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McFarland’s Farm (Hope, Book 1)
Written by: Narrated by: Length: 2 hrs and 34 mins
Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Wealthy, attractive Lucas Reika treats life like a party, moving from bar to bar and man to man. Thumbing his nose at his restaurateur father’s demand that he earn his keep, Lucas instead seduces a valued employee in the kitchen of their flagship restaurant, earning himself an ultimatum: lose access to his father’s money or stay in the middle of nowhere with a man he has secretly lusted over from afar.
Quiet, hard-working Jared McFarland loves his farm on the outskirts of Hope, Arizona, but he aches to have someone to come home to at the end of the day. Jared agrees to take in his longtime crush as a favor. But when Lucas invades his heart in addition to his space, Jared has to decide how much of himself he’s willing to risk and figure out if he can offer Lucas enough to keep him after his father’s punishment is over.
McFarland’s Farm was a short read–an HEA was achieved but it could have benefited from being in a longer format, because it felt rushed. Jared and Lucas went just a tad bit quickly from like to lust to “let’s move in together”
Still, it was enjoyable, and I’d definitely read more from this author in the future. Jared is a highly sympathetic character, and I was rooting for him from the first scene. He’s made a nice life for himself in the small town of Hope, and has a successful business. He gets along well with everyone in town, treats his workers well, and is respected by his business associates.
Lucas was a bit harder to warm up to, coming off at first as a spoiled, insolent brat, but once we began to see things from his point of view he became more likable. I wasn’t convinced at first that he was good enough for Jared, but he got better as the story continued.
One thing that didn’t make much sense to me was that Lucas apparently had no idea that Jared was gay until about halfway through the book–years into their acquaintance. Lucas’s sister, Jared’s ex, knew. Lucas’s father and Jared’s business associate, knew. It seemed that Lucas was the only person who knew him who thought Jared was straight, and it didn’t feel realistic given how long the two had known each other. Especially since we were supposed to believe that he’d been lusting after him for almost as long as he’d known him–and from Jared’s POV we know that it was definitely mutual…yet Lucas never once had a clue?
I would have liked to have seen more from Jared’s POV–after the first few hours of Lucas’s visit, the story is heavy on the other man’s POV. (Though we needed to see things from his viewpoint to better understand where he was coming from–but if this story were to be expanded, more scenes from Jared’s POV would definitely be in order.) The narrator does a decent job with the story, making it a pleasant afternoon’s read overall.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Cardeno C. – CC to friends – is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset.
Cardeno’s Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, “You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day.”
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