Book Excerpt from "Fixer Upper Mysteries: Concrete Evidence"

With a shriek, I had dashed out of Mac’s kitchen and hadn’t stopped until I’d made it all the way across the wide lawn to my truck.
What can I say? Rats creep me out.
“Then we’re finally ready to get started.” He pushed away from the column and strolled toward me. “I’ve cleared my schedule for the next two weeks.”
“Perfect.” Because, to be honest, Mac’s busy schedule had also produced a number of holdups lately. Flying off to New York, meeting with editors, dining with agents, going on book tours. Deadlines. The world-famous writer was a busy man.
I recalled one more unhappy distraction that had occurred recently and prayed there would be no more funerals, please.We didn’t need anyone else dying in Lighthouse Cove. Besides being unbearably sad, the recent suspicious death of a dear friend had indeed thrown a shocking wrench into the schedule, causing yet more delays to Mac’s plans to start the renovation of his new home.
Another gust of wind rushed up from the ocean, but before it could whip my hair into a greater tangle of curls, I turned toward the wind and lifted my face to catch the mist.
“Man, I love it out here,” Mac said, sliding his hands into the pockets of his Windbreaker.
“It’s a good day.” Cold, windy, with dark clouds forming out on the horizon; there would be rain within a few hours. Still, it was wonderful to be here, ready to begin the job of rehabbing the most iconic house in Lighthouse Cove for the hunky Mac Sullivan.
I checked my watch, eager to begin. Once my guys and I finished going through the house with Mac, I would work out a schedule and make up a list of supplies and equipment we would need. And within a few days, my crew and I would start restoring this wonderful old Victorian to its former glory.
That was why Mac had hired me, after all. My name is Shannon Hammer, and I’m a building contractor specializing in Victorian-home renovation and rehab. I had taken over my father’s construction business five years ago when Dad suffered a mild heart attack and decided to retire. Since then, I liked to think I’d proven to my clients that the best man for the job is often a woman. Namely, me.
“Wade and the guys should be here any minute,” I said, referring to my foreman, Wade Chambers, and two of my most reliable crew members, Sean Brogan and Johnny Schmidt.
“In that case,” Mac said, “I’ll get this out of the way.” And with that, he pulled me into his arms and kissed me. I didn’t protest. I should’ve, but instead I sighed and wrapped my arms around his neck, reveling in the warmth of his touch. This really was not a good idea. And I would put a stop to it any minute now.
A truck horn sounded out on the highway and I jolted and took a quick step backward. It took me a moment to catch my breath. “Uh, that must be the guys.”
Mac was smiling broadly as he let go of me. “Must be.” I coughed softly, knowing the guys’ truck wouldn’t actually show up in front of Mac’s house for another minute or two. I just needed to give myself a few more seconds to recover from the unexpected kiss. “Hmm.”
He laughed and stroked my hair. “I’m crazy about you, Irish.”
I was kind of crazy about him, too. But since I was afraid of setting myself up for a fall, I gave him a weak smile and said nothing.