Connor Graham left his small New England hometown and never looked back. However, his uncle has died and left Connor and his brother his blueberry farm, so Connor must return home to handle the sale. Connor was always out of the closet and never fit in, nor does he get along with his brother, so he hopes to make the sale quickly and return to his life as a photographer in New York.
Jed Jones is a tenant farmer who works the land Connor now owns. Jed is still closeted and with his devout background and family, he isn’t sure he will ever come out, especially since he has no plans to ever leave town. With Jed’s stutter making talking to people difficult, he much prefers the peaceful quiet of the farm.
The two men meet and hit it off despite the differences between them. Jed isn’t out, but he has had some experience with men, and the passion burns between the two of them. But there is more than a sexual connection. Connor is patient and listens to Jed, takes the time to understand him and his love for the land and farming. And Jed is warm and loving and supportive of Connor’s goals. The two have a passionate affair that they both would love to see grow into more. But Connor belongs in the city and Jed belongs on a farm. And with the sale of the farm looming before them, they may have no chance for their relationship to develop.
Wow, I just loved this story! If I had to pick one word to describe it, it would be tender. There is just a gentleness here in tone and style that fits the story and the characters so well. The quiet farm, the love of the land, the thrill of finding that perfect light at dawn. There are simple pleasures here that both men enjoy. Yes, there are conflicts. Both men must deal with their families, as well as the difficulties of figuring out how to make their relationship work. But they are so sweet and loving and caring to one another, the story just made me so happy.
What is even more amazing is how North is able to infuse the story with such passion on top of that. The chemistry between these guys is amazing, and they are super sexy together. I love that quiet Jed is full of passion and intensity that belies his quiet nature. The story is a perfect blend of sexy and sweet and I love that there is more to both of these characters than first appears.
North tackles the issue of Jed’s religious background really well, showing how his own personal beliefs both give him strength, but also make him struggle as he faces his sexuality. The book doesn’t have a strong religious overtone by any means, but Jed’s faith is an important part of him and North highlights it well.
What impresses me most is how special North manages to make a story from a trope that is incredibly common in romance novels. The hero who returns home to a small town he thinks he has escaped forever, only to fall in love once there is one that we have all read many times. But there is something more about this story, an elevation to the plot and the characters that make it so engaging. I fell in love completely with both Jed and Connor and I think you will too.
So I loved this story, loved the small town feel and the quiet moments, and loved the passion and intensity between these guys. This is a perfect “curl up with a book” story and left me feeling warm and happy. I totally loved Blueberry Boys and would highly recommend it.