Harvest Moon (Virgin River, Book 15)

Harvest Moon (Virgin River, Book 15) - Robyn Carr Kelly Matlock joins her sister, Jillian, in Virgin River after walking out of her high-stress sous-chef job at a four-star restaurant and being snubbed by her married love (not lover). She meets Lief Holbrook when she stops at Jack's Bar on her way to Jillian's, pretty much passing out next to him after two martinis on top of anxiety medication. Lief takes her home and is utterly beguiled by the pretty Kelly.Kelly has no plan other than to take some time to regroup and figure out what she's going to do in life. In the meantime, she makes herself welcome to Colin and Jillian by creating culinary delights for them everyday. Kelly is also developing a vision for herself, seeing the possibility of taking Jillian's garden produce and marketing them to high end restaurants and markets. Meanwhile, Lief is actively pursuing Kellly and winning. However, he is also having to deal with his 14-year old stepdaughter, Courtney, who is reeling from her mother's death two years ago and the abandonment by her biological father. Lief doesn't see himself as a stepfather, rather her father and is working with a counselor to help Courtney with her issues. Yes...it's the same counselor Rick and Liz Sudder used earlier.While it's frustrating to watch Courtney sabotage Lief's relationship with Kelly, it's also heartwarming to see his level of commitment to his daughter. My criticism of the story, however, is the short shrift given to Kelly and Lief's romance...it sort of took a back seat to Courtney and Lief's story when there appeared to be room for both. It was interesting to be part of her counseling sessions to see the contrast between her actions and the real drivers behind her behaviors and her father's (and other's) perceptions.This is not one of my favorites but I hope to see more of Lief and Kelly in future installments. We didn't get enough of their romance here...they deserved better.