‘The Good Green Earth’ is the third book in V.L. Locey’s ‘Colors of Love’ series and when I started reading this one, I expected that I’d enjoy the story. What I didn’t expect was that this would become my favorite story in the series so far, as a matter of fact in all honesty once I actually started reading the story I began to think that this one might not be for me at all. This was mostly due to the fact that Nathan Zinkan and I just didn’t get off to a good start…as in I was really not a fan of his attitude, his behavior…of him in general but I was determined to stick with it on this one. I’ve enjoyed the previous books and a lot of other stories written by Ms Locey, so I decided to go on faith and stick with it for a bit longer on this one…turned out to be a good decision on my part.
I loved how the relationship progressed in this story. Specifically, how the age difference was dealt with. There was a time when an age gap as considerable as this one and with the potential power imbalance that could result because of the individual ages of the MCs would have garnered a big ole ‘no thanks’ from me and while I’ve gotten better about this over the past year or two, I have to admit, this one still pushed my limits but sometimes you’ve just ‘gotta have faith’.
While Nathan was a bit of a hard sell for me at the beginning because what we were given was a young man who appeared to have it all including the sense of entitlement that sometimes comes with it. Fortunately as the story progresses, we get a deeper look at Nathan’s past and a lot of what has led him to become the person that he is…some of which is good and some not so good. Most importantly in regard to Nathan though is we see how he changes, and this is a big part of why this ended up being a 5 star read for me. In spite of his faults Nathan is someone who tends more often than not to see the half full part of his glass and he’s definitely not afraid to live life to the fullest and while this maybe needs to be tempered a bit that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad trait…just one that would benefit from some better life choices and a bit more maturity. Both are things that Nate starts to gain as he begins to pursue a relationship with Bran and reflect on the events that have led to his current circumstances taking him from being a character that I didn’t like very much to someone that I was rooting for…a character that I genuinely cared about and wanted to see succeed…in the end Nathan became someone who I’d be proud to have as my kid.
Bran is considerably older than Nathan and when they first meet, he sees in Nathan everything he loves and everything he hates. It’s in spite of his reservations that Bran takes Nate on as part of a community service program and on a more personal level this is Bran’s way of keeping a promise to someone who meant everything to him.
While Bran’s a bit broken in his own way, he’s also had more time and a better support system to help him deal with things and he’s got a whole lot more life experience to fall back on when it comes to decision making in general. Most importantly Bran’s nature seems to lean towards being compassionate and supportive something Nate’s had little of in his life and here at his personal crossroads it’s what he now needs the most.
On the surface Nathan and Bran really don’t seem to have a lot in common, but as the story progresses the reader discovers that each man has a story to tell and each story is heartbreakingly unique and integral to the person that each of them has become and to what they bring to the relationship and each other.
There were a few interesting secondary characters in this story such as Bran’s niece, Dixie and the seniors who tended the community gardens at Bran’s garden center. They added an awesome touch of humor, color and insight as many seniors often do in real life, especially Maggie who maybe makes some pretty yummy brownies. As for family Bran as well as his niece Dixie he also has an aunt and uncle who pretty much raised him. While Nate has an ailing father, a major jerk of a brother and a mother…who’s somewhere doing someone…so essentially Nate is on his own. While these characters definitely help to flesh out the story adding to the overall interest from start to finish it’s Nathan and Bran and their relationship that unfailingly remain the focus of things.
I loved some of the details that were woven into this story and while they may not have been integral to the story they also added depth and texture to the story and simply put, for me this all added to my overall enjoyment of the story…yeah, I confess I’m totally a Neil Diamond fan…my recommendation put on the Neil Diamond and check out this book it’s a beautiful second chance story even if you haven’t read the first two books in the series you’ll be fine with this one and who knows you may find yourself wanting to go back to the beginning. I know I’m looking forward to whatever comes next.
An ARC of ‘The Good Green Earth’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.