12 October 2014

McFarland's Farm by Cardeno C.

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.

Oh my stars that was HOT! Cardeno C. has done what I would have considered impossible and made farmers sexy with Jared McFarland. And I have to agree with Lucas, there is most certainly something about a big, built, mountain of a man that gets me going too. But as with all of CC’s books that I have read, no matter how sexy the characters and scenes are (and this one does not disappoint), McFarland’s Farm is first and foremost a romance.

Lucas has upset his father one time too many and finds himself shipped off to Hope, Arizona where he must straighten out or be cut off from his father’s money for good. As Jared contributes much of his organic farm’s success to Lucas’s father, Paul, he feels he has no choice but to accept Lucas being thrust into his life. But his reluctance at having Lucas in his home is not due to the reasons Lucas’s family suspects. Jared has been attracted to Lucas for years and finds himself even more tongue tied and self-conscious than usual because he doesn’t feel that his scared face and over-sized frame can compete with the beautiful people that an even more beautiful Jared normally socializes with. As the men spend time together and Jared takes a hard look at his life, he comes to some surprising (for him) conclusions about where he wants to go (or should I say, stay).

Always insightful, Cardeno illustrates how we all have our own insecurities and that part of finding love involves finding and loving oneself. This was a journey both men had to take. While I was thrilled that Jared found happiness, I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing Lucas learn that the important things in life are worth working for. And don’t let the length of this novella fool you – you get a full story packed into its 56 pages. McFarland’s Farm is the first in the new series and I am already looking forward to my next visit to Hope, Arizona.

It was hard for me to sink into this book at first because I really did not like Lucas in the beginning.  He is a spoiled, arrogant and just rude rich kid that thinks he should just be handed everything.  But as the story progresses we learn that Lucas was just looking for attention and was using his father’s money and his own good looks to get it.   Jared on the other hand is handsome, hard-working and down to earth man who is just looking for someone to share his life with. 

I was happy with the Lucas’ growth maturity-wise through the story but I thought that the declaration of love happened too close to the end for me to feel truly satisfied.  Also they never called Lucas’ family to inform them of their developing romance and amended plans for the future.  I really wanted to know how they and the town react to their new relationship after Lucas’ less than stellar debut. 

Overall I liked the story but wanted there to be more closure and character development.  It is a beautiful love story but could use another chapter to help flesh things out a little more.


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