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Deep by [Bates, A.L.]
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Deep Kindle Edition

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Kindle Edition, 29 Jan 2016
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Length: 123 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

Product Description

Fleeing from a troubled past that left him feeling tarnished and used, Sean finds work as a medic aboard the deep sea mining ship Ariel, on a distant planet.

Under the leader ship of the infuriating, yet charismatic, Captain Joel Riley, Sean settles into his simple, but dangerous, new life. It’s a life he soon comes to love; albeit one in which he conceals his sexuality and avoids intimacy.

But Sean’s new world is turned on its head when an old face threatens to expose him for
the man he used to be.

With Joel’s help, will Sean learn to come to terms with his past and become a man he can be
proud of?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4561 KB
  • Print Length: 123 pages
  • Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing (29 January 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01AOB6VW0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #610,755 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept with enjoyable characters 26 April 2016
By Rina - Published on
Review written for Love Bytes Reviews.

In order to escape a life he didn’t want, Sean did what he had to and fled Earth. Three years later he’s remade himself and is living a life he enjoys and can be proud of when the past suddenly intrudes in a shocking and unwelcome way. With his new life and friends threatened, Sean does the only thing he feels he can and falls back into the behaviors he’d been so desperate to leave behind. The rest of the crew is beginning to notice that things aren’t right with the doctor they’ve come to claim as their own, however, and when the Captain gets involved, things come to a head. Now, with his world seemingly in tatters, Sean will have to make a choice: let the past continue to haunt and chase him or find the strength to stay and fight for the life and the man that he wants.

I was first drawn to this book because of the deep sea mining aspect; I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that had this in it and I found I actually liked it quite a bit. Things pick up at a decent speed in the beginning so that all of the players are present and I found I didn’t mind that at all as I was interested in seeing what direction the plot would go. Sean was a very private character and you could see just how painful it was for him to come clean about things he’d done and the man he used to be. While it wasn’t a quick fix, and he was prone to falling back into ingrained behaviors, I liked that you could see progress being made and I loved that it was the Captain that was helping him through it. I didn’t really see Joel and Sean together in the beginning because of how they reacted to one another but Joel really did care about his crew and Sean specifically. I was thrilled when he stepped up to the plate and showed what kind of man he really was.

The major drama of the book, if you want to call it that, was done well before the ending but as the rest of the story focused on Sean’s healing and his burgeoning relationship with Joel, I found I really didn’t mind at all. By the end of the book I was a total fan of these two men and even without a great deal of detail about the mining operation itself, I really enjoyed the general setting of the story too. This was a unique read that kept me entertained and I know I’ll read again in the future. I’ll also be keeping my eye out for more from this author as I’d really like to see what they come up with next. :)

4.0 out of 5 stars A good solid fun read with some sweetly drawn characters. 19 February 2016
By Sinfully - Published on
3.5 Stars rounded up.
There’s just something about ship board romances, isn’t there? In this case Ariel, the ship, is a deep sea mining vessel, a submersible that descends to incredible depths, crewed by a collection of odd characters who watch each other’s backs as they earn their insanely dangerous livelihood. Ariel isn’t the grandest of ships, nor the newest, nor the most technologically advanced. The same might be said for the crew. Every single one of them is flawed to some extent. All have 'pasts' that have left them with problems in the present. But Ariel is home and the crew are 'family' if a somewhat dysfunctional one. A key member is Sean, still not too sure of his place, but valuable as the only thoroughly trained medic aboard. Much of the action of the story is seen through Sean's eyes, as he tries to keep various lids on the seething pots of his past. How would the crew react if they knew that he's gay? How would the stern captain treat him if he knew that Sean had been a criminal and was still on the 'wanted list' for crimes against powerful people? On a more personal note, how would the captain react to the news that Sean is harbouring a very powerful crush on him?

All these things prey on Sean's mind as they drift through the deeps, but he does his job to the best of his ability, keeps his secret's unwillingly, scared of the repercussions, and achieves a measure of happiness. Then the ship answers a distress signal and Sean's comfortable if lonely world is turned on end. A face from the past threatens him with exposure, a man who can not only let the cat out of the bag about Sean’s shameful past but is intent upon leading him astray in the present.

Meanwhile the captain has problems of his own, and not just the safety of the ship and crew. He’s also realising that the warm feeling he holds for Sean isn’t entirely appropriate for a subordinate and that he feels that way about another man is a BIG shock.

Hazards abound, natural and man-made and everyone has to show their mettle before the story ends.

