Title: Broke Deep
Author: Charlie Cochrane (Porthkennack #3)
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: June 5, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Mystery
Page Count: 249
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Morgan Capell’s life is falling apart by small degrees—his father’s dead, his boyfriend dumped him, and his mother’s in the grip of dementia. His state of mind isn’t helped by his all-too-real recurring nightmare of the wreck of the Troilus, a two hundred year old ship he’s been dreaming about since his teenage years.
The story of the Troilus is interwoven with the Capell family history. When amateur historian Dominic Watson inveigles himself into seeing the ship’s timbers which make up part of Morgan’s home, they form a tentative but prickly friendship that keeps threatening to spark into something more romantic.
Unexpectedly, Dominic discovers that one of the Troilus’s midshipman was rescued but subsequently might have been murdered, and persuades Morgan to help him establish the truth. But the more they dig, the more vivid Morgan’s nightmares become, until he’s convinced he’s showing the first signs of dementia. It takes as much patience as Dominic possesses—and a fortuitous discovery in a loft—to bring light out of the darkness.
Each of the books in the Porthkennack series share a common setting – the Cornish community of Porthkennack (although A Gathering Storm is set in the 1850’s) – but are stand-alones. The blurb for Broke Deep intrigued me because it involves a two-hundred year old shipwreck and two contemporary men who work to solve the mystery.
Through most of Broke Deep, I admired the tightly constructed plot that gives us Morgan Capell who dreams of the wreck of the Troilus in graphic detail and fears he was losing his mind – a concern that is not wild fantasy given his 60 year-old mother is in a nursing home with dementia. When amateur historian Dominic enters the picture, Morgan meets someone who may be able to help him figure out the dream that he, his mother and his grandmother all had in common, but also salve the wounds of his breakup with James. Morgan and Dominic’s relationship is not built on hot steamy sex scenes and is more quirky than carnal. I adored the author’s depiction:
When they got to the bedroom and the big, firm bed, their big, firm, and desperate body parts made it plain the time was right to couple again” […] “Dominic had suggested a safeword — bloody Milton Keynes again — if things became uncomfortable, but it hadn’t been needed.”
The blurb drew me in … but the blurb also reveals something Morgan and Dominic only figure out 3/4 of the way through the book (aarrgghh) and hints at perhaps a paranormal resolution to the story. I give Broke Deep 3.5 stars but feel the blurb ultimately did not do the book any favors.