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REVIEW: “Home Grown” by Jon Keys



Peter Stevens believes nothing tastes better than a vine-ripened tomato tended by a farmer’s hands. The craving for heirloom tomatoes leads him to his local farmers’ market and his favorite vendor, Ethan Hart. As Peter becomes a regular customer, the two find they have more in common than a love of good food.

Just as Ethan begins to relax, Peter’s ex, Jay, appears and is all the things Ethan is not. A perfect storm of mistakes and poor choices, as well as Ethan’s haunted past, has him ready to admit defeat. With the guidance of friends and a goat far too smart for her own good, Ethan realizes he needs to have a tender hand and patience to grow a home for Peter.


Unfortunately, if I have to summarize this story, I can only come up with, well, dull.

I was interested to try this one because the summary sounded promising – I was looking forward to the interaction between Peter and Ethan, because I craved for more ‘blue-collar’ characters – and working at a local farmer’s market seemed to be the ticket for it.

The first 20% they talked about fruit and food and meals a LOT. Seriously, these men spent paragraph after paragraph talking about truant tomatos, Brandywine, ripe Cherokee Purple, pimento peppers, Yellow Pear, goat cheese… I was looking for a romance story, not a recipe cookbook.


Peter popped the small yellow fruit in his mouth and bit down. The ripe grenade exploded, with one piece of sweet shrapnel escaping to land on his white shirt.


“This is another popular one, darker fleshed like the Cherokee Purple.”


“Really? Fresh chèvre? Fresh chèvre’s like white gold!”


The idea that Ethan was in an abusive relationship almost a decade ago felt like  superficial information – I didn’t see how it added anything important to the story. Peter’s dark secret also felt, well, blah and silly. Peter’s ex… sorry, another element that just felt forced (even if he was indeed mentioned in the book summary). The secondary characters were okay, although there was this kid that sounded so much like an adult, I forgot several times that he was just a kid.

Basically, this story felt flat and without anything interesting. Sure you could spend one or two short hours for this but I’m afraid I must say that the end result is not satisfying nor memorable.



HomeGrownTitle: Home Grown
Author: John Keys
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 165
Release Date: September 3, 2014
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press, ARe, Amazon

About Ami

My name is Ami and I'm an Indonesian girl in my mid 30's, living in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. I used to do a lot of journal writing in a different website but over the years, I started to lose interest. I am, instead, pretty active in reading and writing opinion in Goodreads. Then I start thinking that maybe I can have a blog in which I write mostly about books or joy of reading or anything related to reading activity, really. So this is what this blog is for ... although, I may be inspired to write off-books topic as well :)

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This entry was posted on September 3, 2014 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Ami and tagged , , .

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