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: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.50 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.
Reading Eli Easton’s marvelous “A Second Harvest” brings to mind Henry Thoreau’s famous quote from Walden. And David Fischer is living a life of desperation, a life as a good Mennonite father and husband working the dairy farm he inherited from his father. A life in which he has almost memorized articles from his beloved National Geographic magazines about far-off foreign places. A life where he keeps his secret in a box, a goddamn metal box buried in the barn underneath firewood, behind a pulled-up floor board. And he has never uttered a word about his secret, even to himself, because if he doesn’t act on it, or say the word out loud …
Therefore it was just an “idea,” like daydreaming about being a sailor or something. It was still a sin to … to think about another man, to touch himself thinking about it. But he figured God might be sort of tolerant about it as long as he never acted on it with another person.
But when worldly … liberal … gay … reformed Manhattan party boy Christie Landon moves into his aunt’s house near David’s home place, David finds himself drawn to this beautiful, creative man. And before long, they are sharing dinners, running together, talking daily, and lonely quiet David has never felt so happy. “He couldn’t remember the last time he had felt like this, like joy was a fossil fuel buried deep in his soul, and he had suddenly struck deep and hit a gusher.” Then Joe, David’s asshat of a son, informs him that Christie is gay … “I doubt he’s even a Christian” … and David finally realizes “He and Christie Landon weren’t just friends. They were dating.”
To David’s credit, once he gets past his initial shock and shame, he can’t find it in himself to be sorry about, or have regrets for, this wonderful gift he has been given. I love how Christie is willing to take their relationship slow (along with some oh so very hawt late-night sexting) and how David and Christie give some serious thought about what has to happen for their relationship to grow and continue. Everything leads to a tender passionate love that, Dear Reader, is a thing of beauty.
My only qualms are that David’s son Joe is pretty much a Conservative Christian Caricature and the
- violence against Christie seems out of character with the overall feeling of the book, changing Joe’s viewpoint 180 degrees almost instantly