Title: Fall Into the Sun by Val Kovalin
Alejo and Bobby #1
Publisher: V-K Now Books
Genre: M/M, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance
Length: 41,000 words
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Obtained from Author
They should have spent the past 22 years together, but life took some unexpected turns for Bobby Gallegos and Alejo Sandoval. Heartbreak and rejection can harden the hearts of two passionate, stubborn men. One, deeply devout, wanted to attend college. One, who perfected a tough act to deceive his brothers, might have followed his dad to prison. Now, at 40 years old, they maintain a long-distance relationship as sex buddies, who don’t quite trust each other.
Their lives have sharply diverged. One is now divorced with two teenagers, who bring him joy and despair. One has just had a near-death experience on the job. When Bobby returns to Albuquerque, he will use sex, persuasion, and memories of their shared past to try to convince Alejo to take a chance on him and reach for the future together that they were meant to share.
Publisher’s Note: This gay romance novel contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable, including male/male sexual practices.
Fans of friends to lovers and second chance at love romances are sure to enjoy Val Kovalin’s Fall Into the Sun. Bobby Gallegos and Alejo Sandoval are childhood friends with a long history between them. As teenagers, their friendship turned romantic, but their relationship ended after graduating from high school. They reconnect briefly over the years and they occasionally indulge in friends with benefits style hookups. A near death experience and the movie Brokeback Mountain change Bobby’s priorities and he is no longer satisfied living on the periphery of Alejo’s life. Will Bobby successfully convince Alejo it is time to take a chance on love?
Both Alejo and Bobby are fascinating characters who are from similar backgrounds. Yet their lives are are vastly different and these differences shape the direction their futures and, consequently their relationship, goes. Alejo’s family are hardworking restaurant owners. Their expectations for Alejo are high and he will live up to them no matter what sacrifices he must make. As Catholics they are deeply religious and Alejo takes his spirituality very seriously. Alejo’s obligations take precedence and his family always comes first.
In startling contrast, Bobby’s childhood and family are quite dysfunctional. His father is incarcerated and dies a violent death in a prison riot. Two of his older brothers follow in his footsteps and their lives end in violence. His other brother is an alcoholic with a gambling addiction. Devastated when Alejo ends their relationship, Bobby takes the opportunity to make something of himself and through hard work and determination, he finds professional success. He never forgets his first love though, and when they do finally reconnect, while not entirely happy with their arrangement, he is content with his place in Alejo’s life. Until that fateful day Bobby realizes he wants more than Alejo has been willing to give.
Fall Into the Sun is beautifully written from both protagonists perspectives. Their story is complex and multi-layered, spanning several decades. Through flashbacks, we learn their heartbreaking history. Of the two characters, I found Bobby to be the most sympathetic and likable. He always has a firm grasp of who he is and he lives his life according to his own standards. I could understand Alejo’s desperate need for his mother’s approval when he was a teenager. However, when he is an adult, it is frustrating to watch him squander his happiness in return for his family’s acceptance.
Fall Into the Sun is a little bit angsty, but the drama is integral to the plot. The sex scenes between Alejo and Bobby are intense with a high degree of urgency and lust. For much of the novel, Bobby is willing to take whatever Alejo is willing to give. But in the end, his patience with Alejo finally pays off and they compromise their way to their happily ever after.
An excellent novel by Val Kovalin that I highly recommend.