Putting Down Roots (Larchdown Valley Book 1) by Jem Wendel

Two guys with pasts they want to run from. Jackson is treated so badly that after his divorce he just wants to run. Luca's cheating ex gives him plenty of reason to hide. Both end up in the town of Larchdown.

From the Putting Down Roots blurb:

Can love be found in a derelict garden in this small town romance?

Jackson's plan had been a simple one—fill the van with fuel and drive until it ran dry, then start his life all over again. He was running away—from his ex-wife, his ex-boss, his ex-life. He was excited for a fresh start opening a plant nursery with no one to bother him. But when his van breaks down, he is forced to stay in Larchdown and the longer he stays in the strange village, the more it gets under his skin. When he meets the beautiful but troubled new owner of Larchdown House, his life gets a lot more complicated.

Luca's art career is on the rocks after a spiteful review from his art critic ex-lover. Amid the scandal, he can't bring himself to leave his apartment or even think about picking a paintbrush. Inheriting his great aunt's home in the country gives him the chance to escape London and his dismal new life for a while. When he meets a gorgeous gardener on the property, he finds he has a reason to stay. Except the guy is straight . . . isn't he?

Both men must confront their own demons if they want to find their way to each other and learn to trust again.

But no one can run from their past forever and when it finally pays a visit, have they done enough to conquer it?

Re-edited edition.

Content Warnings: Depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Homophobic slurs. Mention of - Historical violence, childhood sexual abuse and self-harm. Death and suicide of parents.

Reed Kaye's review:

I enjoyed this story. Such a heartwarming look at two guys both with pasts that they are trying to get away from. Both characters are so likable.

Jackson has really been beat down. His life has been unacceptable to everyone around him and after he gets divorced he is in need of a new beginning.

Luca’s ex cheated on him and caused his career to take a downturn. He is ready to just hide away and regroup. Being left a home in Larchdown gives him a perfect place to run to.

When the two meet, both lives change. I found this story to be uplifting. Following the paths these two take and the secondary characters they interface with made this a very relaxing story for me.

Putting Down Roots is currently available as an e-book and paperback