Author ~ Cara Dee
Published ~ 30th November 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
At ten years old, Kelly and I were two rambunctious boys who carved our initials into a tree in the forest. We promised to be best friends forever and bumped our fists to seal the deal. I never should've kissed him that summer before college. It was a day that buried me in shame, a day I spent the next twenty-four years regretting, a day I never told anyone about.
At forty-three, depression was suffocating me. Not even my wife and two children could lift the heavy fog. I was riddled with guilt and self-hatred, and I was starting to realize that I would slowly fade away until nothing remained. Then one day, Kelly was back in town.
10% of the proceeds will be donated to Hope For Depression.
(All novels taking place in Camassia Cove are standalone.)
This is a standalone novel, but is book two in the Camassia Cove series. It is a second chance romance, with slightly older characters; both men are in their forties and have children. It is a heavy read at times and quite emotional, I felt wrung out a few times reading this as the writing is so good and the descriptions so powerful.
This book deals with a very tough subject in depression. It is clear the author has had some personal experience of this in the form of a family member, as I haven’t read such accurate and heartbreaking descriptions of coping with this illness either by the sufferer or their loved ones before.
This is the story of Will and Kelly and their families. Will and Kelly were childhood best friends but something happened to send them off on different paths. They rekindle their friendship after more than twenty years when Kelly and his son move back to the area. At this point Will is married with two children and in the grip of serious clinical depression. This is the heart of the story. Their friendship develops slowly and its heart warming to watch the support that Kelly offers Will. This deepens into romantic love and the two do get together. The ending of Will’s marriage is written very well and is hugely believable, even if a note of caution should be added, as technically Will is still married to his wife when their relationship starts to change. Although, it was managed so well and was integral to Will’s coming out and self acceptance that it didn’t bother me.
Whilst the marriage ending was dealt with well, so was the burgeoning relationship that Will and Kelly were in. Trying to mesh two established lives together and dealing with their children and moving into a new home. This is all played out so believably. The two sons, Matt and Brady, played a great secondary role throughout the story and I really enjoyed them. They also made for a few well needed lighter moments. However, it is the living with serious depression and trying to cope with everyday life that really affects you with this one. Wills story is so genuine and the descriptions of the constantly changing dosage of medication, loss of appetite, overwhelmingly feelings of uselessness and guilt are all consuming. The night Will is having a great time with a guys, but is ultimately overwhelmed and can’t stop crying brilliantly portrays what it is like living with clinical depression. There is also no quick fix in this story which I thought was far more realistic than some accounts I’ve read. They do get happiness and you really feel the love, warmth and support between the couple, although I would have liked a bit more background on Kelly and his son as they weren’t, for me, as fleshed out as Will and his family. That is only a minor drawback though. On the whole this is an angsty, but heart warming tale and I really enjoyed it and look forward to my next return to Camassia Cove.