Release date: 24 March 2014
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.
by Tiffany N. York
Sensuality Level: Sensual
Tiffany N. York lives in Southern California with her spirited son, diva Chihuahua, 3 to 5 cats, and 2 tone deaf parakeets. She writes romance to escape reality. Find Tiffany N. York at www.tiffanynyorkauthor.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
An excerpt from The Meatball Mistress:
Cara went through her “does my life suck?” checklist in her mind while driving aimlessly around. No money? Check. No credit card? Check. No place to live? Check. No fiancé, dwindling gas, dead cell phone? Check, check, check.
Swallowing made her aware of the sore glands in her throat. Her head throbbed with pain. She needed to eat something, but how many choices did she have when she was down to her last five bucks? She hated fast food and the packaged junk that came from a convenience store, so that left her without any options.
She turned down a small side street, heading away from the beach. Three blocks up, she spied a small restaurant with outdoor seating. Bella Vita. Cara smiled. The name meant beautiful life in Italian. The words of her grandfather echoed in her mind: “No matter what happens, always remember that life is good; life is beautiful; life is to be cherished.” She considered the restaurant a good omen.
It was warm outside, but Cara began to shiver. Please God; don’t let me get sick right now. I don’t think I can handle one more thing.
She walked the block to the restaurant. The entire façade of the building was yellowy-orange and painted to look like peeling plaster. It reminded her of something you might see in Tuscany. A heavy planter filled with a rosemary bush stood at each side of the entrance, and a black wrought iron fence surrounded the open-seating dining area.
Cara studied the glass-framed menu outside. The meals were a little too fancy and Americanized for her taste, which probably meant the chef or the owner wasn’t Italian. Shrimp Parmigiana? A true Italian knew never to mix cheese with seafood. There were way too many items on the menu to choose from and all the pricey dishes only made her head spin more.
“Do you see anything you like?” a deep, teasing voice next to her asked.
Cara’s head jerked up. She found herself looking into a pair of smiling, hazel eyes. “I … I’m not sure,” she stammered.
“Come, sit. I have a lovely table outside for you with your name on it.” He placed his hand lightly on her shoulder and Cara felt a small charge shoot through her. She allowed him to lead her to a small table. When he asked her whether she was expecting anyone else, she absently shook her head. “It’s a crime to have such a beautiful woman dine alone.”