Author: Eli EastonSeries: Lancaster County, #1
Released: July 1st 2016
Length: 206 pages
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.
Eli Easton’s books have always been a special treat for me. I love how deceptively simple her romances can be, how easy it is for her to pull me in, how realistic her characters always seem and how genuine the emotions between them appear to be. I can be quite nitpicky when it comes to my favorite romance authors, but Easton has never given me any reason for complaint. Second Harvest warmed my heart and made me really feel the love.
Our two heroes are the farthest thing from reckless youth. They have both lived a dozen lives and been through so much. By the time they meet, they are tired of their circumstances and ready for a change, even if they don’t dare to truly wish for it. Christie has been doing the bar scene for years and the shine has truly worn off. He wants someone to come home to, someone to finally love and cherish, and he’s certain he won’t find that in a club. As a Mennonite, David won’t even acknowledge his feelings for other men, and as a 41-year old widower with two grown up kids, he’s just about ready to give up on life.
David lives in a rural, primarily Mennonite area, but Easton doesn’t develop too much neighborhood drama. While it does rear its ugly head towards the end, this book is really a journey of discovery for these two men, a quiet, introspective story filled with life, love and demons within. Just like in life, there is no shortage of homophobes, but the true fight takes place inside David’s heart and mind.
As far as David’s religion goes, Easton takes an unexpected path. I’ve read several books lately about deeply religious gay men and I thought that’s what I’d be getting here, but really, David’s faith and his feelings about God weren’t at all exaggerated. In fact, the subtle approach to this sensitive subject is perhaps my favorite thing about this book. I also loved his relationship with both his children, even (or especially) when it was hard.
This is the beginning of a series, but I can’t even imagine where Easton might go with the second book. Whichever direction it takes, I’m already looking forward to it.