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Like Some Old Country Song - Summer Lake Silver Book 1 (ebook)

Like Some Old Country Song - Summer Lake Silver Book 1 (ebook)

Sweet n Steamy Romance

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1432+ 5-Star Reviews

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You know those stories – where guy meets girl, they fall for each other, life does its best to tear them apart, but in the end, love conquers all and they embark on their life together?

Yeah? Well, this isn’t one of those stories. This is more like some old country song. A song about a man and a woman who’ve already lived through great highs and lows. A man and a woman who’ve reached their fifties and who, despite humble beginnings have achieved great things in different ways.

He’s had an amazing career as one of country music’s biggest names. She’s raised a daughter and given her everything she needed to go out and succeed in the world.

They’ve both given their all to their chosen path in life, and when those paths cross, two lonely hearts finally see their chance at true happiness.

It’s hardly a spoiler to say that an old country song might end with the sun setting over two rocking chairs on a front porch. You’ll have to pick up your copy of this heart-warming romance today to find out if Marianne and Clay’s story ends that way.

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

Like Some Old Country Song is the first book in USA Today Bestselling Author SJ McCoy's international hit Summer Lake Silver series, loved by over 1,000,000 fans of sweet and steamy romances. 

Readers say:

"I absolutely, positively loved everything about this story."

"After trying SJ McCoy's first book I have read everything she's published and am actively reading others stuff too, she re-awakened a long lost love of reading 😊"

"SJ McCoy never disappoints!" 

"A really great start to another collection"

"I love, love, love the Summer Lake Silver series."

"I loved every minute of this book"


"Wow! SJ did it again! This book gives hope to all those who haven't found their TRUE LOVE STORY! The story and all the feelings that go with it, jump off the page."

"It is refreshing to read a story about real love after 50!"

    Chapter One Look Inside


    Clay took a slug of his beer and then peered down into the bottom of the bottle, watching the bubbles fizz and pop. He couldn’t help thinking that he and the others were just like those bubbles. All of them. He looked around the dressing room.

    Lawrence was standing talking to Shawnee, Matt was sitting on the sofa trying to raise a laugh and keep things light as Autumn talked up young Carson, prepping him to go out and be the warm up act for them tonight.

    Clay shook his head. They were three generations of country music, if you wanted to look at it that way. He was on the home stretch of his career, as were Lawrence and Shawnee. Matt was at the zenith of his, and young Carson was just at the beginning. And they were all like the bubbles in his beer. He took another swig then watched it fizz as he set it down on the table. The bubbles rose up, caught the light, sparkled on their way to the top. Then all too soon, they reached the surface and popped. Their journey over.

    He chuckled to himself, wondering what had him feeling so philosophical. He needed to pull himself together. Turn on the magic, be the guy everyone wanted to see. It wasn’t as though it was just an act. That was who he was, who he’d always been. The guy everyone turned to, the guy they brought their problems to. The life of the party. He sighed. The guy who made everyone feel good, about themselves, about life. Whether it was with his songs or a kind word here and there, he knew he made people happy. So, why wasn’t the magic working on himself anymore? Why did he feel empty most of the time? And why was it that these days he found himself sitting alone like this more often than not while the party carried on around him?

    He knew the answer. It was because he was feeling old. He’d achieved everything he’d set out to and more in his career. He was considered the granddaddy of country music these days. He wasn’t just a singer. He owned a label, brought on new talent and ran some of the biggest names in country—some of them were in this room tonight. But he’d never be a granddaddy, not a real one, not to some little boy or girl. At McAdam Records they liked to call themselves family, and in many ways, they were better than family. But with every year that went by, it tugged harder at Clay’s heart that he didn’t have a family of his own. He might have built a great legacy, but there was no one to leave it to. No one to go home to, no …

    He picked up the bottle and took another sip. He knew better than to go down that road. He’d made his choice a long time ago. He’d chosen the love of his life and he’d given her his all. His love wasn’t a woman, it wasn’t even a career. It was a passion, a passion to write and sing great songs, songs that told stories that touched people’s hearts. His own heart might feel like it had missed out on that one big love story, but he knew he’d been a part of thousands of other love stories. Couples danced to his songs, played them at their weddings, made love to them, curled up and cried away the lonely nights to them. He couldn’t feel too badly about his own heart when he knew he’d done so much for so many others.

