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Work Like You Don't Need the Money - Summer Lake Book 2 (ebook)

Work Like You Don't Need the Money - Summer Lake Book 2 (ebook)

Sweet n Steamy Romance

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 687+ 5-Star Reviews

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Holly Hayes is a realist, if nothing else. She's going to be Maid of Honor at her best friend, Emma's wedding in Summer Lake. Pete Hemming, self made millionaire, powerful CEO, all around good guy, is going to be the Best Man. If they're going to be able to get through their official duties, there's one thing they'll need to deal with first. Sex!

He may be out of her league socially and financially, but one thing is clear. He wants her. She wants him. What's the harm in one night of passion? It's inevitable they're going to end up naked together. So it's best to get it out of the way early, right? So they can get on with organizing the wedding.

Pete Hemming is a man with a plan. He's lived his life by the plan, built his business by it. The plan doesn't allow for a woman in his life, only in his bed. Trouble is, once he gets Holly into his bed, he can't get her out of his mind. But he can't let her into his life. Can he?

Pick up Book Two in the Summer Lake Series at any of the major ebook retailers today.

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

Work Like You Don't Need the Money is the second 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:

"SJ McCoy is a super storyteller, pulling you into the lives of these friends at Summer Lake. There is something magical about Summer Lake."

"The reader feels all the dreams and exasperations of each character. Well written!"

"This is written so that you feel you are one of their friends rooting for them and celebrating too. I love the banter and romance. This is a must read!" 


"I laughed, I cried, I smiled. This story is wonderful."

"I'm hooked on this series."

"The first book did not fail to deliver on captivation and wonder. This one just picked up where the first one left off. Well done!"

"Love this series!! Keeps you engaged with the characters lives from the first page!"

"This book was fantabulous!!!!"

"You don't want the book to end.

    Chapter One Look Inside

    Chapter One

    Holly stared out of the truck window, trying to make out the shape of the mountains beyond the rain that was belting against the glass. It had been quite a weekend.

    “Are you doing okay over there?” asked Pete.

    “Me? I'm fine. I'm more concerned about you driving in this.” Holly didn't like to spend time on the road and she hated that Pete had to drive through what had become a torrential downpour. She stole a glance at him. He didn't seem concerned in the slightest. He emanated waves of warmth and confidence, drawing her in. She took in his dark blond hair, deep blue eyes, and chiseled features. He should look quite imposing, but a tiny dimple on his chin and an air of friendliness softened the edges of a powerful persona.

    He was powerfully attractive. She knew that much. The looks were one thing, one very distracting thing. But the looks combined with the magnetic personality made her feel he was like a flame—and she was the moth.

    “I'm fine to drive,” he said, peering through the windshield as the wipers worked double time in a losing battle with the rain. “And we don't have much choice if we want to get you back to LA tonight.”

    They'd spent the weekend up at Summer Lake, where Holly's best friend Emma, and Pete's partner, Jack, had just got engaged. Holly couldn't believe that she'd only met Pete yesterday morning, when Emma had arranged for him to drive her up to the lake from LA. He was one of those rare men who put you right at ease and made you feel like you'd known him forever.

    Holly jumped as thunder exploded, seemingly right above them. Lightning streaked across the sky.

    “Are you okay?” asked Pete, not taking his eyes off the road, or even the rain battered windshield through which he was focusing to try to stay on the road.

    “I think so,” Holly replied. “I hate this weather.”

    “We'll be fine,” Pete assured her. “It should ease up soon.”

    Holly hoped so. She was beginning to question her need to get back to the city tonight. She had to open the store in the morning, but they could probably still get there by ten if they stopped somewhere for the night. If not, Roberto, Erin, and Anna all had keys and were quite capable of opening the place themselves. Heck, they could run the place for weeks if she could back off enough to let them. She couldn't though. Her fashion boutique was her life. Her great achievement. She hated to admit it, but she needed it more than it needed her. Though the way this storm was developing, she was just about ready to accept that it could survive without her...for a morning.

    Thunder boomed again just overhead and she jumped up in her seat. Still without taking his eyes off the road, Pete reached over to touch her arm. With his attention focused on driving, his fingers grazed her breast before settling on her arm. Tingles of desire flooded her body at his touch. She was glad his eyes were fixed on the road so he couldn't see the way her body reacted. Her nipples pushed at her shirt, seeking more of his attention. He'd had this effect on her all weekend.

