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Harvest Moon–abandonment, guilt, and love

Harvest Moon

by Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter’s Riverbend Series seems to wrap up with Harvest Moon. Gavin and Laurel Robinson divorced after the death of their son Jesse and haven’t spoken since. Sadly, it took yet another tragic accident to bring them together again as they join forces to take care of a precious toddler Emma. How do you begin to explain to a two year old that she will not see her “mama and dada” again?

Both Gavin and Laurel have issues from their own childhoods that color their relationship with each other. Gavin is overcome with guilt. Laurel felt abandoned. Emma’s sociopathic grandmother who has never met Emma and didn’t attend her own daughter’s funeral decides she wants custody of Emma and Laurel and Gavin are determined that will not happen.

The author gradually shares what happens in Laurel and Gavin’s relationship from its high school beginnings to the disastrous end by inserting chapters about their past in the current timeline. In this way she introduces the reader gradually to the couple’s history. Then we can see what they have been through and why, and we can almost be a part of their growth. Gavin’s family, the Robinsons, are a mainstay of their community and their position causes the locals to look on Laurel with suspicion and distaste as do the Robinsons. Read this clean romance that has its share of twists and turns and serious themes to discover the power of love when directed towards a sweet two-year-old.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Romance

Notes: #3 in the Riverbend Series. I don’t recommend it as a standalone. It focuses on the Robinson family. The first two books are about the other adult children in the family, but include all of the Robinsons. Now might be a good time to catch up on this series, however, as I just discovered that a fourth book’s publication is anticipated in September of 2023.

Publication: Septemer 6, 2022—Thomas Nelson Fiction

Memorable Lines:

He’d been trying to provide her the sense of security she craved. Trying to prove he was a better man than his dad—a notion that had never been in question for Laurel. But for a man with an alcoholic deadbeat dad? Yeah, it made sense.

Fear flowed like a ribbon of poison through her veins.

A laugh bubbled from her throat. He’d always been good at breaking the tension. And there’d been enough tension between them this morning to disrupt cell tower signals.

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