Desert Isle Keeper
The Kissing Stars
Wow! Who could have known that greased pig races, astronomy and romance could mix so well? Geralyn Dawson threw these seemingly unrelated subjects together and whipped up a story that sent me into fits of laughter. It’s not just a funny story, however. The Kissing Stars is a book about second chances, and the lessons learned over time. It’s about two people who loved too young and weren’t ready for the difficulties that love must overcome if it is to survive. Thankfully for us, the author gave them a second chance!
Picture if you will: A hot Texas day in 1889, a state fair, a greased pig contest, and a pig greased with. . .the scent of roses? Tess Cameron has not seen her husband Gabriel in 12 years. The last place she expects to find him is chasing her pig Rosie in a greased pig contest. Gabe falls at her feet, literally.
Gabriel “Whip” Montana is a railroad inspector and the state hero because of his involvement in bringing a killer to justice. He thought he was judging pig races at the state fair, when he realizes his boss has set him up for the greased pig contest instead. The last thing Gabe sees before being knocked unconscious by a rampaging pig is the face of his long lost wife!
Tess and Gabe fell in love when they were very young, he was 17 and she 15. Gabe was a friend of Tess’ brother. Gabe’s father was a scientist and Tess’ father was a rancher. Gabe taught Tess about the magic to be found in the stars and the night sky. Initially Tess was interested in the stars because of Gabe, but she soon fell in love with the sky herself. They married when Tess was seventeen and had only been married two short months when tragedy struck. In their anger, they blamed each other and said things that they did not truly mean. However, the damage was done, and Gabe left for parts unknown. This is a misunderstanding that could have been avoided had Gabe and Tess talked with each other, but how many teenagers communicate effectively anyway? Thankfully the author handled the misunderstanding in a believable fashion, so I did not feel the urge to strangle the characters.
Tess is an excellent heroine, independent and intelligent. She has learned some hard lessons in life and is a better person because of them. She does not fall gratefully at her husband’s feet for returning to her, she has learned to live her life without him. Gabe is an understanding and compassionate hero; he is tough when it’s required, and a sweetheart when needed. Neither one of these characters is perfect, they are real people. I enjoyed them because of their very human flaws. Gabe and Tess have a strongly defined sexual tension between them that draws the reader into their relationship. The humor in the story flows naturally from the characters; nothing is forced or slapstick.
There is an excellent array of secondary characters, including the Kissing Stars, and Rosie the pig. I only had two very minor quibbles with the story. First, I felt myself getting frustrated at Tess waiting for her to reveal all of her secrets to Gabe. Second, I figured out some pieces of the story before it was over. However, neither of these adversely affected my enjoyment of the story. Most importantly, I learned where to find chocolate if I’m accidentally trapped in time in the Old West!