Crazy for You

Annapolis Harbor Series, Book 4

She’s living her dream, his job is to make it come true – but can one renovation change the future?
 

Nolan
The job was to renovate a bed and breakfast, not to fall head over tool belt for the sexy proprietor and single mom. Juliana Breslin is sassy, witty, determined and has the two most amazing twin daughters. Two girls that have wrapped their way around all my fingers.
The only problem is -I don’t do relationships and I don’t like being tied down. She’s stubborn and feisty and it doesn’t make sense at all. My defenses were firmly in place but Juliana and her daughters have scaled the walls and landed firmly in my heart.
I’ll do anything for Juliana and her girls, except for being the man in her life.

Juliana
When I finally waved goodbye to my cheating ex, I couldn’t wait to live my dream. Renovating a bed and breakfast with two girls is no easy task, especially after the first contractor ran off with my money leaving me literally in the trenches.
Nolan Morison was not what I had in mind when I hired on a new contractor. He’s stubborn, irritable and completely irresistible. I’ve fallen for the sawdust, tool belts and sexy scruff before…I won’t do it again.
The worst part (or best part) is that he’s drawn my shy daughter out of her shell when no one has managed that before.
But Nolan isn’t looking for a happily ever after, and I’m not willing to waste time on anything else.

+ Excerpt +

 

I parked at the curb behind a blue work truck in front of my new B&B. The enormity of the situation settled in. Owning a B&B was my dream. My ex-husband cheating on me prompted me to pursue it. I’d taken out a large loan to buy and renovate the property. I only had a few months before the payments would be too much for me to handle. I didn’t have my ex’s money to fall back on like I did when I opened my realtor business. I needed to get the building renovated and open before the spring to capitalize on the prime tourist season. I couldn’t afford any more setbacks or delays.

I had a meeting with the contractor to discuss renovations with my four-year-old twins in tow. Grabbing my briefcase from the passenger seat, containing my business plan, my budget, the blueprint for renovations, and my design ideas, I leaned into the back seat to unhook the girls from their car seats.

Stifling a groan when I saw Charlie’s bare toes, I asked, “Why did you pull off your socks and shoes?”

Charlie shrugged. “I was hot.”

I snagged one pink sock hanging from the console. Opening my door, then the side door, the cold bit through my jacket.

I dropped my briefcase on the floor, rooting around for the pair Charlie carelessly threw, irritation making my movements jerky.

“I’ll help you, Mommy.” Laila dropped to her knees in front of me.

Sighing, I said, “Thanks, sweetie.”

“I got one!” Laila held up a second sock. It wasn’t the match to the one Charlie was wearing. I held my breath, hoping she wouldn’t notice. If she did, it would cause a meltdown.  

We wouldn’t be moving from the van until it was found, making me later than I already was. Shoving Charlie’s socks, then shoes on, I bundled the girls up in their jackets.

My chest felt like a pressure cooker, anxiety from having the girls with me this morning while I tried to work, frustration building that we were late. I was used to them accompanying me, but there was always the possibility that the client, or in this case, the contractor, wouldn’t understand.

The therapist I saw after the divorce said not to place my expectations on others. Four-year-olds didn’t understand the concept of being on time or what it meant when you were late. They especially didn’t understand that I wanted to look professional.

My meeting was with Cade’s brother, Nolan, from Morrison Construction. I met Cade when I inquired about his handicapped renovation charity, Morrison Rebuilds, for one of my clients. After seeing his work and generosity, I sent more clients his way. Cade was great to work with but I’d never met Nolan.

Charlie pulled her hand away from the glove I held out to her, her lips set in a stubborn pout. Charlie was my shy girl who was sweet and loving but also demanding and picky.

The clock read 9:10. I took a few deep breaths to quell the quickly rising panic that I was already ten minutes late.

“These are all we have, Charlie. Please, I don’t want to be late.” I hoped she sensed the desperation in my voice, realizing the urgency.

“Mine are on, Mommy,” Laila provided helpfully from behind Charlie.

I sighed. At least one child was cooperating this morning. “Thanks, Laila.”

“Come on, Charlie. I want to see the house.” Laila practically bounced with energy to see  

the B&B for the first time.

Charlie carefully considered the house over my shoulder, shifting her gaze to Laila’s excited expression, her face softening.

“Fine.” Charlie held her hands out to me. I slipped on the gloves, shoving hats on them as they hopped out of the van onto the sidewalk.

I pushed the button to close the sliding door, clicking the locks as I followed them up the short sidewalk to the historic home that was now mine.

Hope, longing, anticipation filled my chest. During the divorce, my dream of owning a B&B as an investment morphed into wanting something of my own.

Laila ran up the porch steps, stopping in front of a blond man on the porch wearing dusty-looking jeans, construction boots, and a heavy brown jacket.

He looked similar to Cade except for the stubborn tilt of his chin. His feet set wide, his gaze narrowed on Laila as she stood in front of him, her expression expectant.

“Hi, mister. Are you here to do the ‘struction?”

My lips quirked at her shortening of construction. Hopefully, the girls’ adorableness would smooth over my tardiness.

 

 

 

 

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