Skip to product information
1 of 5

When Words Are not Enough - Summer Lake Silver book 8 (ebook)

When Words Are not Enough - Summer Lake Silver book 8 (ebook)

Sweet n Steamy Romance

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 361+ 5-Star Reviews

Regular price $4.99 USD
Regular price $5.99 USD Sale price $4.99 USD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.
  • Purchase the E-Book Instantly
  • Receive Download Link From BookFunnel via Email
  • Send to preferred E Reader and start reading!


Adam and Evie
If you've read the earlier Summer Lake Silver books, you might remember Adam. He runs security for Clay MacAdam. He hasn't had time for a relationship in years. He’s been happy and busy enough with his work and with the fixer-upper house that he's renovating. He still travels a bit with Clay, but he's come to think of Summer Lake as home - the place he wants to finally put down roots.

For him, settling down means owning a house. He's not looking for a woman to be part of the picture. But when Evelyn starts working at Guardian Fitness, his friend's gym, he feels drawn to her in a way he can't explain. She's a mystery, and he just knows that she has more troubles than she'll admit.

He's confident that he can help her out if she'll just open up to him. But no matter what he says, Evelyn's not prepared to take the risk of putting him in danger. He says that he can help, but when it comes to facing her kind of troubles, words are not enough.

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

When Words Are not Enough is the eighth 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. 

    Chapter One Look Inside

    Chapter One

    Evelyn parked the car as close to the front door as she could get, just as she’d done every night since she’d come to stay here. She left the car running and the headlights on to illuminate the front door, then hurried to unlock it. She reached inside and flipped on the light in the hallway and the one on the porch. Then she ran back, cut the engine, locked the car, and hurried into the house. Once she was inside, she leaned against the door, closing her eyes while she waited for her heart rate to return to normal.

    As she stood there, she couldn’t help comparing the way her life was now to the way it had been in Chicago. She used to stroll home to her apartment building, stand in the foyer to chat with the doorman for a while, and then ride the elevator up to the twenty-third floor. It wasn’t that long ago, but it felt like a different lifetime.

    She pushed away from the door and headed for the kitchen. She was hungry; hunger wasn’t something she’d been familiar with in her old life, either. It was a constant companion these days. She opened the fridge and took out one of the last two containers of rice and beans. If Taryn could see her now! She could hear her old friend’s voice as clearly as if she were here with her. Rice and beans? Beans and rice, I ask you.

    Taryn’s tales of growing up in a family where beans and rice were the staple diet, used to make Evelyn laugh. She hadn’t understood, not really. Of course, she knew that Taryn had grown up poor – dirt poor – and Evelyn had understood the concepts of hunger and fear of not having enough, but not the reality. She sighed as she slid the container into the microwave. If it weren’t for her friend’s stories about her childhood, she didn’t know what she’d be eating these days. Taryn might not be here with her, might not be able to ensure that she ate well in the same way that she had in the restaurant, but the stories she told had made sure that Evelyn knew of a food source that she could afford. While it might not be a nutritionally complete diet, it covered the basics and was filling enough.

    She sighed as she took the container from the microwave and stirred the uninspiring-looking contents with a fork. She should be grateful, and she was. Just a few short weeks ago she’d been sleeping in her car and hadn’t known when she might eat again – or what.

    She’d be forever grateful to Russ and Ria. On her lowest day, they’d followed her to her car after she’d failed to find herself a job. Ria had given her a couple of sandwiches and eighty dollars. Russ had given her his card, and a few days later, had given her a job at his gym. Her shoulders relaxed, and she went to get a glass of water from the faucet before she pulled up a stool at the island.

    That day had been a turning point. She hadn’t known what she was going to do. She’d been down to her last five dollars, and the gas gauge on her car had been pointing at the E for a couple of days. She’d felt as though she was out of options – because she was.

    She smiled and started to eat. Regular beans and rice were a sign of progress. Maybe next week she’d buy some cheese to sprinkle over them. She was no longer in such dire straits as she had been, but she was still saving most of the money she was earning at the gym – for when she had to run again.

    She froze when she heard a vehicle pull up outside. Her hands started to shake, and the fork fell into the bowl. She wanted to turn the lights out, pretend there was no one here, but it was too late for that. Whoever was out there would have seen the lights already.

    She ran up the stairs instead. The small bedroom at the front of the house overlooked the driveway and the front door; she’d be able to see what vehicle was out there and maybe even see who was at the door – if they went to the door.

    She tried to catch her breath as she crept along the wall, not wanting whoever was out there to spot movement in the window. She cautiously peeked out and relaxed a little when she recognized Adam’s truck. She didn’t know why he was here; he’d said that he’d be in Nashville until next week. She wasn’t thrilled that she’d have to let him in – it was his house after all. But his truck was a much more welcome sight than what she’d feared she might see out there.

