“I was trembling, rubbing my clit, feeling myself from the inside, thinking about both men. The thought of one of them, and of both of them, feeling me and fucking me, sent me into orgasm.”
– Harvest of Sin, PDF p.26
A classic love triangle, with an Amish twist, Harvest of Sin chronicles the difficulties faced by one woman in love with two very different men, while dealing with the expectations of her community and her family. Derek and Caleb could not be more different but she can only have one of them. Who will she choose?
I felt like I was sprinting through this entire story. The narrative was extremely rushed and thus I couldn’t connect with the story properly. There was a lot of inane detail but no real flesh to the tale, which was disappointing. I think with a little more thought and a lot more work, this could be a great story. I found most of the characters to be rather insipid (other than Caleb) and the language used by the characters to be unrealistic, for an Amish community…
“‘About Caleb. He’s really cute Anna. You two will have super-cute kids.’ She giggled.” p. 47
Moreover, there were a number of grammatical errors. Several of these errors happen when authors write in the same tone with which they speak. The written and spoke word are very different. I struggled to immerse myself in the story as the authors kept switching from first to third person narrative, and at time employed a very choppy narrative style.
“I tossed my yellow and white quilt off of me, and rose out of bed. Slowly made my way to the window to look outside. Normal fall day. Sun is out, and there’s frost on the ground. I could see the spring flowers that mama and I had planted had frozen and wilted. Much like my heart.” p. 19
That said this is a debut novel and these sorts of problems can be fixed with time and practice. I must also admit that there were moments where it was glaringly obvious that there were two different authors. Their styles are quite different, and occasionally this would show through. This wasn’t a massive problem though.
For a 26 year old, Anna comes across as immensely juvenile and shallow. I’m not sure if she was meant to be innocent and untouched by the outside world, but this was definitely not how the character read. Her biggest concern about Caleb, when her parents tell her that they have found someone to court her, is whether or not he’s ugly. She muses about the treatment her sisters have experienced with their husbands, from a loving, stable relationship, to a cheating, lying bastard of a husband, and her greatest concern is about Caleb’s looks… Very shallow indeed. Further, her behaviour and internal dialogue reminded more of a 19 year old than a 26 year old grown ass woman. She comes across as a selfish user.
“The nightmare that followed was a horrible one. A man, a horribly ugly man, showed up at my house, claiming to be Caleb. He was dull and boring, and not attractive.
He was certainly not Derek.” p. 18
There is a moment where Anna laments the probability that she will have to be an obedient, boring, Amish wife. If the authors has focused more on these concerns, I might have felt sorry for the character.
Caleb wasn’t a bad character but I do wish that his motivation had been better fleshed out, overall. Why would a complete stranger choose to help you with your forbidden love? This isn’t your average “friendzone” bullshit. He could face serious consequences from the community if he is found to be helping Anna. The authors should have delved into his experiences and motives more deeply to better round the character.
Derek was a walking penis. That was how I saw him, anyway. He seemed to only care about sex, with zero regard for consequence. I imagine the behaviour was meant to illustrate a burning passion and love of Anna but he came across as a walking, talking, raging hormone with no self-control. At one point, Derek is beaten almost to death but as soon as he’s conscious he is wanting to drive his pole into her hole, no holds barred. This sort of thing made the character unrealistic and two-dimensional.
The biggest let down for me, however, was how anti-climactic the ending was. As it is, the story didn’t build me up to a spectacular crescendo but what little build up there was, was fully deflated by the ending and, in my opinion, Anna making the wrong choice. I think that she made the wrong choice based on how I feel about the characters, and their lack of depth.
My rating: 2/5
Buy Harvest of Sin on Amazon.
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