The Kissing Season
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley
Hannah is the black sheep of the Elliot family. While her three brothers are all settled with stable partners and hard at work in the family furniture making business, Hannah has spent the past few years travelling overseas both for adventure and as a way to avoid the fact that she doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life.
It was no surprise to anyone that Hannah impulsively married a man she barely knew in Las Vegas and it seems that everyone was even less surprised when it didn’t work out. With the marriage annulled, Hannah has returned to Australia and the town where she grew up to work in the furniture store helping out until she figures out what she wants to do with her life. However what her family don’t know is that Hannah is also pregnant. She hasn’t told anyone, not since the only person she did tell, the baby’s father, turned his back on her and filed for the annulment.
When Matteo Della-Bosca strides into the family store looking to furnish the house he’s just bought, sparks fly between him and Hannah. But Hannah is trying to be good – after all if ever there was a time to start being responsible, surely it’s now. She’s going to be a mother soon and she needs to put her child first. And Matt makes no secret of the fact that while he wouldn’t mind going to bed with Hannah, he’s not really the commitment type. Hannah is torn – she really wants Matt and what’s the harm in a little fling before she has to settle down and embrace responsibility? However, she’s not sure that she’ll be able to keep her distance, especially when Matt is so generous and wonderful. But he’s made it clear he’s here for a good time, not a long time….although Hannah might be able to make him see that the long time can be just as fun.
The Kissing Season is a fun novella from rural romance Queen Rachael Johns for the holiday season that is mostly sweet but with just a little bit of spice thrown in for good measure. Hannah has spent the last little while travelling all over the world, something that culminated in an unwise rushed marriage in Las Vegas. The marriage didn’t work out and Hannah returned home to face the consequences with her family, keeping her own little secret as well. Torn between a desire to have one last fling with a good looking man and embracing her new found life stage, Hannah is kind of treading water. She’s working in the family furniture business, filling in for someone, she’s staying with her parents, she’s not sure how she’s going to go forward with her life and what she’s going to do. By contrast, Matt is very focused. He mostly lives in Melbourne but his mother is a local in the town and he has returned home to spend some time with her at Christmas. Matt is successful and spends a large portion of the year travelling around Australia and abroad so he’s never been looking for something long term. He enjoys flings and casual relationships and it’s clear that from the time he meets Hannah, he wouldn’t mind a bit of her Christmas cheer. But then he finds out Hannah’s secret and things slowly begin to change… for both of them.
It’s a novella so the story unfolds quite swiftly, especially in the beginning but with each interaction, Matt and Hannah question what they really want just that little bit more. I liked the way that Matt was so supportive of Hannah after she blurted out her secret during what has to be a very inconvenient moment! He had made it clear that he was only after some fun so he could’ve turned and ran but he also saw that she didn’t really have much in the way of support and that she was really dreading confiding in her family, who she believed were already upset with the failed marriage. Matt offers Hannah a friendly ear and shoulder and also it makes him question things he’s always thought about himself. Due to his upbringing, he had certain beliefs but once he finds himself actually possibly right in the middle of a situation he always wanted to avoid he begins to realise that he may have been hasty in his thoughts and it doesn’t have to always go the way that he experienced growing up.
The Kissing Season is a quick read, perfect for summer days at the beach or by the pool in between dips!
Book #332 of 2013
The Kissing Season is book #113 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013