Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 308 Pages
At a Glance: Simply put, this is a gorgeous story.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: 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.
Review: I was just going back through my notes and highlights, trying to decide where to begin with this review, but there are just SO many. So, so many memorable lines, moments, images, scenes… Amy Lane is one of my absolute favorite authors – a definite auto-buy – and The Deep of the Sound is another perfect example of why that is.
I’ll start out with Cal, who I love ridiculous amounts. First of all, Cal McCorkle is one of the best character names I’ve come across in a while. I loved it so much, in fact, that I went and researched it a bit. (I’m a dork. I know.) The full name, Calladh, or Caladh as you’ll see it frequently, is both Irish and Scottish – in this case, Scottish, as Cal’s dad was a Scot – and in the old Scottish it means…wait for it…Harbor. How perfect is that?!?! Trust me. It’s so perfect.
Cal’s very being is bound to the water; he finds his peace out on the Sound, fishing in his father’s dory every morning that he can. Sure it’s a necessity, he desperately needs the money from selling the fish he catches to keep his family afloat, but for him, it’s as much a necessity for his sanity as anything else. And Cal’s sanity is hanging precariously in the balance. Desperately trapped by duty, as the blurb suggests, Cal has almost completely lost himself.
I can’t imagine how strong Cal must have had to be to get through the last six years, taking care of his great uncle Nascha and his brother Keir. Living with someone with Alzheimer’s is not easy. Living with someone with the combination of mental illnesses that Keir has to deal with is not easy. Both of them together??? I can’t imagine. When Nascha is on his meds, he’s fantastic. He’s once again the dear uncle that Cal remembers from his childhood. Keir, on the other hand, is a handful, even on his cocktail of medications.
Keir’s problems are many, and complex, and Keir is very dark. I imagine he must have been a difficult character to write, but Amy wrote him with guts and honesty. He can be very intimidating and scary, yet at times also endearing. It’s no secret that he loves his family, but there were times when that darkness came through that it was extremely scary for poor Cal. He is constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. So, when Avery Kennedy comes crashing into their lives, and almost immediately finds a way to connect and communicate with Keir, Cal can’t help but start to fall for him.
Avery is so wonderful. Just such a good egg. He’s sincere and driven and somewhat naïve, though charming and sweet. I love that he had the balls to get out of his horrible situation in LA, and simply decide to start his life over. There was nothing for him in his old life – shitty, uncaring parents and an asshat user of an ex-boyfriend – but he has everything to look forward to in Bluewater Bay. Especially when he meets Cal. Sigh. I love him and I love them together.
The writing in this book is spectacular. It’s heavy on the emotion, as you would expect from an Amy Lane book; it will absolutely tug on all of your feels. I just wanted to hug the shit out of Cal constantly. He and Avery get their moment, though, and the way that it all comes about in the end is pure perfection. The reverence with which Amy describes the Puget Sound, and her description of the fictional town, is also fantastic. The Puget Sound is an amazing place. Living in the area, I was particularly fond of the setting of this book. The Pacific Northwest truly IS breathtakingly beautiful, and Amy does a spectacular job of portraying its majesty.
The Deep of the Sound will stick with me for a long time. Cal and Avery, climbing out of their respective hopeless situations together, saving each other, will stick with me as well. Simply put, this was a gorgeous story.
You can buy The Deep of the Sound here: