Rosalind Brewery Series

Book One

“I try to live without regrets, Ava. Deploying without having one night, one kiss, would be a major regret.”

Ava Sanderson doesn’t “do” casual dating.

She wants to date one man, not a dozen. Sleep with one man, not a dozen.

And after switching from her decade long career in chemistry to co-owning Rosalind Brewery with her two best friends, swearing off all forms of dating is easier than taking the risk. Because when Ava falls for a guy…she falls hard.

Jake Rossi needs a distraction for the next two months before he deploys back to the dessert or to wherever the Army wants to send him. A couple of months as a maintenance man at the Rosalind Brewery seems like an easy job.

Until he meets Ava.

The woman is wicked smart, doesn’t have a clue about construction, and fights him at every turn. Jake can help- if she lets him.

But that’s not all Jake wants. He wants a date.

One date before he deploys.

Before he leaves Asheville and never returns.

Brewing Chemistry: Ava, Book One in the Rosalind Brewery Series, is a full-length romance novel full of laughter, sexy bits with a hunky soldier, and a satisfying happily ever after.



Most men had a “type” of woman they dated: smart, funny, sweet. Some liked tall, skinny women that looked like models. Others hit on women with a nice set of curves or someone with whom they shared a common interest.

Until that moment, Jake Rossi’s only type was temporary.

But in the small, hardware store in the suburbs of Asheville, North Carolina, he did a double-take for the first time in his life.

The woman was medium height, with light-brown hair. Her tall high heels clicked on the tile floor as she power-walked past him toward the cash register. Her navy suit looked like something a banker or lawyer might wear, and she carried a nail gun, a quality nail gun, good brand, meant for long-term, heavy use on a construction site.

She stopped at the back of the checkout line, hiking one knee up to readjust her hands for a better grip on the large box.

“Here, let me help you.” The words left his mouth before his brain reeled them back. The only reason he’d stopped at the store was to kill time before his interview that started in ten minutes. If he didn’t get the job, it wouldn’t be a big deal. He deployed in two months, anyway. But the owners expected him, and he wouldn’t stand them up.

The woman watched him with suspicion, her sexy gray-blue eyes scanning his face.


When she started to readjust her grip again, he took the box from her arms. “Because I’d hate for you to drop this on your toes, unless those are steel-toed high heels.” When she didn’t argue with him, he continued. “This is a nice nail gun.”

“I hope so. I did a lot of research before I picked it out.” She tilted her head down, rummaging in her small purse. “I need it to hang a few pictures on the wall.”

He shifted the large box, confirming he’d read the front correctly. “You’re buying this to hang a picture?” It was a finishing nailer, one that he’d used on construction sites his entire life. Did she think she could hang pictures off of one of these nails?

She squared her shoulders. “Yes.”

He liked her confidence, but it still worried him. “I’m not sure you understand what this does.” The line moved up. He sat the box on the counter in front of the cashier. “You don’t need a nail gun like this to hang a picture. This is more for—”

“Thank you for your help.” She smiled at him. “I’m in a rush, though.”

“I’d hate for you to buy this and end up ruining your wall.”

“Like I said. I did the research. This is what I want.”

Dismissed. He got it.

Her wall, her problem.

He patted the box and directed his statement at the cashier. “Make sure someone helps her out with this.”

Her gray eyes narrowed. “I can handle it.”

He chuckled. His sisters would say the same thing.

“I’m sure you can.” Jake winked and said, “Good luck, gorgeous,” before turning and leaving the store. Without his deployment looming in the distance, he might have pushed a little harder, asked her to coffee or dinner. Hell, he could’ve offered to hang the picture for her.

He ran a hand over his mouth, wiping away the grin. Not that she’d have accepted the help.

Little late to try to date any woman in this town, probably the same with finding a job, but after four months of taking hikes and being idle, claustrophobia started to set in. Being in the Reserves instead of working and living on base gave him too much time to think.

But he’d be gone soon, back in the desert, and then off to find another quiet spot to sit until they needed him again. By then, Hillsboro, North Carolina, and the sexy woman at the hardware store would be another distant memory.


“Shit!” The massive box slipped out of her hands and landed on her left foot. “Damn it,” she said, biting her lip against the pain. It was that hot guy’s fault.

Ava Sanderson never once contemplated that she’d drop this box on her foot until he’d mentioned it. Freaking Karma.

