Thanksgiving meant family, and in their case friends, old friends and the best of them. Emerson was looking forward to sharing his new home, his culinary skills, his settledness, with his on-again-off-again lover Paul and their friend Liz. Liz had been taking bets on Emerson and Paul’s forever for—well, forever, and she hoped her news would push them together once and for all. But there was a reason they’d never quite made it work. Emerson has a secret that just won’t mesh with Paul’s life on the road.
This year Paul’s determined to change all that. To convince Emerson through charm, logic, and incredible sex they were meant for each other. But when the holiday’s over, their relationship status is not all that will have changed.
Emerson and Paul had always loved each other but never let on and gradually they drifted apart because Paul was so much in demand with his music career which took him on the road almost year round, while Emerson stayed home. The only time they saw each other was once a year for a short weekend when Paul flew in for Thanksgiving and they celebrated with their best friend Liz. After the feast of food, Paul and Emerson usually had a more intimate feast – sex 24/7 for 2 days. Emerson lived in fear that one day Paul wouldn’t be there any more because he had found someone else, and he would end up alone. Emerson was closed off emotionally to everyone but Paul because of his past, and even with him he had difficulty opening up until he had no choice.
This year Emerson was showing off his new home to his friends – a home that was becoming increasingly important because it looked like it might end up as his refuge. When friends get together it’s always wonderful and this time was no exception as they caught up with each other’s lives. When Liz left and Paul and Emerson were alone together it was as if nothing had changed, but Paul wanted Emerson to be more present in his life and he had a plan to make it happen. However, there was a major impediment that could prevent his plan from getting off the ground – Emerson had a life changing secret which could mean that any future Paul may have planned would no longer be a viable option, and it was beginning to look more and more as if both of them could end up alone. To make any relationship happen Paul may have to sacrifice important aspects of his career and Emerson would have to face his greatest fear.
Paul confided in the only person who would understand – Liz their best friend who had been their rock since they were at school together. As adults Liz, Paul and Emerson had merged into a family who were mutually supportive during the bad times and this was definitely a bad time. Then Paul had a personal crisis and he needed Emerson who dropped everything to fly to his side at great personal cost, and Paul reciprocated by showing that the love was not one sided.
I enjoyed this book for a number of reasons, not the least of which were the characters, the prose and dialogue which about says it all. The characters were sympathetic and I especially liked that Liz was three dimensional as well. The protags were well drawn – Emerson, the skilled song writer but also a homemaker and Paul, the musician who made his songs come alive. If I had one criticism about the book it was that there was a lot of plot for such a short story but that’s usually an issue with this short format. In this case the author did an excellent job of pacing Leftovers, and both the characters and the story appealed to me. Ms Harte’s story showed that both protagonists wanted a more meaningful relationship with his best friend and lover and they were prepared to move any obstacles in their way to achieve this objective.
In case you think this book is one big emo fest, au contraire – there was a lot of humour and hot sex. 😀
This is a wonderful story of two men who evolved into a couple and Treva Harte’s wonderful dialogue showed that she is a terrific writer who understands the frailties and emotions of her characters without resorting to over the top prose. Definitely recommended.