An Ali Release Day Review: Tender Mercies (Men of Lancaster County #2) by Eli Easton

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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.
This book was a jem.  A touching story about good people trying to make the world a better place.  The story starts with a bit of heartache as we see Samuel shunned from his community.  He ends up in a homeless shelter and that leads him to seeking a job with Eddie.  Samuel was a fantastic character in my opinion.  I loved everything about him.  I thought the author did a great job writing his character and she created one of those characters that makes the reader swoon.
Once Samuel and Eddie started working together the rescue begins to come together.  Being a big animal person myself I was  over joyed in all the scenes about the rescue.  Some of the animals themselves were written almost like side characters which I found delightful.  I thought the overall plot was really unique and I enjoyed it a lot.
The romance was a slow burn and they’re not physical until at least the 50% mark of the story.  I liked that about it and in fact would rather see an author take the time to build two character’s relationship rather than go down the instant love/sex type plot.  By the time these two finally kissed I was more than ready for it to happy and it was a beautiful moment in their love story.
 This title is set in the same region as book #1 but features a new couple. It can be read as a stand-alone.  If you’ve read the first book you will notice a cameo by the couple from the first book.  
Overall I found this to be a really well written story.  It had a unique plot and great characters and it’s one I would definitely recommend.
The cover artist for this book was Brooke Albrecht.  I liked this cover a lot and I think it’s very striking.  It also ties in very nicely to the first book in the series.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 216 pages
Expected publication: October 27th 2017 by Dreamspinner
ISBN139781640800038
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Men of Lancaster County #2
setting Pennsylvania (United States)

Eli Easton on Tender Mercies (with an Exclusive Excerpt)

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Tender Mercies (Men of Lancaster County #2) by Eli Easton
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press

Release date: Oct 27, 2017

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Eli Easton here today on her Tender Mercies tour.  Welcome, Eli.

Exclusive Excerpt: Samuel comes out to Eddie

By Eli Easton

I’m celebrating the release of TENDER MERCIES, a romance set on a farm very much like the one I live on with my family. It’s the second book in the “Men of Lancaster County” series, though it features a new couple and can be read as a stand-alone. What each book in this series has in common is being set in Lancaster County, a rural area of Pennsylvania where there are a lot of Amish and Mennonite.

The protagonists in TENDER MERCIES are Eddie, a city guy who moved to the country to start a farm sanctuary,  and Samuel, a young Amish man kicked out of his community for being gay. Samuel, having nowhere else to go, finds a job as a farmhand on Eddie’s farm.

I’ve long wanted to write an Amish protagonist. Growing up myself as the daughter of a conservative minister in the Midwest, I can relate to the frustrations and perils of growing up in a very restrictive, limited environment. I can only imagine how much more difficult it would be for a young boy who knows he’s gay.

Below is one of my favorite Samuel scenes in the book, in which, for the first time in his life, he comes out to another person.

EXCERPT – Samuel comes out to Eddie

Samuel became very absorbed by books. He and Eddie read in the evenings, letting the cards languish on the dining room table. Samuel would read a book that wasn’t embarrassing when he was sitting in the living room with Eddie, and Eddie would read on his Kindle. It was sure good to have company, even if they didn’t talk a whole lot. It was like there was an extra stove in the room, this one thawing some cold and neglected piece of Samuel’s heart. Sometimes Eddie would laugh and then read something out loud to Samuel. Sometimes he made popcorn.

But no matter how nice it was to read in the same room as Eddie, Samuel would go to bed early, and there he would read a book he’d snuck from the right wall section of office shelves—the romances. There was no way he could be in the same room as Eddie and read those! If his blush didn’t give him away, other parts of him would.

He read a romance about a woman and a pirate, which was very, very dirty. It had crazy names for body parts like “manhood” and “cave” and “the milk of love.”

Then he read one about a woman who owned a big sports team. He found the information about the sports teams almost as interesting as the sex in that one. Almost.

Then Samuel found the other books. They were on the bottom three shelves of that right wall section. When Samuel pulled the first one, he saw two men on the cover. He pulled another and another. He read the back of the books. They were all about two men who met and…. Surely not. It couldn’t be what it looked like.

Eddie was in the kitchen making dinner when Samuel found those books. Heart pounding and half-afraid of getting caught, Samuel quickly picked one book and put back the rest. He went up and hid the book in his room. That night he went to bed real early, consumed by curiosity, and he read it.