    He told himself he couldn’t feel too badly, but sometimes, on nights like tonight, he did. But then he gave himself a kick in the ass, put the smile back on his face and focused on the good stuff. There was so much good stuff in his life and he was grateful for all of it. Just because a woman had never walked into his life and stolen his heart, it didn’t mean he couldn’t appreciate everything else he had going for him.

    He looked up at the sound of a knock on the dressing room door. The others were too busy with their conversations to notice it. “Come in,” he called.

    The door opened, and Laura Benson came in. Clay liked her. She wasn’t a singer, she was a jeweler of all things. She’d made the engagement ring that Lawrence would soon give to Shawnee. She was a good girl, strong, ambitious, she had a good head on her shoulders. If Clay had ever had a daughter, he would like to think that she might have turned out like Laura.

    “Laura.” He got to his feet and went to wrap her in a hug. “I’m glad you came. I wasn’t sure if you’d want to, but this guy,” he jerked his head at Lawrence, “insisted we should ask you.”

    “I’m glad you did,” she said with a smile. “This is wonderful.”

    “See.” Lawrence grinned as he moved in for a hug of his own, only to be elbowed aside by Shawnee.

    They were saying something about Laura’s last night of freedom—she was here for her bachelorette party, but Clay was no longer focused on their words. His head had filled with cracks and pops and white noise, just like an old forty-five before the needle reached the first bars of the song. He was looking past them at a woman, a woman whom he felt he already knew—and not just because she looked so much like her daughter.

    She met his gaze; her blue eyes felt like an ocean he wanted to swim in. The air felt thick as he reached through it to take hold of her hand. “You don’t need any introduction,” he said. “You’re Laura’s mom, and now we know where she gets her beauty from.”

    Her gaze was still locked with his. For a moment, her lips moved, but no sound came out. Her fingers tightened slightly around his, making him realize that he hadn’t yet let go of her hand. A crazy little voice in the back of his mind was singing an old hit about never letting go.

    “Thank you.” Her voice reverberated through his whole body. Just two little words spoken, and he knew. They were in tune. She was the reason he’d never managed to fall truly in love with another woman. He’d been waiting. Waiting for her.

    “It’s a real pleasure to meet you, Mr. McAdam.”

    Hearing her call him that brought him back to his senses. He couldn’t just scoop her up and carry her out of here, couldn’t fly her away to some hideout in the mountains or even ditch the show and the others and take her out to dinner. She saw him as Mr. McAdam. That had to change, and he had to change it soon, but he couldn’t rush her. He could already tell. She was wary. She felt the attraction, too, but she’d run if he came on too strong.

    He made himself give her a friendly smile when all he really wanted to do was take her in his arms and tell her welcome home. “Please, call me Clay? All my friends do, and I have a feeling we’re going to become friends.”

    She smiled, and it lit up the whole room, hell it felt like it lit up his heart and soul. “Very well, Clay. And you must call me Marianne.”

    He chuckled. “I will call you, Marianne.” He knew it must sound like a cheesy old line, but it was so much more than that. He was giving her as much warning as he could that this wasn’t a passing meeting. He would call her, they would see each other again. This was the beginning of something beautiful. He knew it in his heart. Even if she didn’t yet.

    ~ ~ ~

    Marianne realized she was still holding his hand, but she couldn’t make herself let go. All she could do was smile and stare deep into his gorgeous brown-green eyes. The laughter lines were etched deep around them, they just added to his appeal—and they helped her feel less conscious of the lines around her own eyes.

    Clay McAdam. This felt like a dream. She’d had a crush on him for more than thirty years. Now here she was, holding his hand, and he was looking at her as if he saw her, as if he knew her. She really should shake the feeling that he did know her, that he’d always known her and that she’d always known him. She mustn’t make a fool of herself—or of Laura. These people were Laura’s friends. Just because Marianne felt starstruck she mustn’t get carried away, mustn’t let herself believe that this gorgeous man really felt the same way as she did right now.

