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Can't Fight the Moonlight - Summer Lake Silver book 9 (ebook)

Can't Fight the Moonlight - Summer Lake Silver book 9 (ebook)

Sweet n Steamy Romance

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 411+ 5-Star Reviews

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Dalton and Taryn
After her restaurant in Chicago was burned down, Taryn decided to make the move and follow her best friend, Evie, to Summer Lake. She wasn't expecting that Dalton, aka The Grouch, would be moving there, too.

He might have been the one who rescued her from Chicago, but he still gets on her last nerve – she has no time for or patience with big, bossy. She tries to avoid him as much as she can, and she knows that he does the same with her, but they keep running into each other

When friends set her up on a date with another guy, she finally has to admit that bickering with Dalton is more enjoyable than going out with anyone else.

During his career as a Navy SEAL and later his work in security and protection services, Dalton's seen and done more than most men ever will. He's faced down threats both foreign and domestic, but he's never had to face anything like Taryn before.

The woman is a spitfire. Between her smart mouth and her bad attitude, she drives him nuts. He should stay out of her way. He knows it, but he just can't do it. It seems that the two of them can't get through a week without bickering and fighting.

When Taryn tells him that she might have to leave Summer Lake, Dalton has to admit that there’s attraction mixed in with his irritation – and he doesn’t want her to go. They still fight about almost everything until a late-night walk home from The Boathouse proves that you just can't fight the moonlight.

Get your copy of this sweet n steamy, over-fifties romance today to see if they can stop fighting long enough for Dalton to convince her to stay.

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

Can't Fight the Moonlight is the ninth 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

    Taryn traced her finger through the drops of condensation gathering on the side of her glass. Then she absently reached across the bar for one of Kenzie’s bar towels and wiped the space in front of her.

    “What’s up, girl? Are you trying to tell me that I don’t keep a clean enough bar?” Kenzie had her hands on her hips as she gave Taryn a mock scowl.

    Taryn waved a hand at her. “You know better than that. I’ve told you often enough how much I wish I’d had you behind my bar at the restaurant. I’m just …” Taryn shrugged and looked around. “I don’t know what to do with myself, Kenz. I mean, look at me; it’s four-thirty on a Friday afternoon, and I’m hanging out at the bar by myself. What does that tell you?”

    Kenzie laughed and came to rest her elbows on the bar opposite her. “The fact that you’re bitching about it tells me that you’re a woman who doesn’t know how to take a break.”

    “I’ve had a break. I’ve been here for over a month now. I need to figure something out before I go out of my mind.”

    It was true; Taryn had been living in Summer Lake for five weeks. It was over two months ago that her restaurant in Chicago had been burned to the ground. The first few weeks of that time had been crazy. She’d come down here to be with her friend, Evie, who was hiding out from the Russian mob. They were the ones who’d burned down the restaurant in an attempt to scare Taryn into telling them where her friend was. She shook her head, remembering how worried she’d been about Evie all that time.

    After that whole situation had been resolved – once Anatoly was dead – Evie had decided to stay here at the lake with Adam, who was now her fiancé. She’d asked Taryn to move here, and after a few weeks back in Chicago, wrapping up the loose ends of everything that used to be her life, Taryn had done just that.

    She’d thought that she might buy or even build a new restaurant here, but that plan was looking less likely by the day. Summer Lake was a small town, the resort was the center of it, and The Boathouse bar and restaurant where she was sitting right now was the heart of the resort. Between the restaurant here, and Giuseppe’s, the Italian place in town, Taryn wasn’t sure that there was room for a third restaurant.

    Kenzie made a face at her. “I wish I knew what to tell you. You know Kellan manages the restaurant here for Ben, and Tino’s managed Giuseppe’s by himself ever since I came to the lake. Did you ever go over to Four Mile? Scope out what might be possible there?”

    “I did. The only real restaurant over there is part of the Lodge; it’s the one place that would suit me but, from what I understand, it’s not a separate business. Other than that, the café is cute, but I’m not in the café business, nor do I want to be. The wine bar is struggling. I could maybe make a go of something there, but …”

    She forced a smile. “Anyway, I’ll figure something out. I’m not here to be a downer.”

    “Why are you here? Are Adam and Evie coming in later?”

    “No. They’ve gone out of town for the weekend.” Taryn wrinkled her nose. “Is that how I come across? That I’d only come out as a hanger on with them?” She didn’t like that idea. She didn’t like it one bit. Perhaps what she liked least about it was that it might be true.

    For the last ten years she’d run her own successful restaurant in Chicago. She led a very busy life, both at work and socially – even if the social part was all tied up in the restaurant. Evie had been her best friend that whole time. Now, Taryn had to wonder if she wasn’t making a nuisance of herself. She didn’t have the restaurant to go to, she didn’t have a job of any kind – or much of a life, for that matter. She’d hate to think that people saw her as just Evie’s friend who tagged along after her.

    Kenzie made a face at her as she started to move away to serve a couple who had just come in. “I’m not even going to answer that question. I just thought that since it’s Friday night and your whole group of friends usually comes in, you might be meeting them.” She laughed. “But I should’ve known – you came for my dazzling personality and wonderful company, right?”

