Home is Where You Are
Author: Emjay Haze
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press
Release Date: 1/26/18
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
Part of the States of Love Series by DreamSpinner Press
Home is Where You are
For a chance at a future filled with love, he’ll have to face a painful past.
Eric, recently dumped by his boyfriend, is summoned home after his dad suffers a stroke. His family farm in rural Vermont holds memories he’d rather forget, but he—with his degree in agricultural business—is needed to clear up a predicament with the bank. In trying to forget the bad, Eric has also lost sight of the good: green meadows dotted with grass-fed dairy cows and the sugar maples that once produced the area’s finest maple syrup. With Eric’s help, they will again.
A captivating farmhand named Phil tempts Eric to give the countryside another chance, but before they can consider being together, Eric must move past more than his feelings for his ex-boyfriend—he’ll need to stand up to the ghosts that sent him running from the farm in the first place….
Glad for the refill, Phil took a long sip and debated with himself for several long seconds. He looked over at Eric, who’d just shared a horrific story. The least Phil could do was be honest with him. He took a deep sigh.
“I had a huge crush on you in high school.”
He waited for Eric’s reaction, which seemed to take forever. Eric looked positively dumbstruck as he stared at Phil.
“Are you going to say something?” God, this was a mistake. Eric was going to laugh at him. He should get up and walk out.
“Really?” Eric finally said, smiling. “I wish I’d known.”
He didn’t think Eric had even known who he was—other than that kid whose parents worked at their farm.
“Hey, man,” Donny said as he practically crashed into their table. One too many boilermakers. “Is this a private party, or can I join?” he asked Phil, but never took his eyes off Eric.
Eric, still staring at Phil, blinked twice, which seemed to pull him out of the trance they were in.
“Eric Bevington,” Donny slurred, giving Eric a creepy once-over.
“How have you been, Donny?”
Donny took that as an invitation and sat down next to Phil.
“You got hot, Bevington.” He punched Phil in the arm. “Didn’t he, buddy?”
“Thanks, Donny. You filled out.”
It wasn’t really a compliment, but Donny didn’t seem to notice as he puffed his chest out and patted his soft belly. Phil stifled a chuckle and let Donny have his moment. But he was thankful when Eric shook Donny’s hand from across the table and told him he and Phil would like to continue their conversation.
“Oh, sure, sure.” Donny looked between the two of them, knitting his brows together. “Have fun, you two.”
“Have you two dated?” Eric cocked his head. It was amazingly sexy. Phil answered with a shake of his head. “We’ve hooked up a few
times—well, many times—but that’s all it was.”
Eric looked back at the bar to see Donny and his friends downing shots and howling at each other. “I see.”
“There’s not a big pool in this town.” He felt he needed to explain. “Enough for a gay bar.” Eric’s lips curled into a smirk.
“It’s half-lesbian,” Phil retorted. They spent the next twenty minutes chatting about the town and high school, staying away from the subject of bullies and Phil’s crush on Eric. “Do you remember Mr. Worth?” They didn’t have many young male teachers at their high school.
Eric got a dreamy look on his face. “Mr. Worth was so hot. He made algebra tolerable. I totally fantasized about him during class.”
“You and me both, buddy.” They had a good chuckle over their overactive teenage hormones.
They were having such a nice time that soon it was near eleven o’clock.
“We’d better get going. Early day tomorrow.” They had to finish in the orchard and get the orders for tubing and taps finalized. Then Phil and Eric would do an inspection of all the equipment in the sugar house.
“Yeah, I’m getting tired.” Eric looked up at Phil with those sexy amber eyes of his, and Phil melted.
Would this go anywhere?
“I had a really nice time tonight, Eric. Thanks for inviting me.” “Me too. We should do it again sometime.”
Phil nodded. He hoped so. They stood up, and Phil put his hand on Eric’s shoulder, leading him out of the bar. Some of the cowboys had their
eye on Eric as he and Phil walked across the floor, like he was a tender piece of meat they’d like to sink their teeth into. Feeling protective, Phil put his arm around Eric as they walked over to Darla to say good night.
“Good night, sweetie. Hope I see you in here again?” Eric nodded. “Definitely. You make the best cocktails.” She beamed
at him. “See ya soon, Darla.”
They walked out of the club and stopped at Eric’s car. Phil wished they had gone together so their night wouldn’t end right now. But he wasn’t
sure if Eric considered it a date. He didn’t want to make it awkward by suggesting more to the evening. “See you in the morning, Eric.”
“Phil?” Phil waited for Eric to say something, but then he opened his car door. “Good night. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
I have a rafflecopter giveaway of 3 e-copies of Home is Where you Are, and a Grand prize of the e-book and a gift pack of Vermont maple syrup and maple candy.
Emjay Haze is a Pennsylvania girl living in a Virginia world, growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs and moving to Northern Virginia to follow her now husband of twenty-plus years. She has two kids in college, a year-old puppy named Max, a black-and-white cat named Tux, a gecko named Rex, a yellow tang called Reggie, and we hear the eels are coming this week.