Love and Treasure A 60’s Adven by Carina Taylor


Love and Treasure is an adventure romcom, and with that comes tense situations, discussions of murder (though nothing on page), and physical violence.

There are also morally gray main characters. In fact it’s more of a charcoal gray rather than a light gray. i.e. their moral compass is broken.

Other things to note: one character has a dysfunctional family with a capital D.

This story is set in the 1960s, so there may be a few random phrases that do not make sense. For those, you can refer to the glossary.

Otherwise, I hope you enjoy the wild ride that is Cleo and Nick’s story!

1960’S SLANG

Midnight auto supply: a stolen car/auto parts racket

Cut out: To leave quickly

Five finger discount: when someone is stealing something

Groovy: Cool, awesome, amazing

All show and no go: It looks good on the surface but has no substance

Split: To leave

Scratch: Money

Threads: Clothes

Beat Feet: leave quickly

Far out: Awesome

Bean wagon: Cheap restaurant

Blitzed: Drunk

Jet: Leave quickly

Sponge: living off of somebody else

On the make: looking for romance

Sock it to me: Let me have it

Don’t flip your wig: Don’t get upset




I WILL NOT GREET the enemy of my family with a furrow in my brow.

That’s beneath me. I’d prefer to greet them with a weapon of some sort: a gun, knife, or axe—I’m not picky. Unfortunately, my brother told me I had to be friendly today.

Ha. Friendly.

A loud creak and a jingling bell echo loudly enough to hear in the kitchen. They’re here.

I glance sharply at Nonna, who stands at the stove, stirring a pot of spaghetti sauce. She nods once, and I take a deep breath as I straighten my skirt, running my hands over the velvet black to smooth the wrinkles. I step toward the door separating the kitchen from the dining room before I recall my silk-stocking-clad feet and take the time to slip on my high heels. After taking two calming breaths, I paste a serene look on my face.

Today, I refuse to be the weak link in this business deal.

I push open the kitchen door and step into the dining area of our small restaurant. There are six tables, each covered with a white tablecloth and surrounded by four wooden-backed chairs. The red-checkered curtains cover the windows and are thick enough that no one can see inside Ricci’s Ristorante when walking by—just the way we like it.

I prepare to greet the jerk who’s trying to cut a deal with my brother. They think they can walk into our restaurant and be welcome just because they found our family’s stolen money. Trusting the Vicellis would be like trusting a hungry snake.

But when I finally glance away from those fascinating curtains, I’m greeted by something unexpected. It’s not the Vicellis standing in the doorway.

It’s a young American man with a woman. His voice is very New York-ish as he speaks with her. What are they doing here? He’s busy telling her how he can smell the good food. He’s not wrong about that, my Nonna can cook a miracle. He’s smiling as he looks around the room, and then his gaze settles on a table along the wall.

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