In the story one man played ice hockey and he was famous. No one knew this man was gay because hockey players weren’t supposed to be that way, and he’d lose his job if they found out. The other man was a reporter, and his family and friends knew he liked other men, and they didn’t care. The reporter met the hockey player, and they started having sex and fell in love. It was a tough situation because they had to keep it secret and couldn’t be seen out together and such like.

Samuel didn’t touch himself when he read this book. He cried. He cried so hard he had to bury his face in the pillow because he was afraid Eddie would hear him all the way on the other side of the house.

He was overwhelmed by thoughts and images. Someone wrote a book about it, about men who like other men. And in the book, it wasn’t the worst thing in the world. It was a thing some people didn’t accept, but the men in the book were still characters worth writing about. Their story was worth telling. They were not terrible people or sinful or perverted or abominations. They were handsome and nice, and they tried to do the right thing. It was all right there on the page, that was what was so amazing. It was printed there as if the story of two men who loved each other had just as much right to be written and made into a book and printed on good paper as Beauty or Treasure Island.

That meant so much to Samuel his body couldn’t contain the feeling of muchness. So he cried.

For two days Samuel thought about that book as he went about his chores. He didn’t even want to read any more books right then; he just wanted to think about that one book and what it meant. He thought about what it meant that Eddie had the book, and a bunch more like it, in his library. He thought about how it might be connected to the fact that Eddie was not married and had no children, even though he said he was twenty-eight years old.

Those thoughts made Samuel feel itchy and twisted up inside. He liked Eddie and respected him. He respected Eddie’s kindness and his principles when it came to other creatures, he really did. Even if Eddie’s sensitivity about animals seemed excessive to Samuel, he could admit such compassion was more Christlike than many of the things Samuel witnessed growing up. But if Eddie turned out to be like that, gay, Samuel wasn’t sure how he’d feel about it.

He always believed “being gay,” as the romances called it, was something to be ashamed of, and he didn’t want to lose respect for Eddie. But the books also made him think his father, his church, had been wrong. It didn’t have to be a sinful, degenerate thing done in the cover of night as if hiding from God. Two men loving each other could have a normal life just like any other couple, just like in his fantasy of Green Valley. For real.

And if Eddie were gay, then….

Then.

Those what-if thoughts lurked hungrily on the edges of his mind, but they were too audacious to think directly. Samuel felt skittery and guilty anytime he started to think about them. As if Eddie would know somehow.

No. Those ideas were too big to dwell upon. It hurt too much to want like that. And it wasn’t right by Eddie. The man deserved more respect than to become a figure in Samuel’s sexy dreams.

But Samuel was curious about why Eddie had the books. Maybe it was just because he liked all sorts of things. Eddie wasn’t a pirate, after all. Maybe all English had such books. Curiosity started to eat Samuel up. He figured it was best to just come out and ask so he could stop fretting about it one way or the other.

So on the third night after he found the gay romances, when Eddie was putting supper on the kitchen island, Samuel slipped upstairs and got the book. When he sat down, he did what Eddie had done all those weeks ago with that towel. He put it on the counter facing Eddie. Then he picked up his fork.

Dinner that night was spaghetti with a tomato sauce and a salad. Samuel focused on his food and refused to be put off by nerves. He was hungry.

He’d finished half his meal before he looked up to find Eddie watching him warily.

“Are you asking me about the book? Or do you have something to say about it?” Eddie asked in his most careful voice.

Samuel thought about that. “Did you read it?”

“Yes.”

“What did you think of it?”

Eddie still looked wary. “What did I think about it? Hmm. Well. It’s not my favorite gay romance, but I liked it. I thought the relationship development was well done.” He paused for a moment, then gave what looked to Samuel like a forced smile. “The hockey player was hot.”

Samuel felt a wave of embarrassment and looked down at his spaghetti. He felt himself blushing. He ate a few bites, chewing and swallowing more slowly than usual. Samuel thought the hockey player was “hot” too. But if Eddie thought so, did that mean he was gay? For sure?

All of a sudden, Samuel wished he hadn’t brought it up. Because he wasn’t sure he could not make a fool out of himself over the answer. It felt too important. He felt a little nauseous, truth be told. He put down his fork and twisted his hands in his lap, stared out the window.

“That’s not really what you wanted to ask me about, is it?” Eddie said. “You want to know why I have gay romance in the house. You want to know if I’m gay.”

Samuel’s heart thudded thick and heavy in his chest. “Ain’t none of my business.” He suddenly didn’t think he could stand knowing, one way or the other. It would be too much.

“Well. I am. I’m a gay man. I was in a relationship for a long time, but, well, now I’m not. Is that going to be a problem for you?”

