The Deep of the Sound (Bluewater Bay #8)
by Amy Lane
An M/M Romance
From Riptide Publishing
Released June 15th 2015
Cal McCorkle has lived in Bluewater Bay his whole life. He works two jobs to support a brother with a laundry list of psychiatric diagnoses and a great uncle with Alzheimer’s, and his personal life amounts to impersonal hookups with his boss. He’s got no time, no ambition, and no hope. All he has is family, and they’re killing him one responsibility at a time.
Avery Kennedy left Los Angeles, his family, and his sleazy boyfriend to attend a Wolf’s Landing convention, and he has no plans to return. But when he finds himself broke and car-less in Bluewater Bay, he’s worried he’ll have to slink home with his tail between his legs. Then Cal McCorkle rides to his rescue, and his urge to run away dies a quick death.
Avery may seem helpless at first, but he can charm Cal’s fractious brother, so Cal can pretty much forgive him anything. Even being adorkable. And giving him hope. But Cal can only promise Avery “until we can’t”—and the cost of changing that to “until forever” might be too high, however much they both want it.
Riptide | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ARe
If there ever was a character who my heart went out to within pages of meeting him, it was Cal. Poor guy couldn’t catch a break (no pun intended!). Caretaker to his uncle and his brother, Cal spends his mornings fishing and his nights working just to make ends meet. With a non-existent love life, Cal settles for the occasional hook up with his boss. His life has no room for anything else, so when Avery walks into his life his world is turned on its axis.
Avery is everything Cal isn’t looking for, but the very man who manages to bring him back to life. He’s funny, quirky and determined to make it on his own in Bluewater Bay. Things don’t work out as planned, initially. But regardless of the circumstances he’s enjoying the time spent with Cal. Especially since Cal isn’t judgmental of Avery’s ways, out to get something from him or indifferent of his presence.
But with everything that’s going on in their lives, can these two meet somewhere in the middle to make something of the connection they share?
*sigh* It’s been a while since I read an Amy Lane book and with this story I scolded myself for being a fool. With her trademark mix of humor, emotions and complex characters, Amy Lane made The Deep of the Sound my favorite book in the Bluewater Bay series so far.
I loved Cal. His life was not an easy one, but he remained stoic through it all–even at his expense. It was easy to admire him for his dedication to family and even easier still to cheer him on once he met Avery. Those few moments when he allowed himself the chance to live for himself showed how remarkable a man he was and how much weight he carried around because of his responsibilities. That is why having Avery come into his life when he did was a treat to read for me.
Avery was a fun character to get to know. He felt deeply, yearned for something more and had an amazing caring heart. He complemented Cal in every way–understanding his needs and adjusting his role accordingly. And he did this while dealing with his own plethora of problems. How can I not love him too?
Of course, this wouldn’t have been such a fantastic read without the connection and chemistry the author made sure to develop between the Cal and Avery. Their every interaction showed that they had something worth exploring. Be it the awkward moments were neither one knew how to proceed, the smexy ones where they let loose or the honest ones where they confessed their deepest fears–every single interaction worked to strengthened their initial connection. So when the time came for emotions to come up to play, both Cal and Avery were deeply invested in their ‘friendship’.
All in all, a wonderful romantic read that reminded me how much I enjoy Amy Lane’s work.
*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.
We don’t always know when the end of a relationship is coming. When I was in college, two different guys broke up with me while I was totally concentrating on something entirely different. Boy, did I look stupid when I kept thinking we were together, and it turned out I was just counting a drawer at McDonald’s, or waiting for my cue line offstage, and my boyfriend was telling me we were better off as buddies.
In this case, Avery thinks he’s making a move to change his relationship for the better. What he doesn’t see is that there’s no walking away from the train wreck that happens when he flies off the rails.
“Are you going out today, Avery?”
Avery Kennedy rolled over in bed and glared at his phone on the charger. “You’re asking me that now?” Christ. Six a.m.? Was that even legal?
“We need milk, Avery, and food—you got a problem going shopping or are you too ‘busy’ with your ‘job’?”
Avery sat up in bed and put on his glasses, the better to squint at Billy Rivera—current boyfriend and giant fucking tool. Yeah, he was still good looking—square jaw, blue eyes, dark-blond hair, square shoulders, swagger—but Avery wasn’t nearly as impressed with a good-looking guy in a suit anymore.
“My ‘job’ is paying for that ‘food’ you want so badly,” Avery said, letting some of his irritation burn through his exhaustion. “And the rent on this shitty apartment—which you are conveniently living in while you go to your ‘job’ that requires you to buy suits you can’t afford and really fucking nice shoes.”
Billy jerked, obviously stung. “Look, A—we talked about this. I’m in an internship for the business and I got to look the part—”
“Whatever,” Avery grumbled, not wanting to lose sleep over fighting. He took off his glasses and grabbed his phone, making sure it was set for 8 a.m. “You go look the part—I’m going back to sleep so I can wake up and finish the article that’s going to buy your groceries.”
