Title: Farm Fresh
Author Name & Publisher: Posy Roberts (Labyritnh Bound Press)
Publication Date & Length: January 28, 2016 – 202 pgs
Jude Garrity visits the farmers market every Saturday. As an environmental engineering student, he’s curious about living off the grid and sustainable agriculture.
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.
This wonderful story brings readers to a joyful, almost innocent alternative lifestyle of polyamory and simple communal living. Kaleidoscope Gardens offers a sustainable, environmentally friendly communal farm which also serves as a refuge for LGBTQI residents who wish to celebrate nudity and open sexual relationships.
While the story involves the many eccentric members of the Kaleidoscope Gardens community, it focuses on Hunter, a long time resident, and Jude, a gay virgin seeking refuge from a cruel, fundamentalist Christian past.
Readers are initiated into the unusual community alongside Jude, whose repressive upbringing makes it difficult for him to adapt to the easy, simple life the others enjoy. This is the story of Jude’s personal growth more than it is a traditional romance.
In this story, polyamory is presented as a very natural, nurturing lifestyle. There are few problems among residents and if readers don’t think too hard, it is an easy ideal to believe in.
There are some incredibly hot scenes in this book, but much of this story is more thoughtful than titillating, dealing with issues of loss, grief and sexual abuse sensitively and carefully. While this breaks most of the rules for a traditional romance, it is a wonderfully engaging story about life, love and personal growth.
So let me start of this review by saying I thought the author did a really good job with the subject that is handled in this book, which is open relationships.. Now I will be the first to admit I have not really been a fan of open relationships in romance books before. But after reading this book I really got why some would be okay with this kind of relationship even though it would not be something I would ever be comfortable with personally.
Jude has gone through a lot in his life so living in this community has really helped him. While Jude is adjusting Hudson is going through his own feelings which are growing for Jude and causing jealously.
I really liked how the author wrote this story and these characters. The way Jude and Hudson work through everything and grow closer together was really sweet. So I will leave this review with… I really liked this book!
“You wanted to know where I’m from,” Hudson said. Jude nodded but remained tight-lipped. “I grew up north of Miami in a small city. I couldn’t wait to get out, so I tried to hitch a ride to Seattle. Didn’t get that far.”
“How far did you get?” Jude looked surprised as he asked, so Hudson reached out and pressed his palm to the center of Jude’s chest.
“About five miles away. I’ve been here ever since.”
“What made you run? I mean… maybe that’s too personal.”
Hudson coasted his hand over the slight swell of Jude’s pec and thumbed over his nipple, which stood at attention, pert and flushed, like his lips and cheeks. It was a good color on him.
“My parents sent me away to one of those ‘pray away the gay’ places, which obviously didn’t work, but it probably saved my life since my mom had to haul Papi off me when she told him why I needed to go there. He had so much pride, and having a gay son wasn’t something he could live with. It was as if me being gay made him gay. I was accosted by religion and hatred for who I was from that day until I left, so I became an expert at being secretive and learned to lie through my teeth while living with them.
My eighteenth birthday Papi and I fought, and I ended up with another black eye. I packed a bag and snuck out of the house while they were sleeping.”
“Did they call the cops or anything?”
Hudson shook his head and knew his smile was pathetic. He still held hope he and his father could reconcile. He knew Papi would be proud of him and what he’d accomplished on the commune. “I left a note and eventually let them know my address, but in all the years, I’ve gotten one letter.”
“I’ve talked to my parents twice since I left, and both times left me feeling shredded inside.”
“I’m sorry.” Hudson scooted closer and pulled Jude into a tight embrace. The feel of Jude’s warm skin against his own had Hudson’s body responding in no time flat. He kissed Jude’s neck and the sharp line of his jaw. He thrust his fingers into Jude’s spun-gold hair and drew their mouths together.
Jude moved his lips, pressing chaste kisses to Hudson’s, and then he snaked his arm between their bodies. Jude splayed his fingers across Hudson’s chest and pushed him away. He hung his head, looking down at the mattress in what appeared to be shame.
Hudson took the sting out of the rejection by thumbing over Jude’s bottom lip, shiny with saliva.
“You have a delectable mouth, like it’s made for kissing.”
Jude laughed. “So do you.” Then he bit his lip and made brief eye contact before scooting back a few inches.