Thursday, October 26, 2017

Tender Mercies by Eli Easton


Eddie Graber’s dream of a sanctuary for rescued farm animals was about to come true when his partner backed out at the last minute. Now Eddie risks losing the twenty-five acre property in Lancaster County—and all the hopes he held for it—before the project even gets off the ground. He needs help, he needs money, but most importantly, he needs to rediscover the belief in a higher purpose that brought him here in the first place.

Samuel Miller worked hard to fit into his Amish community despite his club foot. But when his father learns Samuel is gay, he is whipped and shunned. With just a few hundred dollars to his name, Samuel responds to an ad for a farmhand and finds himself employed by a city guy who has strange ideas about animals, no clue how to run his small farm, and a gentle heart.

Samuel isn’t the only lost soul to serendipitously find his way to Meadow Lake Farm. There’s Fred and Ginger, two cows who’d been living in a garage, a gang of sheep, and a little black pig named Benedict who might be the key to life, love, money—and even a happily ever after for two castoffs.

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Book 2
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Sarah☆☆☆☆
I absolutely loved the premise for this story – a New York City vegan (with little practical knowledge of farming) buys a farm to create an animal sanctuary and ends up falling for his ex-Amish farmhand. I really wanted to love this story. Surprisingly, however, for an Eli Easton book, I found this quite difficult to get into.

I’m not sure we get enough character development at the start. Eddie doesn’t become more than a slightly cliché urban animal rights activist for much of the story and I didn’t understand his motivation or his actions half of the time. There isn’t much to make him a sympathetic character and we don’t see much of his humanity in the first half of the book. As a small town girl, his bizarre and idealistic farming decisions were irritating and I kept wondering why he didn’t ask Samuel’s advice once he knew how much experience the other man had.

I understood Samuel and I fell in love with him almost immediately. I found his struggle to come to terms with his sexuality and his grief at the loss of his family and community really moving. The author actually seems to capture the immense loss he experiences as much as she allows him to move forward and enjoy new experiences. But while Samuel is a more developed character, he is too shy and too cowed to communicate properly with Eddie for much of the story. So, Samuel keeps his extensive farming knowledge and experience to himself and Eddie makes stupid decisions that don’t help the farm at all. The lack of communication is frustrating and I kept waiting for Samuel to become a partner rather than a farm hand.

The conflict in this story lies in Eddie’s struggle to create an animal rescue and sanctuary that is self-supporting. The 2017 solutions are bloody obvious from the first pages – and while the Amish teenager knows what needs to be done, the big city editor with great connections apparently doesn’t. Eddie’s financial struggle felt like conflict for the sake of conflict and I found it frustrating. For most of the story, the farm doesn’t grow, Eddie turns away animals, and ignores the obvious solutions.

There are a few romantic scenes in this story, but the focus is more on the farm than the romance. I’m not sure Samuel ever truly feels like an equal partner but in later chapters he does start using his initiative and acting independently. I loved the animals on the farm and I really enjoyed the story once the animal sanctuary started to grow and take in more animals.


Also Available in the Men of Lancaster County Series

Book 1
Buy Links

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For reviews & more info, check out our A Second Harvest post.



Sweet and steamy romances with lots of humor. Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author. As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.

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https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Tender Mercies (Men of Lancaster County #2) by Eli Easton to read and review.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review. My favorite farm animal is goats. My grandmother used to raise them and I loved helping. Goats are so entertaining.

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  2. Horses are lovely, goats are funny and pigs are smart. Any of those I guess.

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  3. I'll choose goats they cute and also they will eat almost anything.

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  4. I don't have a favorite, but horses are beautiful, graceful and fun to be around.

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  5. I don't have a favorite as well, but horses always fascinate me. They're so majestic.

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  6. Horses and sheep, they look so cute.

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  7. I like horses because they are beautiful and intelligent.

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  8. Horses because they're smart and beautiful.

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