On Any Given Sundae
By: Marilyn Brant | Other books by Marilyn Brant
Published By: Marilyn Brant
Published: Jan 05, 2013
ISBN # 9781458010117
Published By: Marilyn Brant
Published: Jan 05, 2013
ISBN # 9781458010117
Word Count: 57,500
Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc)
DescriptionNothing tops the sweetness of an unexpected love...
When Elizabeth's uncle Siegfried and Rob's uncle Pauly rush off to Europe for a month, they temporarily relinquish the reins of their ice cream shop to their respective niece and nephew--two people who may have grown up practically next door to each other but who have next to nothing in common.
Elizabeth "Please Don't Call Me Lizzy" Daniels is a small-town Wisconsin girl at heart. Shy and inexperienced at love, the frizzy-haired dessert cookbook writer still resides in her quaint hometown of Wilmington Bay, stutters painfully when nervous and is only comfortable with her laptop and her tiny circle of cooking pals. She must come out of hiding over the summer to help her uncle, but she's convinced her childhood crush, Rob, barely knows she exists.
Roberto "You'd Better Call Me Rob, or Else" Gabinarri is the town's golden boy and former football star who left home after high school, made a splash in the big city and never looked back. He has to return to Wilmington Bay to uphold a promise to his uncle, but he's counting the minutes until he can escape to the relative anonymity of his fast-paced, commitment-free city life and the sports-themed restaurant he owns in Chicago. Despite his chattiness and charm, Rob was always intimidated by quiet, brainy girls like "Frizzy Lizzy," and he isn't pleased to be back in the place where people like her still see him as that popular but dumb jock--an image he worked for almost a decade to shed.
The unlikely pair tries to make the best of being stuck together, but Elizabeth has a pressing publication deadline, and Rob has an Italian mother bent on lining up potential hometown brides for him. Rob comes up with an idea--something that might help them both--but it involves just a bit of family deception. With time running out to finish her cookbook and her friends already stretched to the max trying to assist them, Elizabeth reluctantly agrees.
Neither Rob nor Elizabeth are used to playing games of pretense, but can love, hot summer nights and, maybe, some chocolate sauce, caramel and whipped cream...turn their farce into reality?
Reader Rating: Not rated (0 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating: Not rated
From Chicklit Club's Digital Domain"This is a charming tale of the popular jock and the shy bookworm, both trying to outlive their high school personas and prove to each other there is more to them than meets the eye. This is truly a root-for-the-underdog, feel-good story and a joy to read."
From Romancing the Book"I absolutely positively ADORED this book. From beginning to end, it kept me grinning like an idiot, giggling, and biting my lip in anticipation at the characters. You gotta give credit to Marilyn Brant for coming up with a cast of characters that you might be able to find in your own hometown..."
From Romantic Love Books"Marilyn Brant's On Any Given Sundae is sweet, sexy, and super fun. I loved the story line, I loved the characters, and I loved the setting...I really, really loved the role played by each and every character in this story. Brant has filled On An Given Sundae with an awesome, unique and fun group of secondary characters, too."
Excerpt:Rob Gabinarri was enjoying the sound of his own voice in his latest battle of wits with Miguel, the style consultant for his Chicago restaurant, when the phone rang.
“Rob Gabinarri, proprietor. The Playbook,” he said into the receiver, feeling the usual pride at the words. He never got tired of announcing his ownership of this place.
“Roberto!” his Uncle Pauly said.
Rob checked the date. It wasn’t his birthday. It wasn’t Christmas. It wasn’t the NFL Playoffs or anytime close to the Super Bowl. Something must be wrong with somebody.
“Uncle Pauly, how are you? Is everything all right in Wilmington Bay?”
“Everyone in the family? Mama and Tony and Maria-Louisa and the kids and—”
“Oh, they’re all fine. Just fine. But I need your help.”
This stopped Rob cold. The last time his independent uncle had asked for anybody’s help, big hair and legwarmers had still been in fashion. No matter what, there was no way Rob could decline. Family always came first.
