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Chasing Tomorrow - Summer Lake Book 9 (ebook)

Chasing Tomorrow - Summer Lake Book 9 (ebook)

Sweet n Steamy Romance

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1469+ 5-Star Reviews

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Ben Walton grew up in Summer Lake, he's always known that he belongs there. His goal in life has always been to grow the resort that his family has owned for generations.

Charlotte DeWinter spent her childhood summers at the lake, staying with her grandparents. From the age of ten, she believed she would marry Ben someday. Ben believed it too.

Everything looked as though it was on track for these two, until it all went wrong the summer they were eighteen.
If you've read the Summer Lake series, you've no doubt wondered about Ben, and why he hasn't had his own book yet. Chasing Tomorrow is Ben's backstory, an insight into his past and what made him who he is.

WARNING!!! This is not Ben's happily-ever-after story, but a look into his past. Chasing Tomorrow is a shorter story than the other Summer Lake books. This one is around 40k words whereas the others are mostly 70-80k. It begins immediately after The Wedding Dance ends and looks back at one fateful summer.

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

Chasing Tomorrow is the ninth 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 weaves her magic words and brings the past alive. A past Ben wants left buried, a past Charlotte never wants to let go."

"What an emotional rollercoaster!"

"An Absolute MUST READ!" 

"This book has blown me away! SJ McCoy you have out done yourself! I absolutely couldn't put this book down."

"I can't begin to tell you how much I adore this series! I consistently reread the books I have and fall more in love with them each time."


"Oh my! Getting harder to put down these books! Summer lake series is just getting better."

"Great read! Fully-developed characters in realistic situations. Likeable characters involved in modern-day relationships. Hope to meet these fun characters in many more books!"

"Loved this entire book. I cried, laughed, and was so happy. Thank you for letting me live in Summer Lake and getting to know everyone. I feel like one of them 😊

    Chapter One Look Inside

    Chapter One

    “Hello, Ben.” The old familiar warmth washed through Charlotte’s whole being as he smiled back at her. Hello Ben. The first two words they’d exchanged in over a decade. Well, she wasn’t sure yet if this really was going to be an exchange. He was smiling, and that was something, but he wasn’t speaking. As the silence lengthened between them, Charlotte had to wonder whether her heartbeat sounded as loud to Ben as it did to her.

    She cocked her head to one side and raised an eyebrow, hoping to elicit some kind of response.


    There it was. Just one small syllable. But he’d spoken. She got to hear his voice again, and it sounded so good. It was deeper, richer than she remembered, but it was still the same voice that was etched into her memory, into her heart.

    “Can we talk?” She could hear the shake in her own voice, even above the hammering of her heart.

    Ben’s smile faded. He shook his head sadly. “There’s nothing left to say, is there, Charlie?” He shrugged. “I’d love to talk to you, but it wouldn’t be enough. We could never talk our way past everything that happened. So, it’s probably best not to try.” He turned back to the door and pulled it open.

    Charlotte stared after him for a moment. So, that was it? After all these years, after all the ways she’d built up to this moment in her mind, he was just going to turn around and walk away? No bloody way! She shot out into the corridor after him. He was already striding back toward the elevators, his broad shoulders set.


    She knew by the way his stride faltered that he’d heard, but he didn’t turn around, didn’t stop. Charlotte kicked out of her shoes, no way would she be able to catch him in those heels. She scooped them up and ran after him.

    The elevator doors opened, and he was stepping inside by the time she caught up. She rushed in after him. “Please, Ben!”

    He held her gaze for a long a moment. “Please what? What do you want me to say?”

    She sucked in a deep breath. What did she want him to say? That he still loved her? That they should get back together? That … what? Maybe he was right. Maybe there was nothing left to say. She stared into his eyes, lost for words.

    She jerked her head as the woman standing by the buttons spoke. How had she not even seen her till now?

    “Son, she wants you to say you love her. And you obviously do. So, get on with it, would you?”

    The elevator came to a stop and the woman stepped out. She turned back and held the door with her hand. “Life’s too short to waste it. Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone. You two need to kiss and make up and get on with living today.” She removed her hand and the doors slid shut.

    Charlotte stared at Ben and he gave her a sad smile.

    She nodded. She knew what he was thinking. “Did you pay her to say that?”

    He shook his head with a rueful smile. “No. It just seems I’m not the only one who’d rather live for today than chase tomorrow.”

    “I’ve learned, Ben. I’m not trying to chase tomorrow anymore. I’m trying to live today. This day. Right here, right now. You and me, in an elevator.”