Samuel felt faint. Was that relief he felt? Or shock? He hadn’t thought Eddie was gay, much less expected him to admit it so easily. How had he not guessed? Samuel felt ignorant and unworldly, one of those moments where the gap between his knowledge of the world, and Eddie’s, felt so broad it was a wonder they could talk to each other at all.

Samuel’s ears were ringing, and he was lost in his thoughts. He suddenly realized Eddie was still talking to him.

“Samuel? Can you please answer me? Is it going to make you uncomfortable living here now?”

“What?” Samuel jerked his head around to look at Eddie. Eddie’s face was guarded, and Samuel felt terrible.

“No, I don’t mind. I mean, I’m not uncomfortable.” Lord, he was so uncomfortable. “What I mean is….” He hesitated.

Eddie frowned at him, his face guarded as if prepared for Samuel to say something mean.

“I am too!” Samuel said abruptly, then he cringed. He thought he might throw up. “That is to say, I always felt that way. That’s why my da beat me with the switch that one day. And told me to get out. So it don’t matter to me none if you are.” He closed his eyes and clenched his fists on the counter. He couldn’t sound any stupider if he tried.

Eddie’s hand closed loosely over Samuel’s fist. His voice was soft. “That’s why your dad beat you? That’s inexcusable, Sam. You know that, right?”

Samuel opened his eyes, startled at the touch. But before he could even really feel it, Eddie pulled his hand away.

Eddie was glowering. He rubbed at the center of his chest. “First of all, you can’t help being gay. It’s something you’re born with, like brown eyes. And there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s certainly nothing you should be punished for. I’m sorry your father did that to you. God, that makes me so mad!”

Samuel had no idea what to say. He picked up his fork and twirled it in the spaghetti and chewed it, not hardly tasting a thing. Eddie’s words rolled around in his head like marbles. There’s nothing wrong with it. Eddie sure came from a different world. Samuel liked that world. The longing for it was sharp, a desperate ache. He wanted to be a part of it.

Then he realized that maybe he already was.

“You’re the first person I ever told,” he admitted.

Eddie smiled. “Yeah? How does it feel?”

Samuel considered it. “Like I’m about to have a heart attack.”

I hope you enjoy the rest of TENDER MERCIES.

Eli Easton

About TENDER MERCIES – Eli Easton (Men of Lancaster County #2)

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.

NOTE: This title is set in the same region as book #1 but features a new couple. It can be read as a stand-alone.

About the Author

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, 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 fiction writing.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35076747-tender-mercies?from_search=true

An Ali Audiobook Review: A Second Harvest (Men of Lancaster County #1) by Eli Easton and narrator Will Tulin

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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.
This was a really lovely stories about second chances and the fact that you’re never too old to reinvent yourself.  These two men, who on the surface had nothing in common, actually found they had a lot of the same hopes and dreams.  What starts as a friendship turns in to a really sweet romance.  I really liked both of their characters and I found their romance to be realistic and believable. I loved watching the two of them fall in love.
While I liked Christie a lot, David is who stole the story for me.  I could totally relate to him as I grew up in a similar environment and I know first hand how stifling and oppressing it can be.  The scenes of him with his National Geographic magazines, always dreaming of other things, made my heart hurt for him.  I was so happy for him when he made up his mind to break free and make huge changes in his life.
The writing was engaging and drew me in from the very first chapter.  As I’ve said, really enjoyed both of the MC’s and I found their romance to be super sweet and touching. I didn’t have any complaints about the book and I went through the entire audio in one day as I cleaned and did yard work.
The book was narrated by Will Tulin and I liked him a lot.  He is a new to me narrator but one I will definitely listen to again.  He get a great job on both of the MC’s as well as all of the side characters.  I think his narration really added to the overall story and I would recommend this.
Cover by Bree Archer:  The cover was done by Bree Archer and I like it a lot.  I think it is eye catching and really beautiful.  It is also a great representation of the story.
Audiobook Details:
Listening Time: 7 hrs 40 min
Audiobook
Published June 7th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published July 1st 2016)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesMen of Lancaster County #1

In the Spotlight: A Second Harvest by Eli Easton (Character Bio, Excerpt and Giveaway)

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Eli Easton has  provided Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words with a special Character Bio:

BIO – CHRISTIE LANDON

Christie Landon, 30, is the epitome of the Manhattan party boy and pretty blonde twink. But when his best friend OD’s, Christie decides he needs to get sober and get away from the temping gay club scene. He inherited a small house in Lancaster County from his aunt, and he goes there to get the place ready for sale. He works from home as a graphic designer and he soon picks up his aunt’s love of cooking as well, thanks to her many cookbooks. Christie has a tender heart but he’s bold and likes to speak his mind.

