Newly Hatched Review | Shelter the Sea

Shelter the Sea

About the Book: 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.

The Roosevelt #2
M/M Contemporary Romance
April 18, 2017
amazon2 bn2

2017 Birdie Award Winner

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.


About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

13 Responses

  1. Reviews for the second book in the series are always challenging, but I think you really did a great job with this review, Birdie! It sounds like these books are incredibly uplifting. I totally understand your trepidation picking up book two considering how much you enjoyed Carry the Ocean. Do you know if there will be more books in this series? If so, are you ready to pick them up when they come out? 😉


      1. Unfortunately it’s just not the right time for me to be adding reviews on my plate beyond my Netgalley books. I’m an international school teacher at the end of a school year, wrapping up my life here so I can move to a new country and school next year and go on vacation to Canada for three weeks (leaving on Monday). I already have a top 10 Tuesday I need to post tonight and a top 10 wednesday for my youtube channel I haven’t even filmed yet. x___x so yeah not venturing into reviews beyond ARCs atm, sadly…though I always post at least my initial thoughts on goodreads.


  2. […] Carry the Ocean was one of my favorites last year.  I’m so happy that it’s sequel, Shelter the Sea, is on my list today.  Emmet and Jeremey are one of the sweetest couples I’ve ever read.  Their fight for The Roosevelt is one of the most inspiring.  Heidi Cullinan is the queen of writing socially conscious romances, inspiring the reader instead of lecturing. (My Review) […]


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