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Tender Mercies

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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 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. NOTE: This title is set in the same region as book #1 but features a new couple. It can be read as a stand-alone. Publication Date: Fall, 2017


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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 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. NOTE: This title is set in the same region as book #1 but features a new couple. It can be read as a stand-alone. Publication Date: Fall, 2017

30 review for Tender Mercies

  1. 4 out of 5

    ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~

    If you don't mind a few tears mixed in with your smiles, if you're a diehard romantic, if you believe in fate and second chances, if you love animals, if you've ever dreamed of living out in the country with nothing but the wind and sunshine for company, you'll fall in love with this book. Heartbreaking and hopeful, Tender Mercies will make you want to follow your dreams. Eddie is a dedicated vegan. The big, sprawling farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania couldn't be more perfect for the animal If you don't mind a few tears mixed in with your smiles, if you're a diehard romantic, if you believe in fate and second chances, if you love animals, if you've ever dreamed of living out in the country with nothing but the wind and sunshine for company, you'll fall in love with this book. Heartbreaking and hopeful, Tender Mercies will make you want to follow your dreams. Eddie is a dedicated vegan. The big, sprawling farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania couldn't be more perfect for the animal sanctuary he envisions. He wants to take in all the abandoned, abused farm animals and give them a real home. But Eddie knows nothing about running a farm and realizes fairly quickly that he's in over his head, especially since his boyfriend pulled the financial support, dumped Eddie, and ran. Samuel has always desired men. His father has made it clear this abomination against god will not be tolerated. When he catches Samuel masturbating to the sight of a male neighbor, he shows no mercy. The first few chapters broke my heart. Samuel is one of my favorite MCs of all time; at age 19, he's everything a man should be: kind, smart, strong, practical, inventive, selfless. He doesn't deserve his father's wrath, doesn't deserve to be kicked out with nothing but the clothes on his back and a few twenties in his pocket. Samuel walks to the homeless shelter in town; it's miles too far of a walk for anyone, much less a man with a clubfoot. Samuel has never let his disability slow him down. He works hard and doesn't complain. But he hurts; oh, how he hurts. Sometimes Samuel wished he could be like the animals, expecting nothing from life except food and sunshine and another day. They didn't have the ache of knowing what they could never have. When Samuel turns up on Eddie's doorstep seeking a job, Eddie has doubts. He can't afford to make a hiring mistake (he's in way over his head as it is). But Eddie has a good heart and takes on the burdens of the world. He can't turn Sam away. I savored this story and didn't want it to end. The delicious slow burn, the heated glances, the sensual kisses when the men finally, FINALLY, touch ... GORGEOUS. I loved Eddie's friend Devin, who was so supportive of Eddie and willing to help at every turn. I loved the cow mother/daughter duo, Ginger and Fred. And, most of all, I loved Benny, the tenacious potbelly pig who sets Operation Pig Rescue in motion. I was proud of Eddie for asking for help, and of Sam for believing in Eddie's dream. Because the farm isn't just Eddie's; it's Sam's too, his blood and sweat and toil. Tender Mercies can be read as a standalone. The MCs from book 1 make a cameo appearance, which made me very happy, but the stories aren't really connected in any way, save for the fact that Samuel, like David from A Second Harvest who was raised Mennonite, is Amish and feels his desires are a sin against nature. But Sam is too intelligent, too intuitive, to wallow in religious guilt. He finds another community and a love so wonderful, he can hardly breathe. It's everything he's ever dared to imagine and more. I've already reread this book, something I rarely do. I adore these men, the Pig Bottom Animal Sanctuary, and the glorious HEA. I'm dying to read Devin's story and maybe Matthew's too.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    *4.25 stars* I'm absolutely gaga over the Men of Lancaster County series! While Tender Mercies didn't quite reach the level of A Second Harvest for me, it was still a sweet, lovely book that will please ALL Eli Easton fans! First of all, I love the idea of a salt of the earth, hard-working Amish MC. Add in the fact that he has a disability (club foot) and is a virgin? Whew! I'm in heaven! The setting and plot for this book was just so... pure. It's a feel-good story about good people doing good t *4.25 stars* I'm absolutely gaga over the Men of Lancaster County series! While Tender Mercies didn't quite reach the level of A Second Harvest for me, it was still a sweet, lovely book that will please ALL Eli Easton fans! First of all, I love the idea of a salt of the earth, hard-working Amish MC. Add in the fact that he has a disability (club foot) and is a virgin? Whew! I'm in heaven! The setting and plot for this book was just so... pure. It's a feel-good story about good people doing good things and creating good karma. The book will make you happy, and it will make you want to save animals and donate your time and spread positivity, which are all wonderful things. There was a nice slow burn here, and things didn't get physical until after the 50% mark, which is ALWAYS a good thing, IMO. I like sexual tension to grow and grow! I wish things were a little more explicit, honestly, but that's just me being greedy. I adore this series, and this book was no exception. I hope we get hoards of Amish men meeting their do-gooder matches, and that this series stretches on and on and on. I'm addicted! *Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

