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Tell the Stars to Shine - Summer Lake Seasons Book 6 (ebook)

Tell the Stars to Shine - Summer Lake Seasons Book 6 (ebook)

Sweet n Steamy

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 341+ 5-Star Reviews

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Amber’s loving life in Summer Lake. She’s settled into her job at the post office. She’s made some lovely new friends. And most of all she’s free.

It wasn’t that her old life was so bad. She worked for her parents; she liked being able to help them out. What she didn’t like was feeling trapped in a relationship with their general manager.

She was glad to leave him behind. And ever since she came to the lake, she’s had a not so secret crush on Austin.

Austin’s a stand-up kind of guy. He’s reliable, dependable—and quietly successful.

He was attracted to Amber from the moment he met her. But before he could act on it, he had to extricate himself from a bad relationship that he’d let go on too long.

Now, these two have a chance to get together but will some well-intentioned interfering by Amber’s sister, Jade, help them on their way or leave them stuck in a web of lies?

You’ll have to pick up your copy of this heart-warming romance today to find out if two people who are used to putting others first will grasp their chance at happiness and if the nice-guy gets his girl in the end.

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

Tell the Stars to Shine is the sixth book in USA Today Bestselling Author SJ McCoy's international hit Summer Lake Seasons series, loved by over 1,000,000 fans of sweet and steamy romances. 

Readers say:

"This is book # 40 for SJ and it's just as exciting as all of the rest. I should know, because I own every single one of them."

"Once you start, you can't stop! But what a wonderful ride it is!"

"5 stars.😍" 

"This is such a heart warming story!! I would recommend this book to everyone!"

"I couldn’t put this book down, so I ended up reading it all in one sitting..."

"Amber and Austin’s story is not one to be missed, Summer Lake works it's magic again!"

"This is a beautifully written story which is sweet, heart-warming, humorous, and is an entertaining and steamy read. I cannot wait to read more from this author whose work I highly recommend for all readers."

"Completely captivating!"

"SJ McCoy has done it again. I absolutely loved Austin and Amber's story. It captivated me from the beginning and left me with a smile.

    Chapter One Look Inside

    Chapter One

    When she came out of the bakery, Amber hesitated. She could turn right and head straight back to Grandma Lenny’s with the pastries or, if she went left, she could take a little detour down along the beach.

    It’d been a while since she’d seen the beach. She swung the bag as she walked. Lenny would love the cupcakes. Amber tried to make sure that she ate properly and stuck to a healthy diet since the heart attack. But a cupcake every now and then wouldn’t do any harm.

    She smiled when she turned the corner and saw the water. It sparkled in the evening sun. The beach looked to be empty—just the way she liked it. She stopped and turned when she heard a strange sound coming from the trees at the edge of the parking lot. It was like someone was whimpering over there. She approached cautiously, feeling a little apprehensive, and at the same time, a little foolish. She’d probably find a bird or something—she hoped.

    The sound grew more urgent as she got nearer, as if whoever was making it could hear her coming and was trying to attract her attention. Her heart raced in her chest. What on earth was going on?

    She could see a hole in the ground and had visions of a newsreader on TV talking about a shallow grave. She pulled herself together. Whoever or whatever was in that hole wasn’t dead—they were making even more frantic noises now. She stopped a few feet away and peered over the edge and let out a laugh when she saw a big dog scrabbling at the dirt, trying desperately to get out.

    “Hey, fella! It’s okay. How did you get in there? And more importantly, how are we going to get you out?”

    The dog stopped scrambling, as if the sound of her voice calmed him—at least, it looked like a him; she’d apologize later if it was a her. He cocked his head to one side and looked at her, and then let out a long, sad whine.

    “Don’t worry. We’ll get you out of there.” She set the bag with the cupcakes down and laid her purse beside it.

    The hole was maybe three feet deep—why on earth was there a hole like that? She couldn’t even imagine—kids maybe? It wasn’t a pertinent question at the moment. More importantly, she needed to know if the dog was going to trust her if she tried to help him—or if he’d turn on her. She knelt down and held her hand out for him to sniff. He licked it and looked up at her. Okay, then. She was going to take that as a good sign.

