Author: Eli Easton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 206 Pages
Category: Contemporary Romance
At a Glance: I really did love the feeling and flow of this one, and absolutely recommend it.
Reviewed By: Jules
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 his kids both 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 find 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.
Review: When I started thinking about writing this review, it got me to thinking about Eli Easton’s work in general, and just what an absolute fan I am of her words. A Second Harvest is the ninth of Easton’s stories I have read, and I’m amazed when I think about how many different vibes her books have. From hilarious to poignant and thought-provoking, she has many great voices, and this new story fits in effortlessly with the rest of her incredible work.
I was engrossed by both David and Christie from the beginning. David’s quiet life as a farmer in rural Pennsylvania, and his conservative Mennonite upbringing seem worlds away from Christie’s fast-paced party-boy lifestyle in Manhattan. The Christie we meet in the beginning of the book is the polar opposite of someone you might imagine fitting into David’s life. However, as the story moves on, and we get to know both Christie and David more, we begin to see that the life they each desire is more similar than not.
Wanting some time to get his head on straight as well as needing to deal with the house in Lancaster County that his beloved aunt left to him affords Christie the perfect opportunity to take some time away from the city. I loved seeing his almost immediate growth when he got away from the partying and slow downward spiral his life had become, and into the country. And, meeting the handsome neighbor from across the lane brought an even brighter new spark to his life. I loved this:
“David Fisher was the first man to give Christie honest-to-god butterflies in ages.”
“But being back in the country, being around Aunt Ruth’s things, and David—definitely David—it felt like he’d shifted to a simpler, more innocent time. It was softening his cynicism like stiff leather soaked in brine.”
I also adored David. The loneliness of his character in the beginning and how he viewed the day-to-day drudgery of his life was absolutely heartbreaking. Having lived his life for everyone else for so long, he has clearly forgotten how to seek out any happiness for himself. At first David doesn’t know what to make of his new neighbor, but it quickly becomes obvious that meeting Christie has started to slowly ignite a spark in him that has long been dormant. Their meal-sharing arrangement slowly leads to friendship, and then more—it’s a beautiful slow burn that was so well-written. This passage is too gorgeous not to share:
“David rode through the snow, the dark branches of leafless trees on either side, and the orange and peach of sunset at the horizon, and he felt…incandescently 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. He felt vibrant and alive, wanting to be in this moment and nowhere else, wishing he could bottle it up and keep it forever.”
So amazing. That’s just one example of the beautiful writing in this book. I mentioned the slow burn…and, it truly is. A Second Harvest is simply a lovely romance. It sort of snuck up on me, to be honest. I was standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes—I had read about half of the book at this point—and I realized I was standing there thinking about the story, and the sort of quietness of it, and how much I was truly enjoying it. This book made me smile. And, it made me HUNGRY!! The meals they share…oh, man. I want to look up all of the recipes and make them myself.
There is conflict, of course. David’s family, mainly his son, Joe, isn’t receptive to the idea of even his friendship with Christie, let alone more, and have a very hard time accepting the fact that he is gay. Things do come to a head in a nail-biting scene/sequence of events that added the perfect amount of intensity to the story.
I really did love the feeling and flow of this one, and absolutely recommend it. And, since it’s being marketed as the beginning of a series, I can’t wait to see what else the author has in store for us and the men of Lancaster County!
You can buy A Second Harvest here: