Title: Ebb and Flow (Love’s Charter: Book Two)
Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 Pages
At a Glance: This was more of an emotional ride than an action-packed thriller, so if you’re in the mood to wrap up in a blanket and sink into a book, this is a good choice for you.
Reviewed By: Taz
Blurb: To achieve happiness, they’ll have to find the courage to be their own men.
As first mate on a charter fishing boat, Billy Ray meets a lot of people, but not one of them has made him as uncomfortable as Skippy—because he’s drawn to Skippy as surely as the moon pulls the tides, and he’s almost as powerless to resist. Billy Ray has spent his life denying who he is to avoid the wrath of his religious father, and he can’t allow anyone to see through his carefully built façade.
Skippy is only in town on business and will have to return to Boston once he’s through. After all, his father has certain expectations, and him staying in Florida is not one of them. But he doesn’t count on Billy Ray capturing his attention and touching his heart.
Billy Ray doesn’t realize just how much he and Skippy have in common, though. They’re both living to please their fathers instead of following their own dreams—a fact that becomes painfully obvious when they get to know each other and realize how much joy they’ve denied themselves. While they can’t change the past, they can begin a future together and make up for lost time—as long as they’re willing to face the consequences of charting their own course.
Review: Ebb and Flow by Andrew Grey follows Skippy, a high-powered lawyer from Boston, and Billy Ray, a charter boat-hand from the panhandle of Florida. On the surface, their lives couldn’t seem more different, but they both share one very important thing in common—fathers who have withheld love and acceptance. As the two men get to know one another, their vast differences seem to melt away as we witness them struggle with, and ultimately tackle, their difficult and painful pasts in order for forge their own future.
This book is filled with angst. Both characters carry lots of baggage with them, so watching them struggle independently is a major part of what drives the plot. It’s through their internal battles that the obstacles emerge and, ultimately, how they are overcome.
The setting, a beautiful beach and dock backdrop, simple and quaint yet meaningful to the residents, lays the ground for a feeling of warmth and connection to nature. It’s in this setting that our two protagonists explore their feelings for each other, and navigate through their personal minefields as well as the normal fears and insecurities that go along with meeting someone new.
The physical part of the story is present, although I wouldn’t call this the steamiest book I’ve ever read. On the other hand, the emotional connection between Skippy and Billy Ray charges their sex with meaning.
The only part of the story that stuck out as a bit problematic for me was how the differences in the two characters’ experiences as gay men played out. Billy Ray is younger and completely inexperienced. Skippy has been openly gay for a long time, and has established a network of friends who have been more of a family to him than his own parents. This dynamic put them on somewhat uneven ground, and at times, I felt like Skippy was more of a mentor than a lover.
But, Billy Ray has his own maturity of sorts. He comes from a small town where his father holds a great deal of power over the community. Even with that kind of pressure, he manages to believe in himself and fight for what he deserves. Skippy also has to put up with an overbearing and unkind father who controls his every move. Both men, in the end, have extremely satisfying confrontation with their fathers. While the outcome of those conversations is different for each, the scenes where they finally lay themselves bare to the men who have attempted to crush their souls is a highpoint in the book.
This was more of an emotional ride than an action-packed thriller, so if you’re in the mood to wrap up in a blanket and sink into a book, this is a good choice for you.
You can buy Ebb and Flow here: