Thursday, July 26, 2012

Clear Water by Amy Lane (Adult Romance)

* * * 1/2 

Meet Patrick Cleary party boy, loser, and spaz. Patrick's been trying desperately to transform himself, and the results have been so spectacular, they've almost killed him. Meet Wes "Whiskey" Keenan he's a field biologist wondering if it's time to settle down. When the worst day of Patrick's life ends with Whiskey saving it, Patrick and Whiskey find themselves sharing company and an impossibly small berth on the world's tackiest houseboat.

Patrick needs to get his life together-and Whiskey wants to help-but Patrick is not entirely convinced it's doable. He's pretty sure he's a freak of nature. But Whiskey, who works with real freaks of nature, thinks all Patrick needs is a little help to see the absolute beauty inside his spastic self, and Whiskey is all about volunteering. Between anomalous frogs, a homicidal ex-boyfriend, and Patrick's own hangups, Whiskey's going to need all of his patience and Patrick's going to need to find the best of himself before these two men ever see clear water.

It’s no secret that Bel and I are total Amy Lane fangirls.  It all started earlier this year when Bel read Chase in Shadow then sent me numerous texts about how intense it is.  So I read it and I instantly fell in love.  Since then I have read 11 Amy Lane books.  In all of that reading I have found that Amy is known for her angst filled stories.  But sometimes she surprises us with a sweet happy romance.  Clear Water is one of those surprises.   

I don’t even know where to begin so I will just start with the cover.  Yum!  It contains some of my favorite things when it comes to boys: lean build, bare chest, ripped jeans and a beach.  Had I seen this book on the shelf at the store I would have bought it based on the cover alone.  Fortunately what is inside is just as wonderful. 

Amy‘s biggest strength is creating characters that we care about and giving them a voice that makes them vividly 3-dimensional.  Patrick is no exception.  His character practically leaps off the page and right into your lap….hmmm, now that is visual I am perfectly okay with.  Patrick won my heart almost immediately.    

Patrick is the only son of a wealthy businessman.  He has had everything he could want given to him - everything except his father’s approval.  Patrick’s dad thinks Patrick is a screw up.  What he sees is a young man that couldn’t finish school and changes career plans on a weekly basis.  A boy that can’t commit to anything.  What he refuses to understand is that Patrick has ADD.  Patrick’s dad has been telling Patrick for years that he doesn’t need his ADD meds.  That he just needs to apply himself and then he will be successful.  You learn all of this in the first chapter and it is the perfect set up to understand Patrick’s insecurities and lack of self confidence.  

Then we meet Whiskey – research scientist and all around hottie.  When he rescues Patrick from a sinking car, his world is turned upside down.  Somehow Patrick has convinced him and his research partner, Flybait, to let him stay with them and help with both the boat and the research project.  Which means Whiskey ends up sharing a bunk with Patrick.  And that turns out to be frustrating and embarrassing for Whiskey but highly amusing and entertaining for the reader.  What’s not to love about that, right? 

Whiskey becomes Patrick’s biggest champion as Patrick slowly develops the self-confidence and focus he has been missing in his life.  And of course the chemistry between them grows every day that Patrick is on the boat. But this story isn’t just about the romance.  There is a mystery too.  A mystery that, in the end, brings Patrick and his father back together with a better understanding of one another.   

I love all of the Amy Lane books I have read so it’s no surprise that I enjoyed this one so much.  Clear Water is a fun, sweet read that will leave you smiling from start to finish.  If you are a fan of gay romance, I definitely recommend this one. 


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