  3. 5 out of 5

    Line

    Ohhhhhh what to do, what to do. I love Eli Easton, and her How to Howl at the Moon-series was a favourite this year. This book however, sort of missed the mark for me, and it is for something as stupid as 'the waste' going on at Eddie's sanctuary, AS WELL AS Eddie's ignorance. Let me start by saying that I am not against 'green' or vegan or vegetarian or anything like that. I am a political consumer in a very green household, and I am not trying to piss anybody off. We buy organic-EVERYTHING, when Ohhhhhh what to do, what to do. I love Eli Easton, and her How to Howl at the Moon-series was a favourite this year. This book however, sort of missed the mark for me, and it is for something as stupid as 'the waste' going on at Eddie's sanctuary, AS WELL AS Eddie's ignorance. Let me start by saying that I am not against 'green' or vegan or vegetarian or anything like that. I am a political consumer in a very green household, and I am not trying to piss anybody off. We buy organic-EVERYTHING, when possible. We sort and recycle most of our waste (we have around 10 waste-compartments in our garage). We have meat-free days. When we eat meat it is around 110 grams pr. person, and that is also organic. We buy a lot of our furniture and stuff like that on the Danish equivalent of Craig's List. Our couch for example, is bought from here. The only organisation I donate to, without fail, every month is WWF. I am not saying that to toot my own horn, but just to let you know that I KNOW and understand the challenges we face. And that I wholeheartedly support the wellfare of animals and the need for more knowledgable and 'green' consumers. However reading this had me rolling my eyes, and becoming quite... Angry? Exasperated? Incredulous? SJW-like, I think. First of all: WHY on earth would you buy a FUCKING farm without knowing anything about farming or animals? I get the whole 'romantic idea' of doing something like that, BUT having grown up on a farm myself, and seen the work that goes into it, as well as time and resources, had me questioning Eddie's intelligence. If he had been 'fucked' (in the non-biblical sense) within 6 months he would have had to give the animals away again OR put them down. Both would have resulted in unnecessary stress (obviously *duh*) for the animals. Second of all: WHY would he not ask for FUCKING help? If this was his BIG dream, and his plan for the rest of his life, wouldn't he do EVERYTHING for the animals, and to make it work? I really did not feel like he did everything within his power to make this work. He wouldn't listen to Samuel. He wouldn't make contact with anybody. He wouldn't do basic social media stuff, to get this off the ground. He just buried his head in the sand, and considered selling after "nothing magically happened" by itself! *judging and eyerolling SO hard* Third of all: the WASTE on that farm! I get that he was a vegan, but to not utilize the milk from the cow he had, was fucking stupid -IMO. I understand the 'vegan philosophy', but when you have a farm, and animals that naturally produce different products (cows = milk while they have a calf, sheep = wool that needs to be cut once in a while. If in doubt, google 'Chris' and 'Shrek' the monster sheep) why wouldn't you utilize that? Also I'm pretty sure that the calf can't consume all of the milk the cow produces, and that the cow is in danger of an infection if you don't massage all of her tits regularly *snicker* You can make artisanal, organic cheese and we KNOW that the hipsters (and people like me) will come crawling, like zombies after a new-born baby, to get the 'delicious, hoity-toity' milky goodness! As for the wool from the sheep, that you NEED to cut; you could make organic, 'sanctuary' wool and all of the knitters out there, would 'fight to the death' for proper quality yarn (I know a LOT of knitters and they're *bonkers* for quality yarn!) So yeah, Eddie was stupid -IMO. He did not do what he could, and seriously, what would have happened if Samuel hadn't shown up? Lastly, the romance; I think Susan said it well in her review, about the awkwardness and the missed opportunity for a developed romance. They didn't spend enough time together ON PAGE for me to really submerge in their feelings. To end on a positive note though: I LOVED Samuel! I loved his growth and no-nonsense work-ethic! Handicapable, indeed<3 And yes, I also did love Eddie's bleeding heart, but his stupidity and 'unprepared-ness' dragged it down for me.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    It isn't up to the standard set by A Second Harvest, but it's a good, solid, enjoyable novel of the harrowing, horrible things religion makes people do to each other. Any accidental good the religious might do will never erase the hateful and damaging effects the institution of religion has had on billions and billions of people yesterday, today, and tomorrow. So why read it? Because men like Samuel escape from the horrible, vicious, vile torturers that victimize them in fiction, and even receive It isn't up to the standard set by A Second Harvest, but it's a good, solid, enjoyable novel of the harrowing, horrible things religion makes people do to each other. Any accidental good the religious might do will never erase the hateful and damaging effects the institution of religion has had on billions and billions of people yesterday, today, and tomorrow. So why read it? Because men like Samuel escape from the horrible, vicious, vile torturers that victimize them in fiction, and even receive healing after they get themselves away from the poison that is gawd. It doesn't happen near often enough in real life. Look at the devastating statistics on teenaged suicide if you doubt me; look at the trans and lesbian and gay people whose lives are ended or who end their own lives out of despair; in each and every case, religion bears the blame and the religious, one and all, irrespective of personal involvement, are eternally stained with the blood of the innocents they passively allowed or actively wished (aloud, silently, in prayer, whatever) to suffer. If I've been unclear, I oppose your right to be religious on the same grounds that I oppose someone's right to be racist or Republican: Only bad things happen when y'all get to express those hateful ideas. Stop it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    What a beautiful story! Amish characters are totally the best in m/m romance. Samuel Miller is a 19 year old Amish man who is gay and gets beaten half to death by his father when he is caught jerking off while watching another young man. His father shuns him and asks him to leave the family ranch forever. Out of money and without a roof over his head, Samuel finds work at an animal sanctuary that was recently opened by Eddie, a ghostwriter and city boy with an ambitious heart and more ideals than What a beautiful story! Amish characters are totally the best in m/m romance. Samuel Miller is a 19 year old Amish man who is gay and gets beaten half to death by his father when he is caught jerking off while watching another young man. His father shuns him and asks him to leave the family ranch forever. Out of money and without a roof over his head, Samuel finds work at an animal sanctuary that was recently opened by Eddie, a ghostwriter and city boy with an ambitious heart and more ideals than economic sense. Eddie has no idea how to run an animal sanctuary. He’s taken a huge mortgage to purchase the old farm and all he wants to do is help animals in need. Samuel is a godsend for him. Even though Samuel doesn’t really understand why Eddie doesn’t want to milk the cows, eat eggs and do ‘normal’ farm stuff that Samuel is used to, Samuel begins to understand Eddie’s dream and helps him make sure things work out. And while working hard to maintain the ranch and keep its inhabitants happy and well fed, both guys also discover each other. If only the money issue wasn't becoming a growing vortex that is threatening to drown the whole enterprise before it is able to take off. I totally understand that this story is a bit of an alternative romance. It tries two things at once: Make us fall in love with Eddie and Samuel as a couple and show us the importance of the animal sanctuary and the good it does to the animals we meet in the story. When Eddie and Samuel were intimate every now and then, it felt sometimes like we ‘had to go there, in order not to forget it’s a m/m romance we’re reading’, but clearly the overall message of the story is opening our eyes to animals in need and questioning our consumer behavior. Still, as a romance this story is very close to my heart. I didn’t mind sharing Eddie and Samuel with Benny, Ginger and all the other animals that were like important side characters that drove the story forward. I also liked Eddie’s struggles and considerations regarding finances. I liked their conflict a lot too. It was important for Eddie to realize that he could and NEEDED to rely on Sam to make their relationship a real partnership – or what Samuel liked to call ‘a family’. There were so many lessons of moral value to be learned in this book. I can totally recommend it! 5 stars!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lost in a Book

