Author: A.L. Bates
Genre: Science Fiction, Gay Romance, Gay SciFi
Length: Long Novella
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
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Fleeing 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 by: multitaskingmomma
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
This is the love story of two men who had been working together within tight quarters for three years on one of the moons of a distant planet. The setting: Ariel, a deep sea mining vessel manned by rough and tough men and women who live for the challenge of mining minerals. Sean is this ship's doctor and he has reached the third year aboard Ariel. As they say, after three years, one either leaves or stays on for life. Sean has no plans of leaving finding the men and women aboard the Ariel as his family. There is one man in particular whom he loves in secret, Joel, Ariel's captain.
As deep sea vessel stories usually goes, there is an unexpected distress signal and they go aboard the ship to investigate. No one was prepared to find a lone survivor who miraculously escapes a shady emergency. No one is more scared than Sean who discovers the survivor is a man from his past. One who could not only destroy his happiness aboard the Ariel, but out him to the crew, his captain and probably set everyone's lives in danger. And so the story begins. Sean's struggles, Joel's epiphanies, and the discovery that family is one whom you choose not what you are born into.
As science fiction stories go, this is very laid back. Other than the setting of outer space, this gives me flashes of the 1989 movie, The Abyss. It is one of my favorite sci-fi adventure stories ever, from it's unfolding drama and twists that can confound what we think we know of the known universe. Deep by A.L. Bates has the feel of that movie but focuses more on the drama rather than the special effects seen in the movie.
The romance that unfolds, well, this is a gay-for-you romance and so the usual questions are raised. Having said that, I am left with some reservations. Joel seemed to get into the romance of things without much angst and it is actually Sean who cannot seem to accept Joel's change of mind and heart. The fun is reading how Joel convinces Sean that even if he were new to the sexual experience, his love for Ariel is as deep as the oceans they travel.
If you life a light, GFY romance with a hint of science fiction, then this is the book for you.
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The hatch opened after an excruciating two hours. Sean held his breath and watched as the captain’s boots crossed the threshold. He exhaled in relief. Following the captain was Kyle, Mia’s husband. It was Mia’s turn to breathe out. But the man following Kyle wasn’t Harvey. This was a stranger, a refugee from the shipwreck. Finally, Harvey clambered inside, raising a big hand victoriously in the air. Pulling a survivor from the Deep was good news. It meant hope. It meant a celebration.Joel unhooked his helmet and looked about the bridge. He was the only one unaffected by the excitement.“Doc, get your backside down here!” he yelled.Sean flew down the steps. He hit the bottom as the refugee removed his helmet. The refugee shook his blond hair and turned. Sean stopped dead in his tracks. He gaped at the other man in disbelief, his mind unable to process anything more than the man’s name: David.
About the author
A.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