    The elevator stopped again, and Ben stepped out. “It’s too late, though, Charlie. We don’t have a tomorrow. There’s nothing we can do with today; all we have is a yesterday. We made our choices back then, we can’t change them.”

    “We can’t change the past, no. But we can change the future.”

    He stood perfectly still and stared deep into her eyes. For a moment she saw a trace of hope on his face, a glimmer in the depths of his hazel eyes, but then it was gone. He shook his head sadly. “It’s too late, Charlie. You’re the one who’s married.”

    His words hit her like a slap in the face. He was right of course. She was the one who had sealed their fate when she married Alastair. She nodded sadly. “I’m sorry.”

    “Not as sorry as I am.”

    They were still standing outside the elevators. A couple smiled as they joined them. Charlotte felt ridiculously uncomfortable. She didn’t want to just walk away, but she didn’t want to beg him to talk to her right here with people listening. On impulse she grabbed his hand and pulled him down the corridor away from the elevators and the prying ears. She could see the shadow of a smile on his face as he allowed her to pull him along.

    “Do you want to put your shoes back on?” he asked when she came to a stop.

    She looked down at her bare feet, then at the shoes in her hand, then up into his eyes. She smiled. “They’re not the most important thing on my mind right now.”

    He shrugged. “You know me, I notice what needs to be done right now and try to take care of it.”

    She did know that about him. It was who he was. It was a big part of what she loved about him. It was also the big difference between them—or at least it had been. Back when they were kids, she’d always wanted to chase tomorrow, as he’d called it, while he had wanted to take care of the day they were in. She shook her head sadly and bent down to put her shoes back on. His arm shot out to catch her as she tottered on one foot. The feel of his strong hand on her bare arm sent shivers racing through her, she caught her breath before she straightened up.

    “Can’t you see, that’s what I’m trying to do? What needs to be done right now, is for us to talk. If we don’t do it right now, we probably never will, will we?”

    “And that’s how it should be. Our time is gone, Charlie. All we can do is cause each other more pain. I don’t want to do that. I didn’t want to see you. I won’t lie, I’m glad I have seen you. But there’s nowhere left for us to go. It’s over. It’s been over for years. I never wanted to accept that, but I’m finally realizing that I have to.”

    She swiped at the tears that welled up in her eyes. “It isn’t over though, is it, Ben? It’ll never be over between us. It can’t be, my heart won’t let it be. And I don’t believe yours will either.”

    He stared at her for a long moment, his expression inscrutable even before he covered his face by rubbing both hands over it. “Whatever our hearts have to say doesn’t matter. That ring on your finger says it all.”

    Charlotte looked down at her wedding band. He was right. “But my heart still says it loves you, Ben.”

    He shook his head sadly. “It’s a pity it didn’t speak up years ago.”

    He turned on his heel and walked away.

    This time she couldn’t bring herself to go after him. He was right. She should have listened to her heart years ago. She shouldn’t have let herself be swayed by pain and pride. But she had. The hot tears stung her eyes before they rolled down her cheeks. She looked around wildly. She wanted to run and hide, she needed to get to her room—wherever the hell it was.

    ~ ~ ~

    Ben swiped his room key three times to no effect. He stepped back and took a deep breath trying to steady his heart and his hands before trying again. This time the little green light came on and door handle turned. Thank God!

    He went inside and looked around. What the hell was he doing here? Why had he ever agreed to come? And why the hell hadn’t he stayed out of Charlotte’s way? He’d done so well. He’d almost made it to the finish line. If he hadn’t turned around when she tapped him on the shoulder, if he’d just kept on walking like he’d known he should… He shook his head and opened the mini bar. Just like always, when it came to Charlotte his head was filled with ifs and whys. The answers didn’t matter. All that mattered was that he needed to get away from her. Of course he still loved her! He always would. But what did that matter? She was married. They’d made their choices long ago. All that was left was to live with them. And living with them wasn’t going to get any easier by talking about it. Talking to her, seeing her, only made it so much harder. It only reminded him how beautiful she was, how just the feel of being near her turned his legs to jelly. Seeing her running around barefoot only reminded him how ditzy she could be—and how much he loved that about her. He opened the first of the whiskey bottles and knocked it back. There wasn’t going to be enough of it, he knew that already.

    He turned at the sound of a tap on his door. Surely to God she hadn’t followed him? He wouldn’t be able to turn her away again. He already knew that. He waited. Hoping she’d leave. The tap came again, louder this time. He stood frozen to the spot while the internal battle raged. He should wait her out, let her give up and leave, his head knew that. But what he wanted, what he needed to do was to go open the door, drag her in here to sit and talk the whole night through to remember who they’d been, and become who they should have been—together. And it was his heart that won. He hurried to open the door.

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