    I could totally get on board with the no electricity, horse and carriage lifestyle the Amish are rockin’ if it meant I’d get a Samuel. Well, minus the hate they're peddling out to their own if they show any man on man interest. I just wanted still want to smother Samuel with hugs. The opening scene with Samuel tore my heart into pieces and I’m not sure I’ve recovered. The day dreams he has just to get through each day… Samuel is an 18 year old Amish man that worked on his parent’s farm until his I could totally get on board with the no electricity, horse and carriage lifestyle the Amish are rockin’ if it meant I’d get a Samuel. Well, minus the hate they're peddling out to their own if they show any man on man interest. I just wanted still want to smother Samuel with hugs. The opening scene with Samuel tore my heart into pieces and I’m not sure I’ve recovered. The day dreams he has just to get through each day… Samuel is an 18 year old Amish man that worked on his parent’s farm until his father whips and shuns him for being gay. He is sent away with the clothes on his back from the only life he has ever known. Samuel is devastated with the loss and is even more heartsick over his father’s parting words. He is smart though and quickly secures a farm hand position at Meadow Lake Farm with Eddie as his boss. I absolutely LOVED Samuel. He was shy, sweet, hard working, lacked confidence, needed love, craved acceptance, and had a quiet strength about him that won me over within the first couple of sentences. Eddie is a New York transplant that has big dreams of owning a farm animal sanctuary. With zero knowledge on how to run a farm but a huge heart for saving animals, Eddie hires Samuel to run the farm. Eddie was more standoffish due to his ex’s cut and run right before they moved to the farm. He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders when there are others, especially Samuel that would love to share the burden. Samuel and Eddie have a very slow start to their relationship. With Samuel being shy and so desperate for a job that he is afraid to make the wrong move and Eddie closed off and hiding behind his “boss” role, they take a while to get there. Once they finally form a friendship through card games and books, they have a hard time denying the attraction and all consuming need for each other. I appreciated the relationship development. With both of their backgrounds, the journey to each other was authentic and meant that much more when the walls came down. The farm was up and running with a minimal amount of animals. They were finally together and all was looking bright as the sun…until the dark clouds of needing money rolled in. A point of frustration for Samuel and myself was Eddie’s inability to ask for help until it was almost too late. It suited Eddie’s personality but it seemed to take forever for him to see Samuel as his equal and to share the status of the farm. After they get together, their relationship is no longer a focus on page due to the issues on the farm. I get it. It’s about a farm sanctuary. BUT… in my defense, the build up to them getting together was so sweet and sexy that I wanted more. I wanted a united front, a focus on their relationship, AND some detailed time in the sheets…or anywhere else, I’m not picky. But, I do wish the farm shared the spotlight in the second half instead of overtaking the story because some parts dragged a teeny tiny bit for my taste; Even if the animals were adorbs. For those that are curious, David and Christie from the first book have a short cameo in this one but this is a complete standalone. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series and wouldn’t mind a possible love match with the cheeky Devin and Amish Matthew. What? Too much to ask? Gotta dream big and all that jazz. Definitely recommended. Copy provided for honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jewel

    3.5 Stars Tender Mercies is the second book in Eli Easton's wonderfulMen of Lancaster County series. And while I definitely enjoyed A Second Harvest more, Tender Mercies was a worthy addition to the series. It's a feel-good, heartwarming story. Samuel Miller was a breath of fresh air. He's someone that has gotten lemons from life, between his club foot, being gay, (which got him beaten, tossed out, and shunned) and suddenly finding himself without any kind of support system. But instead of frettin 3.5 Stars Tender Mercies is the second book in Eli Easton's wonderfulMen of Lancaster County series. And while I definitely enjoyed A Second Harvest more, Tender Mercies was a worthy addition to the series. It's a feel-good, heartwarming story. Samuel Miller was a breath of fresh air. He's someone that has gotten lemons from life, between his club foot, being gay, (which got him beaten, tossed out, and shunned) and suddenly finding himself without any kind of support system. But instead of fretting over it, he bucks up and makes the best of everything. He may not have a lot of formal education, but Sam is a smart man and a problem solver. Problem solving skills will get you far in life and they're difficult to teach, but Sam sees a problem and breaks it down and figures it out. Eddie Graber, I was far more slow to warm to. He was a bit of a whiner, and rather than asking for help when he desperately needed it, he fretted and worried and felt like a failure. Eddie has always had a dream of opening an animal sanctuary. But I've got to say, I don't think he could have been less prepared. He didn't really know how to care for a farm, or livestock animals and he set himself up for failure by not having people involved who had half a clue. And when his boyfriend, Alex, bailed on him and left him financially in a bind, everything got worse. I think Eddie's only preparation was reading a few books and visiting a sanctuary or two. That's not a lot of knowledge or preparation for something like that. Eddie would have failed without Samuel, I have no doubt. Sam not only helped save the sanctuary, but he also saved this story for me, hands down. I enjoyed the story and the romance (though I would have loved a bit more steam), but there were some things that didn't much gel with me. There were more references to god and higher power than I prefer in my books. It kind of felt preachy. And while I would have expected them to come from Samuel, they mostly came from Eddie, who said he was agnostic. I dunno, that's a bit of a disconnect for me. I really don't think anything happens "for a reason" and I don't believe in fate, so when someone so readily (and repeatedly) credits fate or god for some bit of good luck or circumstance or actually doing something themselves, it kind of turns me off. I don't think this will be an issue for most people, though. I also think that the money problems were resolved way too seamlessly and easily, but this story is supposed to make you feel good and end on a happy note, and it does manage that. Eddie and Sam get each other and the future they want on their sanctuary farm. Overall, I'd give Tender Mercies 3.5 "make some lemonade" stars. ---------------- ARC of Tender Mercies was generously provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nick Pageant

