Book Reviews

Keeping Promise Rock (Keeping Promise Rock 1) by Amy Lane at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Military/Former Military / Romance / Drama
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 11-July-2013

Book Blurb

Carrick Francis has spent most of his life jumping into trouble with both feet. The only thing saving him from prison or worse is his absolute devotion to Deacon Winters. Deacon was Crick's sanity and salvation during a miserable, abusive childhood, and Crick would do anything to stay with him forever. So when Deacon's father dies, Crick puts his college plans on hold to help Deacon as Deacon has helped him.

Deacon's greatest wish is to see Crick escape his memories and the town they grew up in so Crick can enjoy a shining future. But after two years of growing feelings and temptation, the painfully shy Deacon finally succumbs to Crick's determined advances and admits he sees himself as part of Crick's life.

It nearly destroys Deacon when he discovers Crick has been waiting for him to push him away, just like Crick's family did in the past. When Crick's knack for volatile decisions lands him far away from home, Deacon is left, shell-shocked and alone, struggling to reforge his heart in a world where love with Crick is a promise, but by no means a certainty.


Book Review

I've got a few things to say before my review. One, I had to wait until I re-read 'Keeping Promise Rock' before writing my review. I was way too emotional and could not have ever made any coherent sense before. Two, there will be no spoilers in my review - there will be quotes, but no spoilers. And, three, if you're an Amy Lane fan, which I am, it's physically and emotionally impossible not to completely love this book.

The very first thing I noticed about 'Keeping Promise Rock' was the sheer joy that Crick discovered at The Pulpit and simply being in Deacon's presence. It's unreal to imagine you will find the love of your life at the age of eight. "He was never going to start looking at girls. And he would probably love Deacon Winters truly and deeply for the rest of his entire life, in the way that most men loved their wives. And someday, because Deacon thought he was honest, he would have to take his balls in one hand and his heart in the other and tell Deacon himself."

The second thing I noticed was the unbelievable genius of a writer that Amy Lane is. The rhythm of the words, the flow of the story all were immediately apparent within the first couple of pages. For me, it's a rare thing to fall as hard for the author as I fall for the characters.

Carrick Francis, or Crick, is a character whom I really related to in a number of ways. His absolute unbending surety that he will never be good enough for Deacon. His sometimes extreme cluelessness to the subtle hints of body language and speech. His decisions based entirely on emotion. Crick always seemed to be living completely in his own mind, totally unaware of what was going on around him. And then, wham, here he comes with observations seemingly out of the blue. He's simple but complex, easy but hard, but always, always, always he is honest with Deacon. Best of all, he's sarcastic and snarky which makes him very entertaining.

Deacon Winters is quiet, shy, loyal, loving, hard working, compassionate, and Crick's hero. But, Deacon knows he's not a hero. He has weaknesses just like everyone else but he's so afraid of the day that Crick discovers that. Because Deacon has loved Crick for a long time and they are all the two of them really have left in the world and Deacon couldn't stand it if Crick left. It's hard to live up to someone else's idea of you. Much like Crick, Deacon has no idea of his own worth to the people who love him. He's constantly surprised that they do. "''Do you ever want to kiss me, Deacon' he asked, and Deacon could tell he'd rehearsed the speech, trying to make it sound sexy and seductive, but what it sounded was uncertain and wanting. Deacon thought that the second combination was probably the one that did him in for good. 'All the damned time', he muttered."

The passion and unlimited love that Crick and Deacon share is almost overwhelming in places. And, I'm not just talking about sex, although it's very, very hot. I'm talking about everything - life and love. Crick and Deacon simply imbue everything with that same passion and love.

It's not just the main characters who are amazing, either. Deacon's best friend Jon, Deacon's high-school girlfriend, Amy, Crick's little sister, Benny, Crick's driver in Iraq, Lisa and Crick's combat buddy, Andrew (Private Blood-loss). Each character, in their own right, brings so much to the story it's incredible. The family that Deacon and Crick create is so strong and so very loving it brought tears to my eyes more than once.

Now we all know that Ms Lane is the Queen of Angst, correct? And nowhere does she show it as much as in this book. The letters and the texts back and forth for two years from Deacon and Crick. The levee flooding, the rattlesnakes, Deacon fighting with God and Comet dying are just small examples. Because it isn't so much that everything in the book is angst-driven. It's more that the way the author writes angst leaves you breathless and wrung-out with emotion. It's so beautiful and poetic.

I don't have enough room to ever be able to write an appropriate review of 'Keeping Promise Rock'. I hope that what I've written above isn't just a rambling mess because I really tried. Just know that this is one of the most fantastic books ever written and I can't get enough of Amy Lane's stories.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 344 pages/119464 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 18-January-2010
Price $6.99 ebook, $17.99 paperback, $17.99 bundle, $19.99 audiobook
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