    She started back down the stairs when the doorbell rang. Her heart was hammering again – not from fear, not from exertion, but from the thought of seeing Adam. It was stupid and she knew it. Not stupid to find the man attractive, she knew she wasn’t the only woman in town who did. But it was stupid for her. She wasn’t one of the attractive young things who came into the gym to work out. She was a fifty-three-year-old dowdy widow. She might not have been too bad while she still lived in Chicago, but since she’d been in hiding, there was no denying that dowdy was the only word for her.

    The doorbell rang again just as she reached the bottom of the stairs. “Evie? Are you okay? I’m coming in.”

    The door flew open, and Adam came rushing in at the same time that she rushed forward to open it to let him know that she was fine. She rushed right into him and froze when his arms closed around her to steady her.

    “Whoa!” He gripped her arms as he stepped back, “I’m sorry. I panicked when you didn’t answer the door.”

    She shook her head. “No, I’m sorry. I was just upstairs, I … I’m sorry.” She wasn’t sorry that she’d rushed into him like that – only sorry that the brief moment of feeling safe in his arms had ended so quickly. Jeez! She had to stop that kind of thinking.

    He gave her a puzzled look. “Are you okay?”

    “I’m fine. What are you doing here? I thought you were going to be away until next week.”

    “I was supposed to be …” He frowned again. “Shit. I’m sorry. I didn’t think.” He glanced up the stairs. “Do you have someone here?”

    “Someone …?”

    He pursed his lips. “Do you have a friend over? Upstairs?”

    It took her a second to figure out what he meant. He thought …? She laughed; she couldn’t help it. “No! I don’t.” She shook her head at the absurdity of the question. “I don’t have any friends, let alone one I would take upstairs.”

    He held her gaze for a long moment, and she had to chase away the thought that she’d like to take him upstairs. As if he’d want to take her to bed. She imagined that he shared his bed with the kind of girls who came into the gym, and the ones he must meet working security as he did for Clay McAdam. A big star country singer like Clay would have way more groupies than he knew what to do with. She’d guess that plenty of them would set their sights on the singer’s sexy, rugged, head of security instead.

    She realized that he was still holding her gaze and hadn’t responded to her sad confession that she didn’t have any friends. He probably wasn’t surprised that she had no love life.

    “I’m sorry. Come on in. Do you want me to get out now? Now that you’re back?” She hurried back to the kitchen.


    She turned around. She didn’t even remember when or why he’d started calling her Evie. She’d introduced herself to everyone she met in Summer Lake as Evelyn.


    He blew out a sigh. “I told you that you can stay here for as long as you like. I don’t need the place back.”

    “But … you need to finish all the work, and you need … you don’t need some stray woman here, in your way.”

    “You’re not in my way. Clay wanted to come back to the lake for the weekend. I … wanted to come and see how you were doing. That’s all. I’m not here to check up on you, not here to work on the house. I came … to see you.”

    She frowned. “Why?”

    “Because even though you said you don’t have any friends, you do; I’d like to think that I’m one.”

    She just stared at him. He’d been good to her, letting her stay here. The house was still mid-renovation, but the kitchen, bathroom, and main bedroom were already done. The place was livable. Adam had asked her if she wanted to stay here to keep an eye on it for him. She suspected that he – just like Russ and Ria – knew that she’d been living in her car, even though he hadn’t asked.

    “Why?” she asked eventually. She’d been trying to avoid that question but now, she had to know. Were they all taking pity on her? They were and she knew it, but she was in no position to refuse their charity, and that’s what it felt like, all of it – the house, the job, the kindness they’d shown her.

    He clasped his hands together and brought them up to rest his chin on them. It was an endearing mannerism that she noticed he did a lot. It didn’t hurt that it showed off his muscular arms and … No. She had to stop that. She hadn’t noticed a man in that way in over five years, not since Tom died. She couldn’t afford to think about Adam that way; he was … she didn’t know how old, but a good few years younger than her. And even if he were her age, even if he were interested, she had much more important issues to face.

    Adam gave her a wry smile. “Well, since you’re staying in my house, and we see each other at the gym pretty much every day that I’m here in town, I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be friends. Do you?”

    She shook her head slowly. She couldn’t think of any reason that she could tell him, anyway. She didn’t have any friends anymore because it was safer that way; safer for them and safer for her. She’d only allowed herself to call Taryn occasionally since she left Chicago. And each time she did, she worried that Anatoly might somehow be listening in.

    ~ ~ ~

    Adam waited, hoping that she might say something. At least she hadn’t immediately given him a list of reasons why they couldn’t be friends. That was a start. It was more than he’d managed to get from her so far. Although to be fair, he hadn’t really tried. She was hiding something, something big. He guessed that she was hiding from someone. And he knew damned well that if he pushed too hard, she’d run.