    She got down in the hole with him. It was deep enough that her boobs were at ground level. She knew she’d be able to get out again, but she’d have to pull herself up and swing her leg over the edge to do it. She looked at the dog. He wasn’t small. She couldn’t tell what breed he was—a mongrel by the look of him—and probably over a hundred pounds if she had to guess.

    She stroked his head and he leaned against her leg, panting heavily. The poor thing was obviously stressed out by his ordeal.

    “We’re going to get you out of here.”

    He looked up at her with trusting eyes.

    “We are,” she reassured him. “Will you let me lift you?” She liked dogs, but she’d never had one. She didn’t know them well enough to know if he’d let her lift him or if he’d be more likely to bite her for trying. There was only way to find out.

    She patted the edge of the hole. “We’re going to get you up here, okay?”

    He tried to jump up, but his paws scrabbled against the dirt, and he slid back down. She cupped her hands behind his butt and tried to lift him. He wriggled away and sat down.

    She blew out a sigh. “You’re going to have to work with me here, doggy. I want to help you, but you have to help me, too.”

    She patted the edge again, and he stood up. This time when she cupped her hands behind his butt and heaved, he managed to get his front paws up on the ground. Amber heaved again, and he pulled himself the rest of the way.

    She swung her leg up and pulled herself after him, grateful that there was no one around to see her undignified exit.

    Once she was out of the hole, she got to her feet and brushed herself down. It didn’t do any good; she was filthy. So was the poor dog. He sat there staring up at her, panting—as if waiting for her to tell him what would happen next.

    She let out a laugh. “Don’t look at me like that. I don’t know. Where are you from? Where are your people?” He wasn’t wearing a collar, so she had nothing to help her. “You’d probably better come with me. Lenny might know who you belong to. And if not, I guess we’ll have to call the shelter.”

    She picked up her purse and the bag of cupcakes. “Are you coming?”

    The dog got to its feet and followed her.

    ~ ~ ~

    Austin looked around the office. Everything was shut down for the night. Time for him to get out of here.

    He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket when it rang. “Hey, Colt.”

    “Hey, bud. Just checking that we’re still on for tonight.”

    Austin laughed. “You mean checking that I haven’t forgotten?”

    “Yeah. That. I know you get busy, and you can’t control when people call you up and want a last-minute showing.”

    “I do. But not tonight. I’ve been looking forward to dinner with you guys.”

    “We’ve been looking forward to it, too. Especially, Sophie. She’s been bugging me ever since she got home from school, wanting to know what time you’ll be here, and how much longer she has to wait.”

    Austin smiled to himself. Sophie was a little sweetheart. “Well, you can tell her that I’ll be there within the hour. I was about to leave the office when you called. I’m going to stop by the house before I come. I want to check on Dallas.”

    Colt laughed. “You can bring him with you if you like.”

    “No. Thanks. I love my little brother, but I’ve had enough of his company the last few days. I’m looking forward to my evening with you guys and Sophie.”

    “Okay. I get that. Just wanted you to know that he’s welcome.”

    “Thanks, bud. I’ll see you in a little while, and I’ll bring a bottle of that Grenache for Cassie.”


    Austin laughed. “Don’t worry. I’m bringing beer for you.”

    Colt laughed with him. “Now I can say thank you and mean it.”

    “What about Sophie? I thought it’d be nice to bring her something. You know … Cassie gets wine, you get beer and she gets … what? I don’t know what she likes. I don’t know if Cassie minds her having soda or …?”

    “Aww. That’s why you’re her favorite, you know. You think of little details like that to make her feel special.”

    “I try.”

    “If you really want to, you could bring her one of those little bottles of apple juice. She loves that stuff. And you’re right; Cassie tries to keep her away from too much soda. Only if you have the time though; she won’t notice if you don’t bring anything. She’s just excited to see you. She can’t wait.”

    Austin chuckled. “At least there’s one girl in town who likes me and can’t wait to see me, then.”

    “Don’t give me that shit. I’d swear that there’s another girl who feels that way. But if you won’t ask her out …”

    Austin made a face. “Yeah. I keep thinking I’m going to.”

    Colt laughed. “You’ve been saying that for weeks.”

    “I know. Anyway. I’m going to hang up. There’s no point talking on the phone when I’ll be there soon anyway.”

