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Cultivating Love Paperback – June 27, 2017
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The Amazon Book Review
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"I first read this book years ago, when it was released through a different publisher. I continue to re-read it at least once a year, and I love it even more each time. Now that the author has expanded this edition (can you say...perfect epilogue) this was my favorite re-read yet." ~ "I'm not normally a fan of books with already established couples, I usually feel as though I've missed part of the story, but I never get that feeling with Cultivating Love. I absolutely recommend this to anyone in need for a slice of happy in their life."
--Donna, Love Bytes Reviews
"That was adorable!! Seriously. I just devoured Ed and Joe in all their cute, funny, sarcastic, too-manly-for-emotion glory." ~ "I loved Ed and Joe together. They were sweet, funny, macho, and sarcastic. They were best friends that also happened to be partners in all forms of the word. They loved deep and it was great to see them evolve and not be afraid to show it."
--Lost in a Book, Boy Meets Boy Reviews
"Highly recommended! I just loved Joe and Ed! PS: I have a shelf on GoodReads titled Fuck Yeah, 5+ Stars. Out of almost 2000 books I've read that are posted on GoodReads, only 43 of them are on that shelf, this is one of them. Cultivating Love is one of my all-time favorite books and I re-read it every few months or so, or when I'm in a particularly bad mood. It cheers me up every time. LOVE THIS BOOK!"
--Gigi, Gay Book Reviews, Review of the first edition of Cultivating Love
"Here at Obsidianbookshelf.com, I found Cultivating Love to be an absorbing read. It's especially good with its character realism. Joe and Ed come across as regular guys. Even better, they are at that beginning stage in their relationship where each is still struggling with the uncertainty of not knowing exactly how much the other cares for him or whether they will be together for the rest of their lives."
--Val, Obsidian Bookshelf, Review of the first edition of Cultivating Love
"Addison Albright pens a wonderful conflict in Cultivating Love. It's all about taking that step out of your comfort zone and laying it on the line and hoping your love and actions are not repelled. Joe and Ed are well-developed characters that I became emotionally attached to as I got to know them. Cultivating Love is a great read."
--Raine, Joyfully Reviewed, Review of the first edition of Cultivating Love
"I truly enjoyed reading Cultivating Love. Reading about Ed and Joe trying not to be "mushy" really cracked me up a time or two, and I liked how the author allowed the couple to sort of grow into it as the story progressed. The love scenes are well written, and erotic, as well as, tender making them my favorite sort to read. Ms. Albright has a real talent for giving the reader just enough clues to keep things interesting without overwhelming the reader with a ton of details. I'm a big fan of m/m romance and Ms. Albright just went to the top of my "to be read" list. I highly recommend this book!"
--Regina, Coffee Time Romance & More, Review of the first edition of Cultivating Love
"I loved this book. Addison Albright's stories never disappoint, but with Cultivating Love, she's kicked it up a notch. This book caught and held my attention, I laughed and cried with Ed and Joe, and I was really sorry when the book was over. I think a five-star book is one that you keep thinking about the next day, running through special moments again, till you have to go back and just read it again just to make sure you didn't miss anything. I highly recommend this book."
--Carole, Rainbow Reviews, Review of the first edition of Cultivating Love
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I first read this book years ago, when it was released through a different publisher. I continue to re-read it at least once a year, and I love it even more each time. Now that the author has expanded this edition (can you say…perfect epilogue) this was my favourite re-read yet.
Joe and Ed are “manly men”. Ed is a mechanic and Joe is a farmhand who dreams of one day owning his own farm. The two men have been together for several years, their relationship well established and routine, although enjoyable. That routine is thrown into a spin upon the arrival of a letter informing Ed of the death of his father. A father that he believed died before his birth. A father who has left his farm to his only child, Ed. Excited by the opportunity to give Joe his dream, and confused by the family secrets that are being brought to light, Ed and Joe pack up their lives and decide to give small town living a go.