    Emma had threatened to set the two of them up, but Holly knew now that would never work. Pete was big time. In a big way. While she herself was small time and knew it only too well. Pete had a huge corporation, a fancy oceanfront home, and was building another home up at the lake—he even talked about his plane! A light jet apparently. That was a different world from the one Holly lived in. Yes, she owned the boutique and did very well for herself. She had her own home—a modest townhouse, and for her that was huge success. It may not be much compared to Pete, but she was the only woman in the Hayes family who worked at all. Her parents still lived in the same small house where she'd grown up. Her two older sisters lived in the same neighborhood, both housewives with kids of their own.

    Her body didn't seem to care about the difference in their statuses though. The warmth of his fingers on her arm sent heat spreading though her, awakening butterflies in her stomach that she thought had long since migrated. She could see the corner of his mouth lift in a small smile as he withdrew his hand.

    “Don't worry,” he said, “I've got you covered.”

    The images that filled her mind at those words didn't have anything to do with driving in the rain.

    “I'm sorry I'm such a wuss,” she said. “But can we just find somewhere and stop for the night after all? I don't think my nerves can take much more of this.”

    “Are you sure? I can get us there if you need to get back tonight.”

    “I don't need to get there that badly, and you're only doing it for me, right?”

    “I don't have anything to be back for until tomorrow afternoon. So yeah, I'm in no hurry myself.”

    Holly was sure she could see that little smile going again. Was she imagining it or did he like the idea of the two of them spending the night someplace? The little smile grew into a huge grin, the one she'd seen so often over the weekend. She realized he was only doing what came naturally and taking charge when he said, “You have impeccable timing, Holly. We're about ten miles from a great little B&B. We'll be there in no time. And, there's a wonderful Spanish restaurant next door. Dinner is on me. How does that sound?”

    “Sounds perfect.” She stole another glance at him. He always seemed to have everything covered. She'd heard Jack call him Peter the Great a few times over the weekend and she could see why. She felt sure that if Pete snapped his fingers and commanded it, the whole universe would rearrange itself according to his bidding. Well, she may not be in the same league as him, financially or socially, but she could certainly enjoy an evening with him before they returned to their own worlds.

    Pete pulled off the highway and drove through a quaint little town, the main street mostly deserted in the pouring rain. At the end of the street, he pulled in to the parking lot of the B&B. To Holly it looked like something out of a picture book. A white picket fence surrounded a beautiful garden, all overlooked by a two story, white house. The wraparound porch was full of overflowing planters and dripping hanging baskets.

    She looked at Pete. “Did you just magic this place up?”

    He laughed. “I'm just a guy who knows his way around, not some evil wizard!”

    “Oh, I wasn't thinking evil. Just too good to be anything but magic.”

    He laughed again. “Why has Emma kept you hidden away all these years? Flattery will get you everywhere with me. We definitely need to hang out more.”

    Though she loved the idea, Holly couldn't see that happening. The two of them moved in such different circles.

    “Why don't you make a run for the porch, and I'll bring our bags. No point in us both getting drenched.”

    As Holly made a dash up the path to the shelter of the porch, she couldn't help but smile to herself. He really was from a different world. Most guys she knew would have made a run for it themselves and left her to struggle with her own bag. She stood dripping on the porch as Pete sauntered up, a bag in each hand, not caring that he was getting more drenched with every step. Once he reached the porch, he shook himself like a big dog, then opened the door for her with that big grin.

    “Shall we, my lady?”

    She stepped inside. A small dark haired woman came scurrying out from the back to greet them.

    “Glad you found us. This is no weather for anyone to be out in, and you're in luck, we've just got the one room left. It's small, but it's dry. Anyone after you will have another hundred miles to drive before they find a place tonight.”

    Holly's heart raced. Just one, small, room?

    Pete gave her a mischievous grin and said, “Well, aren't we the lucky ones? We'll take it. Didn't I tell you that you have perfect timing?”

    Holly nodded and swallowed, hard. This wasn't exactly her style, but Pete seemed think it was perfectly normal. She watched him silently as he filled out the paperwork and chatted with the owner. Surely he wasn't thinking that they would sleep together, just like that? He was obviously used to things falling into place for him, but did he really expect her to fall into his bed? And did she really think she'd be able to resist if he did?