    He kept hold of her hand and led her away from the others. They faded out of her awareness. To Marianne, in that moment, there was no one else in the room—no one else in the world other than her and Clay. She was vaguely aware that she shouldn’t let herself get too carried away. She was just a fan, the mother of a friend at best. Clay was no doubt more used to the attention of girls Laura’s age. But that awareness wasn’t enough to drown out another feeling, the feeling that she, Marianne was more than just Laura’s mom. She was a woman, a woman who might be the wrong side of fifty, but who had once been just as beautiful as her daughter and who wore her years well. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend a few moments with a man, perhaps the only man, she’d always felt attracted to.

    “How long are you in town for?”

    She smiled sadly, wanting to believe that he was interested to know if she’d be here for a while, if they could see each other again, yet at the same time acutely aware that that was just wishful thinking. “Just the night. Just for Laura’s party. She’s getting married tomorrow. We have to go home.”

    “Of course, I knew that. I’m sorry.” He shook his head as if to clear it. “Can I tell it to you straight, Marianne?”

    She drew in a deep breath as she nodded slowly. She wanted to hear that he felt the same kind of attraction to her that she did to him, but the little voice inside her head—the one that had always tried to hold her back—prepared her instead to hear that he needed to go and get ready, that it’d been nice to meet her, but he had to go now.

    His eyes twinkled when he smiled. “Don’t look so scared.”

    She let out a little laugh. “How could you tell?”

    “Maybe because I’m scared, too.”

    Her heart beat even faster as the humor left his eyes. “What are you scared of?”

    “I’m scared at the thought of you walking out of this room and never seeing you again. I’m scared to tell you that my heart is beating out of my chest, scared that you’ll notice how much my palm is sweating.”

    She looked down at their still joined hands.

    “I said I’d give it to you straight, Marianne. I’m scared that the bolt of lightning that struck me when I laid eyes on you just now has changed my life, and even more scared that I’m not going to be able to convince you that it’s real.”

    Her lips moved, but no words came out. She didn’t know what words could ever answer him. Her heart knew. Her heart beat faster and faster to a rhythm that sang that it, too, knew that life would never be the same. Her heart wanted to say that it had found its match and wanted to beat beside him forever. She drew in a deep breath. Her mind and her mouth weren’t capable of helping her heart out, so she just continued to stare at him mutely.

    He gave a low chuckle. “I just scared you even more, didn’t I?”

    She smiled. It was impossible not to at the sound of his deep laugh. “Yes, yes you did. But not in the way you think.”

    “You’re not scared that I’m crazy or that I’m just feeding you a line?”

    She shook her head. “I’m scared because I understand what you’re saying, I understand what you’re feeling because I’m feeling it, too. Most of all I’m scared because there’s nothing we can do with it.”

    “We can do whatever we want with it. We can go slowly. I’m a patient man, Marianne. Now that I know what you’re afraid of, I won’t give up until you believe that it’s real, until you’re not scared anymore. Until we’re together.”

    Marianne looked over at the others as they all laughed at something. Her heart clenched at the thought that maybe they somehow knew what she and Clay were saying, and they were laughing at her. She shook her head. “It’s not real, Clay. It’s just a moment in time.”

    He smiled. “Isn’t that all life ever is; one moment in time and then another and another until we reach the end?”

    “I suppose it is, but this? This moment is an anomaly. It’s not a part of your life and it’s not a part of mine. We each stepped outside of our reality for a moment and saw a possibility that could have been—if we were different people who’d lived different lives.”

    “No. We’re seeing what can be.” His eyes were so earnest as he looked into hers. “I know it’s crazy. I don’t blame you for not believing, but would you do something for me?”


    “Can we just enjoy tonight as though a different life was a possibility? As though we’re just a man and a woman who ran into each other someplace and who feel the way we feel and believe it’s possible to explore it?”

    She thought that over as she looked back into his eyes.

    “What’s the worst that could happen?”

    She didn’t answer that. How could she tell him that, the way she felt right now, she could fall in love with him in the space of just one evening and then have to spend the rest of her life trying to forget him.

    “I feel like I waited my whole life for you, Marianne.”

    She nodded slowly. Ridiculous as it sounded, he was only voicing what she felt, too.

    He smiled. “They’re going to clear the room soon, but I’ll come find you as soon as I get off stage.”