    “And we can talk about it then.”

    He could hear the smile in Colt’s voice.

    “Whatever. See you in a bit.” Austin hung up.

    ~ ~ ~

    Amber looked down at the dog as he trotted along beside her. He looked back at her with big trusting eyes.

    “Don’t look at me like that. I can’t keep you, no matter how much I like the idea. You must belong to someone, and I’m sure they’re worried about you. Lenny will probably know who your people are—she knows everyone in this town.”

    Not surprisingly, the dog didn’t say anything.

    Amber looked down at herself when they reached the cut through that would take them out onto Main Street. That would be the quickest way back to Lenny’s, but she wasn’t sure that quickest would be best in these circumstances. For starters, she didn’t know how the dog would behave around traffic—he’d followed her quite happily to this point, but they hadn’t passed any cars or people yet. Another consideration was the state they were both in. She was covered in dirt, her hands were filthy, and the dog looked as though he’d taken a mud bath.

    No. She made her decision and turned into the alleyway that ran along the back of the stores. It wouldn’t be as quick as taking Main Street itself, but it ran parallel, and they should run into fewer possible problems back here.

    The dog looked up at her and quickened his pace.

    “Don’t you run off on me now, will you?” She hurried to keep up with him, but his tail had started to wag, and he let out a sharp bark and took off.

    “Ugh, great!” She watched him go with a sigh. What was she supposed to do now? He didn’t go far. He ran past the next few yards and then stopped at a gate that led to the back of one of the stores. Amber couldn’t work out which one it might be. They were out near the end of the downtown section of Main now. It could be one of the stores or perhaps one of the offices. She didn’t know.

    She got the feeling that she was about to find out as the dog nosed at the gate and then disappeared into the yard.

    When she got there, she held the gate open with one hand but stayed out in the alleyway. She didn’t like the idea of trespassing, even if was for a good cause.

    “Come on, doggy. Let’s go.”

    The dog turned and barked happily at her.

    “No. I’m not coming in. You need to come out,” she told him.

    He wagged his tail and started nosing at a wooden box that stood near the back door.

    Amber blew out a sigh when one side of the box opened inward, and the pesky dog went inside. She was going to have to rescue him again.

    She looked around as she entered the yard, hoping that whoever it belonged to was an animal lover—and an understanding one at that.

    She pushed open the side of the box and frowned when she found that the dog was nowhere to be seen. What the …?

    She straightened up and had to step back quickly to get out of the way when the door flew open.

    “Dallas! What the fuck are you playing at? You were supposed to keep him at … Oh!”

    It took Amber a moment to catch her breath, though whether that was from the angry outburst or the guy who made it, she wasn’t sure. Austin. Her heart hammered in her chest. Of all the yards the pesky dog had to go into, it had to be Austin’s. Austin whom she’d had a crush on ever since she came to the lake. Austin who gave her butterflies. Austin who was now looking very confused … and who probably deserved an explanation.

    “I … I’m so sorry.”

    He shook his head, looking even more confused. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to yell at you. I thought …”

    “It’s okay. You have every right to yell at me. I’m out here lurking in your yard, but it’s only because I was bringing the dog home with me to …” She glanced at the box—into which the dog had apparently disappeared. How was she going to explain that?

    “You brought Roscoe home?” He frowned. “Are you with Dallas?”

    It was Amber’s turn to frown back at him. “Roscoe? You know him? And who’s Dallas?”

    They both turned at the sound of whining coming from the box. “You know you can’t get back out this way buddy. You have to inside. Go inside, Roscoe.”

    Amber looked up at him. She couldn’t help it. He was so handsome. He had kind eyes and a kind smile. He wasn’t smiling at the moment, though.

    “Dallas is—” Just as he started to speak, the back door flew open again. Austin wasn’t as quick to get out of the way as she’d been and the force of the door hit him in the back, making him step forward and collide with her.

    All the air rushed out of her lungs as she found herself trapped between Austin and the wall. She felt dazed. The way his body felt against hers left her light-headed.

    He looked down into her eyes, and for one crazy moment, she’d swear that he felt it, too—that he wanted to close the short distance between their lips and kiss her.

