Harvest Moon - Robyn Carr I had initial misgivings with this book because I'd rather keep children of any age out of my romance novels, but I do have a weakness for a female chef lead and an autumn setting.

This bore a few similarities to a book I read in the past, [b:The Accidental Bride|13548167|The Accidental Bride|Christina Skye|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1352360539s/13548167.jpg|19113339], including where the female chef lead becomes overwhelmed and passes out while at work and taken to the hospital where she is to ease up her work schedule lest she end up back in the hospital and goes to a small town where she falls in love while finding another way to continue her passion for food. There's even a character named Jillian.

Kelly was a nicely fleshed out character. We're shown her flaws and her features and how she's growing after quitting her job at the restaurant and having been lead on by Luca Brazzi. And in a nice change of pace, she's not the motherly nurturing type and is wholly uninterested in becoming another mother for Courtney. Lief is the same; we understand his motivations and how much he loves Courtney and Kelly.

The Luca Brazzi storyline was kind of a throwaway. It starts the story and then it's not really looked at again until over halfway into the book. Kelly is told by Luca's wife, Olivia, that she is to cease the (nonexistent) affair between her and Luca and Olivia somehow managed to pull numerous people under her thumb to gain control of Luca's finances. Later it's just offhandedly mentioned that Olivia is being frozen out financially due to her actions and she and Luca are divorcing.

It was a sweet story for the most part, but the character of Courtney did bug me. Granted, she's given the Freudian excuse of her mother dying when she was 11 and her biological father is an absolute asshole. However, she's also incredibly selfish and doesn't consider anybody's feelings, needs, or wants above her own. Lief goes through hell and high water to give Courtney a good life and stability and she continually throws it back in his face. When she finally calms down, she wants to act like a little bitch to Kelly and actively prevent Kelly and Lief having a relationship. It's not until Kelly helps Courtney out (after the little twit somehow figures that deceiving and disobeying her father by staying home alone with her new puppy as opposed to going to her friend's house overnight and the puppy ends up electrocuting himself by chewing on wires) and decides to go, "Fuck it," and plans to go back to San Francisco to pursue a job opportunity with Luca Brazzi that Courtney finally grows up. Courtney apparently thought that Kelly was just threatening to leave and not actually follow through. *eyeroll* I wish somebody would just shake the kid and tell her, "It's not all about you." The therapist, Jerry, does it in a roundabout way, but she needed to be told straight up that while she's first in Lief's life, she isn't and shouldn't be the only one.

Obviously, given the genre, it ends well with Lief and Kelly getting married, with Courtney's full blessing. And it gives me good reason as to why it's not really worth dating a guy with kids. Yeesh.