And one particular farmer.
Hudson Oliva has worked hard to support his commune, where queer people live without fear of harm or retribution. When Jude asks pointed questions about living there, Hudson realizes he needs to be honest about his home. Few people know what the farm is actually about, but Jude is insistent.
Jude moves to Kaleidoscope Gardens, however his sexual hang-ups make it hard to adjust. He’s an uptight virgin living among people who have sex freely and with multiple partners. When Jude finally loosens up, Hudson is flooded with emotions. Falling for Jude wasn’t part of Hudson’s life plan. But when vindictive rumors about the commune begin to spread, love might be all he has left.
Genre: Contemporary Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction, with a splash of MMM+
Length: Novel, 202 pages
Guest Reviewer: Adam
Hudson Oliva, commune farmer, and Jude Garrity, environmental engineering student, have spent months crushing on each other. The two make sure to run into each other once a week at the farmers market. When Jude expresses an interest in joining Hudson’s commune, Hudson lays it out clearly - the commune is a place of free love and acceptance, where LGBTQIA folks can live (and love) openly and freely, and are encouraged to do so. Jude, who still feels the effects of his highly religious and abusive parents, isn't entirely comfortable with this, but he's determined to overcome his hesitancies.
I was rooting for Hudson and Jude from early on. Both of them were obviously lonely, even if Hudson had his commune. There’s a fair amount of angst. Both Jude and Hudson come from homophobic families, though Jude’s abuse was a larger mountain to climb. Whenever he tries to get intimate with other men, Jude can only hear his father shaming him. Despite the frequent sex among the commune members, the romance in ‘Farm Fresh’ is fairly slow-paced.
Jude and Hudson open up to each other bit by bit, learning what makes the other happy. Given Jude’s past and Hudson’s reluctance to let himself love someone, I thought that their relationship development was realistic. Every hesitant kiss and step towards something more kept me reading.
The emotional impact and conflicts were also realistic. As Hudson and Jude work out the kinks in their relationship, they often end up arguing. It’s the result of their pasts experiences influencing how the interact with romantic interests. At times, I wanted to shake the two and tell them to get over themselves, but I can understand why they acted the way they did.
There are a host of secondary characters on the commune, though my favourite by far were Leo and Charlie, the MCs’ housemates and regular lovers. I loved Leo’s patient understanding of Jude’s situation, and how he didn’t mind playing relationship counsellor for Jude and Hudson. And Charlie? Well, if I ever decide to go to Kaleidoscope Gardens, it’ll probably be so that I can get him in bed. The guy just screamed “sex”.
The open relationship aspect of this book is quite different from anything I've read before. I've read books with polyamorous or open relationship characters, but the specifics in ’Farm Fresh’ were very unique. I think the author does a good job of showing how a free love commune could work, if the people involved are mature and express their concerns. So yes there is jealousy and the commune members didn't always get along, but everything was discussed out in the open so that solutions could be found.
And yes, the sex, in all of its different forms, was pretty hot.
However, I’m not so sure about the ending. It just seemed very abrupt. I’m not sure whether the rest of the series will focus on Hudson and Jude, or on other couples. I’d say that there’s a HFN, but it’s a tad tentative. Add in the side stories that had only just gotten interesting near the end, and I was left a bit annoyed. If the series does continue on with Jude and Hudson’s story, book 1 was a solid base.
Overall, I enjoyed ‘Farm Fresh’. It’s a well-written and unique take on open relationships, free love, and the effects that a person’s upbringing can have on their adulthood.
For more information on Farm Fresh:
Buy Links: Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Farm-Fresh-Naked-Organics-Book-ebook/dp/B01A2PHDPW/
Universal Amazon Buy Link: http://mybook.to/FarmFresh
About Posy Roberts
Real life. Genuine men. True love.
Posy Roberts writes about the realistic struggles of men looking for love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.
Posy is married to a man who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep. Her daughter, a budding author and dedicated Whovian, helps her come up with character names. When Posy’s not writing, she enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make normal seem more interesting.
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