    “Dude! I am so sorry!”

    Austin held her gaze a moment longer before he pushed himself away from her and turned toward the voice.

    “Dallas! What the fuck is going on?”

    Amber looked at the guy standing outside the back door. She’d heard mention that Austin had a younger brother before, and even if she hadn’t known his name, it’d be easy to figure out who he was by looks alone.

    He gave her a knowing smile. “I could ask you guys the same thing. I thought you’d be as worried as I’ve been about Roscoe. I didn’t expect to find you making out in the back yard.”

    Amber felt her cheeks color. Was that what he thought was going on?

    Austin glowered at him. “You’ve got a lot of explaining to do, D. You were supposed to be watching Roscoe at the house. Why did he show up here covered in dirt?”

    Dallas shrugged and gave them an apologetic smile. “We came into town. I thought he’d like a bit of a walk, you know? But he took off, and I couldn’t find him. I’ve been worried sick. I didn’t want to come and tell you that I’d lost him. Did he just come back here by himself?”

    Amber made a face at him. “No. He didn’t. When I found him, he was stuck in a hole near the beach. The poor thing couldn’t get out.”

    They both stared at her.

    “Damn, I’m sorry.” Dallas looked upset.

    “Thank you,” said Austin. “What do you mean, though, he was stuck in hole?”

    She shrugged. “Exactly what I say. I don’t know who’d been digging or why, but it was deep enough that he couldn’t get out—and that I had trouble getting us both out once I got in there with him.” She looked down at herself. “I don’t usually go walking around town covered in mud.”

    Dallas gave her an odd look. “You’re Amber, right?”

    She nodded.

    “Okay.” He looked at Austin. “I’m going to take Roscoe home and give him a bath. I know you’re out tonight. I’ll take care of him.”

    Amber didn’t understand the look the two brothers exchanged. Austin looked as though he was about to argue, but reluctantly changed his mind. “Okay. I’ll see you back at the house. And you can pick me up a small bottle of apple juice on your way there.”

    “Just one?”

    Austin nodded.

    “It was nice to meet you, Amber.” Dallas grinned at her, then disappeared back inside.

    “You too,” she spoke to the space he’d just vacated.

    “I’m sorry about that,” said Austin.

    She could only hope that he was apologizing about Dallas or even Roscoe—and not about the way he’d unintentionally invaded her personal space before his brother appeared. There was no need for him to apologize for that—as far as she was concerned, he was welcome to do it again, anytime. In fact, starting right now would be nice. She had to pull herself together! He wasn’t interested.

    “That’s okay. I’m just glad he’s home now. He’s a good dog. I’m glad I found him.”

    “Not as glad as I am.” He ran a hand through his hair, and Amber’s fingers twitched at her sides, wishing that she could do the same.

    “Dallas means well, but he’s not the most responsible guy.” He was looking at her now, looking her up and down.

    Her body responded to him and she bit down on her bottom lip wishing that he was looking at her the way she imagined he was. Then it dawned on her—she was covered in dirt! He was just noticing what a mess she was. Damn! She bent down and picked up the bag with the cupcakes from where she’d set it on the ground when she’d tried to figure out where the dog—Roscoe—had disappeared to.

    She straightened up and smiled at him. “Well, excitement over, I guess. I wish I’d known he was your dog.”

    Austin shrugged. “I don’t like to bring him around people too much. He’s not always the friendliest. We do fine at home, but he’s not big on strangers, and with my job, there’s a lot of dealing with strangers.”

    She nodded. She knew he didn’t consider her a stranger; they were part of the same group of friends, but they weren’t exactly real friends either. “Well, he’s okay. And that’s all that matters in the end. I should get going.”

    She started toward the back gate, but he caught her arm. The feel of his hand on her made her breath catch in her chest. Apart from that little close encounter up against the wall a few minutes ago, this might be the first time he’d touched her. It was only a hand on her arm, but her body reacted as if it were something much more intimate than that.

    “Let me give you a ride home?” His hazel eyes seemed to sparkle gold and green as she looked into them. “It’s the least I can do.”

    She held his gaze for a moment. She could think of a whole lot more that she’d like him to do, but that wasn’t what he meant. She made herself relax and smile. “Thanks.”

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