Both her friends descended on her from across the dining room. “What the hell did you buy?” Reese asked as she and Frankie picked up the box together and walked it to the closest table.

“A nail gun?” Frankie walked to the side, probably reading every spec imaginable posted on the side of the box. The woman read instruction manuals for fun. “What for?”

Ava wiggled her toes, the pain still at a level seven. “For the brewery.” She shrugged out of her pink raincoat and laid it across the stainless-steel bar top. “To hang those pictures that will come in next week.” She took off her shoe, grimacing at her bright red big toe.

She still blamed the guy. Made it easier than blaming her clumsiness or weakness. That was how denial worked, and she was the champion.

Reese planted a hand on her hip, her amber eyes locking Ava in place. “But you agreed to hire a maintenance worker to do that for you.” She didn’t hide her humor. “You know, so it doesn’t fall down fifteen times like that other one you tried to hang.”

Ava huffed. “I think those hooks are defective. I took them back to the store.”

Reese and Frankie both laughed.

Ava ignored them. “But whoever we hire will need something to use to hang it. So, I bought a nail gun.” It beat the shitty, pink, plastic hammer from the kit her mom gave her for her thirty-first birthday last week. At least her mom was a little supportive of her decision. Her dad had barely spoken two words to her since she quit her job as a pharmaceutical chemist to open a brewery with her two best friends.

Frankie drummed her fingers on the top of the box. “People like that usually have their own tools, Ava. Besides, I don’t think this is what you need for those pictures.”

“I did the research,” she shot back.

Frankie’s cobalt-blue eyes widened. “Someone’s snippy.”

The fight drained out of her. “Sorry. I just hate not knowing what I’m doing. A guy at the hardware store said the same thing and pissed me off. I don’t know why strangers feel the need to try to be helpful.”

“I completely get it.” Reese nodded until switching to shaking her head. “No, I don’t. Not all offers of help are attempts to undermine you.”

Easy for Reese to say with her natural talent for brewing beer. Ava looked around the dining room, the bar. Their brewery looked terrific. Somehow, through a lot of sleepless nights, she’d pulled it together—mostly. Now, they had a ton of small things left on the to-do list.

But Frankie’s criticism of the nail gun made her mind replay her interaction with the guy from the store, the one with the shoulders and dark-brown eyes, the one who’d lifted the box like it weighed less than Hydrogen, the same one who walked through the front door of the brewery.

“You?” What the hell? Had he followed her?

His eyebrows shot up. “You.” He cocked his lips to the side, revealing a dimple in his clean-shaven cheek and seeming glad to see her. The man was hot: plain, old, all-American good looks, a fitted black t-shirt, a worn pair of jeans and work boots that looked scuffed enough to show he didn’t sit around all day.

His dark-brown hair matched his eyes. He’d annoyed her in the store when he’d questioned her power tool selection. Between her inner demons questioning her every decision when it came to the brewery and her father’s silent treatment, adding a man like him into the mix didn’t help.

“I take it you two know each other?” Reese walked past Ava. “Are you, Jake?” She held out her hand, shaking his. “I’m Reese, one of the owners of Rosalind Brewery.”

“Jake Rossi,” he said, but his eyes barely met Reese’s before returning to Ava’s. “Nice to meet you.”

Reese turned to face Ava, her back to Jake. With her eyes wide, she mouthed, “Oh. My. God.”

Ava sighed. Her friends were nuts. She loved them, but that didn’t change their mental state.

Frankie waved from the other side of the table. “I’m Frankie. It appears that you’ve met Ava?”

“Not formally.” He descended the short set of stairs from the landing to the main dining room. “I see the nail gun made it here safely with no broken toes.”

She wiggled her toes in her shoes, not so sure about that yet. “Yes.” Ignoring the attraction, she held out her hand. “Nice to meet you—again.”

He took her hand, his warm, rough palm sliding against hers. “You, too, Ava.”

The amusement in his eyes sent a hum throughout her body. No. She would not get distracted by a man at this point, especially one who questioned her choice of power tools when it wasn’t any of his business.

Frankie patted the box. “Jake, your resume said you worked for a construction company.”

He dropped Ava’s hand, shifting his gaze to Frankie, but not moving away. The faint trace of aftershave filled her senses. She’d noticed it in the store, too—warm and masculine.

Ava stared straight ahead, at his chest, her resolve to avoid the attraction in direct conflict with every other thought floating through her mind. Fisting her hands by her sides, she would not poke him to see if the muscles were real or would deflate.

