elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Jake's Regret by Shawn Lane

Eleven years before Damian and Jake were lovers; but there were a lot of obstacles to their happiness: they were professional football players in a period when gay football players weren't even considered to exist; Damian was an African-American man and Jake a white man, and they lived in deep south Alabama... actually I don't know if it is worst that Damian is gay or that he is African-American...; nor Damian or Jake were out of the closet and Jake came from a very bigot family. And so Jake took the easiest solution and gave up their love.

There is quite a justice after Jake's cowardice, since he went back home to live a life in the closet without really being the son his father wanted, and instead Damian, even if still mourning his lost lover, found another nice man and built a good life together with him. But now Jake's father is dead, and so is Damian's new lover, in a car accident. And Damian maybe thinks it's time to give a second chance to true love and comes in search of Jake. But old habit are hard to die, and even if he hasn't the weight of his father's inquisition on his shoulder, Jake is not really ready to welcome Damian back in his life.

The story is really short, less than 60 pages, but I found both characters interesting since they are not the strong and pure heroes; Damian probably is the one who is more near to the image of an hero since he is ready to bet on their love, not once but also two time; but he is not a mourning hero, he didn't swallow in sadness when Jake dumped him, he probably suffered for some time, and then went on with his life. Deep inside of him, he probably knew that his real love was Jake, but if he didn't loose his new partner by accident, he probably would have never searched Jake again. And even when we had a glance in Damian and Jake's past together, I had the idea that their was a great sex relationship, but probably it was not real deep love, and this is the reason why Damian could move on with another relationship.

On the other side there is Jake: I actually can't say that I like him so much. He is not a fighter, he always abandon the field. When his relationship with Damian started to give him problem, he left; when he has problem at work, he leaves (have you never heard of unfair discharge?)... actually I believe that he finally gives a chance to Damian, only since it's his last chance, and I don't know if this is so right for Damian.

Anyway, as I often said, it's not important if I like the characters as "person", it's not me that should have a relationship with them!, these characters are right for their story, they are likely, I like the fact that Damian didn't spend 11 years pining for a man he couldn't have, and I like that Jake, if not forced by fate, probably would have spent his life alone in his small town USA (as someone else did in the book...), it's probably what would really happen in real life; but this is a romance, and so, to the real life, the author adds a bit of sugar and gives to this two imperfect heroes another chance at love.


Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: shawn lane, genre: contemporary, length: short story, review, theme: friends benefits, theme: multicultural, theme: sports

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