“Of course. What do you need?”
“You’re the boss of that hotshot restaurant, right?”
“Right,” Rob said, his pride wavering a bit as apprehension seeped in.
“You make the rules and set the schedules, right?”
“So, what you say is what goes, right?”
The last of his pride was now replaced by full-fledged anxiety. “Uh, right.”
“So, you could take some time off now, couldn’t you, Roberto?”
“I, well…sure. I guess so, but…” Please, please don’t tell me I need to leave the safety of downtown Chicago and return to suffocating small-town Wilmington Bay. Please, no.
“I need you to come back to Wilmington Bay for a coupla weeks. Help us out here in the shop.”
Damn! “I—well, I’m not so good with sweets, Uncle Pauly. Is there anything I can do for you from here? Anything I could send up? Supplies, maybe? I could hire a person who could step in for a while and—”
“Dire sciocchezze. You’re talking nonsense, boy. You’re great with sweets, and we need you.”
Rob stifled a heavy sigh. “Okay. When do you need me?”
There was a pause on the line. “Is three hours too soon?” his uncle asked, his brusque voice unusually cheerful. “How about four?”
Elizabeth rarely swore aloud but, in her mind, she was cursing not just a blue streak, but also a red, orange, yellow and green streak. She was, in fact, well on her way to a complete blasphemous rainbow, and Rob Gabinarri hadn’t even arrived yet.
Of all people. She never thought she’d have to make it through so much as a ten-minute soda pop break with him again. The boy who’d broken her heart and didn’t even know it.
Or maybe he did know it.
She couldn’t decide which was the greater tragedy.
A snazzy red Porsche convertible squealed to a stop behind her sensible blue Toyota Camry, and the town’s Golden Boy stepped out of the car and into the empty confectionary shop.
“Hey, Lizzy. Long time, no see,” he said, glancing around the shop in a frantic kind of way.
“E-Elizabeth,” she corrected automatically.
“Oh, all right. Sorry.”
She stared at him, which of course he didn’t notice because he was too busy looking at everything else in the place besides her.
He walked into the backroom then out of it again.
He peered into the washrooms.
He opened and shut a few closets.
He paced back and forth, sat down in a booth, got back up and paced some more.
The guy was as tall and muscular and breathtaking as he’d been a decade before when he used to saunter through the unremarkable halls of Wilmington Bay High School, oblivious to anyone and anything beyond the football field and his bevy of admirers. If it were possible, he seemed even more youthful and in command now than he did at age eighteen.
And she felt about as queasy as she’d felt the last time they’d been face to face.
Finally, his pacing stopped. “Where is my uncle?” he asked in a husky whisper, directing the query at a tray of chocolate-dipped sugar cookies. “Uncle?” he called out. “Uncle Pauly?”
She wanted to tell him, but the words were lodged in her esophagus and, anyway, he wasn’t talking to her.
He strode into the backroom again, as if convinced the elderly Italian man could be found hiding behind a jar of candied cherries or a vat of butterscotch syrup. The long black eyelashes blinked in confusion when he emerged into the main shop once again, his gaze and those nutmeg-brown eyes directed at her.
“Don’t tell me he left already.” This was more a threat than a question. He shook his head at her as though that gesture alone would discourage an affirmative reply.
She held her breath and nodded.
“Where is he?”
She pursed her lips, just as she’d learned in her special speech tutorials so long ago, formed the first letter and tried to push it out of her mouth. But she stuttered anyway.
“L-Lufthansa. F-Fl-Flight four-oh-three.”
He cocked his gorgeous head to one side and stared at her in the way she’d grown so accustomed to during her miserable school years: Poor Old Lizzy, the look said. What a geeky dweeb.
“What time is it scheduled to depart?” he asked her with an affected gentleness that made her want to rip out his vocal cords.
She tapped her watch and gathered her courage for whatever might happen next. “T-Twenty m-m-minutes a-ago.”