Remembrances of Summer Boyfriends @MaddieJames #newrelease

I became a teenager in 1969. My thirteenth year marked events like the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon inaugurated as President, Apollo 11 landing on the moon, and Woodstock. What a time to be on the cusp of a grown-up life, and all the life struggles that would eventually surface. You know, nothing major, just life.

But I wasn't thinking about all that back then. In fact, for the next few years, I was pretty much just thinking about boys. And, since we lived close to a lake, I pretty much whittled away my summers being lazy at the beach, ogling boys, and maybe flirting with one or two (or more?), and worrying if my butt looked too big in my bikini. 

Such is life.

Did I have a summer love? There were the brief, stolen kisses, and full of promise summer flings that dissipated about as fast as a whisper of smoke, and there was one that stuck around for a whole lot longer than that. Did you have a summer love?

Lia Langston knows that kind of summer romance. It wasn't a fling. She was head-over-heels in love with Zach Allen. It was her summer after college and she'd taken a job at her favorite beach for the entire summer--her last hurrah before sailing off into Corporate America.

Yes, she fell in love. And then summer ended. Will she ever get over That One Summer?

That One Summer is my story in the Last Chance Beach box set that I'm happy to be sharing with 13 other bestselling and award-winning authors. Won't you come find out more about Lia and Zach's story? And, the stories from the other authors, too? 

I blogged about the Last Chance Beach box set HERE!  You can read all about the set and the authors over there.

Today, I'm going to share an excerpt from this short story. To set things up, Lia is visiting her old boss, Grace Whitmer, the woman she worked for that summer twenty years back. Grace also happens to be Zach's aunt. Read on....

“You broke him. You know that, don’t you?”

Lia shook herself. Aunt Grace was staring at her and Lia wasn’t exactly sure for how long, or what all she had said. “I’m sorry. My mind drifted…”

“You broke his heart. Please don’t break it again.”

Her gaze caught Grace’s and held. “I would never do that.”

“I hope not.”

“Aunt Grace.” Lia scooted closer to the edge of her seat. “I loved him. I wanted to be with him, but he and I didn’t want the same things. I had pressure from my parents to get back to Chicago and job offers were waiting there. I was young and confused and…”

Grace put up a hand. “You’ve had twenty years to think about it. I hope you have. Did you make the right decision, Grace? Who knows? But the past is the past. What’s important now, is what you do next.”

Suddenly, Ron’s voice was in her ear. What have we been doing for the past six years, Lia, if we are not going to move this relationship forward? What are you going to do now?

And Alice’s. I know the main reason your marriage failed was because Grant wasn’t Zach. And it’s why you and Ron haven’t gotten married.

Had she been shoving away the truth all these years because she was trying to make a life out of a years-old mistake?

“I have to go.” Lia stood, looking down at Grace.

“You have to do what you think best, dear.”

“Can I get an Uber out here?”

Grace nodded. “Damn newfangled technology that I don’t understand—but yes, so they tell me.”

Lia was grateful. “I’m sorry to leave so abruptly. Please tell Zach that I’ll see him later.” She turned and headed for the door.


She turned back. “Yes?”

“Is that all you want me to tell him?”

Nodding, she said, “Yes. I have some things to figure out and I need to do it alone.” Then, she rushed back and gave Grace a hug. “Thanks for being hard on me. I could always count on you to not pull punches. Thank you for opening my eyes.”

Grace squeezed her hand. “Go figure out your life, Lia. It’s the only one you have.”

What do you think? Will Lia break Zach's heart again? Will she finally do what makes her happy? And what will Zach think about her coming back?

Do YOU have a summer boyfriend story you would like to share? Please feel free to start the conversation below! 

I hope you will check out the Last Chance Beach box set and let me know what you think! You can find it at Amazon, link below. Thanks! 


  1. I love this excerpt and can't wait to read the rest of the story. This whole experience has helped to close some empty spots created by this summer!

    1. Thank you, Liz! And thank you for dropping by, too. Yes, I hadn't really thought about that, but doing this box set and reading the summer stories, really has helped me get through the summer isolation. I hope others feel that way too!

  2. Long ago and not so far away I attended a friend's 13th birthday party. My friend's brother came home from work to take photos for her. When he appeared in the doorway, my young heart stopped. I remember where I was sitting, what I wore, what he wore, the look on the face of my friend's mom. A few months over ten years later and after I'd had a couple of bumps in the road, I married my friend's brother and we have been living happily ever after.

    1. Oh, Caroline. What a lovely "love at first sight" story! I could just see it in my mind reading it. You are a very lucky woman. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story!


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