Author: Rachael Johns
The Kissing Season is the latest offering from rural romance writer Rachael Johns, it is a snack sized seasonal novella available only in a digital format. I must admit I was disappointed that this would only be available digitally because I would have liked a print copy to go with the rest of the Johns’ books in my collection but being a novella I knew that was unlikely.
Seasonal stories can be quite cheesy but I really enjoyed this one. The Kissing Season is only 100 pages, the perfect length for a novella, but I did find it very short. It pulled no punches and we were into the action in the opening pages, there was no lull in the action which is the way it has to be in a novella. There is no time for pages of flowery scene setting and getting to know the characters, this is a snapshot of life as it is in the moment with relevant back-story included along the way.
Hannah Elliott has returned home, the prodigal daughter has been off traveling the world and spontaneously married a Las Vegas loser; when the marriage goes south she returns home to Christmas with the family and build a brand new life back in the small West Australian town she grew up in. She is feeling a little lost and not quite sure what comes next but she is determined to keep her secrets until after the Christmas season when things begin to settle.
Soon after her return to Wildwood Point she meets a gorgeous Italian stallion in her family’s furniture showroom. He too has a past with the town and is only back for the holiday season. He is an infamous skirt chaser always in it for the fun and the fling, never for the long haul and he makes sure the women he meets know the situation from the outset. He exudes charm and he knows it, he has never been at a loss for women so when Hannah turns him down repeatedly he is even more intrigued, because it’s so rare – and her signals are extremely mixed.
Hannah is determined that she is going to build a new life back in Wildwood Point, she is swearing off men and staying far away from the trouble she keeps finding herself in with them – and avoiding the bad decisions she made in the past. Her resolve is sorely tested by the super sexy Matteo but her restraint is definitely admirable.
The two find that they build a friendship, something neither of them are too familiar with when it comes to the opposite sex and the budding friendship allows what began as the spark of sexual attraction to transform but will either of them be willing to take a chance?
Matteo is back in town to spend the Christmas season with his recently widowed mother and then he’s ready to jet back to his life in Melbourne, never has he entertained the notion of settling in small town Wildwood Point even though his mother would dearly love him to change his womanising ways and settle down.
Hannah may be home to stay and settle down but men are not part of that plan, she’s sworn off them for the foreseeable future and she no longer trusts her choices after her shortlived and ill fated marriage.
Not quite long enough to sink your teeth into and not steamy enough to fog your windows but there is definitely enough chemistry in these pages to spontaneously combust a science lab. A great short by Rachael Johns who is fast cementing herself as a must read Australian author for me, one of these days I’d like to know what comes after The Kissing Season for these characters – they certainly leave a lot of storytelling potential in their wake.