I received a free copy of this book from Riptide Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amy Lane is a M/M author that I have read a lot from and she is one that I turn to when I need a good cry. She has the ability to balance the line between angst and emotional torture that I find valuable at certain times. So I was excited when I learned that she would be involved in Riptide Publishing's cross-author series about Bluewater Bay, Washington. The Deep of the Sound is exactly what I expected from Ms. Lane since I came away from with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.
Calladh "Cal" McCorkle is a Bluewater Bay native who is just keeping hold on his sanity. His parents died when he was a young man and he now spends his days working his ass off to support his Alzheimer's-riddled great uncle and mentally unstable younger brother. Avery Kennedy is a freelancer writer who is having a serious string of bad luck incidents such as a cheating boyfriend and a desperate financial situation. Cal manages to come across Avery on the side of the road outside of town and these two quickly realize how much chemistry they have together.
Cal and Avery are such richly developed characters that I felt like they could just jump off the page and have a conversation with me. Cal's difficult life has forced him to always be the caretaker so he is immediately attracted to Avery whom he dubs his "rescue puppy". But, things quickly turn for the couple when it turns out that he needs care from Avery just as much. I liked how Avery was able to gain confidence through helping Cal and his family. His upbringing left him with no self-esteem and a desperate need for any affection he can get. Together they figure out what one another needs and that was a true highlight of The Deep of the Sound.
Cal's great-uncle, Nascha, and brother, Keir, are big parts of this story as well. Each of them spends a lot of time stuck in their own heads and are unpredictable outside of them. This is where my heart really broke while reading. Alzheimer's is such an awful disease to witness and Nascha is trying desperately to hang onto some semblance of his old personality that I kept tearing up. And Keir's multiple psychological issues make him a danger to himself and those around him. I could tell where his story was going to end and I kept crossing my fingers that the journey would be smooth.
There are fun cameos of other Bluewater Bay inhabitants that readers of the series will be happy to see. I loved getting to visit the Stomping Grounds coffee shop and, of course, continue to see the changes brought to the town by the cast and crew of the popular Wolf's Landing TV show. But, don't worry about getting caught up on the series since this book can be read as a stand-alone. If you haven't gotten to try an Amy Lane story, I highly recommend this one. Just make sure you have a box of tissues available at certain points.