Saturday, July 2, 2016

ARC Review: A Second Harvest (Men of Lancaster County, #1) by Eli Easton

David Fisher has lived by the rules all his life. Born to a Mennonite family, he obeyed his father and took over the family farm, married, and had two children. Now with both his kids in college and his wife deceased, he runs his farm alone and without joy, counting off the days of a life half-lived.

Christie Landon, graphic designer, Manhattanite, and fierce gay party boy, needs a change. Now thirty, he figures it’s time to grow up and think about his future. When his best friend overdoses, Christie resolves to take a break from the city. He heads to a small house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to rest, recoup, and reflect.

But life in the country is boring despite glimpses of the hunky silver fox next door. When Christie’s creativity latches on to cooking, he decides to approach his widower neighbor with a plan to share meals and grocery expenses. David agrees, and soon the odd couple finds they really enjoy spending time together.

Christie challenges the boundaries of David’s closed world and brings out feelings he buried long ago. If he can break free of the past, he might find a second chance at happiness.

Jewel's rating:

Christie Landon is a city boy, through and through. The past decade has been spent clubbing with his best friend, Kyle, and indulging in anonymous sex and not quite growing up. But, now that Christie is 30, he's been finding that life less and less satisfying. And after Kyle accidentally OD's, one night, Christie finally decides to make a change. He inherited a house from an aunt who recently passed away, so after Kyle's recovery, Christie figures that there is no time like the present to get away and figure out what he really wants out of life.

David Fisher is 41 and pretty much waiting to die. He's been a farmer all his life, inheriting the farm when his father passed away when David was 18. David married young and helped raise a family. Now he widowed and though he was never really happy in his marriage, and he never dared even think of his attraction to men, now he just sees endless years ahead of him doing what everyone else expects of him. David is honorable, honest and faithful, to a fault. He has responsibilities that he takes seriously, even to the expense of his own happiness.

When Christie and David struck up a friendship, everything felt so natural. Christie, although a city boy, wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty and learn new things. He also rediscovered a love for cooking, so it was only natural for him to share that love with his new friend. Both men were lonely and alone, so neither even questioned their time together. Christie and David had been dating for weeks before either of them even realized it.

And it isn't that David was that clueless, it was just that he kept that part of himself locked in a box so tight, it took him a while to find the key. And Christie wouldn't let himself hope that David felt the attraction, too.

There is a very slow burn of a romance here, and I loved it. David and Christie become friends before they get to "more". And once they decide to embark down the path of exploration, they were still so tentative. Their loving was sweet and hot and it meant something. The angst comes from family and community and religion teaching and preaching that gay is sin.

But David has a strength that he probably never realized he had, when faced with losing the one man who gets him and loves him. When faced with having to choose between Christie and his farm, family and community, David chooses love. Christie, as well, is brave and true. He's a fighter when it comes to those he loves.

A Second Harvest is about finding yourself and also finding that one other person that completes you. It's about finding the strength to hold on, even when everyone is against you. It's about love. And I think the world could use more of that.


ARC of A Second Harvest was generously provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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