Years ago, Tessa was an adventurous high school girl with aspirations of going to art school and in love with Finn, the town bad boy. Then one day everything fell apart. It all started when she joined Finn in a prank of stealing the town bell. Then Tessa gave up her virginity to Finn, and her car - a Volkswagen with hand-painted daisies on it. Finn promised to come back with the car, and together they were going to drive off into the sunset. But Finn never showed up, and that night there was a fire and a car accident that killed Tessa’s mother.
Now, ten years later, Tessa is responsible for her teenage sister Izzy, who has already been taken away by social services once. Tessa had to fight to get her sister back, making up stories about Finn so nobody would condemn her for her one-time association with him. Even now Tessa constantly feels the threat of losing Izzy, so she is extremely careful in how she lives her life and has put all her dreams on hold. Then, all of a sudden, her car reappears right outside her door, and Tessa realizes Finn is back in town. Moments later there is another fire, and Tessa knows to follow trouble in order to find Finn. Although their reunion is rocky, they instantly feel the same chemistry that they felt so long ago, and in an instant they are sharing a passionate kiss.
However, after the kiss is over, there are questions left to be answered. What was Finn’s involvement with the two fires that marked his exit and re-entrance back into town? How will Tessa manage to cover all the lies she has told about Finn now that he is back? And will Tessa, Finn, and Izzy manage to find love, safety, and happiness despite their lack of faith in the world?
The Comeback Kiss tackles many serious issues, including the death of a parent and being betrayed by those we love. Yet it always keeps its comic tone and a quick pace packed with suspense. The characters are all likeable despite their many flaws, and the snappy dialogue between them is fun and well done. The small Vermont town where the story takes place offers a cozy and intriguing setting that makes you wish for winter. But most of all, the chemistry between Finn and Tessa jumps off the page and will leave you wanting more of Lani Dianne Rich’s story about second chances and reconnecting with “the one who got away.”