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.
If you haven’t read the Valentine’s Day anthology of Bluewater Bay short stories Lights, Camera, Cupid, I’m not sure whether to tell you to read Amy Lane’s short story Nascha before or after reading The Deep of the Sound. I’ll put it this way… enough time had passed since I read it that I forgot a few details, but as soon as I finished The Deep of the Sound, I wanted to read Nascha again. If you have read it, Cal and Avery’s story overlaps with the ending of Nascha‘s story.
Just like I can’t decide where to begin, I can’t decide which one of these characters I loved more. Cal carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. At least his family’s world. He was doing the best he could, but even he knew it wasn’t enough. He lived in real terror that his brother would hurt himself or even worse, someone else. His great uncle had good days and bad days, (which included the heartbreaking task of explaining to him once again that Cal’s parents had died tragically.) The only thing keeping both Keir and Nascha functioning as close to normal as possible was a well timed regimen of medication. Cal was way too young to have so much responsibility and no time to live his own life.
Avery was such a sweet guy. Too sweet to be treated the way he had been by his ex-lover and his parents. He was smart, witty and more capable of independence than even he realized. There were things that terrified him, but he seemed to find the positive in almost every situation. He may have been rescued by Cal on the side of the road, but Avery did just as much to save Cal.
The Deep of the Sound was so much more than a love story between two young men that deserved to find a HEA. It was also a story of the power of love between friends and family. As little as Cal seemed to have, Avery envied him. That family connection was priceless in Avery’s eyes. Cal couldn’t see beyond the present… ‘until we can’t’ was the only commitment that he could promise, but he craved and deserved so much more.
And then there was Nascha. After reading The Deep of the Sound, I’m so happy that he got his story in Lights, Camera, Cupid. I loved him even more by the end of Avery and Cal’s story…
Yes, there were tears. Yes, there was heartbreak and yes, there were some no win decisions that were forced to be made. Having this story wrapped up in a nice, neat bow of happiness wouldn’t have done any of the characters justice. Things weren’t perfect by the end, but there was hope for the future and that’s more than any of them had when this story began. Speaking of which, I’m kind of hoping that this isn’t the last readers see of Avery and Cal. You know… just to make sure they’re doing okay… 😉