Tatum Stewart is trying to make it on her own without her over-protective father. She starts a new computer consulting business and buys a new bungalow on Laird Avenue in Sugar House, Utah. She has no idea that the forces of evil are working against her──that is, Burke Woods. His grandfather owned the home during Prohibition, and Burke wants the valuables stashed in her basement.
Tatum’s dream home soon turns into her worst nightmare requiring her to hire the local renovation expert, Ryan Bulldarren. Who knew he would come with his own protection manual when he buys her a Bullmastiff dog as her new security system and sets about sabotaging her dates.
Can these two quirky individuals figure out what Burke’s up to before it’s too late? Can they manage to keep their relationship strictly business?
“Jen, this house is my worst nightmare,” Tatum said, raging over the phone as she waded knee deep through piles of laundry on the back porch. “How could this tiny little two bedroom bungalow with one tiny little bathroom and less than one-fifth of an acre cost over six hundred thousand dollars?”
“It’s all about location, Tate.”
She tried to pull the door closed, but a pair of designer jeans was caught in the door jam. “Yes, I’ve heard of location, but have they heard of the Lemon Law?”
“It doesn’t apply to houses. I told you we should have taken more time to check the house out, but no…you had to have it. It was your dream home. Remember?”
Tatum sighed. “Don’t remind me. There’s no way I want to admit I made a mistake to my father. He’s like a lion ready to pounce, waiting to prove that I’ve screwed up by moving out on my own and starting my own business at the same time.” She pulled at the t-shirt sticking to her sweaty body and tried to cool herself. Somehow, now that it was her house, even the air conditioning didn’t work.
Most importantly, there weren’t enough outlets in the house and certainly not enough in the den to run the computer equipment for her business. Maybe she should have figured that out when the switches were the old-fashioned little circle buttons, but she hadn’t had time to worry about it. She wanted this house, and someone else would have snapped it up had she let them list it.
“Any luck finding a renovator to start on the place?” Jen questioned.
Tatum headed for the dining room and flopped down in a chair at the table, studying her notebook. “I must have made about thirty calls in the last couple of days. Everyone keeps referring me to a…a Ryan Bulldarren of Bulldarren Renovation Specialists. They say he’s the only one in the city who will touch these old walls unless I want to run all the new wiring on the outside and enclose it in metal casings like they do now. Yuck.” She wiped at the sweat dripping from the nape of her neck.
“Sounds to me like you better call him.”
“I can hear the dollars per hour zinging up just for the word specialist.” Tatum bit at her fingernail.
“Come on, Tate. You at least have to call him and find out.”
“I already have. At least nine times in the last two days. I keep leaving messages.” She sighed. “I’m doomed. I can’t keep using your computer system. I’m independent, remember?”
“Gotta go, Jen. Somebody’s at the door,” Tatum said, screeching off the sticky, wooden chair.
She flipped her phone closed and swung the front door open. The coolest drink of water she had ever seen stood before her. He was right off some hunky handyman calendar.
“Can…can I help you?” Tatum tried to stop her eyes from blinking in disbelief.
“I’m Ryan Bulldarren. Co-owner of Bulldarren Renovation Specialists.”
“But I never reached you. I never talked to you. We never actually spoke…or anything.”
“You left me twenty-one messages, all of them desperate, with your name, phone number and address. This is the soonest I could get here. I’ve even had other construction companies calling me to call you back so you’ll quit calling them.”
“Oh, sorry about that.” She looked down and played with the carpet fibers in the rug with her big toe. She desperately wanted to sneak another peek at his bulging muscles underneath his paint-stained t-shirt and his lean hips beneath his work-worn jeans. He’d obviously done a lot of physical work in his day. His skin had seen the sun; his calloused hands had earned their pay. His sky-blue eyes melted her insides, and she curbed her desire to run her hands through his curly chocolate-brown hair. She kept her vision focused on a single fiber in the rug.
She heard him clear his throat.
“What?” she asked, still studying the floor.
“I…uh…do you think I could come in and take a look at the job?”
“Oh, excuse me. I was distracted by an earlier phone call. Please, come in.” She had to focus on the job. After all, her house was crumbling around her ears. She needed outlets in practically every room, the air-conditioning didn’t work and something was wrong with the plumbing.
“As I said on the phone, I need a bid on putting in outlets in my den, which I’m converting to my office. I just moved here, and I’m trying to start my own computer consulting business.” She pulled her clinging t-shirt away from her chest and flapped it to cool herself. “It’s not part of renovating, but do you think you could look at my cooling system?”
Ryan backed his way to the door. “Uh…I’ll…I’ll have an estimate to you about the outlets as soon as I can.”
“But you didn’t even go in the den.”
“How many outlets did you need?”
“At least four,” she yelled as he was slamming the door.
Not To Be Missed!
Love can blossom out of the strangest of things, such as home renovation. "Love on Laird Ave" tells of Tatum Stewart, who is making her own way in life in her own new home. But some things aren't going as well, as she calls in a renovation expert. They hit it off all too well, but greed and old owners come around after her and may make her cozy new home a little bit of hell. "Love on Laird Ave" is a fine and much recommended read, not to be missed.
Midwest Book Review
Funny and Heart-warming!
This author has done a fine job of offering readers a plot that's filled with fun, plus a bull mastiff puppy that you will never forget. This story has some extremely funny and heart-warming scenes. Although this is a very tender romance, the plot also serves up some surprises.
Romantic Times Book Reviews
Love on Laird Avenue is truly a comical story from beginning until the end. I loved that the author included a history to the house especially a little gangster mob story. Ryan is so funny in so many scenes it is hard to not like him. He’s funny, adorable and gorgeous; everything Tatum needs in a man to love her. Great book.
4 1/2 Stars
Manic Readers Reivews