“You didn’t finish last night?” Billy asked idly, going to the closet for one of the really awesome ties Avery had bought from Nordies to celebrate the stupid internship. Oh yeah—they’d been happy at first because sure, it didn’t pay as much as getting a job right out of college might, but the possibilities! They’d seemed endless—six months ago they’d seemed endless. Now Avery was wondering when there was an end to the possibilities and a beginning to Billy getting a freaking job.
Which was hilarious, because the more Billy sat and ate lunch (which he bought with Avery’s money because his check barely paid for utilities in the little apartment in North Hollywood), the more he complained to his new work friends about Avery getting a freaking job.
“No,” Avery mumbled, wondering why Billy was so interested in him all of a sudden. God, where was Billy when Avery wanted to talk? Well, usually Avery wanted to talk around one, two in the morning, so that wasn’t really fair, but geez, didn’t it suck to be woken up and told you weren’t good enough. Again. “I was waiting for some data from the company. It’ll be here by eight.”
“So what was all that typing I heard last night?”
Avery blinked and widened his eyes, playing for time. “You were up? Sorry, babe. Didn’t mean to keep you up.”
“No—I mean, I was sort of thinking about coming to . . .” Billy raised his eyebrows above his blue eyes and nodded his head in the classic C’mon baby, gimme sumpn sumpn gesture, and Avery smiled a little, remembering that Billy’s charm and his humor had attracted him in the first place
“Yeah, well—” he yawned “—next time come ask. I was writing some fanfic while I waited for a response. Got a whole story done, was—”
Billy’s curled lip radiated disgust. “You mean you’re all complaining about being tired and you were just fucking around?”
“I was on the computer getting some crucial data!” God, he was pissed now, and there went any hope of going back to sleep. Urgh, he hated that—fucked his day all up, because first he’d get up and work, then he’d take a nap, then when the rest of the world was on the fucking road or in the grocery store or at the post office, that’s when Avery got to run errands. “I was working, and I took a break and did something I enjoyed. You know, like when you read Buzzfeed at work and send me six thousand stupid links about shit I don’t care about?”
Billy’s look of hurt was unmistakable. “I thought we were connecting,” he said, and Avery sighed and ground his face into the pillow.
“You’re right. We were. But you go sit and eat lunch with all your friends and tell jokes, and me and my friends make GIF sets and write stories about Wolf’s Landing. It’s my chance to play, that’s all. I’ve been working on this piece about fracking for a week—I’m pissed, I’m depressed, and I feel like the world’s gone to hell in a fucking handbasket. Let me have my heroes, okay?”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” Billy muttered in disgust. “Are you going to submit it and get paid today? Because tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day and I’d really like to go out to dinner—”
“With me this time?” Avery asked suspiciously, because last time it had been to take the boss out to dinner, and there went half a commission in expensive scotch.
“Yeah, with you this time! And with Sandy and Anthony, because I sort of owe them from—”
Avery buried his head in the pillow and growled. “Oh my God. Billy, could you, I don’t know, maybe stop spending my money long enough to hear what I was planning to do with it?”
Billy’s jaw dropped. “What’s it to you, A? Man, the money just appears in the account anyway—why do you care how we spend it?”
“Because I am saving money for a trip to Washington in March, do you remember that?”
“For what? So you and your friends can all wax your knobs about Wolf Hammer and Greg Sandford or what the fuck ever?”
“Wolf’s Landing and Gabriel Hanford,” he snarled. “And he’s played by an out actor, so maybe show a little respect. And you know what? Go to work, impress your friends. But I want to split our accounts again, okay? You are so not hearing me when I talk about finances.” Oh yeah, Billy thought he was just going to let that “appears in the account” thing slide. Avery busted his ass too hard to have his boyfriend spending his money without respect.
“Yeah, fine, you do all that paperwork shit,” Billy scoffed. “But when you want sumpn sumpn, you make sure you flash that wallet, big man, because that’s the only way a guy like you can get some.”
With that he threw on his expensive suit coat and slammed the door, leaving Avery wide-awake and fuming.
He knew he wasn’t that great a prize to look at—tall, narrow, all angles, elbows, and ears, with a thatch of dark hair he’d rather comb than cut—but Jesus, that didn’t mean he had no pride, right?
It took him half an hour in his boxers with his phone and the computer to disentangle his and Billy’s finances. It was just a . . . a pulling back, right? A . . . a disentangling, to find something else that worked. They’d done pretty well when they hadn’t been living out of the same bank account, right?
Avery remembered those first couple of months, being so very careful about who had which refrigerator shelf and making sure he treated for movies at least half of the time. Billy had pulled his weight then, hadn’t he?
They used to use Avery’s spending money for shared trips to the movies and weekend getaways to the beach. Nothing too extravagant—Billy had been starting his internship and Avery had been establishing his reliability as a freelancer, but it had been nice. Simple. Avery had liked it that way.
Maybe splitting their finances would get things back to where they’d been at the beginning. Before Billy had decided he was too good to be seen with a guy who looked like a walking haystack and would rather hang with his fanfic forum than people who worried about the shine on their shoes.
About the Author
Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head.
She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies.
She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for an eBook package of all of Amy Lane’s backlist titles with Riptide! (Excludes The Deep of the Sound and anthologies.) Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 20, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to add your email so we can contact you if you win!