David’s Dilemma

Author: Lynn Lorenz

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Rating: 3 stars

Buy Links: DSP & Amazon

Type: Novella

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb: When is it the wrong time to find Mr. Right? For David, that time is now. He’s caring for his homophobic father, who has Alzheimer’s, and his personal life is the last thing he has time to focus on. But when his father wanders off, David is forced to reach out to the police, in the person of Detective Travis Hart. Travis is gay, tired of the club life and twinks he can’t keep up with, and longs for a real relationship with a man who wants the same—maybe someone remarkable like David. In fact, David is exactly who he has been looking for, but Travis isn’t sure he can be the man David needs during this difficult time.

Because as David’s father sinks deeper into the disease that’s robbing him of his memories, David really needs a friend, not a lover. Though Travis is determined to support David in whatever way he can, David’s decision could lead both men into a situation with no possibility of a happy resolution.

First Edition published by Amber Quill Press, 2009.

 

Review: This is my first book by this author, and despite some niggles I had with the story, it is written in a flowing, engaging style and I will be looking for more from her.

In this story, both Travis and David are mature men, near forty years old. They each have heavy personal issues keeping them from pursuing a meaningful relationship, yet they each know it is something they want very much.

David Delaney’s personal issue is his father, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. David has sold his father’s home, and moved him into his own. Between working full-time at his landscape design job, and taking care of his father and home, he has no time for dating. Doesn’t much matter anyway, as his father is staunchly homophobic, which, coupled with the Alzheimer’s, has turned David’s world into a lonely one. One day he discovers his father is missing from the house, and when he can’t find him, he enlists the help of the police. In particular, the help of Detective Travis Hart.

Travis Hart has been keeping company with a younger man – a sexy, but immature and demanding younger man. The sex is great, but beyond that, Travis shares nothing in common with him. Travis breaks off the relationship, and shortly afterwards David walks into the station and Travis’s life. David locates his father with Travis’s help, and in the process they begin a friendship that has strong undercurrents of attraction. Travis now knows he wants a solid, committed relationship with someone, rather than casual flings. But can David be the man he finds happiness with? Can he expect David to accept the dangers of his job, on top of dealing with his father’s illness? David tentatively, and somewhat disbelievingly, finds himself falling for Travis as they connect during lengthy phone calls. David can’t have Travis to the house because of his father’s anti-gay sentiments and erratic behavior, so the phone calls and later occasional quick meetings have to suffice.

I liked the genuineness of each man’s misgivings. Travis’s job was a dangerous one, and this was demonstrated clearly on more than one occasion. David was stoic and supportive though. Travis was just as understanding, patient, and supportive of David’s issues with his father. He really bent over backward to give David help with his father, as well as space to pursue a relationship at a pace he was comfortable with. David’s conflicted feelings about his father rang true: fear, anger, helplessness, sadness, and yes, resentment. The slow build of Travis and David’s feelings for one another was plausible and satisfying. While the reader gets to know what all of the characters in the book are doing and thinking, of course the characters don’t get the same info. In that vein, a shocking development in this story took a turn I did not foresee – I love when an author can pull that off.
Some elements took me out of the story, one being some of the language – particularly terms of endearments – which seemed forced or used too soon. These just didn’t resonate with me early in Travis and David’s relationship. As much as David’s misgivings were plausible, I still kept thinking he could have found time to see Travis away from home, especially once he did find some help. He also had neighbors who seemed pretty nice and capable. I was disappointed in the ending. A major event had happened, and the story basically ended without a feeling of resolution, or of the characters coming to grips with the emotion of it all. And it was pretty harrowing. I felt I didn’t get to see David’s true depth of reaction to what had happened, nor did I get to witness how he and Travis – and his father – were able to move forward.

Overall, this is a very moving and real portrayal of dealing with being the caretaker of a parent who has a debilitating and devastating illness. Friendship, caring and love is showcased by David and Travis and I loved their bond. There is the appreciated added element of suspense and surprise. I would enjoy seeing where these characters go from here, if the author is so inclined.

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