KAREN SUE BURNS
Mystery ~ Romance ~ Adventure
Crazy for Home
CHAPTER ONE

It’s an accepted fact that a child’s toy left in the middle of a kitchen floor does indeed have the potential for disaster. Maggie Todd held a freshly made apple pie in her hands and turned toward her oven. She stopped short at the miniature soccer ball directly in her path. “One mess avoided,” she mumbled, kicking the potential for disaster out of her way. She placed the pie on the preheated oven’s center rack, closed the door with a satisfied sigh—one pie down, one to go.
    Without fanfare, she turned from the oven, took a couple of steps, and tripped over the very same ball. She hit the floor hard, simultaneously releasing a string of mild curses.
    “Are you hurt?”
    She looked up from the humiliating position of flat on her butt. An extremely handsome man stood in the middle of the kitchen, one masculine hand stretched toward her.
   “I saw you go down.” He leaned in to extend his hand even further. “Please, may I help you?”
    She reached for the broad palm and muscular forearm. His fingers closed around hers and she felt the warmth and security of a Rocky Mountain fire in the middle of a long winter. He pulled her upright.
“Thanks.” Maggie rubbed her hands together to keep from massaging her slightly sore backside.
    “No problem.” An amused look graced his face. “No one was up front so I came back here when I heard you fall. I’m Alex Brady, I have a room reservation.”
    She blinked as the realization hit her. This man was the six-month guest reservation and three hours early? This man, with his gorgeous blue eyes and dark wavy hair, was her newest guest? She brushed hair back from her face, wishing she hadn’t left the front door unlocked. She hated that he’d caught her unprepared and appearing unprofessional. She wiped her hands on her jeans and immediately jumped into the role of innkeeper and hostess.
    He circled a hand over his chest and pointed an index finger at her.     What? She looked down then turned her back to him. The top button of her blouse had come undone, displaying the plunging pink lace on her bra. She sucked in a breath, corrected the situation, and turned around, determined to ignore the adorable grin on his face.
    “Mr. Brady, welcome to The Blue Barn Inn.” She untied her “Kiss the Cook” apron and hung it on a hook inside the pantry. “If you’ll follow me, I’ll show you to your room then we can get your luggage.”
    “Lead the way.”
When the worlds of a reluctant innkeeper and a former video game creator collide, stars explode over Texas, a ghost settles his past, and two lovers find their forever home.