When David’s father moves in, David loses more than his study. He loses his life. His father has Alzheimer’s and each day is a struggle for both of them. His father’s blunt, bigoted attitudes about David’s lifestyle, friends and neighbors pushes David out of his circle of support and into a world of loneliness, repeated conversations, and the fear that his father will wander off or burn down the house while David’s at work.
With David’s life in turmoil, now is not the right time to meet a man. And definitely not the time to try to have a romantic relationship. But when his father does wander off, David turns to the local police for help, and he meets Detective Travis Hart.
Travis’s life is not much better. Just coming off a nasty break up with his much younger lover, Travis struggles with his attraction to David. A rebound romance is not what Travis is looking for; he wants commitment and forever. Both men realize what they really need at this point in their lives is not a lover, but a best friend.
Through phone calls, they begin a friendship and share the moments in their days, David’s coping with his father and Travis’s struggle with his job as a cop. But as their friendship and attraction turns into the love, David’s father spirals deeper into a disease that robs him of memory and replaces it with fear and delusions, until the situation becomes something that neither David or Travis ever expected...
I was attracted to this book for two reasons. Firstly, I was interested to see how such a serious theme as Alzheimer’s could be incorporated successfully and in a believable way to a romance and, secondly, it looked like this book was going to be a slow burner with lots of sexual tension to it. I seem to have read a lot of books lately where the heroes have jumped very quickly into bed with each other and I was due for something a bit different to that.
The book begins when David returns home to find that his father has disappeared. It may not sound too serious, but David's father has Alzheimer’s and is almost at the stage where he may have to be institutionalised for his own safety. David doesn't want to go down that route yet, mainly because he feels guilty about abandoning his once strong minded father to institutional care. David sets off to find his father but can't see him anywhere in the neighbourhood. He ends up at the nearest police station where he meets Detective Travis Hart. Travis helps David find his father and whilst doing so an attraction blossoms between them. David is unwilling to act on that attraction because his father is strongly homophobic and although David came out to him many years previously, his father keeps forgetting so David doesn't want to invite a man to his house, plus he can't leave his father on his own in the evenings. Both men are unwilling to lose the connection between each other so they settle for regularly talking to each other over the phone.
I have to say that I really liked David. He has spent the last year of his life looking after his intolerant, racist father whose mind is slowly deteriorating and yet he faces his task with a mixture of resignation and humour. Each day he has to remind his father that he is gay and at one point he muses on whether he should just get a flashcard so that he's not repeating himself. David is also very human and goes through periods of frustration, mainly because he has had to put his life on hold for the past year as he cares for his father. This frustration is followed by intense guilt and remorse. These feelings were so understandable and David was so well rounded that I couldn't help but warm to him. This is David's story and David is the main focus of all the events, so it's not surprising that Travis doesn't come across as strongly. We do get to hear his thoughts and opinions, especially about his growing feelings for David and the stresses and strains of a job in law enforcement, but I still finished the book feeling that I didn't know him as well as I knew David.
The other character who plays a large role in this book is David's father, David snr. He was a strong, independent man before his illness and in his head he still feels strong and independent. The reader gets to see David snr's thoughts at certain points throughout the book. This adds to the emotional intensity of the novel as at each point we see how much further David snr's mind is degrading. At first he seems reasonably normal, but as the book progresses so does his confusion and paranoia, leading to an explosive event at the end of the book. It was necessary for us to see that slow change in David snr so that the end was wholly believable. Without his thoughts, the ending may have seemed a bit over-the-top and out of place, especially as David has no idea how bad his father has become. The character of David's father brought out quite a mix of emotions in me. On one hand I felt dreadfully sorry about the loss of his mind and the confusion that is wrought within him, and on the other I found his homophobic, racist attitude quite repellent. It is the sign of a great author if they are able to make such a character at all sympathetic and I felt that Lynn Lorenz had done a very good job with David's father.
The degradation of David's snr's mind is a mirror opposite to the relationship that grows between David and Travis. I liked how the men got to know each other before they were able to meet and consummate all that simmering lust and when the sex finally took place, it was all the more tender and satisfying for the long build up.
Although the romance was lovely, the relationship between the men really took a back seat to the drama between David and his father. This was a story of a man struggling with Alzheimer’s and of his son who is struggling to care for a very difficult man, both in his temper and attitude to David and his sexuality. It's not a light, carefree read as you would expect from a book which deals not only with someone suffering from Alzheimer’s, but also some of the more difficult aspects of Travis' job. It is, however, a moving, emotional and compelling read and I would highly recommend it with a grade of 'Excellent'.