    From the way she’d been living in her car, he believed that she’d been on the run for a while. She probably felt as though she was taking a huge risk by staying in Summer Lake for so long – she’d been here for a few weeks now – and there was no way he wanted to be the reason that she felt she needed to take off again. He’d rather be the reason that she decided to stick around.

    It didn’t look like she was going to answer his question, so he decided to let it drop – for now. He looked around the kitchen, not surprised to see that it didn’t look any different than it had the day she first arrived. She hadn’t brought any knick-knacks, there was no clutter, no evidence that she was staying here other than her purse hung over the back of one of the stools and …

    “I’m sorry. You were eating?” That was weird. She’d said that she was upstairs when he arrived, and yet there was a glass of water and a bowl of … beans and rice? Yeah, that was it. Shit, she had to be even worse off than he’d thought.

    She glanced at the bowl and then back at him and pressed her lips together. “Yes.”

    He wanted nothing more than to go to her, wrap his arms around and hold her, get her to tell him what the hell it was that she was facing – and let him help. He’d felt drawn to her from the very first time he saw her when she walked into the gym to interview for the job with Russ. But she was so damned skittish that he didn’t want to scare her off. And the more time that went by, the more he had to face the fact that she wasn’t interested in him that way. She didn’t act as though she was the least bit attracted to him. She kept him at arm’s length, just as she did with everyone – perhaps more so.

    He hadn’t been able to resist the desire to come over and check on her this evening, but now he felt like it’d been the wrong move. She was uncomfortable with him being here; he should go.

    “I’m sorry. I’ll …”

    Her phone started to ring, and all the color drained from her face. She looked at her purse as if she thought it might be about to explode.

    “Do you need to get that?”

    She was shaking visibly as she shook her head.

    He waited until the ringing stopped. He’d been about to leave, but there was no way he was going until he knew what was going on.

    “I’m sorry.” She swallowed as she met his gaze. “I …” She gasped when the phone started to ring again.

    Adam raised his eyebrows. “Do you want me to see who it is?”

    She shook her head rapidly.

    “Tell me what’s going on, Evie?”

    She turned her back to him and shook her head. He could see that she’d brought her hands up to cover her face, then her shoulders started to shake. That was it. He had no choice. He crossed the space between them in two long strides. He reached for her but stopped himself just in time. Who knew what she’d been through? She didn’t need to be manhandled, no matter how much he wanted to hold her.

    Instead, he touched her arm. “Talk to me.”

    She shook her head.

    He moved closer.

    “Tell me what you’re so afraid of.”

    She shook her head again.

    “Are you afraid of me?”


    “Want to turn around?”

    She shook her head again.

    The damn phone stopped ringing and then started again. Whoever it was wanted to talk to her and wasn’t giving up.

    Adam held his breath; this could be a horrible move, but it felt like the right one. He slipped his arms around her waist and pulled her back against him. It killed him to feel the sobs that wracked her body. She was so tense that she felt like she was humming with electricity. A different kind of electricity hummed through him when she relaxed back against him. He tightened his arms around her and held her closer. She wasn’t short, she was maybe five-seven, and she fit against him perfectly. He rested his chin on top of her head and just held her. He hoped it was helping her – it felt pretty damned good to him.

    Her shaking subsided a little and her breathing slowed.

    “Want to turn around now?”

    She nodded, and without looking up at him, she turned within the circle of his arms. He cupped the back of her head, and she pressed her cheek into his shoulder.

    “I’m sorry.”

    “Don’t be. We just said that we were going to be friends, didn’t we? I reckon this is the kind of thing friends do for each other.”

    She nodded against his shoulder, and he was glad that she didn’t seem to be in any hurry to move away from him. This wasn’t the way he’d been hoping that he’d get to hold her, but it was what she needed right now.

    “You know what else friends do?”

    She shook her head.

    “They confide in each other, Evie.”

    She tensed again, and he almost regretted pushing her, but he couldn’t regret it. She had problems, big ones by the look of it, and he wanted to help.

    She startled when the phone started to ring again.

    “Do you want me to answer it – see who it is?”

    He felt her suck in a deep breath, and then she did step away from him. “I know who it is. No one has the number for that phone.”

    He could feel himself frown. Those two statements might not add up to anything that made sense to most people, but in his line of work, he knew what they meant – and they added up to bad news.

    She went to her purse and took the phone out with shaking hands. She looked at the screen and then closed her eyes and sank to the floor.

    Adam managed to catch her just before she hit her head. He sat cross-legged on the floor and wrapped his arms around her, grateful that she leaned against him and made no attempt to get up. Shit. Whatever was going on, it was bad.

