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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 30, 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 onto 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.
David is a Mennonite (a conservative Christian religion) farmer in rural Pennsylvania who has recently lost his wife of almost 2 decades to cancer. He has 2 grown children in college and a farm to run. He’s lonely. He’s lonely and worried about how he’s going to convince himself that life is worth living.
Christie is an again party-boy in Manhattan. When he nearly loses his BFF to an overdose he decides to take a good hard look at his life and re-evaluate things. When his aunt leaves him a house in rural Pennsylvania in her will, he decides to live there for 6 months to clear his head while he clears out the house.
On the surface, David and Christie are as opposite as you can imagine. But something in the two of them are attracted to one another like magnets.
Once Christie begins the cooking/sharing meal process, the two find any excuse to spend time together. The only thing that keeps this from being a “relationship” is David’s denial, and Christie’s belief that David doesn’t see him that way.
When David’s will finally collapses and allows Christie in – the passion is beautiful – but can it last?
As you know Eli is one of my “Hall of Fame Writers”. If she writes it I will automatically buy it and I’m NEVER disappointed. Sure, some I like more than others, but she ALWAYS delivers a love story that warms your heart. Every. Time.
This story is particularly satisfying. It’s longer than some of her other stories and as such we are given more time with our characters and that makes the bonding more special.
Because this is a very, very, slow burn – most of the story is the two becoming friends. It felt very authentic and plausible. When David finally does give in to his passions, it makes sense, and the readers understand just why he’s able to do so.
Christie is authentic and proud and “FIERCE” all the way through the story. His character stays true to form from start to finish and I really appreciated his lack of wavering.
The other thing I really appreciated was Eli’s consistency with David’s children. They too didn’t waver and behaved as I think they would have/could have in this situation.
I thought the level of steam was appropriate for the story – enough to entice but not so much as to over take the storyline. I don’t think anyone with religious issues (either fears or passions) will be upset by this – she handles the religious aspect with a delicate hand.
My only niggling complaint with the story is the ending. We got a very long and drawn out courtship, and then the ending was POW right there and the story was over. This is one of the issues I’ve had with a few of the author’s stories. I feel like giving us a bit more – especially given that Epilogue!!! – would have felt more balanced. I do appreciate the epilogue but I would have wanted to see a bit more of what decisions drew the couple to that ending.
In any case, it’s a truly wonderful story that kept me reading into late in the night and I couldn’t put it down.
Will Tulin is a new to me narrator. He does a fine job with this, he’s easy to listen to and definitely has a great grasp of timing and emotion. He doesn’t do much with accents or making the characters unique, which was a little disappointing given the potential, but this is a good way to experience this story regardless. Each character was easy to distinguish as they were speaking and the females were voiced well, too.
4.5 of 5 stars overall
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This story is a reminder to me ; love built on a solid foundation of patience ,respect and kindness is the best kind of love.
Another solid story by Eli Easton and a great performance by Will Tulin
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Loved the main characters and the way in which the author took her time to show us their joys, fears and overall humanity. Complex relationship made for steamy and passionate interludes. This one is a must read for anyone looking for a good read, strong characters and hot, hot, hot! Romance.
A Second Harvest is the second book of Miss Easton’s I’ve read, and once again her storytelling ability impressed me. The characters have a richness and depth that is hard to top and the plotlines are so different from what I expect. After reading this book, I will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author and work through her back catalog.
My favorite aspect of this romance is that the author kept it pretty simple. Of course there are contingent circumstances that slow the characters pursuing a relationship, but there aren’t farfetched details or plot twists that muddle a beautiful love story. This minimalist approach carries over to the tone and pace of the book, which I’d describe as steady. The writing and dialogue flows smoothly, with some details but not overly flowery language. The details are saved for the characters themselves. Christy and David’s personalities and history are very well-flushed out before they even meet, which allows the reader to connect with each character individually. This also makes the natural chemistry between the two men stand out more, you see what their connection does for one another. Even when they first meet and become friends, the exchanges are often like little pockets of sunshine which left me smiling and hoping that things would work.