 

 

 

A Second Harvest 
(Men of Lancaster County #1)
by Eli Easton



Blurb:
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.

 

         

 

 

Available in Paperback
Excerpt

Chapter 1

David sat against the rough wooden boards of the cow stall and watched Gertrude die. She opened her big brown eyes once toward the end and gazed at him for a long moment. In the glow of the lantern light, her lashes cast deep shadows so David couldn’t see what emotion might be in those eyes. Was she grateful he was sitting up with her? Did she know it was time to go? Was she relieved to finally be leaving this farm where she’d spent her entire long life?

But she was just a cow. Probably she thought none of those things. When she closed her eyes again, it was for the last time. An hour later she stopped breathing, and she was gone.

It felt like an era passed with her, silently and stealthily. David was there when Gertrude was born. She was the first cow that was his, designated as such while still in the womb, a birthday present from his parents. He raised her and showed her at the Harrisburg farm fair when he was in eleventh grade. She was a beautiful brown jersey with classic lines, and she won a third-place ribbon that day. David was proud enough to burst. For years afterward Gertrude was a reliable, strong milking cow.

A farmer didn’t get sentimental about animals. That was plain stupid. But David was not able to kill Gertrude when her milk production fell off. She’d half performed for another decade until he eventually retired her to pasture. If anyone asked, he told them it was good to have a mature cow around to show the rebellious younger ones what was what, teach them the routine. And Gertrude was a leader by personality. She knew how to put other cows and heifers in their places. But the truth was, David just couldn’t bear to load her in the truck and take her to the slaughterhouse.

She was a part of his boyhood, and it was right she was dead now. God knew the boy in him was a far distant memory.

He turned off the lights in the barn and walked back to the house. It was foolishness to have stayed up with her. The day’s work had to be done whether or not he had a good night’s rest. He was too old for this.

The light in the kitchen was on as he approached the house. He checked his watch. It was just past 5:00 a.m. Amy must be up.

For the past two years, Amy had come home from college for the summer to work as a nursing intern at the Lancaster hospital and to help him run a CSA program on the farm. It was Amy who did all the customer work. She made up the flyers, packed the boxes of produce, and met with the customers every week when they came to pick up their shares. She was good at that sort of thing. He wished he could pay her more, but like every other operation on the farm, the profit from the CSA was a very faint line of green. David honestly didn’t know how most farmers made it. His grandfather had paid off the farm, but still, between property taxes, upkeep and maintenance, animal feed, and everything else, he made just enough to get by. As his dad used to say, the gravy was thin.

He opened the sliding glass door and saw Amy in her bathrobe pulling some fresh eggs from the fridge.

“Hey, Dad.” She yawned. “What are you doing out at the barn so early?”

“Gertrude passed.”

“Aw! That’s a shame.” Amy didn’t sound too broken up about it. Then again Amy learned young not to get attached to the animals.

He grabbed a glass from the cupboard, went to the fridge, and poured himself some orange juice. But when he went to lift it to his mouth, he was surprised to discover a hard, thick lump in his throat. He put the glass back on the counter and breathed. Ridiculous. He hadn’t gotten particularly choked up, even when Susan died. But then she was sick for a few years. Her death was a blessing in the end.

“Things live. Things die. That’s the way of it.” His voice was gruff, but the lump eased. He drank his juice.

When he put the glass down, Amy was watching him with a frown. “You sound so cynical. I worry about you, Dad. You should take Mrs. Robeson up on her offer for dinner. I think she really likes you.”

“I’m not interested in Mrs. Robeson.”

Amy rolled her eyes. “You should give her a chance. Mom’s been gone two years now. She wouldn’t want you to be alone forever. And Mrs. Robeson taught both Joe and me in Sunday school. She’s a very nice lady.”

David gave Amy a warning look. “I don’t care to discuss my love life, thank you. Are you gonna cook those eggs, or are you waiting for them to hatch?”

Amy snorted a laugh, but she opened a cupboard and brought out a skillet. “Slave driver! I just worry about you. I hate that you’re all alone here when I go back to school. Joe hardly ever comes home.”

“I don’t mind.”

“I know! That’s the problem. You’re turning into a crusty old hermit. Next time I see you, you’ll have a beard down to your belly button. I know you live on TV dinners, hotdogs, and chips. It’s not healthy. You should get remarried. I know Pastor Mitchell thinks so.”

