Book Reviews

How to Raise an Honest Rabbit (Knitting 3) by Amy Lane at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 09-November-2012

Book Blurb

Everything about Jeremy has always been a lie—including his last name. When one grift too many ends in tragedy, Jeremy goes straight. But life’s hard for an ex-con, and Jeremy is down to panhandling and hope when Rance Crawford offers him work at a tiny alpaca farm and fiber mill. Jeremy takes him up on the job, thinking this could be his last chance to be a good man, and meets Aiden, who is growing into a better one.

As Aiden comes of age, Jeremy finds himself desperate to grow up, too, because Aiden starts looking to him for things Jeremy doesn’t know how to give. Being honest is terrifying for a man who’s learned to rabbit at the first sign of conflict—more so when Aiden gives Jeremy a reason to stay that can’t be packed up and carried in a knapsack. When Jeremy’s past comes knocking at their door, can Jeremy trust enough in Aiden and his new home to answer bravely back?

Book Review

Once you start lying, and possibly conning your way through life, it is hard to stop. When it's something you've been taught from when you were very young, it is almost impossible. Jeremy, the main character and narrator of this story, makes a decision to break with old behaviors and become "honest". Unfortunately, that is far easier said than done. What this story shows is not only the problems society will throw in the way of an ex-convict, but also his own internal battle with the new concept of "living an honest life". As much as he may want to do it, his memories, fears, and old habits keep intruding. His thoughts and actions were fascinating, pulled me in from the beginning, and kept me glued to the pages until the end of the story.

Jeremy has had an awful life; his mother died when he was young, his father taught him how to be a conman, and when he witnesses his dad's death, it is all too much. The decision to become honest is made when he ends up in prison, but once he tries to get back to a normal life, the real battle begins. I was fascinated by his habits of stashing cash in different places so he could always access it. The need to be able to leave within minutes was so deeply ingrained that anything more permanent seemed like a threat to him. His inner demons kept telling him one thing, but once he finds a new home on Rance Crawford's alpaca farm (see Knitting 1), Jeremy opens his mind and heart to the people there. It is a long and arduous battle, and I was with Jeremy every step of the way.

Aiden is an amazing young man. He may just graduate high school at the beginning of Jeremy's stay, but he is wise beyond his years. He also instinctively knows how to handle Jeremy, and as they become closer and closer over the next two and a half years, he does everything in his power to make Jeremy stay.  His ability to understand the parallels between raising a rabbit and dealing with Jeremy's constant fears and readiness to run is what ultimately enables him to help Jeremy – and give them both the happiness they deserve.

This is a fascinating character study as well as a very touching love story. Both Jeremy and Aiden face incredible odds, and I was so emotionally involved that I know they will stay with me for a long time. If you like characters with a very distinctive, individual voice, if you enjoy heart-wrenching stories that make you "suffer" before the happy ending, and if you're looking for an emotionally involving tale that will likely have you in tears from time to time, then you should go for this book. I was totally mesmerized!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and audio
Length Novella, 180 pages/45277 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 24-October-2012
Price $4.99 ebook, $14.95 audiobook
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