Desert Isle Keeper
Love and Salvage: Eli’s Three Wishes
Eli Gaither is a good ole Georgia boy in the best sense of the description. He works hard, plays hard, and loves even harder. But Ortiz is quick to remind readers that even good ole boys who look like they have life by the tail need true love, and sometimes it’s harder for them to find it than it is for us lesser mortals.
Big, brawny, and bald Eli works at the Gaither family salvage company and despite a huge family and friends has been a loner since his divorce. His younger son, with whom he bonded more than his other two children, refuses to speak to him, and lately the family pretty much avoids him because Eli’s been acting like a bear with a thorn in his paw.
The only one who doesn’t seem even the least bit intimidated by grouchy Eli is Oscar Hernandez, a tall, thin Hispanic man who isn’t afraid of yelling at and teasing Eli. At first annoyed by the interior designer, Eli mentally bats him away, trying to walk away from Oscar’s taunting, until Oscar suddenly kisses him.
However, Eli only wants three things in the world: For his son to talk to him, for someone to love who loves him back, and to become a family man again. He’s embraced the fact that he’s gay and that getting married in the first place because it was expected of him was a stupid idea. Now he wants the love and happiness that so many of his extended family have, not just another roll in the hay.
Fortunately, Oscar is just the right guy to take on Eli. Coming from a loud and lively Hispanic family, Oscar immediately understands the Gaithers and reads Eli as just the man he wants and needs to complete him. And Oscar is just the bandy rooster to get what he wants.
When Eli’s son appears, having been kicked out of the house by his mother after he announced that he was gay, Eli greets him with open arms, only to realize that taking care of the boy, who is hurt and confused, will probably end his burgeoning relationship with Oscar. But how can Eli walk away from the son he loves so much or from the man who is stealing his heart?
Not only are Eli and Oscar wonderfully drawn characters who leap from the page and immediately engage readers, but the large cast of family and friends of both men give their world depth and resonating technicolor. More than anything, however, is Ortiz’s sense of humor that keeps the story lively and fun.
This is part of a series I hadn’t read before, so I intend to catch up quickly and keep my eyes peeled for more in this interesting and well-written series.