Rating: 3 stars out of 5
This was a nice story about two “regular” guys in their mid-twenties, though too be honest, for quite a while I thought for sure they were older—at least in their forties. Joe is a farmhand who was disowned by his family when he came out seven or eight years before, and Ed is a mechanic who’s been on his own for years, ever since his mother died. Suddenly, Ed inherits a farm from the father he never knew, having been told by his mother that his dad died when Ed was born.
I thought the story was rather boring, although a homophobic guy in the town where the ranch was located gave them some trouble and caused turmoil and excitement in the latter half of the book. Ed and Joe are an established couple as the story opens, having been together a little over two years. But apparently they had just been floating along as friends-with-benefits and not bothering to tell each other they were developing feelings. The sudden inheritance changed that for them and they declared their commitment.
At the 7% mark in the story, the two had sex—not hot, amazing, tear-the-sheets sex that readers would anticipate was a natural progression in the story—just sex between two guys who liked each other. To be honest, I don’t like sex scenes early in a book because at that point I generally really don’t care about the characters and their story. I need more time for the plot to develop. And the sex here was bland, likely what led to me think the characters were older before I got to the point of the book that explained their ages. It certainly wasn’t necessary to the plot or story development at that point, so it didn’t add anything.
This was a nice story, overall, but nothing struck me as outstanding or unique, so though I might recommend it to someone new to the genre or to someone who likes established couples, I don’t think everyone will really enjoy it. I found it interesting that there’s a large print note at the beginning of the blurb that states that there’s a new chapter and new ending. To be honest, without the ending tying things up, I can’t imagine how I would have rated this higher than 2 or 2.5, so it’s good the author decided to make the revision.
Cover art by Written Ink Designs depicts a picture of a young man leaning against a wood fence and surrounding shrubbery. Wearing jeans, an open green-plaid shirt and a cowboy hat, the guy fits the story but blends into the background. The overall effect of so much green tone is bland and would not grab a potential reader’s attention.
Kindle Edition, 2nd Edition – Expanded
Published June 24th 2017 by JMS Books, LLC (first published June 9th 2009)
Original TitleCultivating Love
CharactersEd Jamison, Joe Durham settingNebraska (United States)
Mayfield, Nebraska (United States)
Omaha, Nebraska (United States)