    Bring toothpaste - you're going to need it for this much sugar. Me likey. Bring toothpaste - you're going to need it for this much sugar. Me likey.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    3.25 stars This started out really good. There was so much hurt that I couldn’t wait for the comfort to start. But unfortunately I didn’t really buy the chemistry between Eddie and Samuel. Samuel is a 19 year old Amish boy. When his father catches him lusting after another boy, he tries to beat it out of him. After that he tells Samuel to leave and never come back. Samuel has no idea where to go, so he just walks to town, which is not a slight feat because of his club foot. But Samuel is not ready 3.25 stars This started out really good. There was so much hurt that I couldn’t wait for the comfort to start. But unfortunately I didn’t really buy the chemistry between Eddie and Samuel. Samuel is a 19 year old Amish boy. When his father catches him lusting after another boy, he tries to beat it out of him. After that he tells Samuel to leave and never come back. Samuel has no idea where to go, so he just walks to town, which is not a slight feat because of his club foot. But Samuel is not ready to give up. And that’s how he ends up on Eddie’s doorstep, when he responds to an ad for a farm hand. And since Samuel grew up on a farm, he knows he can do it. Eddie and his boyfriend were planning to move to the country together to start a farm animal sanctuary when his boyfriend suddenly leaves him. Eddie doesn’t want to give up his dream so he tries to run the farm by himself. But he does need some help, so he places an ad for a farm hand and hopes he can find someone willing to work for room and board and a small fee per week. When Eddie meets Samuel he is not convinced it a good idea to hire an Amish boy with a club foot. But he doesn’t have the heart to turn Samuel away, so he ends up hiring him anyway. The arrangement does seem to work out for both of them. Samuel is a hard worker and a good help on the farm and Samuel is glad he has a place to stay. But even though Samuel is grateful, he is also lonely. And he can’t help but feel more and more attracted to Eddie every day.. I was hoping that these two would really hit it off when they were working together, but that wasn’t quite what happened. There is a lot of awkwardness between them and they don’t actually see each other a lot at first. When the romance started there was no friendship to build that on, and I thought that was such a missed opportunity. It was a nice story, but not mind-blowing.

  10. 5 out of 5

    CrabbyPatty

    Tender Mercies grabs your interest from the very first page, breaks your heart along the way, makes you ugly-sob and then leaves you feeling lucky and blessed to have experienced this story. 19-year-old Samuel is beaten and cast out of his Amish family for being gay, and after walking all day to get to the interview, he is hired as a farm hand by Eddie, a New York city boy starting an animal sanctuary at Meadow Lake Farm. Samuel and Eddie seem an unlikely pair, but Eddie strives to rescue the los Tender Mercies grabs your interest from the very first page, breaks your heart along the way, makes you ugly-sob and then leaves you feeling lucky and blessed to have experienced this story. 19-year-old Samuel is beaten and cast out of his Amish family for being gay, and after walking all day to get to the interview, he is hired as a farm hand by Eddie, a New York city boy starting an animal sanctuary at Meadow Lake Farm. Samuel and Eddie seem an unlikely pair, but Eddie strives to rescue the lost and helpless and in the process finds love ... and a menagerie of truly adorable creatures. The relationship between Samuel and Eddie is a delicious slow-burn as Samuel breaks out of his sheltered life, learns that Eddie is gay, and learns about himself initially by reading gay romance. Samuel's feelings after reading his first gay romance perfectly explains the power of M/M romance: He cried. He cried so hard he had to bury his face in the pillow because he was afraid Eddie would hear him all the way on the other side of the house. He was overwhelmed by thoughts and images. Someone wrote a book about it, about men who like other men. And in the book, it wasn’t the worst thing in the world. It was a thing some people didn’t accept, but the men in the book were still characters worth writing about. Their story was worth telling. They were not terrible people or sinful or perverted or abominations. They were handsome and nice, and they tried to do the right thing. It was all right there on the page, that was what was so amazing. It was printed there as if the story of two men who loved each other had just as much right to be written and made into a book and printed on good paper as Beauty or Treasure Island.Tender Mercies is a gentle low-angst story that really touched my heart, and the cows Fred and Ginger and especially Benny the little pot-bellied pig and the animal rescue at the end of the book brought more than a few tears. I loved the dual POV and the lovely hopeful tone of this story. 5 stars.He silently thanked whatever fates, angels, or guidance had brought him to this moment. Yes, said the voice in his head. Always yes. I received an ARC from Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review. Review also posted at Gay Book Reviews - check it out!

  11. 5 out of 5

    BWT

    Will Tulin's calm narration and even pacing kept me sane as I listened to this on a road trip where, on the return trip, I broke down in the middle of nowhere on a pretty scary stretch of road 100 miles from home with a tow that was going to be at least an hour and half until it got to me. Tulin's soothing tone and Eli Easton's captivating story kept me from being really frightened. It helped me to relax as I listened and made it so I could focus on the story - which is wonderful - and envelop m Will Tulin's calm narration and even pacing kept me sane as I listened to this on a road trip where, on the return trip, I broke down in the middle of nowhere on a pretty scary stretch of road 100 miles from home with a tow that was going to be at least an hour and half until it got to me. Tulin's soothing tone and Eli Easton's captivating story kept me from being really frightened. It helped me to relax as I listened and made it so I could focus on the story - which is wonderful - and envelop me in Eddie and Samuel's romance. Thanks Eli and Will! Audio copy of Tender Mercies (Men of Lancaster County #2) provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review. This review has been cross-posted at Gay Book Reviews. **~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~** The story had me from the first chapter. Eddie Graber and Samuel Miller are two of my favorite characters Eli Easton has ever created. Easton created a heartbreaking beginning for both men and set up them finding and learning from each other in a way that drew me in and kept me engrossed throughout. Told in a dual POV we are witness to Samuel's banishment, how he finds his way to Eddie's sanctuary, and how he and Eddie go from strangers to friends to lovers. Eddie is a rescuer of lost souls, none so battered as Samuel's, and their relationship, the slow burn of it from their first awareness of one another to the exploration of each other when they finally come together, while not overly detailed, was quite perfect for them. There was so much I sighed over in this story, and I found it quite moving in some places. There is a scene where Samuel reads one of Eddie's gay romance novels and his reaction to it honestly had me in tears. I enjoyed this thoroughly. Tender Mercies is sweet and heartwarming with terrific characters and a lovely ending. Recommended. Advanced Review Galley copy of Tender Mercies (Men of Lancaster County #2) provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review. This review has been cross-posted at Gay Book Reviews.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ami

    I feel relieved that the conflict in this book has nothing to do with internal struggle of Samuel's Amish status. I have never been comfortable reading about religious/faith aspect in my MM romance, which is why I tend to avoid it. The beginning of Samuel's journey is TOUGH to read. I can't ever understand why a parent will do that to their kid. And before Samuel finds his way into Eddie's farm, I feel like I'm holding my breath, hoping that he will catch a break. So, I am glad that afterwards, t I feel relieved that the conflict in this book has nothing to do with internal struggle of Samuel's Amish status. I have never been comfortable reading about religious/faith aspect in my MM romance, which is why I tend to avoid it. The beginning of Samuel's journey is TOUGH to read. I can't ever understand why a parent will do that to their kid. And before Samuel finds his way into Eddie's farm, I feel like I'm holding my breath, hoping that he will catch a break. So, I am glad that afterwards, the romantic development between Eddie and Samuel is sweet and slightly less angsty. Eddie does take time to think things through but more because he's practically Samuel's boss, as well as Samuel being younger and more inexperienced than him. It also gives me time to care about Eddie and Samuel's attempt to make the animal sanctuary farm works; it's heartbreaking but triumphant at the same time. What can I say, animals in romance tug my heart-string every time. I enjoy both books in this series so far. I hope the next book will be about Eddie's friend, Devin. He's a delight in this book :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christelle

