A Bluewater Bay Novel
Bonding over the blues is just the start — if they can learn to trust each other.
Jack Daley left his music career behind — along with his domineering father — and is struggling to make a new life for himself and his autistic sister in Bluewater Bay. When a summer storm sweeps a handsome stranger into his general store, Jack is more than ready for a fling. No strings attached, because Jack can’t share the secrets he and his sister are hiding from. Unfortunately, his feelings refuse to stay casual.
Mark Keao is married to his job as a costume designer on Wolf’s Landing. He’s autistic, so he’s used to people not knowing how to interact with him, but that doesn’t mean he wants to be a hermit. Especially when he meets Jack Daley, who dances with brooms, shares his love of the blues, and gets him like no one else. But relationships have proven complicated in the past.
Just when Mark is ready to try anyway, Jack pulls back. But Mark isn’t giving up, and neither is Jack’s sister. And then there’s the music both men love, bringing them together time and again. It will take trust, though, to bring them together for good.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I've been fascinated by Jack, the owner of the general store, and his sister, Margaret, ever since they first appeared on the pages of a book in the 'Bluewater Bay' series. I was fairly certain that there was quite a bit to the two of them and I already liked a man who takes such wonderful care of his adult, autistic sister. I am pretty familiar with the autism spectrum as I have a niece with it. It can be a horribly frustrating disorder for not just the individual diagnosed with it, but family members and caregivers, as well. "I feel betrayed by this body, this brain, at the mercy of things I thought long . . . maybe not conquered exactly, but worked around. But I’ll do better next time. I rarely make the same mistake twice." Mark has Asperger's although, apparently, that has been removed as its own diagnosis and instead is labeled more as a Sensory Processing Disorder combined with severe anxiety. Regardless, Mark has worked very hard to learn, understand, and find work-arounds for the way his brain operates. Jack is already familiar with autism because of his sister but also because his mother had it. Growing up in the Deep South, however, his family referred to it as "touched" and there were no kindnesses or patience given to either his mother or his sister. That has a lot to do with why Jack took Margaret and ran, taking on a new name, and hiding from their father, and what happened, for all of these years. “You don’t like touch.” “I don’t like to be touched. Passive,” Mark said. “There’s a difference.”... “But me actively touching something, feeling out its structure, running my hands along surfaces, exploring textures and fabrics . . . I more than just like doing that, it’s who I am, how I make sense of the world. I got into my line of work because I like the feel of different materials between my fingers.” It's a good thing that Margaret jumps on the bandwagon, in her own way, or else Jack would have ruined everything before he and Mark could really get off the ground. I completely understood Jack's reservations as there are things in his (and Margaret's) past that he doesn't believe he can share with anyone. Because of those beliefs Jack thinks he can never have a true relationship or anyone permanent in his life. Between Mark and Margaret, Jack is about to learn a few new lessons. A very beautiful love story that drew me in right from the start. NOTE: This book was provided by Riptide Publishing for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews
"There is someone for everyone." A little catchphrase I've heard all my life but never quite believed. This story is enough to make us believe. It's a beautiful love story. Jack's younger sister is autistic. They come from a dysfunctional family. Jack is forced to run away with his sister to keep her safe. They've been on the run and in hiding for years. Finally settling down somewhere far away but always looking over their shoulders to make sure no one finds them. Mark has Asperger syndrome. "Asperger syndrome is one of several previously separate subtypes of autism that were folded into the single diagnosis autism spectrum disorder (ASD)..." (https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-aut... , cited 10/28/16) I'm quoting that because I didn't know that Asperger is no longer an official medical diagnosis. It always amazes me the things I accidentally learn in books I'm reading for simple pleasure. Both Jack and Mark are in their 30's. Mark is a fully functioning adult able to hide, or rather, work within, his limitations. When they meet it's attraction at first sight. But they have to work through each of their issues both separately and together before they can make a real go of it. Little sister Margarite turns out to be quite the matchmaker. :-) I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It's a feel good, low-angst read. My only complaint is that I would have liked it to be longer. Exploring each man's challenges more in depth and showing how Mark's knowledge could lead to resources that would help Margarite moving forward. Don't let the fact that it seems to be part of a series mislead you. I'm very picky about that and generally won't enjoy stories when there's a past that I am not familiar with. This one truly stands alone. I didn't even notice any reference to past books in the series. When you need a pick-me-up this is a great one to do the job. Review ARC kindly received from Riptide Publishing via NetGalley.