The Meatball Mistress
by Tiffany N. York
Cara Manzoni flees Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, to the Jersey Shore after catching her fiancé cheating with her hairdresser. Problem is she has no clothes, no money, and no place to go. This is not where she thought she’d be at almost thirty years old.
Ryan Garridy is a diehard commitment-phobe, struggling to keep his Italian restaurant afloat. The last thing he wants is a high-maintenance woman in his life. So when Cara runs out on her check and then faints at his feet the next day, he knows she’s trouble with a capital T. It still doesn’t stop him from offering her a job and a place to stay. There’s something feisty and compelling about this woman, and no matter how hard he tries, he just can’t seem to say no to her. Or her Sicilian meatballs.
Since Cara has sworn off men, it’s no big deal that Ryan is sexy and charming—until she decides the only way to stop obsessing over her ex is to obsess over someone new. Ryan makes her forget about her ex a little too well, but falling for him could set her up for a whole new world of hurt.
One man, one woman, both wounded by love. Will they be able to overcome their demons and learn to trust again? If the undeniable passion between these two doesn’t keep them together, the mouth-watering food will.
“Did you just call me … ” Her eyes became dark angry slits as her pulse raced. “A hooker?”
She had to bite her fist to keep from clocking him one. Jesus, her car was called the Pimpmobile for a reason, but not for that one.
“First of all, I am not a hooker, despite my appearance. And this happens to be my dead grandfather’s car. Second, I have never done any drugs in my life, so I am not a drug addict.
“Okay,” Ryan said warily.
Cara went to her trunk and unlocked it. “I happened to have run into some bad luck, is all.”
Ryan glanced inside her trunk. “This is not the trunk of a woman on vacation.”
She grabbed what few clothes and toiletries she had and shoved them inside her purse. “I’m not on vacation,” she said, slamming down the trunk.
They headed back to the restaurant. “Are you on the run?”
Cara stopped in her tracks. “Let’s see, you think I am a hooker, a drug addict, and now, a fugitive,” she said, ticking them off her fingers. “What about puppy torturer and child-slave broker?”
Ryan cracked a smile. “I was getting to those.” He placed his hand on her back, urging her to start walking again.
“If you think I’m such a horrible person, why didn’t you turn me in when you had the chance?”
“I still might, unless you have a really good story for why you stiffed me.”
Ever took a chance on a book that you knew, just knew it was going to be fun to read just by the blurb? This book had me at the blurb. I’m a sucker for Brooklyn (even though I’ve never been there) and since my only knowledge of the Jersey shore is that awful show I tried to watch once, I was intrigued by the possibilities.
Plus, the excerpts that Ms. York sent don’t even cover 1/10th of the humor in the book. Sadly I could only pick one but I might sneak a line or two from the others just because they are too dang funny! This book was one of the funniest, snarkiest, down to earth romances that I’ve read in a while. The characters from Cara and Ryan (swoon) to the secondary characters, Ginny, Leah, Dino, Brady and Oz…brilliantly written and real. Yes very real. These are characters that you can relate to, might even know or better yet, want to know.
Cara and Ryan are both gun-shy when it comes to romance. Being burned in love sucks but these two have a real reasons to why they are. Cara’s you know immediately but just wait for Ryan’s. I didn’t see that coming and I don’t blame him a bit. Plus, I wish that plot point had been more fleshed out for me. Just a minor thing for me but most people won’t even catch it, so pay attention.
This book isn’t about redemption, anger management issues, abuse, or the other assortment melays that some books have. It just a love story about how two people who were never destined to meet, do and how they fall in love. It has plenty of humor, heart and ultimately how Cara and Ryan come together. The song that Ryan writes for Cara is priceless. Its stuck in my head and it will be in yours, too.
“Life was much simpler back in the Stone Age,” he said before shutting the bathroom door.
“You mean when you clubbed a woman and dragged her back to your cave?” Cara shouted at the closed door.
Ryan opened the door and peeked out. “I meant before women learned how to speak,” he said, slamming the door before she could throw something at him.
This is the kind of dialogue that I’m talking about. Its funny, real and honest. Nothing fake about Cara and Ryan. They lay it out for each other and deal with it. No hidden agendas, nothing but a good old-fashioned romance. Do yourself a favor and read this book. You will have a huge smile on your face the whole time you are reading. No dramas that are drawn out but I will have to say Dino is a hoot and his scene at the restaurant is OMG funny. 🙂
I can’t recommend this book highly. Yes, there is sex but your mom could read it and not be red faced. Plus, she’ll be laughing too much to care. 😉
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Tiffany N. York lives in Southern CA with her spirited son, diva Chihuahua, three to five cats, and two tone-deaf parakeets. She writes romance to escape reality. You can visit her at http://tiffanynyorkauthor.com