Chasing the Sun (Provincetown #2), Jacob Z Flores
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Gay Romance
Tags: Age Difference, Series, Contemporary
Length: 118 Pages
Reviewer: Kazza K
Gil Kelly has been hiding away from life and the people of Victoria, Texas, after he was found with his pants around his ankles and his cock in the very male gardeners mouth many years ago. Gil was married at the time. Gil is in his fifties now, a doctor, lives alone and lately he’s been chatting to another guy on Cyber – Visiting Guy – about a hook up. When he is at the local Starbucks waiting to meet Visiting Guy, his son’s childhood BFF, Tommy Martinez, recognises him and sits down to have a chat. Gil doesn’t know what to do if Visiting Guy shows up but Tommy is gorgeous and it’s nice talking to him. He feels a bit pervy thinking about Tommy as attractive when he has known him since childhood. Tommy, or Tom as he prefers to be called by Gil, is in his thirties now and obviously a man, not a boy. He wants to be seen as a man by Gil because he fancies him. Has done for at least five years. He likes older men.
When Gil gets back home after part of the evening he has spent with Tommy he logs onto Cyber to find Visiting Guy saw him talking to the hot young guy and left, but he is prepared to meet up again at a later time. He susses out what Gil thought of the hot young guy first, though. The reader just knows that Visiting Guy and Tommy are one and the same and it isn’t very long at all that it comes out anyway, so no surprises there.
I liked the beginning of the book. The way Tommy pursues Gil, his confidence, and the sex scene they have in and around the pool is quite good. I like the use of the name Holden Caulfield by Gil on Cyber. Sadly, it kind of deteriorated into a soap opera of Gil self-flagellating because he has been a bad husband and a bad father. I agree, he has been both. Not because he is gay, just the way he handled himself – he stopped being there for his son and daughter and they copped flack at school. Because their dad had been busted with a man and their mother spread it all over town in her hurt and humiliation. He felt guilty so he hid. Not ideal.
I found it hard to get into the main character of Gil. I also found the primary relationship between Gil and Tommy was disappointing as so much time was spent going over and over the same ground of Gil being a bad person, Tommy giving him pep talks and the bitchy female friends of his ex wife hating on him. That Gil kept comparing himself to his own father. It felt repetitive and I felt like it all detracted from the relationship building in the book. I also felt like we just didn’t get to see enough of Tommy and he was a nice character when on page. At Tommy’s prompting, Gil decided it was okay to be gay and to come out and live his life in society again. To apologise to his children and his wife, give people a chance to see whether they like Gil and to give love a chance. I just felt it was too easy, if it was so entrenched it would have taken more and it should have come from Gil. Sami, Gil’s daughter, accepted her father when he reached out and then had a flip-out over him being with Tommy Martinez, basically saying – ‘good one Dad, way to go about (not) mending a rift between you and your son.’ Then she quickly about-faced and was good in a matter of sentences. There was not enough length for what needed to be achieved and for the right execution of the plot and the character development.
If you want an easy, quick read with a twenty year age gap between the MC’s, a bit of family drama and some penance and making up that goes well, then Chasing the Sun may just be for you. It had promise and I can see some people liking the sweeter aspects but for me it was lacking.
This book was supplied by the publisher, Dreamspinner Press, in return for an honest review.