It’s always really hard when one of your favorite books comes out with a sequel. I was so excited when I realized Carry the Ocean wouldn’t be a standalone. Then I found out it was a continuation of Emmett and Jeremey, and not a new couple like I thought. The problem was, Carry the Ocean was a nearly perfect story and I couldn’t see how a second book would compare. Did I really want to read more trouble for Emmett and Jeremey, especially after everything they’d been through already? That’s the only reason I didn’t immediately jump on Shelter the Sea when it was released.
I couldn’t hold out for long, though. This book was calling to me, both because the cover is beautiful and knowing there was more Emmett and Jeremey out there was impossible to resist.
“…remember you’re helping to shelter the sea. It’s a big, impossible job, but you already know how to carry an ocean, so it’s not such a big deal after all.”
I’m so happy to say, I loved almost everything about Shelter the Sea. While Carry the Ocean will always be special, I thought Shelter the Sea did a great job of shouldering the weight of these characters and their mission. Basically, in Carry the Ocean Emmett’s goal was to be as independent with Jeremey as they could be. That was the goal. In Shelter the Sea, that goal is magnified to helping as many people as they can. They want everyone to live a life of dignity and comfort. They want everyone to have somewhere safe and secure to call home. Everyone includes those with disabilities, not only people ‘on the mean’ (able-bodied), and that’s what they set out to fight for. It’s not just Emmett and Jeremey, but it’s David too, and Darren. They’re the Roosevelt Blues Brothers, and I am proud to say I am a Roosevelt Blues Brother too.
I’d say The Roosevelt’s battle to stay afloat and grow was the main plot-line, but Heidi Cullinan still gave us plenty of Emmett and Jeremey love. There’s something really beautiful about how both men accept each other exactly the way they are. In fact, I’d go a step forward and say their love for each other encompasses their disabilities. It’s not ‘in spite of’. They perfectly balance each other, and they’ve learned to count on each other as their safe place. I would smile and hug myself whenever they had a tender moment. To say I was very pleased with where this amazing couple left off is an understatement.
In fact, despite my initial reservations, I hope there’s a third Roosevelt book and it’s still about Emmett and Jeremey! I want to read more about this group of brilliant men who are taking on the world. And I definitely want to see what’s next for Emmett and Jeremey, particularly one specific day…
“I can’t beat you either, RJ King, I thought, shutting my eyes as Emmett placed his mouth on my neck, but I can do this. I can lift up this man, the one who’s already bested you once. I can shine for him, keep him safe, keep him happy. I don’t have many strengths, but I do have this. Watch me, King.”