    She watched him lift their bags and followed him up the stairs. When he reached the bedroom door, he put down the bags and dug out the key.

    He turned to her with a smile. “Don't look so scared, I'll take the sofa.”

    He swung the door open and ushered her to enter ahead of him. Holly looked around. The room was cute, chintzy, and very small—and there was no sofa. She looked at Pete.

    “So, I'll take the floor.”

    She looked around again. There wasn't enough clear floor space anywhere that a man Pete's size could lay down.

    He grinned. “Okay then, the tub.”

    They peeked inside the bathroom. Holly wasn't surprised to see a closet sized space with a shower stall and no tub.

    He shrugged. “I can sleep in the truck. No problem.”

    “Oh, no. You mustn't,” said Holly. “You can take the top.” She burst out laughing at the delighted grin on his face. “Not like that! What kind of girl do you think I am?”

    “The kind I would like to take the top with?” He didn't miss a beat. He was laughing, but he sounded like he meant it, too.

    “Well, you'll be happy then, because I'll let you,” she teased. “You can take the far side and stay on top of the covers and I'll sleep over here.” She patted the pillow closest to the door.

    “Aww. Okay then,” he smiled. “Thank you. I can assure you I will be a gentleman.”

    Holly had no doubt. He'd been the perfect gentleman since she'd met him yesterday morning. For a moment she hoped that he wouldn't be. That was crazy thinking though. It wouldn't ever go anywhere between them, and she wasn't into one night stands. Still, a girl could easily forget her usual standards around Pete. Apart from being drop dead gorgeous, there was something so commanding about him. If he really wanted to take the top, there was no way she would be able to say no. Being enclosed in this small room with him wasn't doing her any good.

    “I'm going to take a quick shower,” she said.

    “Okay, I'll run next door, see if I can get us a table for later. Do you want to text me when you're done?”

    Holly was relieved he was going to give her some space. She was about to ask for his number, then realized that she had it from when he'd called to arrange to pick her up to drive up to the lake. It seemed so strange that forty-eight hours ago he'd been nothing more than a name to her. A friend of a friend. Now here they were sharing a room. And later, a bed. She pulled herself together.

    “Will do. I won't take too long.”

    “Take your time, there's no rush. We've got all night.” His eyes met hers and though they still held a smile, there was something else there, too. A question? A challenge? She had to stop this!

    “We sure do, sweetie, but you have no idea how long it can take a girl, so mind what you say.” She picked up her bag. “Go on then, shoo! I'll text you when I'm done.” She had to get him out of the room. It was like he cast some field around himself—magnetic, magical, whatever it was, the closer she was to him the more it drew her in. She was pretty sure it would draw them both onto that bed any minute now if she didn't break the spell.

    ~ ~ ~

    Pete took his time walking through the parking lot to the restaurant. He was already drenched so he didn't see the point in making a run for it. Perhaps a good soaking was what he needed to cool himself off anyway. He'd never understood it when people used the term 'hot and bothered.' Never, that was, until yesterday morning when he'd first laid eyes on Holly.

    At his first glimpse of her standing outside her little townhouse waiting for him, he'd felt a rush of heat. He wasn't sure whether it had started or just settled in the front of his pants, but he was sure that particular region had not cooled off yet. He'd spent much of the weekend with his hands in his pockets, constantly trying to disguise the hardon that sprang to life every time she came within three feet of him. Scratch that. Every time he saw her. In fact, scratch that too. Even now, when she wasn't in sight and he was standing in a parking lot in the pouring rain, the thought of her, in the shower, had the heat boiling again.

    He definitely needed to cool off. Despite the fact that she was beautiful, tall and slender with shiny chocolate colored hair and eyes he could only describe as amber. Despite the fact that she made him laugh so much with her down to Earth and sometimes downright coarse sense of humor. Despite the fact that he felt an almost overwhelming desire to undress her every time he saw her—to uncover her pert breasts and get his hands on that perky backside that seemed to taunt him with every step she took. Despite all of that, he really needed to leave her alone. She was Emma's best friend!

    She would be Emma's Maid of Honor when he himself was Jack's Best Man. He couldn't afford to act on his desire for her, because their lives were going to be entangled for the next few months, at least. He couldn't risk sleeping with the bridesmaid before the wedding...could he? He pursed his lips. No! Damn you, Pete, no! That's not part of the plan.