    Taryn had to laugh. Kenzie was a piece of work – and she loved her. She hoped that Ben, who owned the resort, knew how lucky he was to have her. As she watched her serve the couple, and then move on down the bar to check on the other patrons, Taryn couldn’t help but think how much fun it would have been to have her working at the restaurant.

    But the restaurant was gone. That was the past. She couldn’t sit around here feeling sorry for herself. She needed to get her ass into gear and figure out where she went next.

    She wasn’t thrilled about it, but it was starting to look like she might need to go elsewhere if she wanted to build the kind of life she could enjoy. Sure, she’d come to the lake to be close to Evie. But Evie was building a new life with Adam. Maybe it would be best for Taryn to move to San Francisco – she knew damn well that she’d be able to make a go of a restaurant there, and she’d only be a few hours’ drive away from her friend.

    Kenzie came back with a grin on her face and tipped her chin toward the door. “Look who’s here! Now, you can have a drink and hang out with these guys. They’re always good for a laugh.”

    Taryn gripped the bar rail in front of her tightly as she slowly turned her head to see who had come in. She was hoping that it might not be but … It was.

    She got that feeling in her stomach – it was like a quick burst of electricity that took her breath momentarily and sent tingles racing over her skin. It happened every time she saw him – no matter how much she wished it wouldn’t.


    Cal, Manny, and Ryan were walking ahead of him. Manny and Ryan were fooling around as always. Cal was tapping at his phone, probably checking in with his lady, Teresa. Dalton brought up the rear of the group as they made their way through the restaurant to the bar, and he looked as watchful as ever. As if he needed to provide protection for the other three – ha! They were as capable of taking care of themselves as he was. But the damn man just couldn’t stand down. It was in his nature. And she should know.

    Dalton had been the one who had rescued her from Chicago. He’d already picked her up that day before the restaurant burned down. And she’d be forever grateful to him for that. But after that, he’d driven her down here to Summer Lake, and that had been the worst road trip of her life – well, it was tied for one of the worst three road trips ever – the other two being when they’d gone back to Chicago and then returned a few weeks later. The man was insufferable.

    At least, to Taryn, he was. She could see that he was a decent guy, really. And everyone else seemed to like him a lot. He just rubbed her the wrong way. To be fair, she had the same effect on him. He made it clear that everything she did and everything she said irritated him.

    Kenzie might have been right that the other three were good for a laugh. And their ladies were, too. Taryn had gotten to know Teresa, Nina, and Leanne since she’d arrived. She wouldn’t mind sticking around to hang out with them. But if Dalton was going to be here, looking all grouchy, and scowling at her, she’d rather go home and make her own dinner.

    ~ ~ ~

    Dalton’s stride faltered when he saw her.



    That was just what he needed. It had been a long week at work, and he’d been looking forward to relaxing with the guys. He was enjoying working for Dan Benson’s outfit, Prometheus Security. It hadn’t exactly been a planned move, but when Dan asked him to join the team when he’d come down here to bring Taryn, he’d jumped at the chance.

    He’d been out of the Navy for a long time. He’d worked for a few different contractors since his retirement. The last job had been a good one, but he’d been getting tired of life in Chicago. He’d grown up in a small town, and the big city didn’t suit him.

    Summer Lake seemed like a good fit. He enjoyed the lake and the mountains. He enjoyed the small-town feeling. The people were great – for the most part. There was only one exception, and he was staring at her right now.

    He didn’t know what it was about the woman, all he knew was that he preferred to avoid her whenever possible. He’d been looking forward to having a drink with the guys after work, but her presence made him think he’d be better off going home and sitting out on the back porch with a whiskey.

    “Hey, guys! What can I get you?” asked Kenzie.

    Dalton focused his attention on her, asking for that whiskey since he couldn’t exactly turn right around and walk straight out. He let the others greet Taryn. And there was no reason that they shouldn’t; it wasn’t that she was a horrible person. It wasn’t that at all. She was fun, and outgoing, and everyone seemed to get along with her and enjoy her company – everyone except him.

    After the other three had said hi to her and they all had their drinks, he risked a glance in her direction and gave her a brief nod when she met his gaze. She nodded back before quickly looking away. He had to give her that. She was a strong woman who could stand her ground. She wasn’t one of those who was going to get all offended or hurt because he refused to try and play nice.

    In his experience, most women got upset when men didn’t at least pretend to be friendly. That was something he respected about Taryn – she was as open, honest, and blunt as he was. She was more concerned with being real than putting on some front.

    “Are the ladies joining you?” asked Kenzie.

    Cal smiled. “Teresa’s on her way, Donovan just collected Skye from our place.”

    That made Dalton smile. Skye was Cal’s granddaughter, a three-foot nothing cutie with blonde curls and big brown eyes, who had the big guy wrapped around her little finger.

    “Nina’s on her way, too,” said Manny.

    Ryan laughed. “And if Donovan has already made it to Cal’s place, then I’d guess that Leanne will be here any minute.”

    Kenzie smiled at Taryn. “There you go. I told you. I thought the girls would be out. You should stick around, have dinner with everyone.”

