Book Reviews

Ebb and Flow (Love's Charter 2) by Andrew Grey at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 21-August-2017

Book Blurb

To achieve happiness, they’ll have to find the courage to be their own men.


As first mate on a charter fishing boat, Billy Ray meets a lot of people, but not one of them has made him as uncomfortable as Skippy—because he’s drawn to Skippy as surely as the moon pulls the tides, and he’s almost as powerless to resist. Billy Ray has spent his life denying who he is to avoid the wrath of his religious father, and he can’t allow anyone to see through his carefully built façade.


Skippy is only in town on business and will have to return to Boston once he’s through. After all, his father has certain expectations, and him staying in Florida is not one of them. But he doesn’t count on Billy Ray capturing his attention and touching his heart.


Billy Ray doesn’t realize just how much he and Skippy have in common, though. They’re both living to please their fathers instead of following their own dreams—a fact that becomes painfully obvious when they get to know each other and realize how much joy they’ve denied themselves. While they can’t change the past, they can begin a future together and make up for lost time—as long as they’re willing to face the consequences of charting their own course.


Book Review

This second volume of the very aptly named ‘Love’s Charter’ series is as intense as the first one. This time both main characters have issues with dealing with and separating from their overbearing fathers, if for very different reasons. Neither Skippy, who is a lawyer, nor Billy Ray, who is a mate on one of William and Mike’s charter ships, are truly their own men when their story begins. They may legally be adults around thirty, but mentally they have not “cut the cord” to follow their own paths. Watching them battle their demons and deal with the fallout of coming out (for Billy Ray) and of choosing his own path in his career (for Skippy) was nerve-wrecking, emotionally draining, and spellbinding all at the same time. With his usual flair of creating multilayered characters who battle major obstacles to their own happiness, Andrew Grey, by telling Billy Ray and Skippy’s story, has given me two more men I wish I could meet in real life.
Billy Ray has managed to create a life separate from his strict father – a homophobic, righteous, hell-and-brimstone-preaching reverend who wants everyone to follow his lead to find salvation. But while Billy Ray is financially independent and lives away from home, mentally and emotionally he is still trying to please his father. He has not come out, and when his father discovers the truth, I almost expected Billy Ray to cave. It was a wonderful surprise to see him stand up to the bully pretending to be “a man of God” – better, in fact, than Skippy managed. Yes, Billy Ray had Skippy’s moral support and that helped, but Billy Ray was the one who did all the hard work.

Skippy is a lawyer in his father’s firm, still trying to win his father’s acceptance and approval. It was hard to watch him cave again and again, forgetting what he wanted out of life, only to return to doing whatever his father told him to do. Yes, Skippy wanted a successful career, but he kept sacrificing his principles to try to get his father to be proud of him. It takes him a long, long time to wake up and smell the roses, and Billy Ray has a lot to do with that. When Skippy finally sees the light, so to speak, the confrontation and the result are epic.

Aside from the personal growth the two men face, there is a suspenseful plot around an oil company wanting to build a pipeline against the locals’ wishes, Skippy working for the kind of ruthless environmentally harmful company he hates, and Billy Ray discovering the truth about Skippy’s job – which he fears will make him unemployed. Things get tense between both men for a while, but there are lots of great secondary characters around to help both Billy Ray and Skippy see what’s really important. Their happy end is definitely hard-earned though!

If you like romances full of suspense and lots of personal issues, if you enjoy watching adults realizing they have a ways to go before they are truly independent, and if you’re looking for a read that is engaging, full of conflict, and has a deeply passionate love story at its core, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. It’s got a great setting, wonderfully complicated characters, and Billy Ray and Skippy’s struggle to find happiness together made it into yet another spellbinding Andrew Grey novel for me.






DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 200 pages/61018 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 18-August-2017
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
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