Author: Rachael Johns
Kiss the Bride is the 5th novella in the Montana Born Brides series and I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t matter if you haven’t read the earlier offerings, you will lose nothing by riding into Marietta now.
My first Marietta tale was Rachael’s Tease Me, Cowboy last October, it was the first in the Copper Mountain Rodeo series and the only one that I read. The Montana Born books are all set in the small town of Marietta and are written by a stable of talented authors. It still intrigues me that these authors can delve into a fictional setting of someone else’s making, and someone else’s characters and write their own stories.
I am happy to say that Kiss The Bride brings Selah and Levi back into the picture as secondary characters so we can check in and see what they’re up to. The star of the story is Magdalena, Selah’s older sister, who fled Marietta in disgrace 15 years earlier as a pregnant teen. Small towns thrive on gossip and Magdalena gave them plenty, what she didn’t give them was the name of the father.
Fifteen long years later Magdalena returns to town with her beloved daughter Bella and gears the gossips back up. No-one knows anything about the elusive father; not the family, friends or even Bella have any inkling. Bella has always been given non-answers and Magdalena thought that was satisfying her, but she knew that wouldn’t always be the case.
Our sexy leading man is country singer Jake Kohl, a new addition to Marietta after his purchase of a house following the previous year’s rodeo. He is finally looking to make a home after living his entire life on the road, something about Marietta spoke to him and he decided to stay.
Marietta is about to host a celebrity wedding with another of the towns success stories returning to tie the knot. You would think that with the town abuzz with the celebrity wedding that Magdalena may be able to slip back into town relatively unnoticed but no such luck. The celebrity wedding is also what brings together our leads. Nancy wants to involve as much of her small hometown in the wedding as possible so she has roped Jake into singing at the wedding and stipulated that she wants a local to sing with him.
Kiss The Bride is a novella so it is very short and there is only so much time to explore and build characters and relationships so you really do have to make some allowances. The first time Jake and Magdalena sing together at her audition and then when their eyes meet there is an immediate attraction, a serious case of lust at first sight. This can be quite annoying but in a novella it is often the only way, and Johns sweetens the deal for us by not having them fall straight into bed together; instead they get to know one another and take the time to build a relationship.
Magdalena’s story is one that touched me and for a while there I wondered if we were ever going to hear it. I had my theories and I was in the right ball park but that’s all I’m going to say.
For such a quick read it was quite hard to read at some points; I laughed, I cried and I felt a mother’s terror for her child. Johns did a fantastic job of fleshing her characters enough to grab your attention in such a short page count. My only issue with this one is that I don’t think a novella really did Magdalena and Bella’s story justice, there was enough here for a full length novel which could have elaborated on much that was glossed over.
This was a perfect winter afternoon read, a lovely way to spend some downtime in the winter sun. A quick look at family, relationships and small town gossip. Things often are not what they seem and jumping to conclusions has far reaching consequences for everyone.
Kiss The Bride is Book #29 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2015.
Kiss The Bride is available only from Amazon for Kindle (but you can download an app for your media device of choice if you don’t have a Kindle), iBooks and Smashwords.