    **3.5 stars** for this sweet and romantic story, rounded up because, even if it didn’t swoon me like a A Second Harvest did, it’s packed with good feels. Eddie has a dream : opening an animal sanctuary and helping as much as he can animals to have a good life. But saying that he’s totally unprepared for that is the understatement of the year. No farming experience, no real financial plan, but just enough to buy a beautiful farm and runs it for a few months and the default of not asking for help a **3.5 stars** for this sweet and romantic story, rounded up because, even if it didn’t swoon me like a A Second Harvest did, it’s packed with good feels. Eddie has a dream : opening an animal sanctuary and helping as much as he can animals to have a good life. But saying that he’s totally unprepared for that is the understatement of the year. No farming experience, no real financial plan, but just enough to buy a beautiful farm and runs it for a few months and the default of not asking for help and keeping his worries for himself. Enters Samuel **big sigh : Samuel is the real quiet, shy and adorable hero, with a natural smartness and inner force**. Samuel, only 19, has just been shunned by his Amish father after a brutal beating for being “an abomination” on top of having a clubfoot. Luckily, he found the ad posted by Eddie to help in the farm in exchange of a roof, meals and a bit of salary. It’s a slow-burn, with Eddie showing Samuel how beautiful he is and far away from being an abomination, and Samuel working hard to help Eddie’s dreams come true and blossoming in the realization that his own dreams of love, family and being part of a community are not only in his head. It’s quiet, peaceful and with a ton of warm feelings, especially about Samuel’s awakening (view spoiler)[ him crying when reading a gay romance book because it was worth writing about gays was melting (hide spoiler)] . But I would have enjoyed it better if Eddie had been less frustrating for me after a while and if the steam level had been a bit higher. Still, for fans of animals, of comfort, and when in need of a romantic story with a sweet HEA, this one is a solid and fast read to spend an afternoon wrapped in a “warm-feels” blanket.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bibliophile

    3.5 stars. I still feel Easton can do no wrong, but I loved the first book in this series way more. This book is sweet. I loved both MCs, the story line was interesting (I loved the barn animals with attitude!), and I appreciated the small touches that helped flesh out each character--from making Eddie vegan to Samuel's club foot and gentle spirit. But this story was missing three things that I needed to give this book a higher rating: 1) Samuel was new to the western world and gay relationships 3.5 stars. I still feel Easton can do no wrong, but I loved the first book in this series way more. This book is sweet. I loved both MCs, the story line was interesting (I loved the barn animals with attitude!), and I appreciated the small touches that helped flesh out each character--from making Eddie vegan to Samuel's club foot and gentle spirit. But this story was missing three things that I needed to give this book a higher rating: 1) Samuel was new to the western world and gay relationships in general. I would have liked to see more of his internal conflict as he adjusted to his new reality. This is one reason *why* people love stories that feature Amish characters--we want to see how they adjust to the outside world as they become exposed to it. I thought the first book did this supremely well, but for one reason or another, this aspect was muted in this book. 2) In needed to see that the characters wanted to be together, no matter the obstacles. To me, it felt like Eddie wasn't all in. (view spoiler)[ When he believes he can't afford to keep his sanctuary open at one point in the novel, he feels pain that he can't be with Samuel, but he doesn't fight to stay with him. He doesn't, for instance, consider downsizing and still living nearby in order to stay with him. I wanted to see him fight more at that moment to locate a way for them to stay together no matter the odds. (hide spoiler)] Samuel, too, seemed a little passive to me in their relationship. I get that he wants Eddie sexually and that he sees Eddie as his new family after his real family discarded him, but would he have chosen Eddie if he had more options before him? As a reader, I wasn't certain...and that's telling. 3) I needed more conflict that was relationship-driven. Not a ton of conflict, mind you, but some. This book read more like a Cardeno C book where the couple meets, slowly comes together, and simply stays together as the novel concludes. That would be fine if I knew that going into this novel, but Easton is known for adding some relationship angst and conflict in her books (again, not a ton--just the right amount in my opinion) and for some reason, the angst in this novel was lighter than normal. The only major conflict I could see plot-driven (e.g. Eddie's money problems and his unwillingness to rest his burdens of Samuel--and only one of those felt truly resolved by the end of this novel). To be fair, I could see that the author was trying to also build in conflict by having Eddie not want to go "all in" in both his career and relationship--but that conflict was underdeveloped and felt dropped-in as a result. I feel my critique above may dissuade others from reading this book--and that would be a shame. This was a fun read that I couldn't put down. I started reading it at 10:00 p.m. at night and I didn't stop reading until I was finished. Eli Easton is a talented writer and even her 3 star books are better than other's 4 or 5 star books on any given day. Easton is a talented writer and I love her imagination, wit, and ability to bring characters and stories to life. But all good writers need objective beta readers and I feel like her beta readers let her down with this one. It's times like this that I wish I had the connections to serve as the beta readers for some of my favorite authors (like Easton) because I can see all to clearly how just a few minute changes would have turned this book from a "pretty good" to "fabulous!" Recommended!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Princess under cover

    It was sweet. I really liked Samuel. Thought the part where he suddenly storms out of his room to stand in front of the guy's bedroom window shirtless with a hard on was well... SUDDEN. That was the point of escalation to them becoming lovers and it was just -- who DOES that? Seemed out of character actually. Rest of it was a bit too unreal. Tho again I liked certain authenticity to the writing. It was sweet. I really liked Samuel. Thought the part where he suddenly storms out of his room to stand in front of the guy's bedroom window shirtless with a hard on was well... SUDDEN. That was the point of escalation to them becoming lovers and it was just -- who DOES that? Seemed out of character actually. Rest of it was a bit too unreal. Tho again I liked certain authenticity to the writing.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Papie

