Author: A.L. Bates
Genre: Science Fiction, Gay Romance, Gay SciFi
Length: Long Novella
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
SynopsisFleeing from a troubled past that left him feeling tarnished and used, Sean finds work as a medic aboard the deep sea mining ship Ariel, on a distant planet.
Under the leader ship of the infuriating, yet charismatic, Captain Joel Riley, Sean settles into his simple, but dangerous, new life. It’s a life he soon comes to love; albeit one in which he conceals his sexuality and avoids intimacy.
But Sean’s new world is turned on its head when an old face threatens to expose him for the man he used to be.
With Joel’s help, will Sean learn to come to terms with his past and become a man he can be proud of?
Review: 4 Stars
Running from the authorities back on Earth, Sean has been working as a medic on a mining ship for the past two years. All his documents are forged, and the captain knew it, but he still gave Sean a chance. It's a lonely, hard life, but Sean has made it his own and down in the deep he feels his troubles are finally over. He's in love with Joel, but hasn't mentioned it and tries to keep his feelings and his sexuality hidden, feeling that no one would want to be on the ship with him if they knew. A distress call from another ship soon puts paid to the idea that his troubles are over.
One of Sean's ex-lovers, David, is the only survivor on the other ship. And he wastes no time in blackmailing Sean back into a relationship with him: if Sean doesn't comply, then he will tell Captain Joel Riley all about Sean's sordid past. Feeling he has no option, Sean acquiesces, for he doesn't want the captain to find out about his past. But bedding Sean isn't David's only agenda, and the crew find themselves in danger in more ways than one.
I'm not really a fan of the "gay for you" trope, but I have to admit that in this story it worked well. Joel has always considered himself straight, but he can't deny that there is something about Sean which intrigues him and he is jealous when he catches Sean and David together – if he'd opened his eyes a bit sooner, he might have realised that Sean didn't want to be with David, he was doing it to protect the ship and the other crew.
Sean is so confused and messed-up, I really felt for him and wanted things to work out. He has been through so much, ashamed of things in his past and fears that if anyone finds out they will disown him. Sean wants Joel but he has so many hang-ups about sex due to his past that he doesn't even know how to approach the subject, never mind do anything more physical.
And Joel, Joel understands completely. There is no jumping into bed together in the first five minutes and the book is stronger for it. It's a romance, there's no doubt about that, but romance doesn't have to mean sex in every chapter. Sean needs time, as does Joel for he's never been with a man before, and they both get the time they need to sort out their heads first before they make love.
Great characters, well-written prose, and a fast pace that leaves you breathless. A new author to watch.
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Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Deep-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01AOB6VW0/
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About the authorA.L. BATES has a keen interest in Sci-fi and adventure novels and enjoys writing stories with strong characters in imaginative backgrounds. Although an avid writer, Deep is the first published novella by A.L. Bates.
A.L. Bates can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoralbates