Monday, December 19, 2016

Bluewater Blues by G.B. Gordon

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.

The Bluewater Bay stories can be read in any order — jump in wherever you'd like!

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Book 15
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
ARe  ~  B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Riptide Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

GB Gordon is a new-to-me author- the writing style easily pulled me in. With realistic yet interesting characters, I found the story to be a lovely read.

Bluewater Blues is a good addition to the Bluewater Bay series, but can be read as a standalone.

Jack and his sister run a small grocery store out of their home, but they are hiding a deadly secret. Jack is a selfless soul, always taking care of his autistic and wounded sister, so when Mark come into his life, he is able to empathize and understand Mark's unique needs. Mark, a designer for the hit TV series – Wolf's Landing – is a high-functioning autistic.

The novella features a slow-burn intensity between Jack and Mark, a mystery featuring the siblings' past, and the struggles to make a relationship work when one in the couple has unique needs.

Gordon does a great job showing the different aspects of autism with lovely characters, proving any physical/mental issues can be overcome by finding a life that works for you, instead of fitting into someone else's version of 'normal.'

Jack is living in Bluewater Bay, running the general store. He has a love of music, but he has given it up to look after his autistic sister. When Mark enters his store and asks to put up a notice about a local concert, Jack is instantly attracted to him and recognises there is something different about Mark. Their first dinner doesn't go well. Navigating a relationship between someone who is autistic and has sensory processing disorder (Mark) and someone who is obviously keeping a big secret (Jack) is not easy.

Mark's autism is not an issue for Jack, but the secret Jack is keeping starts to cause problems. But Jack will do anything to protect those he loves.

They say if you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism, and the difference between Mark and Margaret show this. The author has done an excellent job portraying the difficulties Mark faces in life from dealing with loud noise, crowds, touch, to social interactions and dealing with workplace issues were realistic.

Bluewater Blues is a beautiful romance that shows that there really is someone for everyone. I adored it.

Ohmigod, I loved this book!!! I cannot wrap my head around how much I enjoyed Bluewater Blues. Gordon did a fantastic job with how realistic both of the characters on the autism spectrum are. I've worked with a couple of children with Asperger's and numerous persons with autism diagnoses from ages 3 to 22, so I can see the obvious shared traits and then the more individualized ASD traits in Mark and Margaret. I loved all three of the main characters and how, because of Jack's experience with Margaret, it made him uniquely qualified to understand Mark's social aloofness. The author did an amazing job with these characters and I am in awe.

But it’s not just the creation of realistic characters that made Bluewater Blues so enjoyable for me. Gordon’s writing style is one that I find to be utterly seductive – I don’t know a better way to say it. That’s pretty much how I felt after I read When to Hold Them and the only thing the books have in common is that they’re both set in Bluewater Bay. The author’s writing just pulls me in and I end up falling in love with the characters and their stories. The issues that drive a wedge between Mark and Jack are different than those typically seen in romances, at least most of them are. Mark’s Asperger’s diagnosis comes with sensory issues related to touch and sound, and while he’s done a great job in accommodating his sound-related issues (something we see play out in his job more than once), his inability to be touched poses a huge problem in personal relationships. This is where Jack’s experience with Margaret comes into play because it enables him to understand what Mark needs and give it to him. By offering himself up to Mark’s unfettered exploration, while keeping his to hands to himself, Jack is able to give Mark something no one else has before, a truly intimate relationship with another person – one in which Mark is allowed to be himself without having to worry that he is hurting his partner’s feelings by pulling away from their touch. As with When to Hold Them, I found the sexual scenes in Bluewater Blues to be incredibly sensual, making them even more intimate. It is the security that Jack’s actions offer that makes Mark want things he’s never wanted before, to be able to let his partner touch him, to share a bed with his partner, and to build a life with someone.

Obviously, my professional background affects my perspective of the relationships between Jack and Margaret, and Jack and Mark, and there is character growth in Mark and Margaret that is beautiful to witness. That said, I can’t help but wonder how readers unfamiliar with persons on the autism spectrum perceived the story, and I look forward to reading their reviews to find out because there are nuances in Mark’s and Margaret’s behaviors that I can’t but feel are little Easter eggs for readers who live and work with persons on the spectrum. I should note that there are huge parts of the storyline I’m not addressing so as not to reveal any info that pertains to why Jack and Margaret aren’t who they say they are, although that in and of itself is a bit of a spoiler as to one of the issues that drives a wedge between the men. Gordon has penned a story in Bluewater Blues that I found to be absolutely stunning. I cannot wait to see what this author has in store for the little corner of the world that is Bluewater Bay.

G.B. Gordon worked as a packer, landscaper, waiter, and coach before going back to school to major in linguistics and, at 35, switch to less backbreaking monetary pursuits like translating, editing, and writing.

Having lived in various parts of the world, Gordon is now happily ensconced in suburban Ontario with the best of all husbands.

Connect with G.B.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Bluewater Blues (Bluewater Bay #15) by G.B. Gordon to read and review.

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