The complexities in A Second Harvest are mostly reserved for the emotions that slowly take hold between Christie and David. David’s feelings are especially complicated as he struggles to come to terms with decades of being in the closet, religious teachings, and concerns about what coming out will mean for his farm and family. I really liked seeing Christie and David both process those concerns in different ways, staying true to themselves, but also wanting to pursue the happiness they found together. I also liked how the relationship slowly unfurls, both emotionally and physically. The speed fits with David’s character and the setting, providing time to build a connection and tension. The conflicts that arise also are very honest. There isn’t a magical balm to make the Mennonite community accepting. While this means seeing anger and ugliness play out on page, it also highlights the strength of the characters and their bond.
This is the first time I’ve listened to a book narrated by Mr. Tulin. He does a fantastic job giving life to these characters, using different tones and voices for Christie and David. While it is easy to distinguish which character was narrating/talking, it isn’t overly dramatized and fits with the simplistic style of the book. I certainly recommend the audio format for fans of audiobooks. However, even if you aren’t looking for an audiobook, the story itself is beautiful and definitely worth the read in any format.
*Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*
I enjoyed the slow pace of the story and it being towed from both point of views, but the ending seemed rushed. The narration was ok. I believe Easton has a nack for telling beautiful love story with heart and soul. I will be read more of her work.
Any additional comments?
A nice, gently paced, passionate, not too angsty romance.<br/><br/>Possible triggers: I’m trying not to spoiler anything, but this does include a scene of drug overdose and one of brutal physical assault.<br/><br/>Told from both Christie Landon and David Fisher’s dual POV, it was really compelling to have both sides when the men were coming from such hugely opposing backgrounds and ways of life.<br/><br/>I really appreciated and enjoyed Will Tulin’s narration for this story. While Tulin isn’t the best narrator I’ve ever heard, and his character voices were sometimes really similar, overall his calm narration and even pacing were just what I needed during a period when my life has been hugely stressful.<br/><br/>His voice, tone, and pace soothed me. I found myself relaxing as I listened and therefore able to focus intently on the story.<br/><br/>I definitely enjoyed the characters and the setting. David and Christie’s relationship development is a delight to experience. I loved how everything progressed, and the way they went from neighbors, to friends, to lovers.<br/><br/>My only real complaint is that the epilogue time jump of “one year later” felt like it came up really quickly and skipped forward so much, particularly after a very charged scene. Though I did really like the way it all played out, I do wish we’d gotten more than a glimpse in retrospect to how that particular situation played out.<br/><br/>Bottom line: This has likable characters, a sweet romance, easy to listen to narration, with some nice heat rounding it all out.<br/><br/>I can always count on Eli Easton for a good story and I’ll definitely be keeping an ear out for more by Will Tulin.
As a longtime listener of Audible books, I was blown away by this one and have recommended it to several friends. In the past I have found storylines to be mediocre at best, but I was unable to put this book down from the beginning and never wanted it to end. My only criticism is the final chapter which I felt was rushed and a bit disappointing after such an incredible read.
On my highest note the narrator, Will Tulin, is an incredible talent and he absolutely nailed everything from character voice fluctuation to perfectly timed pauses. I will seek him out as a future narrator of Audible books and hope to hear him again soon in similarly gay-themed writings.
Hats off to the author, Eli Easton, toward your great talent and gifted ability to bring such entertainment through your words.
I really enjoyed this title. I got lost in the story and was sad it had to end!!
e-book review, June, 2016: David is a Mennonite farmer who has lived his life as he was expected to do. The son of a stern father he inherited the farm when he was 18 years old and his father died suddenly. He married Susan and fathered two children, Joe and Amy, who are now in college. When Susan died three years ago David continued doing what he had always done, but alone and lonely. He didn’t even realize how unfulfilling his life had become and how broken he was because of it. He just continued every day, every week, every month, every year, keeping on keeping on. Until Christie came into his life.
Christie is a New York graphic designer, a gay man who loves going to clubs with his friends on weekends. When his best friend and roommate Kyle falls in love with and marries Billy Christy realizes how unsatisfactory his life really is and how much he wants a relationship with someone he loves and who loves him in return. Hookups and anonymous sex just don’t do it for him anymore. When his aunt dies and leaves him a small farm he goes there to look over the property with the intention of selling it. Until he meets his neighbor.
