Desert Isle Keeper
What do you do when your life goes in the direction expected, but not the one you wished for? That’s the burning question in this story of finding love in middle age, with a partner who is willing to be your second chance at happiness.
Cam McGhee’s life followed a predictable pattern for a guy from small town Texas. He married a girl from high school, had two children and ran his feed store business day in and day out. He’d known he was gay since he was a teenager, but kept it a secret in his all African-American town, especially when a young man he knew was beaten and ostracized for coming out. Better to be closeted than the alternative. But when Cam’s wife dies from sickle cell anemia after thirty-five years of a steady if not exciting marriage, he knows it’s his chance to venture out from the known and see what happens.
Cam’s first experience in a gay bar is definitely not what he’s looking for, and he wonders if he’s made a mistake coming to Austin for a few months’ break. Then he meets Dave Montoya, a cautiously single, retired, attractive cyclist at a local coffee shop. Dave has experienced his own heartache, breaking up with a partner of fifteen years who had been cheating on him. The quiet, attractive black man who catches Dave’s eye and eventually engages him in conversation clearly isn’t a player on the scene, and his innocence and inexperience are not a turnoff at all. Dave’s ready for their friendship and soon friends with benefits relationship to become something more. Is Cam willing to stand up for what he wants now that he has the chance to have the life he’d always wanted?
What a heartwarming story. It’s quietly endearing, making you care for the characters and for the unique situation Cam finds himself in. With present days scenes interspersed with flashbacks, it’s easy to see how the choices he made as a youth spiraled into a marriage more of convenience than love, and whether or not his wife ever guessed his true feelings, he’ll never know. He comported himself as a faithful husband, a loving father, an exemplary member of his small town society, and a competent businessman.
Even if he dreamed of a different life, he never did anything to jeopardize the one he had. He can admit to himself that his fear of being ostracized for being gay drove his decisions. Even now, he worries over what to do about his business back home, which being taken care of by his son while he’s away. What will his children think if he tells them he’s gay? What will they think of him having a relationship so soon after his wife’s death, and with a man no less? Through all his turmoil Dave is a steady presence, showing his affection and care and giving Cam the space he needs to come to the myriad of decisions that will affect both their lives. Midlife Crisis is a thoughtful, sweet and sexy romance that proves it’s never too late to fall in love and follow your heart.