    He lived his life according to his plan. Always had. His plan was the driving force behind Phoenix, the construction company he and Jack had founded ten years ago. His plan gave shape to everything he did, everything he was. He didn't deviate from it, certainly wouldn't do so for a woman. There was no room for the complication of someone who interested him as much as Holly did. The plan was to work for four more years the way he had been doing. For now, Phoenix was his life—his wife, his child and his purpose. In four more years he would have everything in place, whereby he could work more normal hours and have the time and the energy to devote to finding the right woman, building a family and making them his life and his purpose.

    In the meantime, he dated some, of course, but he didn't see the point in getting involved with anyone who really interested him. It didn't fit the plan yet. It was better not to start something he couldn't finish. Holly interested him way too much. He had to let it go before it started.

    He pushed open the door to the restaurant and went inside. He stood on the welcome mat for a few moments to drip while his eyes adjusted to the dark interior.

    “Mr. Pete!” The owner of the restaurant came out from behind the bar to greet him.

    “Alonso!” Pete shook the hand the Spaniard offered him.

    “Been too long, Mr. Pete. No Emma this time?”

    “Not this time.”

    Pete and Emma had discovered this place years ago. They'd grown up together in Summer Lake and were still close friends. Until recently, when Emma had moved back to the lake, they had often shared the drive up from LA. The first time they'd stopped here had been a night like tonight. Rained off the road, they'd found the B&B and eaten here. Over the past few years, they'd made it a point to stop in every so often and visit with Alonso and his family.

    “Emma's staying up at the lake this summer. But I do have a friend with me. I came to see if you'd have a table for us later?”

    “Of course, my friend. Tonight, you can have your pick of many tables. The rain makes the people stay at home.”

    Pete looked around. The place was almost deserted. “Well, at least I can bring you a little business.”

    “It is always good to see you. I think of you as my family, not as my business. You have sent me so many people, so much business. I am appreciate so very, very, much. You spread my name and now I have diners come here from LA thanks to you.”

    Pete had done his best to spread word of Alonso's restaurant. He liked the little Spaniard and respected his hard work and wonderful cuisine. Pete liked to do whatever he could to support those who were striving for excellence.

    “I'm glad to help,” he smiled. “But, please let me buy dinner? I feel better about recommending what I paid for.”

    Alonso nodded. “Okay, Mr. Pete, but you will have a drink with me, as my friend, no?”

    “I'd love to.” Pete sat on a stool as Alonso went back behind the bar.

    “A Chivas, with me, my friend?”

    Pete grinned. “Perfect. Thank you.”

    Even as he sipped the whiskey and chatted with Alonso, Pete couldn't keep his mind from wandering back to Holly. To what he'd be doing right now if he were in that shower with her. He smiled and nodded as Alonso chatted about his family and the restaurant, but he couldn't shake the images of Holly soaping herself.

    His phone buzzed in his pocket as if the straining in his pants had set off an alarm. A text from Holly.

    I'm ready.

    He drummed his fingers on the bar, lips quirking upwards. Wishing that her being ready involved her being undressed instead of dressed.

    “I have to go,” he told Alonso. “I'll be back in a little while with my friend.”

    “Okay, Mr. Pete, I'll be waiting. We will make you a beautiful dinner.”

    “I have no doubt. Thanks again for the Chivas.”

    ~ ~ ~

    Pete knocked on the bedroom door and waited. When Holly opened it he felt the air rush out of his lungs and the heat surge through his veins. She wore a floor length simple summer dress. Nothing fancy, but boy did it show off her figure. It clung to her slender body, seeming to highlight the breasts he couldn't get out of his mind. As she turned away to let him in, he noticed it did the same for her pert little backside too. He was grateful she had her back turned while she collected her purse from the nightstand. He hurriedly adjusted his jeans to hide the effect she was having on him.

    “I thought I'd return the favor and get out of your way for a while.”

    She smiled as she turned to face him. Pete simply nodded. He didn't trust himself to say anything. The only words he could imagine speaking were, Take the dress off! His mind was screaming them. Either she had to get out of the room or get out of the dress. One or the other had to happen in the next few seconds.

    “I'll see you down there, then.”

    Pete allowed himself to breathe again as she closed the door behind her.

    Oh, boy. He was going to have to sleep in the truck. No two ways about it. There was no way in hell he'd be able to sleep next to that woman and not sleep with her.

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