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Posted November 20, 2011
Review by JoAnne: This book was reminiscent to me of the series with the Marcelli Sisters by Susan Mallery which is one of my favorite series by her. Late Harvest was also about a family winery and the family dynamics surrounding the interactions and workload which included the workers at the winery since they are like family. Ultimately this was a story about family and how Kurt fit in as a von Daniken and what that meant for Glenna who thought his Uncle Otto was her grandfather. Late Harvest drew me in from the beginning and held my attention throughout. Glenna and Kurt had a past together but Kurt didn't realize how closely their lives were entwined when he first found her again and brought her back to his family's vineyard to make Ice Wine. There was romance, tears, arguments, tension - both sexual and as a result of conflict, and a happy ending to boot. Watching how Glenna and Kurt would circle around each other was nerve wracking at times and showed the importance of communication. Also, watching how close Glenna's son Robbie was getting to Kurt added another dimension to the story. The story flowed effortlessly and even family history thrown in occasionally did not bog it down. I truly enjoyed this story and look forward to reading other books by Suzanne Barrett.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 4, 2011
Full of emotional stress, insecurities, and misconstrued assumptions, Late Harvest throbs with unrequited love. It bears out the veracity of the adage--better late than never.
Glenna Ryan, a hardworking, single mother, knows if she goes back to work at Cresthaven for one season, Robbie can have the surgery he needs. Nothing, not her humiliation, anger, or broken heart, will keep her from doing what is best for her five-year-old son.
Glenna's emotional wounds received from Otto and Kurt von Daniken never healed. However, she feels indebted to Otto who is dying. He had provided materially for her after her mother's death and, sad but true, she still loves Kurt, her Teutonic prince, so tall, blond, and handsome, even though he seems cold and remote.
Kurt, reared by a stern father in his early years then by his even sterner Uncle Otto, puts duty and responsibility above all else. Love is not supposed to figure into the equation of life according to his upbringing.
At Cresthaven, Robbie takes to life and to Kurt who teaches him lots of things little boys love. However, Kurt had no understanding of a child's needing love, affection, or pets to cuddle. He almost destroys his bond with Robbie before he comes to the realization that life without Robbie and Glenna will leave an emptiness inside him that cannot be filled. He understands his need for them but he still does not understand LOVE.
The conflicts seem insurmountable, However, Kurt and Glenna succumbs to old desires that never died. Their need for each other in every way draws them together, but Glenna wants love not just marriage and business.
The mystery of Glenna's ancestry fuels the misgivings. Only with clues given by Otto and some attic searching are answers found that give Glenna understanding and closure for past grief and fears.
The secondary characters create the background of life moving along regardless of hurts, fears, and unrequited love. Mags, the housekeeper, is a steady giver of unconditional love, while the cook Carmen and her son add strange elements that pique one's interest. The workers in the vineyard-from winemaker to field hands make Late Harvest come alive with the doings of ordinary living.
Suzanne Barrett crams a wealth of emotion, hard work, and social interaction into this short novel. The descriptions, introspections, and humor (ex. the claws of the kitten making a prick that lets out "pompous hot air") grabs the attention and keeps one reading. Best of all is getting to vicariously experience long-suffering love being rewarded with a magnificent acknowledgement and a promised happy-ever-after.
Orignally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
Posted June 6, 2011
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