The Roosevelt series by Heidi Cullinan

Carry the Ocean (The Roosevelt #1)

AUTHOR’S BLURB: Normal is just a setting on the dryer.

High school graduate Jeremey Samson is looking forward to burying his head under the covers and sleeping until it’s time to leave for college. Then a tornado named Emmet Washington enters his life. The double major in math and computer science is handsome, forward, wicked smart, interested in dating Jeremey—and he’s autistic.

But Jeremey doesn’t judge him for that. He’s too busy judging himself, as are his parents, who don’t believe in things like clinical depression. When his untreated illness reaches a critical breaking point, Emmet is the white knight who rescues him and brings him along as a roommate to The Roosevelt, a quirky new assisted living facility nearby.

As Jeremey finds his feet at The Roosevelt, Emmet slowly begins to believe he can be loved for the man he is behind the autism. But before he can trust enough to fall head over heels, he must trust his own conviction that friendship is a healing force, and love can overcome any obstacle.

Warning: Contains characters obsessed with trains and counting, positive representations of autism and mental illness, a very dark moment, and Elwood Blues.

MY REVIEW: So heartwarming. Emmett is so cute I just want to eat him up. I connect with Jeremey way too well. The issues are dealt with matter-of-factly and yet sensitively, with humor and good will and open eyes. I originally bought this because my bipolar swings mostly to the depressive side and I have a niece who’s autistic, so I felt a connection to those aspects and wanted to see how they were portrayed. I’m happy to say I was hooked. I now count this as one of my favorite books ever, which is not an easy task.

Shelter the sea (Roosevelt 2)-HC

Shelter the Sea (The Roosevelt #2)

AUTHOR’S BLURB: 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.

UPDATE: The author has indicated there should be at least 1 more book in this series, though there is no exact date for publication yet. At the very least, the author has indicated that it will be her first heterosexual romance. I’m sure she will bring her same lovely talent to play with those characters as well. I imagine I am not the only impatient fan, though, who eagerly awaits and cheerfully (and cheekily) demand (beg, really) the continuation of this series.

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