Sunday, January 6, 2019

Sea Change (Saugatuck #1) by Amelia C. Gormley


One Summer Can Change Everything...

Topher Carlisle's always been the black sheep--literally--in his middle-class family. Biracial, gay, and genderfluid, his family doesn't think he'll amount to much, and he just might believe them.

After a bout of severe depression has put both his academic and financial prospects in danger, he accepts his best friend's offer to stay in her family's summer home while he works to make up the shortfall of his athletic scholarship. But his tendency for self-sabotage is strong and soon a terrible mistake in judgment leaves him homeless.

From the moment he sees Topher, artist Jace Sieger knows that this is someone he needs to capture on canvas. He's no stranger to poor life choices, and he sees something in Topher worth nurturing.

The challenge, though, is chipping through Topher's prickly defenses to reach the sensitive, traumatized soul beneath. With the help of his friends Geoff and Robin, maybe, just maybe, they can convince Topher he's worth something after all, and that a few mistakes don't make him irredeemable.
What starts as a casual vacation fling grows into something that will change both of them forever.

(This novel is a newly-released and retitled second edition. It was previously available under the title Saugatuck Summer.)

My Rating - 4 Stars!

Amelia Gormley's Sea Change is a multi-layered and complex romance. It covers one summer that has so many issues and where so many things happen. 

Topher is a character who grabs at your heart strings, as he's suffered horrific abuse as a child. Topher's family is a train wreck, and he believes the lifetime of insults thrown his way. He has so many fears and he'd love to cut ties with his family as he suffers from a life of anger, grief and cruel words. 

One issue tackled is that of living to work for success or finding a job you enjoy. This is something Topher really needs to evaluate.

Topher learns a lot over this one summer. Most importantly is that decisions have consequences. He deals with having an affair, a one night stand that turns into more, and finds a relationship that teaches him about himself and about life. 

His story is one of strength, survival, forgiveness, sacrifices and support. He learns that everyone has problems and he learns to like himself.

Sea Change is an emotional ride. The writing is accomplished and impressive, with great flow and development. So much happens during this one summer.  It's more life changing for Topher than I could have ever imagined. And it's a reminder that no one is 100% good or bad.

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