This Summer by Katlyn Duncan + GIVEAWAY {BOOK BLITZ}

Before college, before responsibilities, Hadley Beauman and best friend Lily are determined to have a summer to remember. There will be all the usual dramas - ex-boyfriends who don't seem to know what 'ex' means, pesky younger brothers with unrequited crushes, but what Hadley didn't anticipate was the out-of-the-blue return of the seriously hot boy-next-door, Will Carson. The boy who broke her heart when he skipped town two years ago. Will may have shot up a foot and filled out (oh yes), but inside he carries the weight of guilt - for leaving, for coming back... Now he's just passing through to tie up loose ends but it's clear the old chemistry still crackles between him and Hadley. Trouble is, it's built on two years of lies... This summer might just be the best time of their lives, but is Hadley ready for everything to change - again?

Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.
Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.


I enter the room, thankful that not many people have shown up yet. Lily is in front of a table at the far corner, talking with Tyler, only recently a rotating regular in our group of friends. Lily cackles about something Tyler says but when she sees me, her expression turns serious. 
I can’t deal with questions so I plaster on a smile and walk to them. "Hey Tyler," I give him a one-armed hug. His arm wraps around my waist and stays there. 
Lily’s eyes dart to the door then back to me. I shake my head slightly. Not now.
"Did you have fun on the cruise?" Tyler asks.
How could Carter do this? And where would Dad have found a replacement? At the very least he could have warned me last night. My throat constricts as I calculate the number of people in the room. With the last minute change in plans he has to pick someone who is already trained. I rack my brain thinking of who else was at the training. 
Tyler clears his throat. "Sounds fun."
I force a laugh. "Sorry. I’m just a bit distracted right now. I’m going to see if my Dad needs any help." And if he has any more surprises for me today.
"I’ll come with!" Lily offers. No doubt she wants more information about what happened with Carter. I don’t have the energy to argue. 
The door opens and Dad steps into the room. A herd of others come in right behind him and filter through the rows of chairs to their seats. Carter is the last to enter the room and I turn around, bumping into Lily to get the furthest seat from him. I can’t even look at him. 
"Welcome staff!" Dad says. A few of the returning lifeguards cat-call him and Lily offers a loud whistle. "I’m so glad you are all here, and on time," he eyes the stragglers who came in after him. But his smile quickly returns and as much as I’m pissed at him, I can’t help but smile. 
"I hope you are hungry because there is more than enough food to go around." His green eyes widen as he takes in the group. "Before we start orientation I’d like for the pool staff to head into the other room with Head Guard, Heath, for your assignments while I partner up the counselors." He runs down the names of the pool staff. 
Daisy and Ethan stand from their seats along with a few others I recognize from the training we had during spring break. As much as the two groups work together at the camp, the counselors and pool staff form strong bonds within their groups during the summer. 
Carter’s name is called and he slinks out of the room. I don’t look up even though I can feel him looking at me.  
"Uh." Lily slaps my arm. 
"Yup," I say, heat prickling my neck. "So did I." I glance around the room and note that someone is missing. Each age group is co-ed which warrants a male and female counselor. And without Carter in the room, I’m the odd man out. Fantastic.
With a few minutes to process the situation, and with Carter out of sight, I make a promise that even he can’t ruin the summer for me. I’ll make it fantastic with whoever I’m paired with. 
Dad continues. "As for the rest of you," his eyes are on his clipboard, as if he hasn’t memorized the list already, "I’m going to call your assignments."
He’s halfway down the list and hasn’t mentioned my name yet. I sink further into my chair and try to act happy when I hear Lily’s assignment with Aiden, the elusive mid-year transfer to our high school. He floated among the groups at school not picking one, but he was the shiny eye candy for most of the girls. And by the glint in Lily’s eyes, I can tell she's happy with the pairing.
The door to the meeting room opens and Dad’s eyes flick up.
"Are you happy?" I ask Lily. 
She turns to me smiling, but her eyes lift to something behind me, and her jaw goes slack. She grabs my arm and squeezes. 
"Ow," I say. 
"Looks like we’re all here now," Dad says. 
I meet Lily’s eyes, nearly popping out of their sockets. "What is wrong with you?" I turn to the newcomer, and all of the pieces fall together. 
I take in the apparition in the doorway. My breathing slows and I blink a few times, my mind not quite believing who is only a few feet away from me. In a few steps I could touch the person who shattered my heart into a million pieces nearly two years ago. 
My previous next door neighbor, Will Carson, looks the same, but different. His boyish face is a golden brown and the lines are more pronounced. His hair is shorter than I remember, barely touching the tips of his ears. My fingers numb knowing what the strands feel like. Or what they used to. He was thin as a boy, his strength coming in the later years of our friendship. But now his lithe muscles are tight. His chest fills the black t-shirt in a way that elicits a shiver down my spine. 
His jaw clenches in that nervous way as he looks around the room. It tightens further when his hazel eyes meet mine.


