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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great afternoon read
Ten years ago Tessa had the most horrible night of her life. Her mother Karen was killed in a car accident and her best friend and love of her life, Fin ran off without even a goodbye. Fighting for the right to keep custody of her younger sister Izzy, Tessa was forced to live life by the straight and narrow and had to tell a few lies about Fin to cover her past mischief...
Published on May 18, 2006 by Annie

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just a so-so book
When Tessa Scuderi's 1974 VW Thing is parked in front of her house, she knows she's in for trouble. Dermot "Finn" Finnegan, Tessa's best friend and sweetheart, stole the car ten years ago *after* she'd given him her virginity. Later that same night, Tessa's mother died and Tessa's younger sister, Izzy, was put in foster care. (Tessa was 18 and Izzy was 6.)...
Published on August 19, 2006 by bbvector, LORE Reading Group


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great afternoon read, May 18, 2006
Ten years ago Tessa had the most horrible night of her life. Her mother Karen was killed in a car accident and her best friend and love of her life, Fin ran off without even a goodbye. Fighting for the right to keep custody of her younger sister Izzy, Tessa was forced to live life by the straight and narrow and had to tell a few lies about Fin to cover her past mischief with him.

Out of the blue, Fin returns to mend a few fences that would allow him to finally move on in his life. He never expected to actually see Tessa let alone kiss her but once he did, the feelings and chemistry could not be denied no matter how hard he tried.

The Comeback Kiss is a fun romance with some great supporting characters like Babs, Fins boss from New York City, and Wallace the dog. There is also a mystery surrounding the death of Karen tossed into the mix that will keep you guessing right until the end.

Lani Diane Rich, has the rare ability to mix romance and mystery into a fun easy to read book. If you have not tried one of her books in the past, The Comeback Kiss is a good place to start and then move on to Time Off For Good Behavior.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!, September 24, 2006
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Every now and then as I read THE COMEBACK KISS I'd think, "How did she come up with that?" Ms. Rich's dialogue is terrific, her characters and the situation are delightful. The relationship between Tessa and Finn is wonderfully funny and emotional.

No, the mystery wasn't good--we have no clue of the existence of the arsonist/killer until very late in the book. (A hint to the writer: you probably don't want to mention this in your ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS because it makes the lack much more obvious to your reader.) The social worker and Tessa's fear of losing her sister don't ring true either and I wonder about the link to the criminal--but I loved the story and the characters so much that I accepted the weaknesses because, overall, this was so darned much fun.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More zany antics in the follow up to"Maybe Baby", July 25, 2006
By 
Tracy Vest (Northern California) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Ten years ago, Tessa lost her mother in a fiery car crash, and her best friend Finn broke her heart by stealing her virginity and her prized VW "Thing." Losing her mother meant she had to clean up her act and become a model citizen so that she could have custody of her young sister Izzy. That meant righting all the wrongs that she and Finn committed (like stealing the bell from the tower), and committing random acts of kindness for townspeople, attributing them to long gone Finn. As she and Izzy are arguing over whether or not she can get a car, both are shocked that the "Thing" is suddenly in her driveway - orange daisies and all.

All Finn wanted to do was return the car to Tessa - then he was heading out of town. Until a fire breaks out at the local pet shop and Finn helps out by getting all the animals out and safe while the fire crew arrives, including his estranged older brother Joe. And then Tessa arrives and the fireworks are still there. Tessa just wants him gone; she cannot afford for the townspeople to find out he is not the philanthropist she had made him out to be. His boss Babs (the hysterical kidnap victim in Maybe Baby), has other ideas - a romantic at heart, she wants him to stay put so that he can resolve his feelings for Tessa.

Joe determines that the fire is a little too similar to the one that ruined Tessa's mother's business and sent her fleeing into the night (and to her death). Could it be possible that they were both arson? As the investigation gets closer to the truth, Tessa and Izzy find themselves in danger. Will Finn stick around long enough this time to help?

