Synopsis: Kelly Matlock was having the worst day of her life. She is a sous-chef at a five-star restaurant; the manager is a jerk, the head chef is evil, and the owner’s wife is crazy. Dealing with all of that, it is no surprise that Kelly landed in the hospital after a collapse. On her way to visit her sister Jill for a little R&R, Kelly meets Lief Holbrook at the local pub. He’s the perfect man, but his daughter Courtney doesn’t want to share her dad and has no qualms about making that known. So when Kelly is offered her job back, she has to make a decision…
Author: Robyn Carr is yet another best-selling, award-wining author. She has published several other books with Mira, an imprint of Harlequin.
Cover: The picture is from the perspective of someone sitting on a front porch and looking out onto the walkway and to the fields. As can be expected from the book’s title, it has some bales of hay, fall colours, some pumpkins, and a few mountains in the distance. It might lend a bit of a hokey feel to it at first, but after reading the novel the cover kind of grows on you.
Plot: This isn’t just a simple love story, but rather one that is as complicated as real life. Lief has to come to terms with the death of his wife and figure out how to be a single parent; Courtney has to get over the loss of her mother and accept that her dad found love again; Kelly has to decide what she wants to do with her life after walking out of her job and if she can handle a ready-made family.
Point of View: While most romance novels are told from the perspective of the female character and sometimes the love interest, this book also takes into account the teenage daughter’s perspective. This helps to not only make Courtney more than just a bratty kid, but a troubled teen and helps give another side to Lief and Kelly’s relationship.
Romance: Kelly and Lief love each other, yet Kelly realizes that love isn’t always enough. Everything has to be at the right time and in the right place, but this isn’t it as both Kelly and Lief have issues they need to sort out before they can ever have a lasting relationship.
Quote: I might never eat out again… We have paramedics in the kitchen and people are yelling about spinach sides and they’re stepping over us!
The Verdict: This is a really good book. If the ending changed from a happily-ever-after to Kelly finding herself and taking the restaurant job with hope for a future with Lief, it would have been nearly as satisfying and been classified as Chick Lit rather than Romance. So if you like either of those genres or just books with a down-home feel while still being realistic, this is a book for you.