David has leased some of the land that is now Christie’s so he goes over to meet Christie and see if this is an arrangement he wants to continue. Kitchen accidents that burn a batch of cookies at Christie’s house and a TV dinner at David’s lead them to a plan to share groceries and for Christie, who loves to cook, to prepare occasional meals for both of them. It’s a plan of convenience. Until it develops into something more.
David is a man on the Kinsey scale (which he has never heard of). He has always had an interest in men but hid it from everyone because his family and church declared it a sin. When he begins to have feelings for Christie those interests begin to make themselves known and he realizes that in order to be happy he needs to acknowledge who he is, even if it’s in secret. Christie is as gay as a rainbow banner but he is willing to allow David to find himself. It scares Christie because he’s afraid that any minute David will dive back into his closeted life and leave Christie heartbroken.
This is the story of two mature men – David is 41 and Christie is 30 – as they discover what each really wants in life and have to decide what part the other will play in it. David’s children, his farm, and his church are strong barriers to finding their HEA and he knows he is going to have to give up something that means a lot to him in order to be with Christie. Eli Easton writes the angst this causes David and Christie in a heart wringing manner that culminates in tragedy that opens everyone’s eyes. The main characters and the secondary characters are so well written you feel like you actually know these people and will miss them when the story ends. This is the first in a new series, Men of Lancaster County, and I’m eager to see who is featured next and where the series takes us. Eli Easton remains one of my favorite authors and this book is a beautiful example of why.
Addendum: June 20, 2017, I've finished the audiobook version and fell in love with this book and the characters all over again. The narrator, Will Tulin, does a very good job with this book. My only complaint is there is not much varation in voices, which at times made it difficult to follow who was speaking. He did add inflection and emotion to his reading, though, and that was very pleasant.
Books without great or less than great endings frustrate me. I enjoyed the way that David was portrayed and certainly Christie, his eventual love interest. David was full of passion and desire and only willing to take so much grief from his ignorant son. The ending bothered me. I felt it was overly violent, bordering on gratuitous and a quick fix and path to the end for David's son to realize that he was being a jerk. The ending felt rushed and the final words and conclusions frustrating as if "hurry up and get this over with." Then again I am comparing this story to my other far more satisfying experience with author Easton. Still, the main body was a good paced, slow developing love story. I would still recommend it.
Another fabulous story from one of my favourite authors! Right from the start I was saying ‘5 stars’ and kept repeating it to myself as I listened to this very moving story. Eli Easton’s powerful and emotional writing had me in tears within the first few minutes and later in a heart-wrenching scene towards the end of the story. My heart went out to poor David as the loneliness he suffered throughout his marriage and after his wife died was revealed. The prospect of another thirty or more years living alone was just awful.
I particularly liked the two main characters—David and Christie—and how their personalities developed over the course of the story. They were two lovely guys who slowly went from friends to lovers, and that is the main focus of the story. It’s mostly about them and their relationship, and the plot is not sidetracked by a multitude of other characters who don’t hold any relevance. Yes, there are other characters and a backdrop of a strict religious community, but they’re all significant and impact on David and Christie’s story. The foreshadowing of church and family members discovering that David is gay and in a relationship with a man is very well done. The angst builds subtly as the reader anticipates the future fall out.
There’s an eleven-year age gap between the point of view characters and at first they seem like opposites. David is shy, kind-hearted, and unassuming with a secret hidden from everyone. Christie is confident and bold, and I adored how patient and encouraging he was with David. I revelled in the happiness they found together when they shared wonderful meals and activities, and the sizzling UST that crackled between them. Their eventual love-making scenes were beautifully written. I loved this slow-build coming out story with its second chance at happiness for David.
This is the first time I’ve listened to a story narrated by Will Tulin. His voice matched David’s character and the rural setting of Pennsylvania, and at the same time was perfect for Christie too. Will’s narration was clear, maintaining a steady pace with plenty of emotion and passion when needed. Lovely.
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