Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Harvest Moon by Denise Hunter


Harvest Moon by Denise Hunter

It’s release day for this final book in the Riverbend Romance series.

Here’s the summary:

She thought he was arrogant. He thought her walls would never come down. Then they fell in love.

Forever walking the line between passion and conflict, Laurel and Gavin’s relationship ended in divorce after years of miscommunication and unmet expectations. Now pursuing their own separate lives and careers, the two are content . . . though not completely happy.

When their best friends, Mike and Mallory, are killed in a plane crash, Laurel and Gavin are stunned to learn they’ve been named guardians of their friends’ young daughter, Emma. Putting their differences aside, the estranged couple search for a suitable guardian as they care for Emma and manage Mike and Mallory’s apple orchard.

Soon tempers flare—as does the passion they both remember so well. And Laurel and Gavin find themselves working through their past—their mistakes, their miscommunications, and ultimately the tragedy that ended their marriage.

Will the seeds of love, still growing inside them, thrive and flourish? Or will grief and regret strangle the feelings before they can fully blossom?

And now, my review:

I was so excited to read this third book in the series because I knew it would focus on Gavin—the most mysterious family member. This novel reads fast!

I liked that this was a second-chance (reunion) romance. I recommend reading the earlier books in the series to get a clear picture of the family, though you may not be too lost if you begin here. Also, now that they are all out, you could read them back to back.

The hero and heroine’s shared mission brings out their loyalty to mutual friends, their nobility to care for the needy, and their protectiveness. They’re forced into close proximity, and motivated, at certain times, to let their guards down—something they’ve avoided for fifteen years. This helps them see each other differently. Because they have a painful past, they’ll need a different perspective in order to overcome the lies that caused division back then.

They haven’t admitted it to each other, or anyone really, but each of them has missed the other one. Being together in this season brings up both good and bad memories, and some of the good memories are full of their shared romance.

There’s a lot of pain to process, both in the present story and from the past, but the story doesn’t get too heavy.

Distrust, shame, guilt, and regret keep them apart, plus the pestering of Gavin’s nosy family. They’re trying to protect him from the severe brokenness he has only recently begun to overcome. This couple will have to recognize and battle their lies in order to envision a different future where they aren’t imprisoned by their baggage.

The heroine once dreamed of working at the Biltmore Estate’s gardens. I liked this setting and her interest in trees, orchards, plants. The hero has recently joined up with a fellow contractor to grow a new business, and his competence and recovery from the state he was in in books one and two was rewarding to watch.

There were tender moments and well-written characters. I loved it!

Highly recommended!