3 out of 4 stars
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Gwen Overland's novel Love's Harvest is a heartwarming romance novel with lovable and memorable characters. Julia Reynolds has just lost her husband to his battle with cancer and finds herself tasked with returning her family's waning vineyard to its former glory. Thankfully, while she was struggling with her husband's poor health, the orchard's manager, Diego Gonzales, was taking care of things and his support is what's necessary to get her through the challenging days ahead. Especially since her brother-in-law, James, is determined to tear down the winery and sell the land to built condos for a quick buck.
Diego has his own painful past and Julia knows she shouldn't be this attracted to a man so soon after her husband's funeral. However, they can't deny the compatibility they find within each other. Despite all of the problems that come their way, Julia and Diego's love for each other holds strong. However, this novel isn't just about them. There are many different characters each with their own relationships and the trials that come with, as well as with loving support.
I really enjoyed the way the characters reacted to each other. I thought that despite all of the problems they faced in the novel, the relationships shown were so healthy and loving, especially Julia's relationships with her sisters and best friend. Diego also has a healthy relationship with his sister, her husband, and his niece and nephew. The theme of "family" is definitely an important part of the novel. I also loved the conflicts the characters faced and how they were able to overcome them as a community.
Unfortunately, the book wasn't completely perfect. I found quite a few mistakes, and they only got more obvious the further I read. Also, there was quite a lot of Spanish used throughout the novel, but some of it was obviously wrong even to me, and I only took 3 years of Spanish in high school. Things like "Da nada" instead of "De nada" (for "you're welcome") and Diego good-naturedly calling his nephew a "poco hombre," which when translated directly means "little man" but is really used to insult a man's masculinity.
I really enjoyed the book overall, finishing it in only two days because I could hardly put it down. The feeling of community and everyone banding together to help out the winery really warmed my heart and put me in a good mood. However, because of the aforementioned Spanish errors, which could have been confirmed with a quick Google search, and the lack of proper proofreading, I can only rate Love's Harvest 3 out of 4 stars. I would definitely recommend it to romance lovers who enjoy a good drama. There are a few sex scenes that are explicit but in a classy way, so I would only recommend it to readers aged 18 and up.
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