Book Reviews

Home Is Where You Are (States of Love) by Emjay Haze at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 08-March-2018

Book Blurb

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….



States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Book Review

“You came and showed me what it meant, that home is not a house, but a feeling. Home is where you are. Home is where I wanna be. Wherever you are, you can come home to me.” ~ Nadia Fay (Home)

Eric lives under the illusion that Drew, the man who has shared his home for the past year, feels the same way he does. Unfortunately, this is not the case. What Eric considers true love Drew considers “a mutually beneficial sexual relationship”. Eric comes home from work one day and finds his supposed boyfriend is in the process of moving out. Drew has gotten a promotion in another city and has decided to take it, without discussing it with Eric. Eric is mortified. He is trying to decide what to do next, when his mother calls with the news that his father has had a stroke and that Eric is needed at home.

Eric hasn't been home in years. He hates the farm. Eric is planning to stay until his dad gets back on his feet, then he's going back to the city. Eric meets Phil, a nice guy who has worked for his dad for years. Although they have other employees, Phil is treated like family. This makes Eric feel like Phil has taken Eric's place as their son but Eric also realizes that it is his own fault for being away so long. Since many changes have occurred during the five years since Eric has been gone, Phil shows Eric around and explains the modifications. Eric uses his college degree in Agricultural Science and comes up with a few new ways to make the whole farm more efficient. Phil is impressed by his ingenuity and with Eric himself. Eric is different than he thought he might be and is delighted. As Eric and Phil ride around the countryside, Eric starts to remember why he once loved the farm. Phil is puzzled about what happened to make Eric decide to give it all up and live in the city, but it's a secret that Eric isn't sharing. Phil's love for the farm is intoxicating and soon Eric finds himself beginning to love the place again. Also, Eric and Phil have an attraction they decide not to fight and start dating.

One of the biggest issues for the farm is the loans his parents have gotten or need to get to keep it running efficiently. They have overextended themselves. Eric wants to help his parents, so he contacts the bank. Unfortunately, Drew gets the account and Eric's hope dims. He's already angry at Eric because Eric's sudden leave of absence has delayed his leaving for the promotion he just got; Eric is afraid he'll turn down the loan as a way of punishing Eric. Drew tells Eric that he wants to do a site visit of the farm before making his decision, which is not unheard of, especially for such a big investment, but is not particularly necessary either. Eric knows that Drew is being difficult on purpose. They set a date for the meeting in three days. Unfortunately, Drew doesn't wait for Monday; he comes the next day, causing all kinds of trouble being his normal condescending, rude self. He is an absolute jerk to Phil which makes Eric mad, but he is afraid to say much for fear that Drew will turn him down for spite. Understandably, Phil is not happy. Why didn't Eric prepare him ahead of time? To make matters worse, when Drew is ready to leave, he grabs Eric and kisses him. Eric pushes him away, but not before Phil sees them in an embrace and assumes the worst.

This story is another example of “honesty being the best policy”. If Eric had not withheld information from Phil, it would not have caused the heartbreak that it did. In Eric's defense, Drew did a number on him and he was still lost and confused, but his relationship with Phil was completely different and honest and Eric should have trusted him more. I loved Eric's parents. His mom was so compassionate and understanding; even with his dad being a bit cantankerous, it was clear that he loved his son. I love Phil. The patience he had with Eric was incredible and they deserved happiness. Thanks, Emjay.  

For an endearing tale with a lesson about honesty, two sexy men, some angst, beautiful landscape, and almost being able to smell maple syrup, you may enjoy this story.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 95 pages/31178 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 26-January-2018
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link