Friday, October 27, 2017

ARC Review: Tender Mercies (Men of Lancaster County 2) by Eli Easton

Blurb:

Eddie Graber’s dream of a sanctuary for rescued farm animals was about to come true when his partner backed out at the last minute. Now Eddie risks losing the twenty-five acre property in Lancaster County—and all the hopes he held for it—before the project even gets off the ground. He needs help, he needs money, but most importantly, he needs to rediscover the belief in a higher purpose that brought him here in the first place. 

Samuel Miller worked hard to fit into his Amish community despite his club foot. But when his father learns Samuel is gay, he is whipped and shunned. With just a few hundred dollars to his name, Samuel responds to an ad for a farmhand and finds himself employed by a city guy who has strange ideas about animals, no clue how to run his small farm, and a gentle heart.

Samuel isn’t the only lost soul to serendipitously find his way to Meadow Lake Farm. There’s Fred and Ginger, two cows who’d been living in a garage, a gang of sheep, and a little black pig named Benedict who might be the key to life, love, money—and even a happily ever after for two castoffs.


Dani's rating:


If you don't mind a few tears mixed in with your smiles, if you're a diehard romantic, if you believe in fate and second chances, if you love animals, if you've ever dreamed of living out in the country with nothing but the wind and sunshine for company, you'll fall in love with this book.

Heartbreaking and hopeful, Tender Mercies will make you want to follow your dreams.

Eddie is a dedicated vegan. The big, sprawling farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania couldn't be more perfect for the animal sanctuary he envisions. He wants to take in all the abandoned, abused farm animals and give them a real home.

But Eddie knows nothing about running a farm and realizes fairly quickly that he's in over his head, especially since his boyfriend pulled the financial support, dumped Eddie, and ran.

Samuel has always desired men. His father has made it clear this abomination against god will not be tolerated. When he catches Samuel masturbating to the sight of a male neighbor, he shows no mercy.

The first few chapters broke my heart. Samuel is one of my favorite MCs of all time; at age 19, he's everything a man should be: kind, smart, strong, practical, inventive, selfless. He doesn't deserve his father's wrath, doesn't deserve to be kicked out with nothing but the clothes on his back and a few twenties in his pocket.

Samuel walks to the homeless shelter in town; it's miles too far of a walk for anyone, much less a man with a clubfoot. Samuel has never let his disability slow him down. He works hard and doesn't complain. But he hurts; oh, how he hurts.

Sometimes Samuel wished he could be like the animals, expecting nothing from life except food and sunshine and another day. They didn't have the ache of knowing what the could never have.





When Samuel turns up on Eddie's doorstep seeking a job, Eddie has doubts. He can't afford to make a hiring mistake (he's in way over his head as it is). But Eddie has a good heart and takes on the burdens of the world. He can't turn Sam away.

I savored this story and didn't want it to end. The delicious slow burn, the heated glances, the sensual kisses when the men finally, FINALLY, touch ... GORGEOUS.

I loved Eddie's friend Devin, who was so supportive of Eddie and willing to help at every turn. I loved the cow mother/daughter duo, Ginger and Fred. And, most of all, I loved Benny, the tenacious potbelly pig who sets Operation Pig Rescue in motion.

I was proud of Eddie for asking for help, and of Sam for believing in Eddie's dream. Because the farm isn't just Eddie's; it's Sam's too, his blood and sweat and toil.

Tender Mercies can be read as a standalone. The MCs from book 1 make a cameo appearance, which made me very happy, but the stories aren't really connected in any way, save for the fact that Samuel, like David from A Second Harvest who was raised Mennonite, is Amish and feels his desires are a sin against nature.

But Sam is too intelligent, too intuitive, to wallow in religious guilt. He finds another community and a love so wonderful, he can hardly breathe. It's everything he's ever dared to imagine and more.

I've already reread this book, something I rarely do. I adore these men, the Pig Bottom Animal Sanctuary, and the glorious HEA.

I'm dying to read Devin's story and maybe Matthew's too.



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Read. Read anything. Read the things they say are good for you, and the things they claim are junk. You’ll find what you need to find. Just read.
~Neil Gaiman







An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Download links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the book, author, publisher, or website listed.

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