“Pastor Mitchell wants to get some of his old maids and widows married off so he doesn’t have to handhold them so much. I’m not interested.”

David was half teasing, but Amy still gasped. “Dad! That’s a terrible thing so say!”

David waggled his eyebrows, unrepentant, and exited the kitchen.

He went upstairs and took a shower. The sleepless night hit him along with the hot water, and he knew it would be a long day. Why had he felt compelled to sit up with Gertrude? She probably hadn’t even known he was there. But at the thought of her, another wave of sadness hit him. An image ran through his mind—one of falling leaves and the boy he’d been playing in them, laughing. He had no idea where that came from or why.

Out of the shower, he used a hand to wipe off the fogged mirror. He looked at himself critically to see if he could get away with not shaving this morning. His reflection surprised him briefly, as it always did. He felt so old. He always expected to see white hair and a sagging face when he looked in the mirror. But there were only a few strands of gray at the temples of his dark-brown hair and in his close-cropped beard. His face was not young, but it wasn’t sagging yet either. He’d lost a good thirty pounds since Susan died, so he actually looked younger.

Fine. He might not look old, but he sure felt it. And he suddenly understood why he sat up with Gertrude. He wanted to watch her as she escaped the farm at last, as she simply left her body and went away, gone where no one could prevent her going and no one could follow.

One day David would leave too, maybe just that way. He’d shut his eyes and vanish, leaving a shell behind. But dear Lord, he was only forty-one this past May. Even if he died when his dad did, at age fifty-eight, he had years to wait yet.

Just to… wait.

 

 

About The Author

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, 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 fiction writing.

You can find Eli at
         

 

 

Giveaway
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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: A Second Harvest (Men of Lancaster County #1) by Eli Easton

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

A Second Harvest by Eli Easton A Second HarvestWhen Christie Landon, a thirty-year-old graphic designer from Manhattan, arrives at the Lancaster County farm he inherited from his aunt, all he wants is to find peace after a near tragedy involving partying with alcohol and pills. Though it was his best friend and roommate who nearly lost his life, Christie’s life has been irrevocably changed—for the better, he hopes. When he meets his neighbor, Mennonite farmer and forty-something widower, David Fisher, he’s struck by the man’s masculinity, his quiet nature, and his simple lifestyle, and he wants to learn so much more.

The two become friends as Christie’s initial idea of sharing a meal together becomes the reality of Christie enjoying his favorite pastime of cooking, with David contributing to the costs, and the two often eating, talking, and spending quiet moments together. Christie also offers to help around the farm as he sees it’s more cost- and time-effective than going to a gym. Slowly, over the course of a few months, David comes out of his self-imposed shell, a shell he’s hidden behind since he assumed the positions of head of the family and farm owner when he was still a teen. Married for twenty years and the father of two children, his wife died two years before, and he’s only now allowing for the possibility of having the life of a gay man that he had previously dreamed of when he indulged in fantasies behind closed doors.

The course of love can’t possibly run smoothly, however, certainly not when there are such vast differences between the two men’s lifestyles, and when David’s family finds out that his relationship with Christie is more than mere friendship, a near disaster nearly destroys the couple before they can begin.

Oh, how I love Eli Easton’s writing! I don’t even know where to start my list of kudos for this story. The character development was outstanding—both men endearing and engaging. The background information about the Mennonite religious sect in the Lancaster County area was just perfect—not an overdose of religion, just the right amount to explain the teachings and philosophy of thinking in the Mennonite community. Secondary characters were believable and people like David’s son were irksome enough to be the type of character I love to hate. David’s need to be allowed to live his life as a gay man, his love for Christie, and his traumatic discovery of his father’s secrets, all made me want to reach out and hug the man to my heart. Christie, though starting out as a carefree young gay man in Manhattan, became so much more than just a cute blond looking for a good time. His character showed depth, with intelligence, a carefree spirit, and a loving heart. The two men were there for each other. They were solid. And I truly appreciated every moment I spent with them. I literally devoured this story, and I think I’m going to go back and re-read it again—just because I can. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Kudos, Eli Easton!

~~~~

Cover art by Bree Archer shows a lone farmer working in his field of wheat. Bright and colorful, it’s exactly what I would picture as the setting of this story

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 206 pages
Expected publication: July 1st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleA Second Harvest
ISBN 1634774043 (ISBN13: 9781634774048)
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesMen of Lancaster County #1