    Dalton didn’t miss the look of irritation that flashed in Taryn’s eyes. It didn’t look like anyone else had noticed. But then again, none of them had endured her company in close quarters on a road trip – or three. He’d gotten all too familiar with her quirks and the little mannerisms that gave her away.

    She covered it quickly with a smile, but that flash in her eyes had told Dalton that she was pissed that Kenzie had suggested she might stay. He understood why, too. He was pissed for the same reason. Taryn didn’t need a group to tag onto any more than he did. If she wanted to stay for dinner, she’d stay and eat alone – just like he would.

    “No. I’m just going to finish this.” She held up a half-empty glass. “Then, I’m going home.”

    Either Ryan hadn’t picked up on the undercurrent, or he was stirring the pot. Knowing Ryan, it was probably the latter. He grinned at Taryn and said, “You should stick around. Hang out with us. Just because Evie and Adam aren’t here, doesn’t mean you should go home.”

    Taryn gave him a tight smile. “And just because they’re not here doesn’t mean that I should play seventh wheel with you guys.”

    Ryan laughed. “You wouldn’t be. There are eight wheels.” He jerked his head in Dalton’s direction with a smile.

    Dalton shot him an evil look.

    Taryn did the same even as she smiled and said, “No, really. I need to go home.”

    Dalton stretched out his fingers from the fist that he hadn’t realized he’d made at his side. He probably wouldn’t stick around himself, but once Taryn left, the decision would be his to make – he wouldn’t have to leave because of her.

    She knocked back the rest of her drink and waved at Kenzie, who had moved down the bar to serve other customers. “I’ll catch up with you,” she called.

    The guys stood back as she slid down from the stool where she’d been sitting. “Have yourselves a great evening, gentlemen. And say hi to the girls for me, would ya?”

    “Are you sure you don’t want to stay?” asked Manny. “Nina will be mad at me when I tell her that I let you leave.”

    Dalton had to smile. Manny was a good guy.

    Even Taryn smiled at him as she put her hand on his arm. “You tell her that I said she’s not allowed to get mad at you – there was nothing you could do.”

    Dalton stood back and gritted his teeth as the other three took turns to lean in and peck her cheek. When Cal let go of her, she shot Dalton a quick look.



    He knew the others were laughing about their exchange, even though they tried to hide it. They didn’t need to try too hard either, since he wasn’t focused on them – he watched Taryn all the way across the bar until she walked out the door. She might be a pain in the ass, but she never failed to draw his eye.

    He turned back to them, and to Kenzie, who was leaning on the bar with them, laughing.

    “Oh my God, Dalton! What the hell is it with the two of you?” she asked. “You were like a pair of gunslingers from an old Western. Dalton. Taryn. I swear to God if the two of you were wearing hats, you would’ve tipped them at each other before you drew your weapons.”

    The other guys were grinning at him, nodding but knowing better than to say anything.

    He blew out a sigh and held Kenzie’s gaze. “You take a road trip with the woman before you judge me.”

    “Aww! That’s not nice!” Kenzie scowled at him.

    “I prefer honest over nice, darlin’. Honest has a purpose, nice just screws things up. And I’ll bet if you asked Taryn, she’d agree with me.” He hadn’t thought about it before but that was one thing they had in common. And that was one more than he’d thought possible.

    He turned when he heard a laugh behind him. “And that’s why the two of us get along so well,” said Leanne, who had just arrived to join them, accompanied by Cal’s lady, Teresa.

    Dalton smiled at her. She was another one who didn’t mince her words, and she was right – he got along well with her. He had a lot of respect for her.

    Teresa gave him a puzzled look. “We all get along well with you, don’t we?”

    Dalton nodded, hoping that they could leave this line of conversation here and move on.

    Kenzie laughed. “We all do, but Taryn just left.”

    “Ah.” Teresa raised her eyebrows at him. “Are the two of you still bickering, then?”

    He let out a short laugh. “No. We do our best to avoid each other so that doesn’t happen.”

    Kenzie made a face at him. “You know, you could just make an effort to get along; wouldn’t that be easier?”

    He didn’t want to get into explaining how he’d made an effort to get along with Taryn in the beginning but the damn woman just … He didn’t know what it was about her, he just couldn’t do it. Instead of attempting to answer, he simply shrugged.

    He was relieved to see Nina hurrying through the restaurant toward them. She greeted everyone with a smile before Manny reached an arm around her waist and drew her into his side.

    “Sorry, I didn’t think I’d be the last here. Are we getting a table? I’m starving.”

    Dalton hung back as the guys picked up their drinks and they all started making their way to the restaurant.

    “Are you not sticking around to eat with them?” asked Kenzie.

    He knocked back the last of his whiskey and set the glass down on the bar. “No. I’m going to head on home. Have a great night.”

    He hurried away, not wanting to give her the chance to tell him that he should stay. As he crossed the parking lot on the way back to his SUV, his lips twisted up into a wry smile. For the second time this evening he discovered that he and Taryn had something in common – he had no desire to be the seventh wheel in a group of friends any more than she did.

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