Rich's latest is a delightfully funny romp that will put a smile on your face. The slapstick humor, rich dialogue and well drawn characters make this a first rate story. Though this is definitely a stand alone novel, it helps to read "Maybe Baby" first - if nothing more - it will give you insight into Bab's quirkiness. Rich is definitely an author to look out for!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just a so-so book, August 19, 2006
When Tessa Scuderi's 1974 VW Thing is parked in front of her house, she knows she's in for trouble. Dermot "Finn" Finnegan, Tessa's best friend and sweetheart, stole the car ten years ago *after* she'd given him her virginity. Later that same night, Tessa's mother died and Tessa's younger sister, Izzy, was put in foster care. (Tessa was 18 and Izzy was 6.)

Tessa waited tables at a diner, stayed out of trouble and fought hard to get her sister back. Tessa thinks she's protecting her legal guardianship by anonymously giving money to people in need and saying Finn did it.

Even though she hasn't heard from him since he left, she still loves him. And Finn hasn't been able to get Tessa out of his mind for the past ten years. He thinks returning the car will cure him. Then circumstances force him to stay in town longer than he intended and their lives get a little more complicated.

The arson storyline was eh. I didn't buy the social worker part - a 16 year old would have input in her own care. And Finn's life of crime wasn't cool; he was a slacker. At times the story worked. At other times I thought the author was trying too hard. The banter seemed forced, didn't flow. I did like the winter Vermont setting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable, October 15, 2007
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I've gulped down three Lani Diane Rich novels now and I think I'll take a break now. Not because I'm sick of her writing. Oh no! Not that. It is because I finished reading "The Comeback Kiss" and I really want to savor this one, perhaps read it again, savor it again, and then move to another one of her novels.

Rich does many things well: Dialogue, pacing, plot machinations, and a nice mix of humor and drama. But her characters are really where it is at. Her main characters are often the type who are usually the secondary characters that usually want to get to know better in other novels. You know the ones. The charming thief who adds character to the story. The no-nonsense sister who adds contrast to the heroine. But in Rich's novels, these characters are the focus and she shows how they can carry a novel.

Tessa Scuderi and Dermot "Finn" Finnegan were high school sweethearts and trouble makers in their youth when Finn decides to leave the same night he takes her virginity. To add salt to the wound, he steals her car.

Just in a summary, that makes for some high octane cad behavior, but the devil is in the details and Finn is a mix of being exactly what he seems and not quite what he seems.

Tessa is a woman who gets her heart broken, her favorite car stolen, loses her virginity and becomes an adult all in one night. Any other heroine would have cracked but Tessa is not that kind of woman. In Rich's hands, she is a credible survivor who keeps her head and her senses above board. She's got a right to be angry at Finn but her personality is such that it makes sense why she isn't wallowing in bitterness.

Rich's secondary cast is also stellar: Babs, Izzy, Joe, Margie, Vicki, the dog, Wallace, the Tarpeys. And they have to be stellar because none of them are there for window dressing. A Rich novel contains some of the best dialogue I've seen between sisters, lovers, brothers, friends, in a very long time. In a convo to a friend, I compared her writing to a Preston Sturges movie. There is a wit and bite to it yet an undeniable affection and bond that is a joy to read.

And best of all, there is an actual plot of mystery that is compelling to read. Although this novel is categorized as "romance", the mystery involving the arson is better done than some mystery novels I've read of late. It really is a "who dun it" in the best tradition.

My only complaint of the novel is that it ended before I could find out more of what happens to Joe Finnegan, Finn's older brother. Rich's lead characters have a tendency to be on shadier side and Joe is a good guy through and through, but I'm so hoping that Rich does a Joe Finnegan novel because, as Tessa observes in the novel, if any guy deserves a "two-sided zing", it is Joe and I have to agree.

Great job by Rich. A highly recommended read for those who like their romance with wit, low on the melodrama, fabulous cast chemistry, and a pretty good 'who-dun-it' plot as a nice bonus.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Comeback Kiss (Rich), October 19, 2012
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This review is from: The Comeback Kiss (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book! It is a full-length, stand-alone, contemporary romance. There is a mystery, but it's the characters and their relationships that make this a very funny and heart-warming story.
Babs and Finn were introduced in the previous book, "Maybe Baby", which should be read first to fully appreciate their wackiness. This is Finn's story.
Finn is a loveable mess. He simply can't decide what to do with his life. Tessa, his ex-girlfriend is living like a saint, trying to raise her rebellious sister, Izzy. Babs is a total loony-tune, and Wallace is... well, just go with it! Altogether, it's a very fun read, at a great price.
I also recommend two other books from Lani, "The Ex and the Single Girl" and "The Fortune Quilt".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really fun read., September 18, 2012
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This review is from: The Comeback Kiss (Kindle Edition)
I really liked this book. The characters were real; I felt like they could definitely be real people.

Dermot "Finn" Finnegan, the male lead, came across as a good guy who'd made a lot of foolish choices. He was a prankster and a petty thief as a kid, and when he was 19 he let the uncle who'd raised him scare him into running out on the girl he loved by saying he wasn't good enough for her. Finn then spent the next ten years proving his uncle right by continuing to be a thief, when he should have stayed and proved his uncle wrong. At the same time, I gathered that Uncle Max was not so much intending to scare Finn away, but scare him straight. After all, at their first meeting in ten years, the first words Max said to Finn were, "You're okay, then?" Oh, and throughout the book Finn was quite the smartass. I loved that too. I think every book should have a snarky smart-mouthed character (if written well, of course), because it makes the book more fun and enjoyable.

Contessa "Tessa" Scuderi, the lead female, was a likable character too. She seemed like a really strong person who was doing the best she could after her mom died. It was awesome that she stepped up to take care of her little sister when she could have just let her stay in foster care. I think Izzy knew Tessa was doing her best even while she was setting all kinds of rules. I agreed with the younger Scuderi in that Tessa shouldn't have put her life on hold, but at the same time I understand why she did. She was walking a tightrope and kept herself shut off from joy, from having a life outside of being a surrogate mom to her sister, because the social worker had made it clear that any perceived screw-up would cause her to lose custody of Izzy, and Tessa simply couldn't bear the thought. So she worked her butt off to make sure her sister had everything she needed and that was really well conveyed.

The relationship between Finn and Tessa was pretty authentic. You could believe that they really had spent the last ten years denying they were still in love with the other. Finn's returning to his hometown (he shoulda known he wouldn't be able to get in and get out without being noticed) forced them both to confront the fact that they hadn't really let go of their feelings, that they'd just buried them away where they wouldn't have to admit them. The emotional and sexual tension was there from the get-go and didn't let up. I could sympathize with the internal debates each was having about why they shouldn't be together, but I didn't agree with them, as they were obstacles that were easily overcome once they put their minds to it.

Overall this was a really fun read. I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a lighthearted romance with realistic characters and situations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comeback Kiss, September 17, 2012
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This review is from: The Comeback Kiss (Kindle Edition)
This one is a page turner. The writing just flows and you can't stop it. This is a bittersweet kind of a story. It was sad, happy and a little bit of mystery.

I would have never pegged this to be a mystery book, but it is. You solve a crime in the process of reading this, but it gives no clues as to who did it or why. The book will turn out in the end of "who did it." So you get a romance with mystery and some.

Finn and Tessa along with Izzy and company are great characters. I was intrigued by the mystery of Finn and the turned Tessa. I really liked them all and "Bitsy" (originally named) was pretty cool to throw in the mix.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lani's BEST one YET!!!, July 8, 2006
I am an avid Lani fan, and LOVE this latest installment. She keeps the reader riveted with an active storyline, deep characters, and humor that makes one laugh out loud--a lot! I thoroughly enjoy her books, and this is the latest and greatest. Can't wait for the next one--speaking of writing slowly---come on, Lani, keep the good stuff coming! I highly recommend Lani's books to anyone needing a break from life's harried pace. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Come back for more, July 29, 2013
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This review is from: The Comeback Kiss (Kindle Edition)
Lani Diane Rich has a way with storytelling. I smile at her turn of phrase; "When did you get a sense of humor? " "Three months ago, I found a deal on eBay." "Your sister would kill me twice. ". Sweet stories but not too saccharine. I snatch her titles up knowing I have a treat in store- kind of like eating Dove chocolates.
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The Comeback Kiss
The Comeback Kiss by Lani Diane Rich
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