    She smiled back. “I’ll be waiting.”

    At that moment a piercing whistle sounded, and they turned to look at the others—who were now all standing by the door.

    “Jeez, Clay,” said Lawrence Fuller. “Would you let poor Marianne go? Laura’s waiting to get back to her party and you need to get ready.”

    Clay squeezed her and then let it go as he grinned around at them all, looking embarrassed. “Sorry, everyone.”

    Marianne went to join Laura as the others started to make their way out. She could feel Clay’s eyes on her every step of the way. She turned back when she reached the door. It felt like that bolt of lightning struck her again when their eyes met. He smiled and addressed Laura. “Can we come find you when we get done on stage?”

    “Of course, that’ll be great.”

    Marianne felt as if she was walking on air as they made their way back out into the club. Laura and the others chatted away. Oscar, who owned the place, put his arm around her at one point and joked that Clay had been staking his claim to her. She wanted to believe that was true, but now that she was away from his warmth and his presence she was starting to wonder if she’d somehow just daydreamed the whole encounter. “I’m just a star-struck fan, and he was being kind.”

    Oscar laughed. “You don’t seriously believe that, do you? If ever I saw a man bowled over, it was Clay just now.”

    She shook her head. What else could she do? “I don’t think so.”

    The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Marianne. She smiled and made polite noises at the girls around her. She wanted to enjoy it, it was her daughter’s bachelorette party, after all. But most of the time she was lost inside her head, reliving those few moments she’d spent with Clay, going back through what he’d said about them making the most of this one evening, pretending they were just two regular people—that he wasn’t a country music superstar! She chuckled to herself. Maybe it was a role play game he enjoyed? She didn’t think so. Whatever had been between them had felt so very real when she was with him. But it was hard to believe now that she wasn’t.

    She tried to bring herself back to reality. Soon, Lawrence Fuller and Shawnee Reynolds would take the stage. She’d been looking forward to seeing them. She looked up when someone tapped her on the shoulder. It was one of Clay’s guys. He’d been outside the dressing room earlier.

    “Ms. Benson, would you like to come with me? Mr. McAdam asked if you could spare him a few minutes.”

    Marianne looked around. Everyone was busy chatting, some of the younger ones were off dancing. No one was paying any attention to her. Her heart raced as she got to her feet with a smile. Why not? She’d probably never see Clay again after tonight, and she knew she’d always regret it if she didn’t go. She looked around as she followed the guy down the steps. No one saw her leave, not even her sister, Chris; she was deep in conversation with Seymour Davenport. She smiled to herself; she and Chris would have some catching up to do tomorrow.

    When they reached the dressing room door, the guy knocked on it and Clay answered almost immediately. “Thanks, Adam.”

    Marianne watched Adam make his way back down the corridor. She couldn’t make herself turn back to look at Clay until he took hold of both of her hands.

    “I’m not going to ask you inside.”

    She smiled. “Good, because I’m not sure I’d go in with you. I think we might be a little old for that.”

    ~ ~ ~

    Clay chuckled. He wasn’t even sure why he had asked for her to come back here. He’d have to go out on stage soon. “I don’t think we’re too old, but we’re not in any rush either. I meant what I said earlier, Marianne. I’m not going to give up until I can convince you that this is for real.”

    Her eyes were such a deep blue, they were full of emotion. She nodded but didn’t speak and he understood why he’d needed her to come back here.

    “You’re starting to doubt already, aren’t you? You went back out there and convinced yourself that what we just shared wasn’t real.”

    She nodded again. “It’s easier to believe that I made it all up. That I imagined it. I didn’t manage to convince myself, though.”

    “Good. I know you’ll have your doubts, this seems crazy to me, too. But I’m used to living a crazy life. I’m not going to give up on this, Marianne. I’ll prove it to you, no matter how long it takes. There’s nothing that can stop me.”

    “Nothing?” He saw hesitation in her eyes.

    “Nothing except you telling me that it’s not what you want.”

    She drew in a deep breath and then blew it out again. “I don’t even know what this is, but I know it’s what I want—I want to explore it at least. It scares me. I think we might both be crazy, but it is what I want.”

    He smiled and squeezed her hands. “That’s what I needed to know.”

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