She wasn’t sure what had contributed to her idiocy the most. It was a toss-up between her completely rational and reasonable fear of creepy-crawlies and the winded feeling she’d experienced on catching sight of the rural god who came to her rescue. His face had looked like something someone had carved out of granite with a blunt knife. He’d been all broad planes, deep grooved lines, high cheekbones and a slightly off-centre, once-broken nose. She’d caught him studying her with a set of thickly lashed, deep brown eyes that were disconcertingly pretty in contrast with the rest of him. She had experienced genuine heart palpitations
When Beth Poole, on holiday from England, first meets handsome Clayton Hardy, there is an instant, mutual attraction. Clayton has come to her rescue on the side of a rural road, and it turns out he runs the property adjoining the one she will be staying on for the next two months. Beth is divorced and Clayton is single, so there is nothing stopping them getting together: except her self-consciousness, his fear of getting hurt, and the secret she’s keeping from him.
Summer Harvest is a moving romance story featuring two strong, yet emotionally fragile people, as well as an interesting supporting cast. Clayton’s family is large and there are several other romances and family dramas happening, while Beth’s family, back in England, consists of her slightly crazy, soapie-obsessed gran, Violet, and her second husband Lionel, who also feature strongly.
For all the romance, drama and humour, there is also a serious side to the story, as it explores issues of cancer, its treatment and aftermath. Beth is a breast cancer survivor, and Clayton’s mum died from leukaemia when he was younger, the effects of both events on the two families are far-reaching.
From the author of Fly-In, Fly-Out and with overlapping characters, Summer Harvest will appeal to lovers of romance and family dramas.
Summer Harvest, by Georgina Penney
Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin, 2016