I really loved
this friends to lovers story. It was very well written, the use of flashbacks, I thought was done BRILLIANTLY, and gave the story so many layers, which made for such a great connection with the characters, it was just so GOOD.
Bobby Gallegos and Alejo Sandoval had been in love since they were six years old. They were soul mates, they knew it too. But life, family obligations, religion, fear, circumstances, all got in the way. At 40 years old after they had finally found a way to be together (if only as friends with benefits) it was time to decide who they would be to each other permanently.
I had to think a lot about this book. Both Bobby and Alejo are Latin (Mexican-American). Being Latin I am always very critical about how Latins are portrayed in books or novels. With this book I had to ask myself, was this story just a bunch of stereotypes? Or was this just honest? I had to go with honest
. The reality is that in the Latin culture being Catholic is not just your faith, it is part of who you are. Our major life milestones revolve around sacraments, there is not even a choice. You are born, you are Catholic. The grip of the Church is not an easy one to escape. Family obligations in our culture are not something you move on from, oh no no, who you are as a son, a brother, a father it defines the measure of who you are as man. Add homosexuality to a culture that is fueled with expressions like "a Real Man"
,"Men being Men"
(which most times involves they notches on their bedpost) and you get a recipe for exactly what Bobby and Alejo had to go through. But at the same time, there is deep and intensely fierce love in our families, and people who will show a love so unfettering and unconditional that is almost miraculous. Bobby and Alejo got that too.
This was both Bobby's and Alejo's story, we get to know both of these men well. Who is talking to us though is Bobby, for the most part we see things through his eyes. Bobby's family had many problems, his father and two of his brothers ended up in a life of crime, and died violent deaths. His other brother struggled with alcoholism, and a gambling addiction. His mother was bitter from all the hardships she endured. Despite all this Bobby knew who he was, he loved Alejo, and was not afraid to let that take his life where it had to go. He was not willing to let the love of his life
go, over fear of his family's rejection. Thing was that Bobby had a lot less to loose, all he could do was better.
Alejo was from a good family, very religious, he was the only male son. He lived to make his parents proud of him. Like the good Latin boy he was, he lived and breathed to get approval from his mother. The fear of seeing hate or repulsion in his family's eyes drove him to turn his back on Bobby.
At 18 Alejo broke up with Bobby, drove him away, told him he didn't want him anymore. It broke Bobby's heart, so much so that he had to leave New Mexico. He went to Houston, became a successful attorney, and tried hard to forget Alejo. Alejo married, ran his family's business, had kids, he tried to forget Bobby too. They never could.
So, we meet up with Bobby at 40, waiting for Alejo at a hotel in Albuquerque. For about a year they have been reunited, and have been doing the fuck buddy thing. But they both know that it's HELL OF A LOT MORE than that
. They are meant to be together, and they've already wasted too much time.
Alejo is divorced, his kids have grown up, and Bobby, he has reached a place in his life where being with his man, fully and openly, is the only thing he wants.
I really loved the times where the story goes back to show us Bobby and Alejo's history, we see how they met, how they hurt each other, how they healed each other, how they drifted apart, how they found each other again, their passion for each other when they were together as lovers...Just what THEY have always been. Two men meant to be together.
This book was fantastic. I loved it
. Not much to complain about for me really. There was
a little bit of drama, which was what prompted the desperately needed 'Wake Up Call". That was done well and precisely. So, no bother at all to me. One thing that might be bothersome for some people is the sense that Bobby was always willing to give more than Alejo. Took whatever he could give him, that Bobby gave too much and got back too little.
Maybe that is true, but at the same time a 40 year old man should be able to make up his mind regarding what he is willing to live with, and what he is not. Alejo was more important to him than anything, and his devotion and steadiness finally got him what he wanted. Alejo became the man Bobby knew he could be, and he did it because of HIM
.Completely Recommend this one.