Caterina

Caterina cover

Since I’m just past the half-way mark in writing Caterina,  Book 2 in the Pendleton Petticoats series, I thought I’d share a little detail about the book today.

There’s a girl, a guy, a big dog, a lot of Italian food, some bad guys, and of course, a lot of romance in the story.

Here’s the book blurb:

Caterina – On the run from the Italian mafia in New York City, feisty Caterina Campanelli travels across the country to the small town of Pendleton, Oregon, trying to hide her past while she decides what to do about her uncertain future. Seeking comfort in her cooking, she battles her attraction to one of the town’s most handsome men.

Kade Rawlings is dedicated to his work as a deputy in Pendleton. Determined to remain single and unfettered, he can’t seem to stay away from the Italian spitfire who rolls into town keeping secrets and making the best food he’s ever eaten. Using his charm, wit, and brawn to win her trust, he may just get more than he bargained for.

And because I’m in the mood to share today, here is a little excerpt from the book:

~~~

“Look who I found tripping around in the posies,” Garrett said, slapping Kade on the back as he gave his friend a devilish smile.

Kade knew Garrett would give him a bad time when he showed up with a bouquet of wildflowers for Caterina, but he’d seen them growing on the side of the road and felt compelled to stop and pick a few.

“Hush,” Aundy said to Garrett, trying to hide her grin as she pushed him toward the sink. Turning to Kade, she studied the flowers in his hand and tipped her head toward Caterina.

“Miss Campanelli, these made me think you,” Kade said, finding it hard to think when the black-haired beauty before him was so utterly appealing. She must have taken time to bathe because her hair was so shiny, he thought he could see midnight blue highlights in the dark, curly tresses loosely piled on her head. From her perfect button nose and almond shaped eyes to the long eyelashes skimming the tops of her cheeks like delicate black feathers, he couldn’t recall ever seeing a more beautiful woman.

The cherry-colored dress she wore accented both her trim figure and her warm coloring. He thought her skin looked like sun-kissed peaches. Wondering if she’d taste as sweet, he stared at her lips until he felt J.B. slap him on the back, jarring him from his wayward thoughts.

“You gonna let her have those?” J.B. asked as Caterina stood waiting for Kade to relinquish the flowers he held out toward her.

“Huh? Oh, yeah… um… here,” Kade said, thrusting them into Caterina’s hand, embarrassed and feeling like a big, gangly oaf. Always self-assured and confident, Kade didn’t like the feelings of uncertainty that were assaulting him in the presence of the lovely woman.

“Thank you,” Caterina said, accepting the flowers and burying her nose in the bouquet, as much to savor the fragrance as the hide her blushing cheeks. One look at Kade and she felt like she’d swallowed butterflies. Her stomach fluttered nervously, her palms grew damp, and she found it impossible to focus on anything except his wonderful smile and bright green eyes.

Accepting the jar of water Aundy handed her for the flowers, Caterina turned her back to Kade and spent a moment arranging them while gathering her composure. She’d been around men her entire life, growing up with five brothers and all their boisterous friends, not to mention all the men who came in her parents’ store and Uncle Laz’s restaurant, but not one had ever left her as unsettled as she felt just by looking at Kade. Even his name made a flare of heat zip through her.

Kade Rawlings. The name sounded tough and rowdy, strong and wild. Glancing over at the man from beneath her lowered lashes, Caterina thought that description was probably quite apt.

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