“Yes. My family owns Rossi Construction in Virginia. They live about thirty minutes outside of Richmond. I can have them send you a reference if you need one.”

“I don’t think that’s necessary right now.” Frankie patted the box again. “Ava wanted to hang a few pictures on the walls in the bathrooms. This seems a little intense for that.”

He set his hands on his hips, appearing even broader with muscle bunching across his shoulders. He looked down at Ava. Here it came. The “I told you so” that he and everyone else who doubted her seemed like they wanted to give.

She kicked her chin out, waiting on it.

“It’s a great nail gun, but it might be little more power than she needs if she’s hanging the pictures on drywall.” The dimple reappeared. “I tried to explain that to her in the store, but she wouldn’t listen.”

“Maybe, she did the research and wanted that much power.” Ava pursed her lips, gearing up for a fight.

Jake leaned down a little, the intensity in his eyes sharpening. “And she doesn’t realize that using a nail gun will shoot the nail right through the drywall, not giving you any ledge to hang a picture.”

Ava held her breath, a mixture of lust and irritation wrecking her focus. Jake filled her vision. A man like this didn’t give two shits about overpowering a woman’s opinion. Arrogant, cocky, no way she’d hire someone like him.

“You’re hired.” Reese’s voice snapped Ava out of her daze.

“What?” Ava and Jake said at the same time.

Jake grinned.

Ava rolled her eyes and moved to Reese. “What do you mean he’s hired?”

“I mean, we need someone to help. He’s worked in construction and knows what he’s doing. It’s a pretty easy solution.” Reese winked and lowered her voice to a barely audible whisper. “Plus, he’s perfect for you.”

Oh, no. No. No way. “I thought we were hiring a maintenance man.” Not finding her a date—not with him. He’d drive her insane by the end of the day with his know-it-all attitude. No matter whether he knew every damn thing about construction.

No matter how good he smelled.

“We are hiring a maintenance man,” Frankie said. “But there’s some chemistry there. Get it?” She winked. “Chemistry.”

“Yes, I get it.” She glanced over her shoulder at Jake. He turned in a circle, inspecting the building. He probably had a few dozen opinions about what he saw if the nail gun critique was any indication. “But there’s no chemistry between us. If I wanted a man to question my decisions, I’d just call my dad and ask for his opinion.”

“That’s ridiculous, Ava.” Reese shook her head. “Why would you waste your time on the phone with your dad when you could be talking to him? We both saw the way you looked at Jake.”

“Like I wanted to throttle him if I had a box to stand on?”

“No. Like you didn’t know whether to throttle him or jump him,” Frankie said. She pulled her blonde, nearly white hair back into a ponytail. “You can thank us later.”

“More like blame you later.” She crossed her arms and waited while her friends made her duties even harder. She didn’t try to involve herself with their jobs. Frankie handled the kitchen and accounting. Reese operated the brewery and created the beer, incredible beer that Ava wished she could drown in at that moment.

“You’re hired.” Frankie shook hands with him.

His gaze slid over her head to meet Ava’s.

No. She didn’t agree with it. She returned his dimple-smirk with an unfriendly scowl. Maybe she could scare him away.

Damn it. He smiled wider and refocused on Reese and Frankie. “There’s a problem that’s come up since I applied. I’m in the Army Reserves. I found out this morning that I deploy in two months. You won’t have to hold a job for me when I leave because I won’t come back to Hillsboro, but I’ll try to hire a quality replacement before I leave.”

Reese and Frankie glanced at each other. Frankie shrugged. “I guess—”

“I guess we wish you good luck with your deployment. We need someone a little more permanent.” And someone who didn’t make every nerve in her body go on high alert. It didn’t matter if he was trying to be helpful.

“No.” Reese overrode Ava’s decision. Two against one was impossible. She didn’t blame them for ignoring her opinion on the matter. She’d ganged up on them both at one time or another.

“Then, I’ll say it again. You’re hired,” Reese announced.

Frankie paused by Ava on her way back to the kitchen. “Play nice, honey. He’s the best applicant we’ve had.” She took her hand and squeezed it. “He’s here to help, not undermine you. He’s not your dad. You’ve done great with the building. Let. Him. Help.”

A small amount of tension drained from Ava’s shoulders. “Fine,” she gritted out. Maybe if he stayed on one side of the building and she stayed on the other, they could function for the next two months.


