Reviewed by Tori (Vicki)
TITLE: The Deep of the Sound
SERIES: Bluewater Bay #8
AUTHOR: Amy Lane
NARRATOR: Nick J. Russo
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 8 hours 12 minutes
RELEASE DATE: May 3rd, 2017
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.
Cal has so many issues, I don’t even know where to start! His parents died leaving him custody of his younger brother, who has a smorgasbord of mental health problems, and is potentially violent. His great-uncle has Alzheimer’s and is slowly fading away. Their house is falling down around them. Cal’s truck is old and crappy. He hates his job as a busboy at the local big-ass casino. And his only sexual outlet, and really his only source of human contact, is getting roughly fucked against a wall or the lockers, by his supervisor at work. Who Cal hates. The one good thing in his life is fishing in the Sound. Until a nasty fish fucks that up, slicing his leg open and causing a near fatal infection. Which means he can’t work either fishing or at the casino for a couple of weeks. Soooo not what this struggling family needed.
Then we have Avery, who has his own set of issues. Not nearly as catastrophic as Cal’s, but nothing to sneeze at. Let’s see…. His boyfriend is a cheating douche-bag, who has been spending all of Avery’s money. His parents are useless assholes, offering no support, and actually making things more difficult for him. He decides he’s done with the boyfriend and the parents, and will turn his vacation to Bluewater Bay Washington, into a move. Which leads to several more issues. Running out of gas, having his debit card blocked leaving him with very little money, and the ultimate insult of his car dying when he’s alllllllmost there, leaving him stranded. To top it off, his ex-boyfriend and parents unintentionally conspire to leave him in even more dire straights financially than he thought. He also ends up with some injuries as the story progresses.
So Avery is stuck on the side of the road, and is rescued by Cal and his brother Keir, on the way back from a doctor’s appointment. This gets the two in the same circle, but there is just so much going on in their lives, there is no way anything can come of the attraction they both feel. Cal has too much to deal with working two jobs and caring for his family. He’s just managing to keep them feed, housed, and medicated. Anything other than that is beyond him. Avery learns of his worsening financial situation, making it clear he has his own issues. The bright spot in his life, other than Cal, is meeting his online BFF Gigi in person, at the Wolf’s Landing convention that has brought him to Bluewater Bay. Even with all of that going on, we know this is a romance, and Amy does always give us a good ending, so……. maybe it all works out??
This is the perfect example of Amy Lane’s ability to write a darkly angsty story, and get me all tied in knots. I read this book when it was released, and jumped on the chance to review the audio version, especially when I saw the narrator. Amy and Nick have proven to be a worthy duo before, and once again, this is a perfect combination. But back to the story review before I get distracted by the narration. So yah, this is dark. Cal is just in a really bad place, and Amy takes us down with him. There is no hope in his life, and we can see that there is no way this will end well. Keir is so volatile, I spent the whole book waiting to find out he’d done something truly heinous. Or for Cal to just say fuck it, and jump in the damn water. But under, or inside that darkness, is his strength and will to survive, and to keep his family together. Avery tries so hard to help, to find a place in Bluewater Bay and in Cal’s life. But he keeps getting crapped on, his own family drama keeps reappearing, and he and Keir have a…. stressed relationship I guess I’d say. Basically this story is a series of ups and downs for all of these characters, and we just go along for the ride and hope for the best!
I loved it, the characters are perfect, the story is perfect, the sex is perfect, the connection between Avery and Cal is perfect, the writing is perfect…. have I said the whole damn book is perfect? Well it is. This is why I read Amy Lane books.
Amy Lane is a writing goddess, and I love her.
Oh man…. I do love Nick J. Russo’s voice. I have several narrators that I particularly like, and he’s way toward the top of that list. His voice is smooth and easy to listen to when he’s narrating scenes, then the passion comes through when he’s narrating dialogue. If that makes sense! I can clearly tell the voices of the different characters apart, which is so important to me when listening to an audio book. I love that he goes all in on the sex scenes, moaning and groaning. Even his female voices work, which is so hard for male narrators to manage.
I tend to not visualize characters or scenes when I read, I am more auditory than visual. Which is why I do well with audio books, and why I really love a good narration. I can’t see it in my head, but I can hear it. I swear I could hear the water moving when Nick’s voice describes what Cal is seeing while out fishing. I could hear the fear in Nick’s voice when there was a bad scene (avoiding spoilers!), and Cal and Avery were in panic mode. I loved Nick’s voice for Nascha, it was so deep and wise.
It’s basically the perfect combination, Amy Lane and Nick J. Russo. Read it or listen to it, one way or the other, you’ll love this book!