    Another really sweet beautiful story in this series. I liked Eddie, but I absolutely loved Samuel. That poor boy, he just needed someone to love him and hold him, and once Eddie opened his eyes, I’m happy he was that person. I was surprised to find I actually loved the animals, and didn’t mind how much space they took in the story. It was really about two men building a new life together, and also building a new life for these farm animals they rescued. I also really liked Eddie’s friends, I wou Another really sweet beautiful story in this series. I liked Eddie, but I absolutely loved Samuel. That poor boy, he just needed someone to love him and hold him, and once Eddie opened his eyes, I’m happy he was that person. I was surprised to find I actually loved the animals, and didn’t mind how much space they took in the story. It was really about two men building a new life together, and also building a new life for these farm animals they rescued. I also really liked Eddie’s friends, I would like to see a HEA for Devin too. My only complaint is that I would have liked to see more of Samuel’s family, at least see Matthew again and maybe their mother. It broke my heart that nobody reached out to him, when he is so close. Now I want more Amish MM romance! Any recs? I read Keira Andrew’s Gay Amish series already.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    I’m so pleased this story caught my attention; for not only did I enjoy it immensely but it prompted me to read the first book in the series. You don’t have to read A Second Harvest, but it would be a shame to miss David and Christie’s story. It’s not often I agree when a book is deemed a stand-alone but this is one instance I believe it’s true. We do have a small cameo with the couple from book one but if you’re at all familiar with Easton’s writing, it’s not a surprise they come together as on I’m so pleased this story caught my attention; for not only did I enjoy it immensely but it prompted me to read the first book in the series. You don’t have to read A Second Harvest, but it would be a shame to miss David and Christie’s story. It’s not often I agree when a book is deemed a stand-alone but this is one instance I believe it’s true. We do have a small cameo with the couple from book one but if you’re at all familiar with Easton’s writing, it’s not a surprise they come together as one in the final pages. So yes, we are back in Lancaster County and it’s a joy to visit. I reside in a small community in which my car shares the road with buggies and bicycles and I felt at home within the beautiful country setting. I find myself torn with my deep respect for the Amish and their steadfast ways and frustration that their dedication to their faith and strict beliefs permit shunning still to this day. But my heart lifts when a story such as Samuel’s comes along. I’m so grateful Eli gave him the chance of a new life and an intersecting path with Eddie. Their story is full of struggles as they both strive to create a fresh start. You don’t want to miss this one! What's to like: Meadow Lake Farm…I can close my eyes and see it perfectly and it takes my breath away! Eddie has dreamed about building a rescue farm for years and finally took the plunge and went all in. His partner abandoned him before the ink was dry on the sale of the farm but Eddie is determined to give it a valiant effort before he admits defeat. How painful would it be to hold your greatest dream in your hands and then watch it slip through your fingers like grains of sand? However, the rescue sanctuary is far too much to maintain for one person. And this is where Sam enters the story. Sam is a survivor. He snatched my heart from my chest within moments of his introduction. Sam is Amish, a young adult, disabled, and possesses a heart of pure gold. He should be jaded and bitter after his undeserving fate but he’s incapable of surrendering. He continues to pick himself up and try again…time and time again. I adored his strength and tenacity. I enjoyed Eddie as well but Sam? Sam is… What's to love:…everything to love. From his innocence to his relentless drive, I adored all the pieces that create Samuel. I hated the stigma from his damaged foot but I hated the pain he suffered more. I was awestruck by his resilience and charmed by his devotion. I appreciated the slow burn between Sam and Eddie. It felt appropriate for their situation. And of course, I can’t forget Benny. I loved that little pig so hard! A stray that wanders onto the farm grants them a solution to their impossible conundrum. I am a true believer of ‘everything happens for a reason’ and this story is the perfect example. Eddie’s best friend added a sassy spark and I’m hopeful we shall see him return in the next episode of The Men of Lancaster County. I very much look forward to another romp in the hay with another country couple. Wait? There IS more to come…right? Beware of: A horrifying act of violence. If you’ve read the first book in this series, you’re aware of the hate crime that was pivotal in changing the course of events that allowed the men their HEA. This book has its own sickening crime that is difficult to read but is critical to igniting their story. Also similar to the first book, there is an age gap. One of the men is quite young, legal but just barely. Although his birthdays don’t measure his maturity, Sam is an ‘old’ nineteen. I hope these disclosures don’t bother you, I had absolutely no qualms with them. This book is for: I would imagine most Easton fans have devoured this novel already, but if not…I encourage you to do so. If you are new to Eli Easton (where have you been?!?) this is a perfect example of the power her words yield. Go get lost in this tender tale and give my love to Sam. Book UNfunk

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anna Goerlitz

    This was sweet and enjoyable, but nowhere near as good as the first one in the series. Mainly due to Eddie - who was so stupid that I wanted to slap him. He was the sort of vegan animal-activist do-gooder that ensure that other people have prejudices against vegan animal-activist do-gooders! You know the kind? The kind that releases 3000 mink into the wild, believing they are doing a good deed, when what they are actually doing is ruining an entire eco-system! That kind of stupid! (Just to clarif This was sweet and enjoyable, but nowhere near as good as the first one in the series. Mainly due to Eddie - who was so stupid that I wanted to slap him. He was the sort of vegan animal-activist do-gooder that ensure that other people have prejudices against vegan animal-activist do-gooders! You know the kind? The kind that releases 3000 mink into the wild, believing they are doing a good deed, when what they are actually doing is ruining an entire eco-system! That kind of stupid! (Just to clarify, Eddie did not release 3000 mink into the wild! A very stupid bunch of animal activists did this in my country a few years ago) He did come around a little bit at the end though, and I liked Samuel. 3.5 stars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kazza

