Title: Shelter the Sea (The Roosevelt #2)
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: April 18th 2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary
Page Count: 190 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Some heroes wear capes. Some prefer sensory sacks.
Emmet Washington has never let the world define him, even though he, his boyfriend, Jeremey, and his friends aren’t considered “real” adults because of their disabilities. When the State of Iowa restructures its mental health system and puts the independent living facility where they live in jeopardy, Emmet refuses to be forced into substandard, privatized corporate care. With the help of Jeremey and their friends, he starts a local grassroots organization and fights every step of the way.
In addition to navigating his boyfriend’s increased depression and anxiety, Emmet has to make his autistic tics acceptable to politicians and donors, and he wonders if they’re raising awareness or putting their disabilities on display. When their campaign attracts the attention of the opposition’s powerful corporate lobbyist, Emmet relies on his skill with calculations and predictions and trusts he can save the day—for himself, his friends, and everyone with disabilities.
He only hopes there isn’t a variable in his formula he’s failed to foresee.
I do not disguise the fact the Carry the Ocean is one of my favorite books of all time. Emmet and Jeremey are two of the most special characters that I hold close to my heart.
Shelter the Sea is everything I could have hoped for in the continuation of Emmet and Jeremey’s story.
Told once again through both Emmet and Jeremey’s points of view, the story takes place over two years after the end of Carry The Ocean. Emmet is doing well at work, his romance with Jeremey is right on track, he’s even ready to move his relationship with Jeremey to something permanent.
While the romance portion of the story is ongoing, there are some politics as well, as the Roosevelt House residents and their friends find themselves having to battle for rights. Using the momentum created by their viral video of the guys dancing in Target to “Happy”, they campaign to garner interest from politicians and donors to help those with disabilities.
I’m more in love with the Roosevelt Blues Brothers than ever!
My emotions were all over the place reading this, and I’m not ashamed to admit I cried a few times, sometimes happy tears (Mai, the rooftop scene), sometimes angry (RJ, the Bill)…but through it all Heidi Cullinan stayed true to the characters I fell in love with in Carry The Ocean.
“We aren’t carrying the oceans. We’re helping them find places to be to carry them themselves more easily.”
“We’re trying to shelter the sea, then.”
Would I have liked maybe a little more personal time between Emmet and Jeremey and a little less activist time? Sure. But the story flows so well, from the way the characters were allowed to grow, to the seamless introduction of new characters, and, finally, to the heart-melting romance. In the end, I thought it was all pretty brilliantly executed.
I loved it.
I’d had it wrong all along. I didn’t have to shelter the sea. I had to find the way to let the sea shelter me.
The is a new adult contemporary story with themes of hurt/comfort, romance, family, friendship, and love.