Roadtrip! Roadtrip! We're going on a roadtrip!!!!
Oh yeah!!! I love a good road trip and for me this definitely turned into a good road trip and a rather interesting one.
In the previous book, Picked Fresh. Hudson received a letter from his mom and found out that his 'Grammy' (his mother's mom) had passed away and he needs to go back to help settle the estate and get the inheritance she left him. Finally deciding that now's the time because he needs some space from Jude to figure out how to get his feelings for Jude under control...see, Hudson he want's Jude all to himself and while they're doing the exclusive thing it's only temporary and he want's it to be a forever thing and doesn't think he has the right to ask this of Jude. So Hudson's all set to go back and face his mom on his own...get in, get it done, get out and got home, back to Kaleidoscope Gardens the only place that's ever truly felt like home for him. It's going to be hard and he's going to miss Jude, Leo, Charlie and all his extended family and friends but he knows he needs to do this. What he doesn't know is...that Jude has no freaking intentions of letting him do this alone.
So when it comes time to leave Hudson finds that the one person he wanted to leave the least but thought he needed the most space from is packed and ready to go. I loved Jude in that moment because his determination to be there for Hudson to help him get through what was clearly going to be a difficult and possibly heartbreaking time was such an obvious sign of love. Sadly Hudson didn't see it because his past has definitely left him with issues about his self worth.
I really enjoyed that for the most part this story was just Hudson and Jude. It gave them the time they needed to get to know each other and find out more about one another without the buffer of or interference from others in the commune.
Their trip back to Hudson's Grammy's wasn't all easy, peasy hearts and flowers but it was them, just the two of them having to deal with and resolve problems and just generally face the world together. There were sexy times, fun, happy times, moments of enlightenment about each other and themselves, an unexpected side-trip that brought them closer together as Jude was forced to confront his own past, news from the commune that threatened the future of everyone there and ultimately the arrival at their destination, Grammy's ranch and the reunion with his mother that Hudson was dreading.
I have to admit Hudson's mother...not my favorite person and I was nervous about how this was going to be played out but in the end I was also really surprised by how well I felt it was done. It wasn't a hearts and flowers 'oh you're my mother so I forgive you for abandoning me.' scenario which is what I was honestly afraid of. That or something in the other extreme to the tune of 'f#@k-you and the horse you rode in on. You tossed me out like a piece of garbage' because sometimes things aren't always black or white and so much of life falls into the gray zone. I'm not saying that I agree with what Hudson's parents did to him when he was younger. Nope, I'm not ok with any of it. But I am ok with the fact that Hudson got to have his say over it and how it made him feel. I'm ok the fact that he got resolution, he got to make peace with himself, his mother, his father and his past in general. He more than deserved to have that and I know in the real world it rarely plays out that way so having it here in this story for me was a balm to my soul.
In 'Picked Fresh' I ended up being a little upset with Hudson's behavior but this time around Hudson had me wanting to stand up and cheer more than once. Two of the most memorable occurred when he was talking with his mother. The first time was when he confronted his mom about finding out he was gay...
“I could do no right after you found out I was gay. That tainted everything. But you see, Mom? I never believed all the crap pounded into my head about being gay. Do you wanna know why?”
Anita had the brains to nod, even if she seemed speechless.
“When I was a little boy, not even in school yet, you told me I was made in God’s image. He formed me, made me who I was, and it was my job to make sure I followed his plan. Well, part of his plan was that I was sexually attracted to men, not women. You told me God made me and that God doesn’t make mistakes,..."
The second time that Hudson made me want to stand up and cheer he was again talking to his mother about faith...
“Good, because untested faith is as good as ice to the Inuit.” That got her to laugh, so he dared, “It’s when it’s been tested and you come back and rework all your assumptions, that’s when you discover your truth.”
I still can't say that I like who Hudson's mother was or how she behaved but what I can say is that I might like the person that it seems she's trying to become because that person might actually deserve to have Hudson as their son.
I know there's more to come from this series and I'm hoping that it involves Charlie and Leo. These two men are both good and caring people who have tried to be both loving and supportive of Hudson and Jude. I'm not saying they've been perfect about it, but then who is. I just think they both deserve their own slice of happiness and what form that happiness comes in is for them to determine. I'm just thinking that I'll definitely stick around to see how things play out.
A copy of 'Farm Fresh' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.