SHUT UP AND KISS ME - Carolyn Hughey
Avalon Books
ISBN: 978-0-8034-7668-4
October 2011
Contemporary Romance

New York City, New York - Present Day

Learning that Nick Sorrano is getting married causes Ellana Licari to change all of her plans.  She's spent the last year living in New Jersey to be farther away from her interfering mother, but she's not about to lose the only man she's ever loved, so Ellana moves back in with her parents…and accepts Nick's offer of a job at his restaurant.  Yet, he continues to treat her as a sister, so Ellana decides to do something desperate.  The new chef at Nick's restaurant is Giovanni Cavallini, another friend of Ellana's, and she persuades him to fake a relationship with her in order to get Nick's attention.

Gio is very convincing in his acting—maybe a little too convincing, as he immediately tells Ellana's family that he intends to marry her.  Then Gio admits that it's not all an act; he really does have feelings for her.  All her life, Ellana has imagined walking down the aisle to meet Nicky at the altar, but suddenly she has feelings for Gio.  That Nick suddenly seems interested only makes things more complicated.  Which is the man for her?

Nick and Ellana were born on the same day, and their mothers instantly bonded and were sure that this was fate telling them that the two were meant to be together.  Now, in SHUT UP AND KISS ME, Nick and Ellana finally start to look at each other in a different light.  As far as Ellana can tell, Nicky has always sent her mixed signals: treating her like a sister, yet acting jealous of any man she dates.  Tired of hiding her feelings for him, she moves to New Jersey , but rushes home the minute she hears he's marrying someone else.  Nick is dedicated to making his restaurant a success and is tired of listening to his mom and Ellana's hints about the big wedding.  But, seeing Ellana with Gio has him wondering if his feelings for Ellana have been overshadowed by his desire to escape the mothers' interference.  Meanwhile, Gio has a thing for Ellana but is aware of her feelings for Nick.  This is his chance to try to convince Ellana that he, Gio, is the man who loves her.

Long-time friends, interfering families, and the love of food are at the heart of the lighthearted romance, SHUT UP AND KISS ME.

Jennifer Bishop