A Second Harvest (Gigi’s Review)

Second Harvest
Title: A Second Harvest (Men of Lancaster County #1)
Author: Eli Easton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 1st 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 206 pages
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

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 the story of David Fisher, a 41 year-old man who has never experienced real joy in his life. He’s always done the right thing in accordance with his strict father’s wishes. Take over the family farm at 18 when his father dies, marry a nice girl and start a family. Work his fingers to the bone day in and day out to make enough money to keep the farm in the black, going to church on Sundays because that is the Mennonite way. (Mennonite is an organized religion similar to Amish.)

I need to tell you that reading about organized religion makes me incredibly sad and I usually avoid it at all costs. I tried it with one of my favorite authors, Keira Andrew’s A Forbidden Rumspringa and it was a disaster. And since Eli Easton is another of my favorites, I wanted to try this one too. The reason A Second Harvest worked for me and A Forbidden Rumspringa did not is because of the age of the heroes and where they were in their lives. The boys in A Forbidden Rumspringa were young men, still living with their parents. The oppression they suffered from their church and families was all-consuming and they had to run away to be together. David and Christie in A Second Harvest are both adults and self-sufficient, making their own money and living alone. David has children, but they are both in college and out of the house.

Silver Fox David Fisher

Silver Fox David Fisher

David’s thoughts on his religion, which I found comforting:

There were some church teachings he’d been uncomfortable with for years but silently ignored. He wasn’t sure where his faith stood, but right now it seemed to be buried under a dissatisfied and restless part of himself that grew bigger and heavier each and every day.

So, Christie moves to Lancaster County after his aunt dies and leaves him her house, which is next door to David’s farm. The men meet and start a heart-warming friendship. Both are a little lonely and share meals and chores and conversation that will give you that warm ‘n fuzzy feeling. Christie is sexually attracted to silver-fox David while David can’t quite wrap is head around the way Christie makes him feel. Christie brings contentment and happiness into David’s life and he is sad to see that he’s never felt that before, even where his children are concerned.

Eventually David realizes he is also sexually attracted to Christie and the two begin a slow and steady courtship. Christie insists on taking things slowly so he doesn’t scare David off, which is so admirable considering Christie came from a life of sex and drugs and clubbing. Once the sex starts, it is beautiful and loving and will give you the dreamy-sighs.

This book in not without a bit of angst. David does feel some shame at being attracted to a man, but he quickly overcomes it. As expected, the Mennonite community, including his children, do not accept David in a same-sex relationship, but the beauty of that here is that David doesn’t really give a fuck after his initial bout with shame.

I loved this book. It was a perfect love story between two men lacking companionship and acceptance and finding it in each other.

I do have to add that Ms. Easton gives us a very realistic HEA. Yes, it’s fun to read about the wealthy heroes sitting on a beach drinking umbrella cocktails as the sun goes down, but the realism of this HEA is wonderful and refreshing and no less satisfying than a walk-off-into-the-sunset ending.

Plus, this is a series, so we’ll probably have a chance to catch up with them later. 🙂

Highly recommended.

Men of Lancaster County series

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Galley copy of A Second Harvest provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.