The good: Sweet with a bit of sexy.
The not-so-good: Never, ever drinking the water in Jewell Rock!
Why I chose it: Love Rachael Johns’ work, so scoured the shelves until I found the last copy.
Publisher: Mills & Boon
Setting: Jewell Rock, USA
Rating: 9 out of 10
It’s no secret if you read this blog that I love Rachael Johns’ novels. I’ve proclaimed many times that I’ll read whatever she writes, no matter the genre or direction! I’m really enjoying the series she has written for Harlequin/Mills & Boon, the McKinnels of Jewell Rock. Each book follows the romance of one of the McKinnel siblings (and there’s quite a few of them). The Single Dad’s Family Recipe follows Lachlan McKinnel who also works in the family business, but not the whisky distillery. Lachlan’s a chef and he’s about to open a restaurant on site. Think cuisine with added whiskey, which actually sounds rather delicious. Lachlan’s a single dad to his son, with his ex-wife having custody of their daughter. The last thing Lachlan needs is his ex to decide to run away to Los Angeles when he’s trying to open a restaurant and manage his family! To top it off, she does this all in front of the new front-of-house manager he’s hiring, Eliza.
Eliza has her own reasons for leaving New York and she’s not about to give them up any time soon. What she needs is a place where she can be anonymous with no history. Working for Lachlan sounds ideal and they get along famously. Eliza even confides that she can’t cook! Late night cooking lessons turn into something more – but is Eliza willing to give her heart and share her secrets?
This was a delightful story. I was a bit sick when I read this and I – bang head – completely forgot that this was primarily a romance novel! I was so engrossed in Eliza and Lachlan’s race to perfect the recipes and finalise things for the restaurant that I was surprised when they got together! It’s not that it didn’t fit with the story, it’s more that Rachael Johns can make any aspect of plot interesting and I can lose myself in the story. The romance was well done – a bit of sexy, add in some sweet, a handful of baggage, a dash of humour and a happy ending all stirred together. It was a very good recipe, one to savour! The only thing I wouldn’t do at the McKinnel’s (or in Jewell Rock for that matter) is drink the water – for reasons that become obvious during the story!
I’m looking forward to more stories of the McKinnels, particularly Sophie who is a bit of a firecracker (we’ve had Quinn and Callum’s as the first two). The stories are thoughtful and interesting – charming mid-week reads.