to turn off your portable devices or switch them to airplane mode, thank you.”

    Leanne stared at her screen, willing Dan to reply to give her something, some nugget of wisdom that might get her through the next hour.

    I think you should talk to him. Get any awkwardness out of the way before you arrive here.

    Leanne scowled. Not what she’d been hoping for.

    The flight attendant raised her eyebrows and nodded at her phone. “If you could …”

    Leanne reluctantly switched it off, feeling as though her lifeline to Dan—to anyone who could save her—had just been cut.

    Ryan turned to her with a grin. “So, how’ve you been?”

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