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Take the Lead by Johnny Diaz

andrew potter
This was a very nice read, but it was not really a romance… or better it was more different romances in one story. It’s basically the life of Gabriel Galan, Cuban-American college professor who is now living in Boston; when the story starts he is single, but he has one important relationship in his life, the one with Nick, his buddy-friend. That between Gabriel and Nick is not a sexual bond, they really care for each other, and even when Gabriel is in a love relationship, he still hangs out with Nick and confides with him all his dreams and desire; I don’t see it coming that Gabriel will ever break this bond, no matter what happens in their life.

Second important relationship is that with his family; even if they live in Florida, Gabriel has a very tight bond with his parents, he calls them every night and he saves money to fly down as much as possible. I really like that there was no tension between them, even if, actually, Gabriel’s parents never acknowledge his homosexuality, simply saying, go out with your friends and be happy. I think that was very right with their Latin upbringing, you love deeply your family, but it can be difficult to accept your son is gay. In any case it was only a feeling, there was really nothing that let me believe Gabriel’s parents were not supportive of him, and Gabriel for sure loved them very much.

Finally there is the love relationships; Gabriel finds a boyfriend, one of his former college student, but I had the feeling he was not the one. Gabriel is not comfortable with him, always worrying about their difference in age and expectations. From this point of view, Gabriel is a little vain, always looking on the mirror if he is losing hair, if he is still fit, always competing with young boys at the disco (one of his “drama” in the novel is when he finds a white hair on his chest, “I am becoming a gray gay”…). I was almost wondering if indeed no real love story was expected in the novel when, at almost half the book, enters Adam.

Adam is a dance instructor, gay and single. He is middle thirty while Gabriel is near forty, so they are perfect together. Again, I was expecting for the love story to take a fast turn, and I was already seeing them running towards the happily ever after… and again I was wrong; Adam and Gabriel will take their time, and mostly of their story will be off the record. As I said, the romance is not the main reason of the novel, the novel is about Gabriel and his journey towards middle age (not that he is already middle age, I said journey not stop…). Even his attempt to convince his father to take dance classes is another way to fight his own middle age, if his father is not old, than Gabriel is not either.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2387

Amazon: Take the Lead
Amazon Kindle: Take the Lead
Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615819568
ISBN-13: 978-1615819560

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