Late Harvest

Suzanne Barrett
Late Harvest
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Turquoise Morning Press
Release Date
November 2010
Contemporary Romance

Kurt von Daniken wants only one thing from Glenna Ryan: The key to making Eiswein—Ice
Wine. Five years ago, while working at his family's California winery, she'd begun developing the method to simulate wine made from grapes gathered after a freeze. Now, when the winery
desperately needs it, the only person who might be able to duplicate Glenna's process, Kurt's tyrannical Uncle Otto, lies paralyzed by a stroke and near death.

Glenna wants only one thing from the von Danikens: To be left in peace to raise her son, Robbie, who suffers from a birth defect and needs an expensive surgery to repair it. When Kurt suddenly appears at her home, demanding she return to Cresthaven and complete the process, Glenna knows the money she'll earn by doing so will provide Robbie the treatment he needs. She also
knows she'll risk having her heart broken, again, by Kurt, the only man she's ever loved.
But, what if he discovers the real reason she left Cresthaven?

Book Review by CarolAnn
Nov 21, 2010   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
299 people found the following review helpful
Set in the beautiful Mendocino County wine country, Late Harvest is a poignant love story of two people who must come to terms with their past if they have any chance of recapturing the love they once shared. This is a book which will definitely tug at your heart strings.

Glenna Ryan's world revolves around her five year old son Robbie until one morning, everything changes when Kurt von Daniken arrives on her doorstep. Five years ago, Glenna had been in love with Kurt but when his uncle Otto had found them together, she had been forced to leave Cresthaven, the only home she had ever known, in disgrace. Kurt had been given an ultimatum by his uncle, Glenna or Cresthaven and he had chosen Cresthaven.

Kurt demands that Glenna return to Cresthaven with him because she holds the key to making Eiswein, which he hopes will save the struggling winery. At first, Glenna refuses despite Kurt's threats that he can ensure she never works in the winery business again. However, Robbie needs expensive surgery to correct a foot defect and Glenna realises that, if she gives in to Kurt's demands, she can afford the surgery. Therefore, she agrees to return to Cresthaven for one season only.

Glenna is constantly afraid that Kurt will find out that Robbie is really his son and dreads the possible consequences. They clash constantly but Glenna knows that, despite what happened five years ago, she still loves Kurt. Can these two lonely people recapture the love they once shared or will the past always come between them?

Suzanne Barrett drew me into this story from the first page and made me care about Glenna and Kurt. I really understood Glenna's conflicting emotions regarding Kurt; the hurt she feels as a result of his rejection five years ago; her fear that she may lose Robbie if the circumstances surrounding his birth are discovered; her anxiety that Robbie may have inherited the crippling hereditary disease that runs in the von Daniken family; her fear that 'it would not be easy for her to expunge Kurt from her soul.'

I saw her as a very caring mother who will do anything for her son, even return to Cresthaven, with all its painful memories, to ensure that he gets his operation.

At first, I felt Kurt was cold and ruthless, particularly when he blackmails Glenna into returning to Cresthaven. However, as the story unfolds, I began to see very different aspects of his character. His warmth and kindness to Robbie reveals a caring nature hidden beneath the austere exterior. This caring also extends to his employees for whom he provides health insurance and new mobile homes with low cost mortgages.

I really appreciated his dilemma when he was forced to choose between Glenna and Cresthaven. If he had chosen Glenna, it would have been to him a betrayal of Otto, who was the only family he had, and he obviously cared what happened to the winery and its employees.

Ms Barrett is very good at maintaining the sexual tension between Glenna and Kurt and the love scenes are very sensual.

Robbie provides some charming moments and there is one particular scene where he asks Kurt why he doesn't have a little boy like him and when Kurt replies that he has no wife, Robbie says, "You could marry my mum!"

I found the Mendocino County wine country setting resonated with me having visited Napa Valley some years ago and, having drunk German Eiswein on a number of occasions, I appreciated why this particular wine was so important to Cresthaven in the story.

This book will definitely appeal to anyone who enjoys a deeply emotional story with in-depth characterisation and an unusual setting.
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