Reviewed by Susan65
Title: The Growing Season
Author: Diana Copland
Series: Secrets of Neverwood #2
Heroes: Danny Redmond/Sam Ignatius
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 145 Pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: June 30, 2014
Available at: Carina Press, Amazon, All Romance eBooks and Kobo
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: The four years since Danny Redmond left Neverwood have been heartbreaking, and past mistakes continue to haunt him, even after he returns home.Together with two foster brothers he barely knows, they plan to turn the house into a welcoming place for runaways once again—the dying wish of their foster mother, Audrey.
Danny has nothing to contribute to the restoration of the decrepit mansion, save for a gift for growing things. His efforts to bring Audrey’s beloved gardens back to their former glory are complicated by handsome landscaper Sam Ignatius…and the feelings developing between them, despite their fiery differences of opinion. But one voice gives him hope, the only one he’s always trusted—Audrey’s.
Danny comes to care deeply for Sam, but things look bleak when Sam’s city councilman father threatens to have Neverwood torn down. Danny isn’t surprised. Why would he expect the future to be different from his past? All his relationships end in disaster…
Three foster brothers are called home to Neverwood, the stately Pacific Northwest mansion of their youth. They have nothing in common but a promise to Audrey, the woman they all called mother…
Secrets of Neverwood is a multi-author trilogy; One Door Closes, The Growing Season and The Lost Year can be enjoyed either as a continuity or as standalones.
Poor Danny. He came off as such a little prick at the beginning of this story, so it was a bit hard to feel sorry for him with his smart mouth and piss poor attitude. But that didn’t last long at all. He was hating enough on himself that he really didn’t need it from anyone else. His brothers were the masters of patience with him. They accepted him, cared about him, and were there for him whenever, or if ever, he decided he could trust enough to tell them his history. They knew it was bad from his nightmares alone.
Danny comes back to his foster mom’s house when he learns he was left a portion of the estate after her death. His two foster brothers received the other two thirds. Between them they were heart set on granting her wishes and restoring the stately home to its original splendor and purpose. Danny’s portion was the gardens, which he used to work in by his mother’s side.
Sam is a professional and the owner of a thriving lawn and garden business. He appears at the behest of one of Danny’s brothers to assist Danny in the renovations. Of course, Danny, with his major attitude problems, sees this as the brothers not trusting him and taking over his portion of the renovations. It doesn’t take long to settle the miscommunication, but by then, Danny is already in the outs with Sam…even if he is the hottest man he’s seen or been attracted to since forever.
Sam appears to be near perfect. He is very loving, caring, and willing to help without taking over. He is patient with Danny and sees through his punkish attitude. The two slowly…ever so slowly… start to form a friendship, and slowly, ever so slowly, start creeping towards more. Of course, Sam has no idea of the horrendous abuse Danny suffered in his past, and the two will need to get through that drama before anything can happen between them. But when it does, *sigh* it was so beautiful. Sam accepted Danny and his baggage and knew exactly how to make it good for Danny. I loved that scene.
During this entire time, Danny has been hearing his mother’s ghostly voice, urging him to trust in his brothers and trust in Sam. She is quite funny too, and the ghostly voice, though loving, was also the necessary levity needed while dealing with Danny’s past abuse.
Sam, at this same time, is dealing with his mother dying. So the grief and sadness was quite palpable in this short story. It was a shame, but it took Sam’s mother dying to bring Sam and his dad back together. Sadly, I think that’s more common than it should be.
So all in all, this was a great installment of the Secrets of Neverwood anthology, and as usual, I love the way Diana Copland brings her characters to life (even when they are not quite alive). Even though I was only scheduled to read this middle segment, I am now so invested in all three brothers that I will be reading their stories as well.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*