    Cute story. Reads more like a New Adult book than adult, including words like feels and adorbs. Quite low on steam, but still a real connection, which fits that NA category as well. Sweet MCs. Lots of animals. Cute story. Reads more like a New Adult book than adult, including words like feels and adorbs. Quite low on steam, but still a real connection, which fits that NA category as well. Sweet MCs. Lots of animals.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Well life on the farm is kinda' laid back...said no farmer EVER!!! 'Tender Mercies' is the second book in Eli Easton's series 'Men of Lancaster County' and while the MCs from the first book do make an appearance in this story. 'Tender Mercies' definitely stands on its own and can be read without benefit of the first story but really, why would you want to miss out on reading two lovely and charming stories by Eli Easton...I mean where's the sense in that? While I liked the first book I do have Well life on the farm is kinda' laid back...said no farmer EVER!!! 'Tender Mercies' is the second book in Eli Easton's series 'Men of Lancaster County' and while the MCs from the first book do make an appearance in this story. 'Tender Mercies' definitely stands on its own and can be read without benefit of the first story but really, why would you want to miss out on reading two lovely and charming stories by Eli Easton...I mean where's the sense in that? While I liked the first book I do have to admit I enjoyed this one a bit more. Eddie Graber moves to Lancaster County with the dream of starting a rescue center for farm animals...yes, sadly even farm animals can be mistreated and abused. What Eddie doesn't count on is the fact that one of his first rescues isn't going to be a four legged animal but a sweet, hard working Amish farm boy named Samuel Miller. When Samuel's father discovers he's gay he whips Samuel and then hands him a fistful of money before throwing him out and telling him that he has been shunned. Samuel finds his way to a local shelter where an add for farm help leads him to Eddie's rescue center. it's takes Samuel a bit of doing to convince Eddie that Samuel's the help he needs, but convince him, he does. Sam and Eddie have more than a few things that they need to work through...there's a bit of an age difference and these two men come from very different worlds not to mention that Eddie's a vegan, Sam's not he likes his hamburgers and chicken...I know this seems like a little thing but truly it's not. Add into all this the fact that Eddie really has no idea how to run a farm and while Sam wants to help, he's also afraid of losing his job at the rescue farm. As the days pass Eddie and Samuel grow closer and feelings become stronger. Eddie's Rescue Farm was a chance for Eddie to make his dream come true but it as also a chance for him to start over, in spite of his less than auspicious start when his partner...the man he thought was his forever backed out of moving to Lancaster County with him. While Eddie's determination to get his rescue farm up and running falters it never fully dies and it's Sam who offers him the faith and support he needs to keep trying. While I liked both characters I definitely had a soft spot for Samuel. His quiet strength and determination as he struggled to reshape his world and find his place in it were as much a part of this story as Eddie's journey and Sam and Eddie's romance. The other star of this story are the animals from cows to pot-bellied pigs, ok I admit pot-bellied pigs are not my idea of a pet but that doesn't mean seeing them or any other creature abused or housed in what is sadly less than humane conditions doesn't break my heart and make me more than a little sad and angry and leave me appreciative of all the people who work tirelessly to rescue animals that have been abused and mistreated and show them that there are still good and loving people in this world who will shelter them and keep them safe. Once again Will Tulin was the narrator for this audio book and while things didn't work so well the first time around I was very pleasantly surprised with this one. Not only did I enjoy the narration for the story in general but Sam's voice for me was spot on and worked really well making me very happy that I decided to give this narrator another listen. ************************* An audio book of 'Tender Mercies' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    I enjoyed the audiobook narration by Will Tulin. This is the first time I’m listening to his work, and I’d definitely do so again without any worries. The way readers are introduced to Samuel broke my heart. The abuse by his father made my blood boil. But even sadder was how Samuel knew nothing could be done to change his family’s minds. But despite those awful circumstances, Samuel has an inner core of strength and resiliency. He doesn’t let his family’s rejection, or his club foot, keep him down I enjoyed the audiobook narration by Will Tulin. This is the first time I’m listening to his work, and I’d definitely do so again without any worries. The way readers are introduced to Samuel broke my heart. The abuse by his father made my blood boil. But even sadder was how Samuel knew nothing could be done to change his family’s minds. But despite those awful circumstances, Samuel has an inner core of strength and resiliency. He doesn’t let his family’s rejection, or his club foot, keep him down for long. I was rooting for Samuel from the first page! Eddie has his own struggles with the farm. But he’s determined to make his sanctuary work, even if it costs him both financially and personally. The two men are brought together in less-than-perfect circumstances, but it’s clear from the beginning that they’re a strong match for each other. The romance in ‘Tender Mercies’ is a slow-burn. While Eddie and Samuel are attracted to each other from the beginning, it takes a while for them to do anything about it. Instead, they gradually become friends. Over shared meals and farmwork, the two get to know each other. And eventually, they start leaning on one another for comfort and support. But underneath that friendship, there’s a lingering sexual tension. When Samuel and Eddie finally give in, it’s a natural extension of the emotional relationship they’ve already built. I thought it was really sweet how the two filled a whole in each other’s life. For Samuel, Eddie becomes the home he was so desperately looking for. And for Eddie, Samuel becomes his driving force when he thinks about giving up. Most of the conflict in this book is driven by the struggle to keep the farm sanctuary running. I could have done with less of it, because it overshadowed the romance and unnecessarily slowed the book down. Even so, I enjoyed ‘Tender Mercies,’ and I was glad to see Samuel and Eddie get their HEA. If you’re looking for a slow read with a sweet and gradual romance, I’d give this book a try!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    3.5 stars I like the MCs but I didn't really feel them as a couple. The last 40(ish)% of the book was more about the farm than anything else and that's fine, but I would have loved to see more of how they were in their relationship. Also, there was such an emphasis on how difficult (view spoiler)[the financial situation is (hide spoiler)] , but not enough was spent on the resolution. 3.5 stars I like the MCs but I didn't really feel them as a couple. The last 40(ish)% of the book was more about the farm than anything else and that's fine, but I would have loved to see more of how they were in their relationship. Also, there was such an emphasis on how difficult (view spoiler)[the financial situation is (hide spoiler)] , but not enough was spent on the resolution.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    *** 3.5 Stars *** The opening pages of this book had me in the palm of its hand, but, as much as I hate to say it, somewhere along the way its grip lessened and I can't really put my finger on why. One of my other friends called Samuel a "breath of fresh air" and he is definitely that. In fact, this story has two wonderfully original characters, an original plot, and a quieter love story that was as much about belonging in a place and time and to yourself as it was about belonging with another p *** 3.5 Stars *** The opening pages of this book had me in the palm of its hand, but, as much as I hate to say it, somewhere along the way its grip lessened and I can't really put my finger on why. One of my other friends called Samuel a "breath of fresh air" and he is definitely that. In fact, this story has two wonderfully original characters, an original plot, and a quieter love story that was as much about belonging in a place and time and to yourself as it was about belonging with another person. I like a good slow burn romance, so I wasn't bothered by the months long build up from friendship to attraction to love. And I wasn't bothered by the more realistic pressures of life and finances that threatened to pull our characters apart (it wasn't another gun-toting ex-boyfriend or Big Misunderstanding due to lack of communication, thank fuck!). The only aspect of the story that outright irritated me was when the pro-vegan message got a little preachy for this carnivore's liking, but that would never be enough to drop me from a 4 star to a 3 star book. So I don't know what it was that was lost between my heart bleeding for Samuel as he limped along the first few pages and the movie-worthy success story of Sam and Eddie's pig rescue at the end. I honestly wish I did because then I don't think I'd be so bummed out about not loving this story more.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    4 stars -- My longer review for Tender Mercies is to come because I need to make sure I'm reviewing it fairly. There's a political issue in this book that caused that portion of this story not to sit well with me because I have lost friends over it before. That being said, this is quite a satisfactory follow up to A Second Harvest, a book that was one of my Top Ten from 2016. The author and/or publisher generously provided me a complimentary copy of Tender Merciesin exchange for this fair and hon 4 stars -- My longer review for Tender Mercies is to come because I need to make sure I'm reviewing it fairly. There's a political issue in this book that caused that portion of this story not to sit well with me because I have lost friends over it before. That being said, this is quite a satisfactory follow up to A Second Harvest, a book that was one of my Top Ten from 2016. The author and/or publisher generously provided me a complimentary copy of Tender Merciesin exchange for this fair and honest review. Follow Me: Reviews by Tammy & Kim | Facebook | Twitter