Jake and Ava faced each other on opposite sides of the nail gun. He’d hate for someone to come in and take over his job, so he’d try not to do the same to her. He’d help out where he could for two months and leave.

“I think we got off on the wrong foot.” He smiled, containing his laugh when her lips turned down into a small frown. Her determination to hate him was admirable, although he didn’t know why she felt it was necessary.

She crossed her arms. God, she looked so damn adorable when angry.

“All right,” he murmured. “You said you had some pictures to hang. Do you want me to start there?”

A little of the rigidness left her shoulders. “Sure. I guess I can give you a tour first. This—” she motioned around them “—is the main dining room and tasting room. We’re waiting on the shipment of stools to come in for the bar.”

The entire scene was cool. A long, stainless-steel bar top ran the length of the wall, beer taps on the wall behind it. That, combined with the concrete floors, gave it an industrial feel. But the walls and ceilings, the long tables, were all made with distressed wood, warming up the room.

“Are the stools coming in assembled?”

Her brows pulled down, the worry line between her eyes deepening. “I’m not sure.”

He’d picked up on a few context clues during the oddest interview for a job he’d never had. She disliked not knowing things, not just in the usual way that bugged most people. For Ava, it was personal.

He got it—really. But construction was something that took years of experience to master, years that he’d invested from growing up in the business until he enlisted. He could help if she’d let him.

Jake followed her through an opening on the left of the far wall. A small hallway jutted back in the corner. “The bathrooms are that way.” She walked straight ahead through the doorway. “And the kitchen is through here.”

Frankie stood at the grill. The smell of burnt chicken greeted him.

Jake cut his eyes at Ava.

For a quick second, they didn’t hold the hostility from before. With a subtle shake of her head, they moved down the adjacent hallway.

After a few steps, she said, “Frankie wants to learn how to cook. We keep telling her to hire someone, but she’s determined to do it on her own.”

Jake half-smiled. “Sounds like someone else I just met.”

The dark look returned, and she stomped ahead of him a few steps. He resisted laughing.

Two months until he deployed, he’d enjoy his time working at the brewery if the first day was any indication. A stubborn, hard-headed woman like Ava didn’t faze him.

He’d grown up with two sisters and a mother who all fit into that category.

She pushed open a door on their left. “This is Frankie’s office. See, cookbooks.” She pointed to the desk.

“I see. I’m not sure I’m ready to eat whatever she was cooking.”

“Never know what you’ll get.” She opened the next door. “This is mine.”

“All right. Now I know where to find you.”

She glanced back, again, the storm in her eyes having lessened. “I’m usually running around everywhere.” She closed the door. “Unlike the two of us, Reese uses her office more for storage than anything else. She has a lab down here.”

Ava walked out of the other end of the hallway. An entrance back to the dining room sat to his right and to his left, the brewery operations.

Tall, silver machines whirred and hummed. Reese, with red rubber boots, pulled a lever at the end of one of the tanks. Amber liquid poured into a glass.

“Tasting or testing?” Ava called over the drone of the noise.

Reese straightened and met them back at a small, glass-enclosed room. “Testing CO2 levels right now. Hopefully, we’ll have a tasting tonight after work.”

Jake scanned the work area. “Do you manage this all on your own?”

Reese fiddled with a few different instruments. “Yes, for the most part. I have two part-time helpers I call in when I need it. I will need more help soon.”

Ava huffed. “Part-time, my ass.” She looked at Jake. “She means Frankie and me. We’re her help.” Ava’s cell phone rang. “Hello?” She nodded and waved for him to follow her as she took long strides out of the lab. “I’m on my way.”

Jake paced her across the dining room, his worn boots keeping stride with her high heels.

“The plumber is here. He’s supposed to finish up the outside restrooms today in the courtyard so we can pour the concrete soon.” She reached for the door, but Jake grabbed the handle first.

She stumbled backward and bumped into his chest. A sweet, floral scent of perfume wound around his head.

“Thanks,” she said before surging out the door.

“Who’s the general contractor in charge of the construction?”

She walked backward a few steps, a small smile tugging at the corner of her lips. “Me, I guess. I’m hiring all the subs.”

That stopped him cold. She handled all the subs herself? Who supervised the construction? Who determined the timeline or which subs came in where? Scheduled the inspections? Insurance and permits?

Shit. This just turned into more than a simple maintenance position.

Jake paused in the middle of the courtyard, shaking off the feeling of dread at what he might find when he did a full inspection in the morning.

Whoever designed the courtyard did a good job. A large, gas fire pit sat in the center with six Adirondack chairs already set up around it. The main patio still resembled a mud wrestling competition instead of a place to eat. But no one could pour concrete in the next few days, not with the amount of rain they’d received.

Ava’s lips moved nonstop as she spoke to the plumber, her hands and arms moving just as much. Everything about her buzzed with energy. He liked that.

He liked the passion she had for her job, even if she didn’t want to hire him.

He wouldn’t keep his mouth shut, though, because his goal changed. For the next two months, Jake would work at Rosalind Brewery, and when he left, the entire building would be operational and up to code. He’d leave them with something that would last.

Ava walked back to Jake. “Why didn’t you hire a contractor?” He hadn’t meant for the question to come out so rough, but he couldn’t wrap his head around that concept.

She hesitated on her next step, the pleasant look in her eyes shifting immediately to defense. Giving him those eat-shit looks wouldn’t change the topic. He wanted some answers.

“Because we had to save money at first, and I just never did.” She kicked her chin out again. “I think I did pretty good without one. I bought a book that laid out the timeline for construction.”

“I hope your book worked.” A book. His father, one brother, and one sister were all general contractors. No way they could fit all their knowledge into one book. “How many inspections have you had so far?”

She crossed her arms. “I had one come in before they put up the drywall. They looked all around the inside and said it looked good.”

Okay. Good. “What about the roof?”

“The roof?” Her brows shot down. “No. I don’t think anyone’s been up there since they completed it.”

“I’ll do a full inspection tomorrow morning.”

“Everything is fine.”

He kept his smile undercover, trying to keep what peace they had between them going for a few more minutes. “I think I’ll go help the plumber unless you have something else you need me to do right now.”

“No, I don’t, but I don’t know if he needs your help.”

Jake leaned to the side and pointed at the pipe. “He had two brackets facing the wrong way.”

She winced. “We got called on that during the inspection. Terrance had to come out and fix his mistake.”

“Then, I’ll be over here, and we can avoid that mistake this time around.”

Her ears turned red, and her cheeks puffed, but she held in whatever comment rolled around in her head. She stormed off, her high heels making her retreat slower than she probably appreciated.

What the hell had he gotten himself into?


“I’m making the lunch run today. What do you like to eat, Jake?” Ava’s voice jolted through his body. He pulled himself out from underneath the sink in the outside bathrooms. Two hours of fixing Terrance’s mistakes had put him in an ill mood.


“Yes, sandwiches. What kind do you like?”

“Anything.” He moved back underneath the counter, trying once again to unscrew the pipe that Terrance cross-threaded.


He grunted with another effort. “That’s fine.”


The pointed toe of her high heel tapped on the temporary, plywood floor. Her ankles and then calves snagged his eyes.

“Sure.” He’d eaten his share of MRE when out in the desert. Anything would beat that, or his cooking, which was all he ate these days.

One foot lightly stomped on the ground.

He grinned, waiting for whatever attitude she’d throw his direction.

“Hmmm. All right. ‘Anything’ means it’s open season on your sandwich. Don’t blame me for what you get.”

Jake jerked from underneath the counter. “Wha—?”

She held up her hand and took a step back, those gray eyes holding more laughter than he’d expected.

Now, a cute smile curled up the corner of her lip. “Too late. I gave you a chance. One ‘anything sandwich’ coming right up.”

She pivoted on the heel of her pointy shoes and marched across the courtyard to the parking lot, looking pretty and clean while surrounded by construction material and mud. The lights on a sleek, white Audi flashed. Nice car.

“She’s a trip. I’ve listened to those three women go back and forth at each other all week. They’re hilarious. Smart.” Terrance whistled low. “Smarter than either one of us; I can guarantee it.”

He patted Terrance on the back. “I don’t doubt it. Let’s finish this up so we can go switch these connections back.”

One thing he’d never do as a contractor was to keep Terrance as a plumber. The man would cost them time, if not money, for fixing mistakes.

Jake would never imply that Ava didn’t understand enough to supervise contractors strictly because she was a woman. Hell, his older sister would kick his ass for suggesting it. But until he got a better read on the situation, everything he supervised would be done right.

It felt good—back to working, back to having a purpose. He wasn’t career Army any longer but in the National Guard. That made it hard finding a civilian job that allowed him to deploy, that didn’t riddle him with guilt for leaving someone in a bad spot.

But the brewery would find another person to replace him. Maybe he could help hire someone before he left, vet whoever took his spot to make sure they were quality and could do the work the right way.

After finishing up the courtyard restrooms, Jake entered the dining room as Ava called out, “Lunch!”

She held the front door open with her hip, struggling with several brown bags nearly falling out of her arms. Part of her hair escaped out of her ponytail, and she somehow balanced on those high heels.

Jake jogged across the room. “Here. Let me help.”

“Thanks.” She released the bags into his arms, pushed the hair away from her face and then patted his shoulder as she passed by. “Look at that. Already earning a paycheck.”

“I’d have helped you regardless.” He followed her across the room to a few empty tables pushed together, suddenly aware of his hunger after getting a strong whiff of the food in the bags. “Where did you go to get these?” He sat down the bags.

“That cute coffee shop a few miles down the road. They just started serving lunch on Wednesdays. The sandwiches are delicious.” She unbuttoned her rain jacket. It shouldn’t be sexy, but it was. His eyes tracked her fingers as she slipped out each button.

He had no business allowing his thoughts to travel that direction. He wanted this job for the next two months. Cover his bills, give his brain and body something to take his mind off life, and then he’d be gone.

Jake moved behind her, helping her out of her jacket and earning a surprised glance. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” He folded her jacket over the chair. She was his boss. She stood on one side of the line, and he stood on the other. That strict set of rules had been bred into him by his father. Business and personal didn’t mix, which worked for him. He kept everyone at a distance—his family, women. One failed marriage was enough to learn his lesson.

“Now, what did my indecision earn me for lunch? With the sinister way you looked at me when you left, I figure I’ll be eating something with bean sprouts and tofu.”

She pursed her lips together, her eyes trailing over his shoulders. “I’m assuming you don’t eat a lot of bean sprouts and tofu to get to your size.” She started pulling out individually wrapped sandwiches with letters on the outside. With two hands, she pulled out a huge sandwich with a big “J” written in black marker. “I told them to put everything on it because I was feeding a guy in the Army who looked like he could lift a truck.”

“I doubt I can lift a truck.”

“A car?”

He smiled. “Maybe a small one.” Hell, she was gorgeous when she wasn’t scowling at him. He took the sandwich from her, pretending to weigh it in his hands. “Did they add a small car to it? This is massive.”

She picked up another sandwich, small and thin, with an “A” written on top. “Do you want mine? It’s on gluten-free flatbread and does include bean sprouts along with thinly sliced turkey, hot mustard, pickles. No cheese. No mayo.”

“No cheese? Is it really a sandwich without cheese?”

“A healthy one.”

He straightened. “Please tell me you’re not one of those.” Ava looked amazing, not that he’d tell her that. She had to have a boyfriend or husband, some man in her life, reminding her of that daily.

She redid her ponytail, watching him with a curious look. “One of those? I’m afraid you’ll have to elaborate.” She set her hands on the table, challenging him. “Those what, exactly?”

He grinned as her look darkened. “One of those women who counts calorie and worries about every, single, little bite they put in their mouth.”

Ava motioned around her. “I own a brewery, Jake. I enjoy beer and pub food. I save calories where I can.” Again, her gray eyes trailed across his chest. “I don’t have time to spend half my life in the gym like you.”

Hard to take her comment as an insult when she looked at him that way.

Was she just being friendly? Aside from his sisters, he didn’t have many female friends. Hell, at this point, apart from the guys in his unit, he didn’t have any friends. Growing up, he’d never considered himself a loner, but now, it was the best way to make sure no one else got hurt. He’d done enough damage.

Jake pulled out a chair and sat down, pushing aside any personal thoughts of Ava. He’d stick to his plan, work, deploy and then find a new place to live.

She didn’t like him anyway.

“Let’s discuss the timeline to finish your brewery.”

She huffed out her nose, sounding like a cute but angry bull, before setting out the rest of the sandwiches for the others. “I have the concrete for the courtyard scheduled for next week.”

He kept his head down, slowly unwrapping the sandwich and tempering his next statement. “When are they coming to prep the site?”

“Prep the site?”

He closed his eyes. Damn. This was about to be a two-month rollercoaster.

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