Drifting: Diving In Book One by J Calamy
Publication Date: 21 June 2022
The world needs more stories like Drifting, the first book in J Calamy’s new Diving In series. I was enchanted by the idea of this story as soon as I read the blurb. In this novella we have a couple in their 40s (hooray for love at any age), fat acceptance (THANK YOU!), grumpy meets sunshine (my favorite trope), SCUBA diving on a beautiful reef (on my bucket list), and that’s just in the first few chapters.
Drifting is the story of Cole and Hank, who meet while Cole is on vacation at a hotel on the Red Sea, with a goal of getting his SCUBA diving certification. Hank is the dive master for the hotel, and there is an instant spark between the two. Each of the men is a little broken in his own way. Cole has spent his whole life being shamed for his size, and people look askance at his love of diving. Hank wants to open his own dive shop, but he doesn’t have the money because he’s paying off a debt he owes to a local gangster. Adding to their problems is the fact that in this area of the world, being gay is illegal.
I love it when authors make the setting of the story its own character, and Calamy does just that in Drifting. Her descriptions of the sea are breathtaking, and as I read I could see all of the beautiful fish and coral as Cole and Hank drifted by them, and I could feel the nighttime desert air as the two men lay under the open sky.
I would also like to offer a shout-out for the mental health rep in this book. Cole has had body image issues all his life, but through therapy and his use of positive self-talk, the extra pounds are no longer holding him back from enjoying his life. I loved that Hank was instantly attracted to Cole because he was a squishy teddy bear, not in spite of it. And the chemistry between the two of them just leaps off the page, so put on your life jackets and prepare yourselves for some spicy on-the-boat activities.
Pretty much the only negative thing I can say about this story is that it wasn’t long enough! I would have loved to be able to spend more time with these two men, wrapped up in their beautiful love story, following them as they heal each other’s souls and explore the beauty to be found in the sea and in each other.
Thank you to Pride Book Tours for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.