So this weeks selection is from my last holiday release A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. The reason I’m going back in time here is to get you (hopefully!) ramped up for the next San Valentino Holiday release, CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS, which comes out on 12.12.18. Both stories are stand-alones – you don’t need to read the first to enjoy the second – but really, this family is so crazy and so much fun, you should read them all anyway! But that’s just my opinion…hee hee.
“Gia, I know a guy who’s looking for a numbers person,” Uncle Sonny said. “A new business venture he’s putting together on the Lower West Side. One of those trendy cybercafes. Frou-frou coffees with names no one can pronounce, big-ass muffins and breads and stuff. He could use someone with a math brain like yours to help him with the books and the spreadsheets. I could put a good word in his ear for ya.”
He was seated across the table from me, his bright blue suspenders sitting over his old-as-sin, used-to-be- white, wife-beater tee. The only time Uncle Sonny ever wore an actual shirt was when he left the house. Any time he was inside, no matter whose house it was—his own or someone else’s—he removed his dress shirt, electing to be comfortable in his undershirt and pants. The suspenders were a necessary item, not a sartorial statement, because he’d gained some substantial weight in the past few years and hated the wincing feeling of a belt around his ever-expanding waistline. His pants hung underneath his bulging abdomen and would have fallen to the floor if not anchored by the suspenders.
Before I could respond, Mama beat me to it.
“Salvatore San Valentino.” Her voice rose to a pitch that could summon dogs. “You will not give my bambina’s name to any of your wise-guy friends, do I make myself clear?”
“Frankie, honey,” Sonny said, all sweetness and light oozing from his voice, a smile Nonna always termed oily across his mouth. “No worries. This guy’s legit.”
“No one you know is legit,” she shot back, rising and moving around the table with the filled pasta bowl to give refills. She slapped a wooden spoon the size of a cup measure onto my brother Gianni’s plate with a thwack. “It’s bad enough everything you own fell off a truck.” She moved onto my youngest brother, Edoardo’s plate. Thwack. “And that you associate with people on police wanted lists.” On to Antonio. Another thwack. “But you’re Joey’s brother, so I overlook all that.” Thwack onto Nonna’s plate—although she hadn’t eaten any of her first pasta round yet. “But I draw the line when you want to involve my baby girl in the businesses of your low-life, crooked friends.”
With a final thwack to Daddy’s plate, she slammed the bowl, which was almost as wide as she was, back onto the table and picked up the gravy boat.
“Who wants sauce?” she snapped, her crystal-blue gaze flitting with anger around the table.
“Here, Mama.” Chloe’s husband, Matt, stood and took the antique piece of imported Italian china from her. “I’ll do it. You sit. Eat. You must be tired from working at the church all day and then making this wonderful meal for us all.”
Gently, he nudged the gravy bowl from her hands, charming her with his dashing smile and melted- chocolate-colored eyes.
Unable to resist smiling back at him—he was after all the golden son-in-law since he was a doctor and had given her two more grandchildren to fawn over—Mama patted his cheeks. “You’re such a good boy, Matteo. I’m so happy my Chloe married you.”
From next to me, I heard my brother Paolo mutter, “Suck up,” and I choked a laugh into my napkin.
Peggy here: God, I love this family!!!!
also available in audio!