Rating: 4. 5 stars out of 5
Connor Graham is a city boy—a celebrated fashion photographer in New York. When his uncle’s death drags him back to the family blueberry farm, all he wants to do is sell it as quickly as he can. Until he meets his uncle’s tenant farmer.
Jed Jones, shy and stammering, devout and dedicated, has always yearned for land of his own and a man to share it with. Kept in the closet by his church, family, and disastrous first love, he longs to be accepted for who he is. But now, with his farm and his future in Connor’s careless hands, he stands to lose even the little he has.
Neither man expects the connection between them. Jed sees Connor—appreciates his art and passion like no one else in this godforsaken town ever has. Connor hears Jed—looks past his stutter to listen to the man inside. The time they share is idyllic, but with the farm sale pending, even their sanctuary is a source of tension. As work, family, and their town’s old-fashioned attitudes pull them apart, they must find a way to reconcile commitments to their careers and to each other.
“You confuse the hell out of me.”
Jed cocked his head to the side and stared. “Why?”
“Are you gay?”
Jed wouldn’t meet his eyes. “That’s a c-complicated question.”
Connor sat again, not caring if their legs touched. “There’s nothing complicated about it. You like dick or you don’t.”
“I’m a Christian.”
“The two aren’t mutually exclusive.”
“In th-this town? In my family? Yeah. They are.”
Blueberry Boys is the story between Connor and Jed, two young man living in two very different worlds that will collide under a meteor shower.
Connor is a famous photographer of NY, who has just lost his uncle Bruce and inherited his blueberry farm with his older, bully of a brother Scott. He is gay and out and comes back to what was at one time his home, Blandford, a close-minded town, for his uncle’s funeral.
Jed is the farm boy who is growing organic blueberries on Connor’s new farm soil. He’s shy and cute with his stuttering, he’s incredible attractive with a jaw to die for. He’s gay but in the closet. He is soon attracted to Connor, still they don’t rush into having sex after the first kiss but take their time.
I was surprised the author chose Jed to be a Christian and I loved how she showed me things. The Sundays at the church, the time after spent with his close family, not a perfect one but supportive and caring. Most of all Jed’s strong faith mixed with his need to be accepted.
There were a lot of elements I liked in this book but there was one I freaking loved, so much it brought tears to my eyes and it’s enclosed in Pastor Brenda’s words to Jed.
“Jed, this church is your home. Your faith is as welcome here as it has always been.”
I’m writing this review the same day the Vatican is shaken by the coming out of an important priest closed to the Holy See. Allow me to please quote his words: “I want the church and my community to know who I am — a homosexual priest, happy and proud of his own identity,” and “It’s time the church opened its eyes and realized that offering gay believers total abstinence from a life of love is inhuman”.
When I read Blueberry Boys and I realized Jed was a Christian, I was a little dubious. I’m always wary when authors approach the religious’ themes cause I’m afraid they will focus on the bad side of the Church and I don’t want to read about it (it’s already showing me its worse side every day, I don’t need more). So you can imagine my joy when I found such a beautiful example to follow in Pastor Brenda in this story, the acceptance, the support, the “no need to be forgiven because there’s nothing to forgive”. I cried with Jed and his finally feeling lighter after having the weight of years of fears and “lies” on his shoulders. There was a ton of positiveness in this book that simply fill my heart.
The story felt real, so real I don’t know how to explain but I was lost in it sometimes. So beautiful real like few things I read. And I love when I’m so lost in a story I forgot everything else.
Blueberry Boys, a standalone contemporary out for you romance lovers, is sweet, hot, emotional, full of hope. I read only one more book by Vanessa North, called Rough Road, still she became a guarantee to me. I like her style, simple, clean, normal. Now I just need to rush through The Dark Collector to know Oliver’s story. I think it’s clear the author simply got under my skin.
Cover art by L.C. Chase is great, it just made me want to read the book cause it made me curious. I especially love the colors’ choice. And all the layout work with blueberries on every chapter was very well done.
ebook, 186 pages
Expected publication: November 30th 2015 by Riptide Publishing
Edition Language English