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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.
I don’t mind having to work hard to get the good stuff. I think some of the best things are those that are the hardest to get. But…it has to be worth it in the end. This was hard, like holy hell I need a hand to hold hard. Was it worth it? I’m not so sure.
Cal is a machine. A continuous cycle in high gear, stuck on the setting of ‘labor of love’. Since the tragic loss of his parents, he became a caretaker for his younger brother and his elderly uncle. Neither of them are an easy responsibility and the strain and wear is quickly taking its toll on the young man. For every step he trudges forward, he falls three steps backwards. He is drowning, sinking in quicksand of tough love. When he buried his parents, he buried his dreams and though he is not resentful to his family, he is disappointed with himself. If anyone deserves a pat on the back, a cheerful smile, or a simple hug…it would be Cal. Yet he only allows himself to focus on the smaller failures rather than the larger successes. He is completely missing the bigger picture. When he helps a stranger stranded on the road, he briefly allows himself to dream of another reality. Dreams don’t come true for a guy like him, do they?
Avery ran smack into a painful crossroads in his life. He has lost his boyfriend and his parents turn a blind eye on his happiness. He has his career, his fanfic obsession and a few near and dear online friends. In a moment of sheer bravery, he abandons his life and looks for a new course to sail by. He’s going to fly by the seat of his pants with optimism guiding his way. He can see the silver lining in nearly every sticky situation and it’s the only thing that keeps him from tucking tail and admitting defeat. He is determined to follow his heart and his heart believes Bluewater Bay might fill up the empty pieces. It’s not going to be easy but Avery is determined to endure the punches.
When Cal helps Avery he thinks he’s rescuing a lost puppy; as it turns out, he might be the one that needs rescuing.
This was the ultimate angstfest. It was so….hard. I yearned for both Cal and Avery to catch a break, to catch a lucky star, or to catch each other. Cal once mentioned that he wasn’t ‘tracking what was going on‘. Sadly I can agree. The dialogue was often open-ended and was left with too much room for interpretations or for assumptions. At one point I was peeved because I thought I caught Cal in a blatant lie. I scoured the chapter to find the conflicting information and was frustrated because I could see how it ‘could’ have gone that way too. However, that’s not how I understood it the first time. It didn’t feel solid. The writing was solid but the story felt thin in spots and heavy in others. It was off balance.
Another thing that really really bothered me was Cal’s uncle. Don’t get me wrong, I adored the sweet man. Yet there was this one thing, actually a pretty darn BIG thing that didn’t fit. I can’t elaborate without spoiling, but I could never imagine his uncle biting his tongue in this particular situation. It upsets me greatly to think that he would have done so.
Finally, the ending- while predictable it was not exactly fulfilling. Three weeks. A substantial amount of ‘stuff’ went down in three weeks and I’m just not sure I bought it. However, I’m certain many others will.