Title: Clear Water
Author Name & Publisher: Amy Lane (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: Sept 16, 2011 — 230 Pages
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.
I really liked this book even though it was bit unexpected to me. The
whole frog thing was… unusual, but actually worked out great. I
liked they way the ‘special’ frogs were a real part of the story and
the characters thought of them as more than just specimens. While
there was a lot of research and other things going on that normally
would detract from a story, it totally just worked for this one.
The romance was a slow burn, but was super great once the two men
finally got together. While not as hot as some of Amy Lane’s other
books, it was still a really great read.
I really really enjoyed the narration of the book. The narrator had a
great voice and really added to the story.
This story like the main character Patrick was all over the place from the beginning. The story does get more defined and smooth towards the middle and by the end you understand the story better. While told from two peoples point of view it rambles a bit like Patrick when he is off his meds. I would put this story as a action/suspense story with a whole lot of compassion thrown in.
Patrick and Whiskey (Wesley) are charming together and you really start to love how much Whiskey starts to care for Patrick even with all his hang ups and spazzing out. The core romance story is great and endearing. It’s the suspense that I struggled with and had to suspend some reality to be able to go along with. With a lot of outside forces and events pushing this story along it can sometimes trip you up and I had to stop and regroup a few times. Overall the story is good and ends better than I expected.
I did have an issue with some grammar and punctuation errors but I expect those will be ironed out in final revisions as I read the ARC.
I loved this. Serious Amy Lane but not crazy angsty Amy Lane, this is pretty close to the perfect story for me.
Patrick is a wealthy young man, spoiled materially but starved of affection. The book starts with him being dumped in a spectacular fashion and follows him as he gains a little self-confidence and a whole lot of self-respect. I loved this character and only Amy Lane could capture a character hitting rock bottom so forcefully without making him pitiful in any way.
And Whiskey. I’m married to a rather obsessive scientist who has a tendency to lose track of reality and I just giggled through every description of Whiskey and Fly Bait because I know them both so well. Kind and good, otherworldly and absent minded, gentle yet fiercely supportive, Whiskey is both absolutely perfect and completely flawed.
The relationship between these two is brilliant. I love the younger man/older mentor pairing. I love the way the men’s eccentricities compliment each other perfectly. I love watching Whiskey support and encourage Patrick as he grows in self-confidence. This is just a beautiful slow-burn romance.
And the supporting characters. It took a while, but I came to love Fly Bait. Patrick’s relationship with his father was so complex that it took me most of the story to decide what I wanted for Patrick in that relationship. But like all Amy Lane books, even the supporting characters are developed to perfection.
While I loved the characters and their relationships and I loved the little houseboat, I was disappointed by the bizarrely implausible action sequence two thirds of the way into the book. Within this gentle, happy romance lies a few moments where MacGyver meets Numbers in an unlikely sequence of events. I forgive this because Amy Lane does funny things to my emotional state and I can’t help but love everything she writes.
Oddly enough, I was not given a copy of this book to review for Inked Rainbow Reads. After reading and reviewing nearly 300 ARCs in the past calendar year, this is the book I bought when I ran out of things to read in an airport before a 10 hour flight. Which should tell you something about how much I love Amy Lane’s writing.
Amy Lane dodges an EDJ, mothers four children, and writes the occasional book. She, her brood, and her beloved mate, Mack, live in a crumbling mortgage in Citrus Heights, California, which is riddled with spiders, cats, and more than its share of fancy and weirdness. Feel free to visit her at www.greenshill.comorwww.writerslane.blogspot.com, where she will ride the buzz of receiving your e-mail until her head swells and she can no longer leave the house.