  25. 4 out of 5

    Manfred

    This book had a lot of things I like in a gay romance. For example, I loved the idea of Samuel, being an Amish man, meeting Eddie, who was your typical New York city boy, going to the country side without any idea about farming. I also found the trope about the animal sanctuary very appealing, even if Eddie's being a vegan, maybe was a little over the top. Still the story and the evolving relationship were very sweet and charming. The book never got dull, although the end was maybe a little lame, This book had a lot of things I like in a gay romance. For example, I loved the idea of Samuel, being an Amish man, meeting Eddie, who was your typical New York city boy, going to the country side without any idea about farming. I also found the trope about the animal sanctuary very appealing, even if Eddie's being a vegan, maybe was a little over the top. Still the story and the evolving relationship were very sweet and charming. The book never got dull, although the end was maybe a little lame, so for me this was an enjoyable 3.5 star read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Adorable. Review soon at BMBR.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joyfully Jay

    Updated for audiobook review: Read Veronica’s audio review in its entirety here. A Joyfully Jay review. 4.25 stars Tender Mercies is the second book in Eli Easton’s Men of Lancaster County series. While Christie and David from A Second Harvest do make a cameo here, this book is a complete standalone. The stories are connected by the fact that they take place on farms in the same region, but the characters are totally distinct. As with the first book, Easton just infuses this story with such a sense Updated for audiobook review: Read Veronica’s audio review in its entirety here. A Joyfully Jay review. 4.25 stars Tender Mercies is the second book in Eli Easton’s Men of Lancaster County series. While Christie and David from A Second Harvest do make a cameo here, this book is a complete standalone. The stories are connected by the fact that they take place on farms in the same region, but the characters are totally distinct. As with the first book, Easton just infuses this story with such a sense of warmth and tenderness, as well as a clear love for Lancaster County. These men are sweet and caring, good hearted people who want to help others and are genuinely kind. Easton brings the setting to life as she describes the beauty of the area and the way the farm becomes a home for both men. It is just a lovely story, particularly when you add in the endearing animals that Eddie rescues. They all have such personalities, especially Benny the pig, and you can’t help but fall in love with them a little as you read. The connection between the men is great, and it is just a sweet, romantic story. I had a few small issues here. First, Samuel comes to Eddie from living his whole life in an Amish community. He has had lived an extremely sheltered life, as well as one without many modern conveniences, like electricity. Yet Samuel adapts to life with Eddie with seemingly no complications, save for some confusion about being vegan. It felt unrealistic that there were no growing pains or problems for him as he adjusts to such an enormous change of life. Second, the story tends to jump time quite a bit and sometimes I felt like we were missing some key moments in the transitions. For example, Samuel arrives beaten and bloody and exhausted, entering this totally new life. But after day one, we jump to weeks ahead and he is all settled in. I really wanted to see more of his early time on the farm. The same thing happens after the two get together sexually the first time. Samuel is a virgin and also recently living a very sheltered life and then they have this one night together on page and then we jump to weeks later where they are having sex regularly, but we never see that transition for Samuel. I just wanted some of these moments more developed and they often moved too fast. Read Jay’s review in its entirety here.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    I enjoyed this very much but it did not rock my world, so to speak. Unlike the first in the series which I thought was brilliant. Samuel. I adore you. A beautiful soul. Lovely, inside and out. Eddie, for some reason I couldn't pin down I did not have the same depth of feeling. I felt a bigger connection between Eddie and the animals than Eddie and Samuel. Their love story was important - as important as the animal sanctuary and saving the piggies. I thought it took a back seat to the rest of the I enjoyed this very much but it did not rock my world, so to speak. Unlike the first in the series which I thought was brilliant. Samuel. I adore you. A beautiful soul. Lovely, inside and out. Eddie, for some reason I couldn't pin down I did not have the same depth of feeling. I felt a bigger connection between Eddie and the animals than Eddie and Samuel. Their love story was important - as important as the animal sanctuary and saving the piggies. I thought it took a back seat to the rest of the story, which was quite interesting. I learned a lot which is always a good thing. Will I continue with the series? Absolutely. Thank you again Simon for your generosity, very much appreciated.🦋

  29. 4 out of 5

    ⚣Michaelle⚣

    4.1 Stars Not as much tension and angst as the last book, with more focus on the farm & sanctuary animals...but the relationship is sweetly romantic and evolves pretty organically. (See what I did there?) Nice little cameo with David & Christie, who no longer live in Lancaster County. I'm not sure if Eli has anything planned for Matthew, or Devin, but I hope at least one of them has their story told as well! Also, I kinda loved the message about how a true calling isn't about the person & how they 4.1 Stars Not as much tension and angst as the last book, with more focus on the farm & sanctuary animals...but the relationship is sweetly romantic and evolves pretty organically. (See what I did there?) Nice little cameo with David & Christie, who no longer live in Lancaster County. I'm not sure if Eli has anything planned for Matthew, or Devin, but I hope at least one of them has their story told as well! Also, I kinda loved the message about how a true calling isn't about the person & how they approach it but the matter s/he's dedicating their life toward. (And I might have had an uncomfortable pause before inhaling my breakfast burrito, with bacon, this morning...)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This was a sweet read ❤️ read it in one hit, couldn’t put it down and really wanted to know the outcome of Eddie & Sams journey. There is a place for everyone.... and I loved that about this book

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