A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


The Meatball Mistress

by Tiffany N. York



Cara Manzoni flees Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, to the Jersey Shore after catching her fiancĂ© 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.


"I’m a fabulous cocktail waitress," she bragged. "You won’t be sorry. I know every drink in existence. Honestly, it’s like I have a photographic memory when it comes to ingredients."

Ryan didn’t answer her. He sat there shell-shocked.

"Say something."

"I can’t. I’ve lost all power of speech."

"You’re not regretting your decision to let me stay, are you?"

"It’s just … " His voice trailed off. He leaned his head back and stared up at the ceiling. "I’m trying to remember whether I’ve ever helped out a woman I wasn’t sleeping with."

"If you think I’m going to sleep with you … "

"No! Jesus, that’d be a disaster waiting to happen."

"Are you saying sleeping with me would be a disaster?"

"Absolutely!" He caught the deadly look she shot him and quickly said, "I mean, absolutely not!"

Cara shrugged. "It doesn’t matter either way, because I’ve sworn off all men. As far as I’m concerned, they’re all mangy dogs. Except you, of course," she amended.

Ryan stood up and headed for the door. "No, I’m one, as well. If I weren’t, I would have told you five minutes ago your robe was open," he tossed back.

Excerpt Three:

She felt sorry for every single one of this callous jerk’s past and future girlfriends. "God forbid they start liking you too much, Ryan. What a character flaw on their part."

He shrugged. "Nothing wrong with liking a person. Love’s a whole different story. That’s what screws everything up."

She stared at him for a long moment, considering the truth in his statement. How had he become so bitter about relationships? He even had her beat in that department. "Not everyone has such a tight rein on their emotions as you do. I’m sorry you think women are weak and pathetic creatures."

"I didn’t say women were weak and pathetic; you just complicate everything." He crossed in front of Cara and headed to the bathroom. "I’m jumping in the shower."

She had finished her peach and was now sucking on the pit. "It’s a wonder we’ve managed to evolve as a species. The differences between men and women are mind-boggling."

"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.


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





Tiffany will be awarding a $25 Starbucks GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  FOLLOW THE

 The tour dates can be found here: 

The Meatball MistressThe Meatball Mistress by Tiffany N. York
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Meatball Mistress by Tiffany York is a 2014 Crimson Romance publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Cara is two months away from getting married when she walks in on her fiancé having sex with her hairdresser. With no family and a dead end job, Cara just takes off in her car with a hundred dollars in her account. She is homeless, living in her car and starving when she decides she must have good meal. She picked the wrong place to try and run out on the bill. Ryan took a liking to his guest and sat with her while she ate. When she skipped out on the bill he was furious. By chance he sees her again . By this time Cara is sick and Ryan assumes the worse.. she's a drug addict or prostitute. When he hears her story he hears himself offer to let her stay at his place and work at his eatery. What was he thinking? But, Cara soon learns Ryan is the very definition of a ladies man. He dates several women at one time, only out for a good time and absolutely NO emotional attachments. He and Cara constantly trade barbs in a good old fashioned battle of the sexes. But, then it seems as though Cara is beginning to see things from Ryan's perspective. Maybe this casual dating thing could work for her, Ryan could be her "sexual bandaid" while she nurses her wounds after being cheated on. Not only that Cara has a talent for making the best meatballs in the world, something that could come in handy in Ryan's kitchen when he starts having some financial issues. Cara grows more confident and able each day, deciding to go back to school and put a serious romance on the back burner until she has her life in order. Ryan gave her some great advice about all those things. So, now it looks as though the tables have turned. Cara is in the drivers seat and loving it. But, is she really enjoying herself as much as she lets on? When push comes to shove, Ryan knows Cara has wormed her way into his life, but he hasn't said those magical words Cara longs to hear. So, will Cara stay with Ryan or will she set out on her own?
This is a cute contemporary romance featuring two people that had been badly hurt, each coping with it in their own way. The quirky cast of characters Ryan and Cara work with adds seasoning and spice to the story as well as a healthy dose of humor. The reader knows a bit about Ryan's past that Cara isn't aware of so we have an idea why he keeps women at arms length emotionally. Cara just knows he gets under her skin with all his exploits and talk of women always making things too complicated and wanting more. So, I loved it when Cara begins to use Ryan's words against him. He seems genuinely surprised when the tables are turned and he becomes Cara's sex toy . She doesn't seem to need much real intimacy from him and he finds himself wanting to cuddle and be close to her on a different level. So, while the couple will have to go through some drama before it all comes together for them, these two will be good for and to each other .
Chick lit, RomCom, or contemporary romance lovers will be delighted with this one. Overall this one gets a B. (3.5 stars)


  1. Wooo! Dat excerpt doe! :) It's...dare I say it...saucy! :P

    Thanks for sharing!!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

  2. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review The Meatball Mistress!

  3. Got to say this is a very interesting title.

    madtvk34 _(AT)_ yahoo _(DOT)_ com

  4. Nice review

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  5. Tiffany, I have to say that I am so impressed with the reviews for Meatball Mistress. It sounds like such a feel good read that I'm itching to get between the pages. Thanks for sharing.

    ilookfamous at yahoo dot com


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.