Not everyone in the book is Italian/American. Connor’s uncle, Aiden Gilhooly, a son of Ireland, fills this scene with charm and an impish banter that is so delightful to the ears ( at least I think its! Hee Hee) that I can hear him speak every time I read his dialogue. Hope you can, too.
Our server returned with our food, cutting off what Connor was about to say. At the same time a tall, broad-shouldered and barrel-chested, well- dressed man of an age similar to my father’s sauntered over to our table. Connor slid out of the booth and was enveloped in behemoth arms and smacked on the back like a prodigal.
“It’s been too long, boyo,” the giant said. “Too long. You’re looking well. Busy?”
“Aye, that’s good then. Keep ya off the streets and outta trouble. And who’s this vision, now?” He stared down at our table, and I did a quick side glance to figure out who he was referring to. Vision is a word no one would apply to me. Ever.
“Regina San Valentino. She owns her own bakery and makes the most amazing things you will ever taste in your life.”
“Is that so? Well, it’s nice to meet you, young lady.” He reached a hand across the table, and mine completely disappeared in it. “Aiden Gilhooly, this young hooligan’s favorite uncle, is me name.”
“You’re my only uncle,” Connor said, shaking his head.
“And happy you should be about it, boyo.”
“Like I have a choice?” It was impossible not to smile at the loving, playful banter between them. Aiden Gilhooly looked and sounded nothing like Connor. If he hadn’t told me they were related, I would never have guessed it. Both were tall, yes, but that’s where the similarity began and ended. Connor’s complexion was olive and swarthy, while his uncle’s was vampire pasty, as if he shunned sunlight at all costs. A mop of mostly white hair tinged with faded patches of pale red sat on a head as round as a pumpkin. Eyes so blue they were almost transparent peeked out from under wooly white eyebrows while fat freckles danced across his nose and chubby cheeks.
If I’d thought Connor’s heritage was anything other than full-blown Irish before now, meeting this uncle who had Ireland stamped across his features surely would have put an end to that thought.
“This is my place,” Aiden said, a cheek-wide smile beaming at me. “And welcome you are, Miss San Valentino.”
“Reggie,” I said, smiling back at him. “All my friends call me Reggie.”
“And it’s delighted I am to be thought one.” He brought my hand to his lips and kissed my knuckles. Charm was stacked into this family’s genes by the fistful. “Now, boyo, sit yourself back down and eat before it gets cold.” He motioned for a waiter and held up an index finger. When Connor was seated back next to me, Aiden pulled a chair from a nearby table and sat with us.
“I’ve been meaning to call,” Aiden said, “about that reservation app you set up for the place.”
“Not at all. In fact, quite the opposite. Revenue’s been up twelve percent since it went live. I’ve been meaning to call to thank ya for forcing me old keister into the twenty-first century.”
Connor’s gorgeous face split into the most devilish grin, and a shock of pure lust whipped through me making the space at the top of my thighs tingle. How was it possible that just moments before I’d been feeling depressed and miserable, but one look at this man’s mirthful face and those feelings dissipated, to be replaced by sensations I hadn’t felt in forever?
I was glad I was sitting, my nether regions under the table. I was sure they were visibly quivering and shaking.
“It only took me, what?” Connor cocked his head as he laughed at his uncle. “Ten years of asking?”
“Pesterin’ and harassing me nonstop, is more the truth.”
“Well, I’m glad it worked.”
“Aye. Me, too, boyo.”
I simply adore Aiden. And Connor, Hell, everyone in the book is near and dear to my heart! Now for a little extra. Have you ever wondered what the author of a story intended you to hear when she wrote a scene? I have, so I’m giving you an example of how the voices in my head ( why does that sound so wrong to say?? Hee hee) sound when they speak to me. Click on the following link and you’ll get to my You Tube page where I narrated a bit from the book. Regina’s Independence Scene.
And one more little extra for you: Christmas and Cannolis trailer: