Title: The Shared Harvest
Author Name & Publisher: D.W. Marchell (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 22, 2015 – 200 pgs
Doug Johnston is his brother Paul’s primary caregiver. Though Paul’s disease dictates he shouldn’t live past the age of twenty-five, Paul’s thirtieth birthday is a few months away. The brothers have only had each other since their mother passed away years earlier and their father left shortly after Paul’s diagnosis with Becker’s muscular dystrophy. Though mostly happy with his life, Doug would love to be in a relationship, but he won’t settle for anyone but the perfect man.
Carson Oliver used to be the man everyone recognized and wanted, But when the top-rated DIY program he hosted was canceled in the late 90s, he sought comfort in food… lots of food. While he owns a landscaping business and family farm, he doesn’t think life has much more to offer than working and taking care of his ailing mother. When he meets Doug, the attraction is immediate. It is aided by an important role Carson once played in Doug and Paul’s lives—one Carson doesn’t remember but they’ve never forgotten.
When Carson doesn’t believe anyone can possibly want him the way he is, Doug sets out to prove him wrong. With the assistance of his enthusiastic brother, Carson’s unrestrained mother, and her crazy cat, Doug just might get the job done.
This was a slow, sweet story. Both the main characters are caregivers, Doug for his brother and Carson for his mother. Doug’s commitments have prevented a relationship, while Carson, a former TV presenter, feels old and unattractive.
Slowly, the men come together, their lives merging, their burdens shared. They build each others’ confidence and become partners. Supporting characters are carefully drawn and Carson’s family farm provides a beautiful backdrop to the story.
This isn’t an exciting book, it isn’t fast paced, and sex scenes are tender rather than erotic. This is a glimpse into the lives of two ordinary men who find each other despite their challenges and responsibilities. It is a book about love, loss and making new families with the people we care about. A gentle romance.
When D. W. Marchwell is not teaching future generations the wonders of science, he can usually be found hiking, writing, riding horses, trying new recipes, or searching for and lovingly restoring discarded antique furniture. A goofy and incurable romantic, D.W. admits that his stories are inspired by actual events and has a soft spot for those where boy not only meets boy but also turns out to be boy’s soul mate. After almost fifteen years of working his way across Canada, D.W has finally found the perfect place to live at the foot of the Canadian Rockies. He still can’t believe how lucky he is, and, as his grandmother taught him, counts his blessings every day.