Reviewed for JoyfullyJay blog on 4/10/12:
Bobby Gallegos and Alejo Sandoval met when they were 6. It was 1972 at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church. Alejo was being picked on by three boys who had stolen his marble. Bobby came to his rescue and into his life. From that time forward, they were inseparable even though their families were so different. Bobby came from a rough family of four boys whose dad was in prison. His older brothers were petty criminals following in their fathers footsteps who only saw the youngest boy as a punching bag. Alejandro’s family were strict, ran a family restaurant and was devoutly Catholic. But none of that mattered as the years passed and their connection deepened into love.
The summer of 1982 changed all that with a series of devastating events that would separate the boys for 22 years. Over time, Alejo got married, and had a family and ran the family restaurant, his bisexual tendencies buried deeply in the closet. Bobby moved away, went to law school in Houston, Texas where he was now a gay successful criminal lawyer. Only once did they try to reconnect but bad timing and distance interfered.
Now they are both 40, their lives at an impasse. Alejo is divorced and Bobby has returned to Albuquerque to persuade Alejo to make a change so they can finally get their happily ever after they have been denied for so long. Bobby has seven days. Will it be enough time?
Let me say right from the start that I love stories about first loves getting their second chance at happiness so this pushed all the right buttons. Val Kovalin also did such a wonderful job with her characters that identifying with them was easy. There is never any doubt as to who these men are and how their pasts molded them. Both men have real depth and layers to their characters, including their flaws which help drive them apart.
Bobby was the easiest of the two to empathize with. His obstacles to overcome are so clearly black and white, starting with an abusive family that he managed to escape from while staying true to who he is. Alejo had it much tougher in a way. His parents love, expectations and strict adherence to the Catholic church buried Alejandro’s own career choices and sexuality under a blanket of guilt and parental love. Now at 40 and getting ready to attend his ex-wife’s marriage, his children, especially his wayward son, keep him from reaching out to Bobby and a new future. The reader’s frustrations with Alejo’s indecision and inability to parent his son mount with Bobby’s . Yet, so skillfully is Alejo drawn that his rational is clear and in keeping with his history. Both the reader and his lover understand his actions even if you don’t like them. It’s your flaws that make you vulnerable and oh so human. So you are never ready to give up on Alejo and neither is Bobby. I thought their entire relationship realistic as it grows and adjusts from ages 6 to 40.
I really enjoyed this book and notice that it is called Fall Into The Sun Bobby and Alejo #1. I am hoping that means we will be seeing more of these two and their hard won future together. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Available at Amazon and ARe.