Title: Buried Treasure
Author: DC Juris
Publisher: Breathless Press
Characters: Mark, Gabe
POV: 3rd person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
After his last long-term relationship ended because of his nightmares, Mark closed his heart to the possibility of finding love again. He’s certainly never considered Gabe, the orderly who works at Miller’s Retirement Home where his father lives. But there’s more to Gabe than meets the eye, and if Mark is willing to let Gabe in, he might just discover the most important buried treasure of all.
For Mark Dalton, there are a series of significant events in his life that have shaped who he has become. The first occurred when Mark was just a boy, but it was an event so incredibly significant, it and the outcome still comes to haunt him in his nightmares. The second event came later in his life, when he found the courage to come out to his parents, which caused a fracture in his relationship with his father. The third occurred when his father finally succumbed to the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. No longer able to care for himself, and too much of a burden for his aging mother, the family is left little choice but to move the elder Dalton to a nursing home to receive fulltime care. Arguably, the most devastating event was when a relationship ended because of the terrifying and paralyzing nightmares from which Mark suffers, causing him to dismiss the idea that love is something he will ever find.
The stress of watching a loved one deteriorate has taken a toll on Mark’s family, but Mark dutifully carries the burden of ensuring his father receives regular visits. Those visits are, at times, altogether too painful, though, as Mark is never sure, from one week to the next, which father will greet him: the one who had rejected Mark for being gay, or the one who had reconnected with his son and loved him in spite of their differences.
For years, those visits were witnessed and anticipated by Gabe, an orderly at the nursing home who at last finds the courage to approach Mark and ask him out. Though initially reluctant, Mark accepts and ultimately discovers that there’s more to Gabe than meets the eye. He also discovers that Gabe is absolutely everything he could ever want.
Buried Treasure is a lovely story that will touch the heart of anyone who can empathize with the struggles the Dalton family endures. Making the difficult decisions for a parent who is no longer the person you’d known growing up, enduring the heartbreak of watching a parent fade away, not in body but in mind, strikes an emotional chord.
At its heart, however, this is the story of a man who must learn to forgive himself, must learn to accept that he can no longer shoulder the blame for an accident for which there was no guilt to bear. In sharing his burden with Gabe, Mark discovers that he has found someone in whom he can trust, someone who is worth taking a chance with, someone who makes him believe that he deserves a little bit of happiness in his life. For Mark, that, in itself, is the true treasure.
Reviewed By: Lisa