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Posted July 14, 2011
Gabriel Galan is a thirtysomething gay man who teaches journalism and writing at a Boston college. The Cuban-American lived until recently in Miami, where his father and mother - now divorced and each living alone - still reside. Despite considerable career satisfaction and good friends, Gabriel hasn't found his "Mr. Right" and wonders if that will ever happen, as he ages in our community where "hot" is usually a decade younger. He also has some guilt about having left his parents alone, especially now that his Papi is physically declining due to Parkinson's Disease.
Gabriel takes comfort in helping his students, and weekend nights out with his best friend Nick, who even tolerates his Star Trek obsession. Things start to look up when he finds himself dating a former student, more than a dozen years his junior, but life has more surprises in store.
It's great to see one of my favorite authors back! As is his trademark, two characters from his "Beantown Cubans" novel make a guest appearance, in this touching and well-written romantic novel that is not to be missed. Five stars out of five.
- Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
Posted July 10, 2011
Diaz, Johnny. "Take the Lead", Dreamspinner Press, 2011.
I have been a fan of Johnny Diaz through his first three books, "Boston Boys Club", "Miami Manhunt" and Beantown Cuban", so when his new book, "Take the Lead" came, I immediately sat down with it. Diaz has the knack for combining a real good story with some very hot erotica and reading him is great fun.
This is the story of Gabriel Galan, a loved and respected college professor who has a great position, lots of hot love and a very good friend. However, he feels that something is missing and looks for even more. His father is suffering with Parkinson's disease so Gabe agrees to help him as much as he can but he also helps himself to Adam, his father's physical therapist.
Gabe is very family oriented and he acts as a go-between with his divorced parents, cares for his dad and is a good son. Perhaps the fact that his parents could not make their marriage work made Gabe realize how important it was to have an equal someone to share his life. One of the things that I like about Diaz's book is that they are light and fun while not being fluff. He covers a lot of themes and here he deals with family, love, friendship, profession and life in general. At 35 years old, he is successful in academia but he is lonely for full time love. He has his worries as well-will he go bald soon and will his chest hair turn grey? He dates a much younger former student but he realizes that he cannot find love with him and for me, at least, Gabe is a gay "everyman" since so many of us have experienced what he feels. Gabe is easy for the reader to love because he is not only like us but he is also very successful at a young age in a profession that thinks that age and wisdom go together.
Let me warn you that if you are looking for romance, you will not find it here. You will find a good story that while not always totally believable, is still a fun read.