I just love Joe and Ed so much. Both are the strong and silent type, the kind of man who worries about how being gay affects his man-card. There are so many aspects of their sexual relationship that they aren’t comfortable with – bottoming, giving blow jobs, snuggling, even simply having sex face to face. All that stuff could be considered to weaken their masculinity, and they aren’t suppose to like doing it. But the author did such a great job of conveying the awkward thoughts and emotions behind their beliefs that these characters who could easily have come across as prejudice, were instead endearing. There’s nothing I like more in one of my go-to comfort reads than big tough guys who are actually caring softies.
There is little conflict in the story, and I appreciated that the small town was largely accepting of the gay couple. Of course, there’s always that one guy…but much of the story focused on Joe and Ed together, learning how to share their feelings with one another. Actually, I made that storyline sound kinda lame, but I assure you, if you’re looking for an angst free, feel good read, then you can’t go wrong with this. Readers are always complaining that male main characters never talk out their problems or discuss how they’re feeling. Well this book is about Joe and Ed facing their self-prejudices and doing just that.
I’m not normally a fan of books with already established couples, I usually feel as though I’ve missed part of the story, but I never get that feeling with Cultivating Love. I absolutely recommend this to anyone in the need for a slice of happy in their life.
Original review posted at Love Bytes Same Sex Book Reviews
Somewhere in those first few chapters, I was drawn in hook, line, and sinker to the story of Joe and Ed. They are a committed couple, genuinely in love, but for whatever reason (Joe’s reason is revealed farther along into the book), don’t verbally express their true feelings for one another, which leads to momentary uncertainty every now and again.
Author Addison Albright develops a cast of colorful characters ranging from the small town, busybody gossip and her ambitiously nosy daughter and best friend to the homophobic Stan, and Joe’s previously estranged family members and his 17-year-old sister Jenny. Ed’s father’s former partner Bill also evolves into a major character, connecting Ed to his late father.
The storyline captures a several month snapshot of Joe’s and Ed’s new life taking on the management of his dad’s farm. As Ed comes to learn about the father he was never allowed to meet and get to know, Joe is reunited with his family when his now nearly grown sister runs away from home and ends up on the farm.
Without spoiling the story, several unexpected events – highlighted initially by Jenny’s lively personality and transparent nature when questioned by not-so-subtle Ruby – set the stage for some intense, deeply emotional, and eye-opening admissions of the heart.
Albright does a thoroughly consistent job of creating authentic, to-the-heart (and realistic) dialogue between the characters; conveying thoughts, feelings, and emotions that sync with the characters; and writing such descriptive and sensory passages. (And as someone with a farm background, the mentions were relevant and correct – doubt the average person knows much about the process of cutting hay, letting it dry, etc., for example – and the timing was right! High-five, Addison!)
It may have taken a chapter or two for me to catch my stride, but once I did (and wasn’t worried about being blindsided by a major dose of angst or a prolonged fear of an eventual break-up), I was really drawn into the book (hook, line, and sinker, as I said earlier). It’s well-written, and I especially liked the descriptive style and depth of character development, and it’s a steady-paced read.
Based on this release – the first one I have read by Albright – I’m looking forward to future works.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this second edition.
Ed has a life-changing event come his way, and it upends the routine he’s developed with his partner, Joe. They go through life showing very little affection, and this change requires a leap of faith. On both of their parts.
Both of these guys are the epitome of hardworking, alpha men. They start off in the book as a solid, established couple. I was able to jump right in and believe in their connection, and I loved that. Ed felt like the more serious of the two, the one who’s more hesitant, while Joe’s the opposite. Joe’s pretty confident in life’s new twist, but because of his past, it’s not easy to show how much he’s come to care for Ed.
The first half really focuses on these guys finding their footing, while the second half introduces a twist that kept me invested. It was a little awkward of a shift, and I did miss some of the intimacy from the first half. But if you’re looking for an emotional read with a wallop of steam, you’re gonna find it here.
A satisfying read!