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.”
I enjoyed this humorous and very entertaining tale of love. Cara walks in on her fiancé and her hairdresser having sex and that totally ruins her life plans. Suddenly she is broke, homeless and hungry. Ryan bought a restaurant thinking it would make life easy and finding women easier. He finds out that owning a restaurant is hard work and expensive. Cara enters his restaurant with no intention of paying for all the food she will eat and Ryan finds himself unwillingly captivated by her. This is the start of their budding relationship. Cara wants nothing to do with men and Ryan only wants one night stands and no commitment. Both find themselves involved with each other and really having no idea why. I really enjoyed the developing relationship between these two fascinating people. This tale is filled with humor, building of friendships and romance. ~Booklover Sue
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.
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