A Second Harvest, by Eli Easton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 1, 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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.
A Second Harvest is a sweet and gentle portrayal of two men who are surprised to find themselves falling in love despite being from two very different worlds.
David has been running the family farm since he was in his late teens. Raised in a tight knit Mennonite community, he’s on his own for the first time in over 20 years since burying his wife and seeing his children off to college. Now 40, David feels like he’s in a rut that he can see no way out of and despite his love for the animals on his farm, he yearns for something more. But acknowledging those long-hidden desires would mean not only breaking away from the only community he has known his whole life but also irrevocably ruining his relationship with his kids.
Christie, a graphic designer and NYC party boy, is looking for something deeper and more meaningful than the brief hookups he’s become accustomed to. When his best friend nearly dies of an accidental overdose, he takes that as a sign to leave the city and move to the rural home that has been willed to him by a deceased aunt. There he hopes to not only recuperate from his non-stop busy life but also recapture the creative drive that used to make his design work so satisfying.
When Christie moves next door to David, they strike up a tentative friendship through a rather unorthodox arrangement: Christie will pursue his love of foreign cooking and ensure David eats more than the frozen dinners he’s been nuking every night, in exchange for splitting the grocery bill. When shared meals turn into shared confidences, David and Christie realize their attraction for one another can’t be denied. But the cost of pursuing a relationship may be more than each man can bear.
This was a lovely, slow burning romance for most of the book. The blossoming friendship between David and Christie was really enjoyable and I particularly liked how David set about trying to reconcile the religious beliefs he was raised with to his growing attraction to Christie. I thought that part was handled with great care and consideration. Unfortunately, the last 20% of the book really let the story down with a gay bashing that felt included for dramatic effect and to rush the end of the story. Some important issues between the two men were left unresolved and while there is an HEA, it did seem rather unsatisfactory when we weren’t privy to how those differences were reconciled.
Still, I thoroughly enjoyed most of this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a slow burn friends-to-lovers romance. Bonus points for having older MC’s!
Having been, at various times, and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, the author of metaphysical thrillers, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.
As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest writing.
email her at eli at elieaston.com
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.