    He glanced at the phone that was still ringing where it fell. It was a Chicago area code, but that didn’t help him any. He wasn’t going to know anything until she talked to him, and after this, she was going to have to talk to him.

    She opened her eyes, and his heart clenched in his chest when she looked into his. She was terrified, but she was still trying to be strong, still trying to keep him out. “I’m so sorry. You must think I’m … I don’t know what.”

    He brushed her hair away from her face. “I think you’re scared, and I think you’re all alone, and I think you’ve been facing whatever’s going on by yourself for way too long. You don’t have to anymore.”

    Tears rolled down her cheeks as she shook her head. “I do.”

    He gave her a wry smile. “I told you, you’ve got a friend now.”

    She visibly pulled herself together. “It’s okay, honestly. It’s so kind of you, but I’ll be fine.”

    “Come on, Evie.”

    They both stared at her phone when it began to ring yet again.

    He saw a flash of anger on her face as she reached for it. “Hello?”

    She turned even paler and started to shake again. Adam couldn’t take any more. He held his hand out for the phone, and to his surprise, she handed it over.

    “Who is this?”

    “Who the fuck are you? Is a better question.”

    “I’m a friend.”

    “Think again. Evelyn is my property.”

    Adam laughed. “Evelyn is nobody’s property. She’s her own person. You need to think again and stop harassing her.”

    “Do you know who I am?”

    “Some asshole who thinks that women can be property.”

    “You should ask her, then decide if you think that her friendship is worth it.”

    The call ended and he set the phone down on the counter.

    “Are you okay?”

    She let out a short, shaky laugh and scrambled to her feet. “Oh, I’m just great.” She grabbed her purse and looked around wildly. “I need to get my things.”

    “Does he know where you are?” Adam asked as he got up.

    “Not yet. But he found my number and I’ve only had that phone for a couple of weeks – it’s not even registered anywhere; it’s one of those prepaid ones. It won’t take him long. He’ll find me. I have to go.”

    Adam’s heart sank. “Where?”

    “I don’t know! Just … away, away from here, away from you. I knew I shouldn’t have stayed here for so long. I got complacent, I …” She shook her head. “You’ve been so kind. I know you want to help, but it’s better – safer – if I just …”

    He reached out and touched her arm, hoping to calm her again, but not sure it would work. “Safer for who?”

    “For you, of course! If he comes here. If he finds me here …” She shuddered.

    “Take a breath.” He tightened his grip on her arm, hoping like hell that it wouldn’t scare her.

    She met his gaze, and he was relieved when she did as he said. Then she took another couple of deep – hopefully, calming – breaths.

    “Better?” he asked with a half-smile.

    He felt proud of her when she attempted a smile back and nodded, even as she said, “No.”

    He chuckled. “I didn’t think so, but it slowed you down enough to think about the question I’m going to ask you.”


    “Where do you think you’re going to go tonight that will be safer than right here?”

    She stared into his eyes for a long moment before she shrugged.

    “So, stay. I’ll stay here, too.”

    “No! You don’t understand, Adam. You don’t know what he’s like. If he found you with me, he’d …” She shuddered.

    “He’d what?” He needed to know what kind of threat she thought this guy was.

    “I don’t know, and I don’t want to find out. I don’t want anything to happen to you because of me.”

    Adam had to smile. “It won’t. If I’m what you’re worried about, you’ve got nothing to worry about.”

    She looked doubtful, but she didn’t seem as panicked as she did just a few minutes ago.

    “Give me a little credit, would you? Do you think Clay McAdam would have trusted me with his security all these years if I couldn’t keep him safe?”

    She let out a short laugh. “I don’t think crazed middle-aged women present the same kind of threat as this.”

    “You’d be surprised. Some of those women can be scary.” His smile faded. “But seriously, I know how to take care of myself, and I want to take care of you, too.”

    She still didn’t look like she was going to go for it.

    “How about you stay here tonight? I’ll stay with you. You can tell me all about it. I am a professional – security and risk assessment are what I do. Even if you still want to run in the morning, I’ll be able to give you an assessment before you go.” He was going to do his best to talk her out of leaving; he didn’t want to give her an assessment, he wanted to make one and then put a plan into place and take care of it himself. For now, he was offering the option he thought she was most likely to agree to.

    His shoulders relaxed when she finally nodded. “Thanks, Adam.” She gave him a small smile. “I wouldn’t want to insult you by implying that you can’t keep your own home safe for a single night. I’d appreciate your input on what you think I should do from here.” Her smile disappeared. “What you think I should do when I leave – in the morning.”

    Adam nodded. He’d work with what she was giving him for now and then go from there.

    View full details