 My hands grip the steering wheel, tightening with each rolling mile towards the house I’d locked up almost two years ago. In the thirty-six hours of driving I had the urge to turn back at least a hundred times. But this was the last time I’d ever be in Spring Falls. Once the house was sold I’d slam closed that chapter of my life.
  The green sign for Bryn Street appears from behind the leave of an overgrown tree at the corner. I suck a breath in through my teeth and turn the wheel.
  I keep my eyes on my childhood home, growing larger as I near. I break out of the tunnel vision when I pass the Beauman house. I don't expect anyone to be home, considering we're due at the camp in less than an hour. I know Mr. Beauman will give me leave, considering I'm doing him a favor.
  A blue car sits in my driveway as I pull into it, turning off the truck. I flip my phone open just as a woman gets out of the car.
  The line picks up on the first ring. “Mornin’!” Aunt Mabel exclaims.
  My chest squeezes at the sound of her voice. “Mornin’.” I hold a finger up to the woman outside the truck. She nods, walking toward the house with a ring of keys. Not that I don’t have one. “Although it’s almost noon here. How y’all doing?”
  “We’re just fine, sweetheart. I’m assumin’ you got home okay?”
  This place isn't my home. My home is with her. “Yes, I’m here.”
  “Now off with you, we can carry on later.”
  “Love you,” I say.
  “Love you too.” She’s the first to hang up.
  I toss the phone into the cup holder and grab the bag from the seat next to me and sling it over my shoulder as I get out of the car. I stride up the driveway and the real estate agent, Trudy, turns around, grinning with a set of gray teeth.
  “Welcome back, William.”
  I clear my throat. “It’s just Will.”
  “Oh, sorry about that. I’ll just let you inside”
  “I have a key. Listen, can we talk later? I’m late for work.”
  She blinks a few times but nods. “Sure thing. Let me just get you the paperwork and you fill it out at your leisure.”
  She run-walks down the driveway, her heels looking as if they were about to snap and leans through the open window of her car pulling out a large folder. “These are just the standard contracts,” she says on the way back up the drive. “Just take a look at them and let me know if everything is okay?”
  “Yes ma’am.”
  She beams. “How polite of you. Well I’ll let you be on your way. My card is in there, call me with any questions.”
  She waves her long fingers at me and goes to her car.
  I turn to the house and fight the urge to get back into the truck and get the hell out of here. I pull the single key from my pocket, the one that burned against my leg since Mabel handed it to me three days ago. I push it into the keyhole and turn. I allow the door to open in front of me, my feet planted to the ground. The door ricochets off the wall and starts to return, but I enter the house before I lose my nerve.
  I bump the door closed with my foot. The air in the house is stale, lingering with the spicy scent of whiskey from that final night. I peer into the living room, which needs a serious cleaning. My nose wrinkles at the amount of dust on the fireplace mantel. I head into the kitchen and open the door to the basement. I don’t need lights to find what I’m looking for, not that they work anyway. I find the electric panel and flip on the switches. The house hums to life. I take the steps two at a time and am back in the kitchen. The clock above the stove blinks 12:00. I check the time on my phone. I should leave soon.
  I round the corner and take the stairs to the second floor, ignoring the two bedrooms on the right side of the hallway, and fling open the middle door on the left. My shoulders droop and my bag falls to the floor. My room is exactly how I left it. An outdated PC sits on the desk I made in wood shop, still unstained. A full-sized bed takes up most of the room. I make my way to the window, pushing aside the navy blue curtains that match the bedspread, revealing Hadley’s bedroom window. My heart lurches at the thought of her. Soon enough I’ll see her again.
  A small bright orange piece of yarn still hangs from her sill, barely noticeable to anyone who wasn’t looking. At ten I thought it was the greatest idea to build a zip-line between our houses using Hadley’s grandmother’s knitting yarn.
  I tear my eyes away from the window and let the curtain fall. I cross the room to the closet. I didn’t take much the night I left. I grab a black t-shirt from the hanger and toss it on the bed, lifting the same one I’d worn for three days over my head. I pull on the black shirt and bring the fabric to my nose. Good enough.
  I take a deep breath and leave the room. Here goes nothing.


I enter the hallway, making a point to relax my shoulders. Lily still knows how to push my buttons. I make my way to Mr. Beauman’s office and just before I knock, I hear Hadley’s voice. It’s wrong but I lean closer to the door, listening.
  “A little warning would have been nice, Dad.”
  Mr. Beauman says something, but I can’t make it out.
  “Well,” Hadley continues, “don’t expect him to stick around longer than he chooses.”
  Her form nears the door and I don’t have a chance to move just as the door flings open.
  A version of the sixteen year old girl I left two years ago stands in front of me. I was right, her braces are gone.
  “Hey,” I say.
  “Hi,” she says with a shake of her head.
  We stand frozen in place for a few seconds before Mr. Beauman speaks. “You all set?”
  Hadley jolts and steps aside. 
  I brush past her. Her scent follows me. Strawberries. I place the application and waiver down on Mr. Beauman’s desk.
  “Great,” he says. “I’ll see you in a few.”
  I turn to the door and she’s still there, her lips parted. I open my hand, signaling for her to go down the hallway first. I struggle to keep my eyes on hers, fighting the urge to move across every inch of her body. She turns and scurries down the hall in front of me, granting my wish. She’s grown into her curves since I saw her last. Her long legs carry her quickly.
  She stops at the double doors leading to the front part of the office and turns around. “Did you hear—I didn’t mean—”
  “I heard you,” I say, watching her face crumble. “But you’re right. I need to get back.”
  “To Texas?”
  My teeth grind together. Aunt Mabel did give Mr. Beauman a version of the truth, but I can't help but wonder what Hadley knows. “Yes.”
  She nibbles on her lower lip. She nods twice before freeing her lip. My gaze drops to her mouth. She leans against the door and opens it. I hold it for her, my arm grazing her shoulder.
  She offers a polite smile. “Then I guess we should make the best of it while you’re here.”
  I lean closer. “Sounds good to me.”
  She turns around, entering the room. 
  “Who left last minute to open up the position?” I ask, not wanting to stop talking to her.
  “My—” She shakes her head, strands of her hair falling across her face. She pushes them back behind her ear. “Carter Daniels.”
  I clench my jaw. “I just saw him.”
  “He’s on the pool staff now apparently,” she mumbles.
  People mull around the room, eating off paper plates. Hadley halts, staring at the back of the room. Carter and about a dozen people I don’t recognize have gathered around the table. My hands fist at my sides, looking for any excuse to knock him out.
  “I’ll be right back.” 

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