I did enjoy this, very much. There was an intimacy about the setting, bourn of the claustrophobic setting and the interactions between all the characters, that reminded me a little of the late lamented Firefly. The variety of characters and their skills afforded both protagonists with people in whom they could confide and/or be mocked by. The variety of hazards allowed almost everyone to be heroes at some point and the resolution was satisfying while allowing some leeway should the author decide to add more to the story of the Ariel. I would love to know more about the planet and the social structure of this universe. Not that I think this book is lacking in world building, but the very restricted set didn’t lend itself to much exploration. Kudos to the author for not giving into the temptation to info dump. We had enough information to be going on with.

So, to summarise, a good solid fun read with some sweetly drawn characters.

Reviewed by Sally for Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A love story set in the deep 3 February 2016
By johanna - Published on
This is the love story of two men who had been working together within tight quarters for three years on one of the moons of a distant planet. The setting: Ariel, a deep sea mining vessel manned by rough and tough men and women who live for the challenge of mining minerals. Sean is this ship's doctor and he has reached the third year aboard Ariel. As they say, after three years, one either leaves or stays on for life. Sean has no plans of leaving finding the men and women aboard the Ariel as his family. There is one man in particular whom he loves in secret, Joel, Ariel's captain.

As deep sea vessel stories usually goes, there is an unexpected distress signal and they go aboard the ship to investigate. No one was prepared to find a lone survivor who miraculously escapes a shady emergency. No one is more scared than Sean who discovers the survivor is a man from his past. One who could not only destroy his happiness aboard the Ariel, but out him to the crew, his captain and probably set everyone's lives in danger. And so the story begins. Sean's struggles, Joel's epiphanies, and the discovery that family is one whom you choose not what you are born into.

As science fiction stories go, this is very laid back. Other than the setting of outer space, this gives me flashes of the 1989 movie, The Abyss. It is one of my favorite sci-fi adventure stories ever, from it's unfolding drama and twists that can confound what we think we know of the known universe. Deep by A.L. Bates has the feel of that movie but focuses more on the drama rather than the special effects seen in the movie.

The romance that unfolds, well, this is a gay-for-you romance and so the usual questions are raised. Having said that, I am left with some reservations. Joel seemed to get into the romance of things without much angst and it is actually Sean who cannot seem to accept Joel's change of mind and heart. The fun is reading how Joel convinces Sean that even if he were new to the sexual experience, his love for Ariel is as deep as the oceans they travel.

If you life a light, GFY romance with a hint of science fiction, then this is the book for you.
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review by Brandilyn 3 March 2016
By PrismBookAlliance - Published on
4 out of 5 Stars
For original review, please visit the Prism Book Alliance® blog online.

Sean has a past and used a deep sea moon mining mission to escape that past. Three years on and that past catches up with him. Meanwhile, Sean is starting a tentative romance with his otherwise straight captain, Joel.

It is a novella, so world and character building suffers some in favor of plot and romance. There is a lot going on in only about 100 pages give or take. I don’t think any of the subplots were fully flushed out, except the romance. That one was pretty well addressed. You can’t help but like Sean. For me, the jury is still out on Joel. I just don’t know enough about him to love him. However, he seems enamored with Sean, so that is good enough.

My only other complaint, aside from the thin plots, characters, and worlds, is that it needed better editing and proofreading. I think a better editor would have actually helped flesh out the issues I mentioned. They would also have caught the numerous typos and missed words. It wasn’t enough to pull be from the story, but it was enough to annoy. Unfortunately, this is a complaint I seem to make all too often with many of the smaller presses.

If you are a SciFi Romance junky, you should certainly give DEEP by AL Bates a try. However, DEEP was a pleasant way to spend an hour or so.
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, light read 14 February 2016
By D - Published on
I got the opportunity to read an advanced review copy (which I received for free with no obligation of reviewing) of Deep while I was on vacation in January, and it was a great read for the mood I was in: light, fun and adventurous. It was action and plot-oriented, with just enough worldbuilding to make it clear the characters were on a different planet (or moon, in this case), but not so much that it bogged down the narration. Details appeared naturally when they were relevant to the plot, so the reader gets little hints throughout the book to build a fuller understanding, which I enjoyed. Both the adventure and romance kept me engaged with the story until the end. While Sean identifies as gay, Joel is more aptly described as heteroflexible. Sean spends the first part of the book assuming, however, that Joel is entirely straight and the crew likely homophobic. His assumptions on both fronts get challenged when Sean gets outed by a deep sea interloper.

I got sucked in by the first paragraph of Deep and only put it down when I had to pay attention to my fellow vacationers. If I’d been alone, I would have refused to leave the couch until I was done. Beyond the romance, I liked how Bates fleshed out the entire crew and the "chosen family"-type friendships that developed among them.