I am a big fan of Rachael Johns’ work. She is an International Best Seller and best of all she is an Aussie! I have devoured nearly all of her books. She is well known for her rural romance novels which are often set in the farming regions around Perth and many of her books have been published under Harlequin (AKA Mills and Boons). Her last few books have seen a slight change in the direction of her work away from the classic romance and into more “Life Literature”, as she calls it on her web page. Her most recent one, The Art of Keeping Secrets is base on 3 best friends and how they navigate “life” with graduating school children, marriage breakups, divorce, perceptions, secrets and lies. Quite different from her rural romances, but just as good.
So onto this book, which I bought for a bargain price of $2.25 as my local Salvo’s store.
Unlike all her other books, this one is set in Jewel Rock, a fictitious town in Oregon. And instead of being set on a rural farm, this one revolves around a whiskey distillery that is owned by the McKinnel family. This is Book One of The McKinnels of Jewel Rock series.
This book is about Callum McKinnel who heads up the operations of the distillery, having recently taken over from his father.
Enter “Chelsea” – whose job title is “The Break Up Girl”. She has forged a career (I use that term loosely) in being the person that someone hires to deliver the break up message, when you don’t want to do it your self. Chelsea has had a hard life and her childhood was difficult and she has just recently moved to Jewel Rock to make a fresh start.
Chelsea is hired by Callum’s fiance to “Break Up” their engagement. As you can imagine this encounter didn’t so go well. Callum is left bewildered with the news and follows Chelsea home to continue discussing the situation, only to find that her dog is missing. Being the lovely gentleman that he is, he helps her look for the dog and discovers over the course of the next few weeks that Chelsea is the target of someones dissatisfaction and is being stalked and harassed. Over these weeks their relationship also changes and they were both left wondering how to move forward.
If I keep writing, there will be spoilers; so I’ll stop right there!
This book has:
- Great family dynamics and the dramas that go with running a large family business.
- A lot of great information on how a whisky distillery runs and operates.
- Touches on alcoholism and the effect it has on the family unit.
- Romance and a few sexy love scenes.
I was also pleasantly surprised to find that this book included a bonus story – “The Kissing Season.” This book is set in a beach side town in Western Australia and centres on Hannah who has arrived home from Las Vegas after her marriage failed. She also has a huge secret. Things get interesting when she encounters Matt in her family’s furniture store, where she has started to work to fill in her days. There is an immediate mutual attraction, but with Hannah’s secret weighing heavily on her mind and the fact that Matt is only home for the Christmas season; things look set to go no where.
No spoilers here. You will have to read it to see what the secret is, how her family reacts when they find out, how Matt reacts and whether he will say after his holiday if over.
Does this sound like a book you would read? I have it if you would like to borrow it.