Book Reviews

Making Promises (Keeping Promise Rock 2) by Amy Lane at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / Romance / Drama
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 12-July-2013

Book Blurb

All Shane Perkins ever wanted to be was a hero. But after a career-shattering decision to go down fighting, Shane comes home from the hospital to four empty walls, a pile of money, and a burning desire for someone to miss him the next time he gets hurt in the line of duty. He ends up an officer in the small town of Levee Oaks, and, addicted to the promise of family, he makes an effort to reconcile with his flighty, troubled sister. Kimmy makes her living as a dancer, and her partner steals Shane's breath at first sight.

Mikhail Vasilyovitch Bayul dances like an angel, but his past is less than heavenly. Since he left Russia, he's made only two promises: to stay off the streets and stay clean, and to take his mother someplace beautiful before she dies. Making promises to anybody else is completely out of the question—but then, Mikhail has never met anybody like Shane. Earnest, brave, and self-deprecating, Shane seems to speak Mikhail's language, and no one is more surprised than Mikhail to find that keeping promises is Shane's best talent of all.


Book Review

This second installment in Amy Lane's Promises series in no way disappointed. Although, I should mention that once again I waited until I re-read this book before writing my review. I get pretty choked up with a lot of Ms. Lane's books and her writing so I felt it was only fair to wait a while before attempting a somewhat coherent review.

Shane Perkins was a beat cop in LA who got a pretty bad deal (grrrrrrr). Along with that came a mighty big payout that enabled him to move to Levee Oaks, buy a house, get some dogs, and work for their police department. That's where he meets Deacon, Crick, Amy, Benny, Jon, and Andrew, and Shane becomes another member of the family. Poor Shane has not got a good view of himself. He's a guy who has spent most of his life living in his own head within his own dreams and doesn't always have the best social skills. The fact that he's also not always the quickest at verbal come-backs and instead his mouth usually spills out rather unusual statements, has left Shane lonely and without close friendships for most of his life. He's been seen as weird and pathetic. But now he has The Pulpit and the family they've all made. Shane is sort of an old-fashioned guy who believes in love and family and romance.

Enter Mikhail Bayul, Russian dancer. Now Mikhail doesn't believe in love and he certainly doesn't believe that someone as deep down nice and good as Shane could exist. He's afraid to hope as that's never done him any good his whole life. So he hides behind arrogance and defensiveness in an effort to never be hurt or made to feel vulnerable again. He is like a lost little boy in some ways and he will break your heart and make you cry. For you see, Mickey has an ugly background that makes him feel dirty and ashamed and not worthy.

These two together are beautiful in a way that's almost hard to explain. Both have insecurities and vulnerabilities but an amazing ability to speak the same language and be understood.
"Shane had a sudden understanding. Talking to this man was like following a kitten with a ball of yarn. That thing was going to take him a lot of different, tangled places before he unraveled it and put it in order. 'Stop chasing worsted,' he muttered.....
'Handsome as a cat,' Shane said without meaning to, and then he wanted to smack his head against the four-by-four post holding the entire tent up.
'One that chases worsted balls of words,' Mikhail finished for him....."

This isn't an easy love story. The great ones never are. There are moments of such unimaginable pain that it will almost make your heart stop and then equal moments of heart lifting joy. The parts that hit me the absolute hardest are scenes with Mikhail and his mom; the Pulpit family babysitting Mikhail and making him one of theirs; Mikhail and Benny's friendship and bonding over driving lessons.
"I didn't know GTO's came with oh-shit-bars. Crick's Toyota has a different feature - we call it the hail-Jesus-handle. Do you think they do the same thing?"

The underlying meaning in 'Making Promises' is simple. Love and family are the most important things in the world. If you don't have those and/or give them, life is lonely and miserable. End of story. I loved this book and will re-read it many, many more times!





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, 326 pages/132028 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 26-July-2010
Price $6.99 ebook, $17.99 paperback, $17.99 bundle, $19.99 audiobook
Buy Link