Richard's Reviews > Keeping Promise Rock

Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane
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's review
Jun 17, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: military, kindle, romance, gay
Read in June, 2011

I have mixed emotions about this book, but on the whole, it was a worthy investment of time. I’d say it’s also fairly likely I’ll re-read it down the road, though it may be a while. I’m torn between 3.5 and 4 stars on this one.

What I liked

Amy Lane is a good writer. Her prose is crisp and natural, her characterization gives her creations true voice and vitality, her plotting generates tension and drama without the sense of artifice. Well, too much sense of artifice. One key decision on romantic lead Crick’s part -- absolutely essential to the plot -- felt a little forced. I wish the author had planted a few details that would have made it easier for the reader to ruefully acknowledge, “Yep. That’s exactly what Crick would have done.”

The two leads in this book -- self-described “f*ckup” Crick and eternal stoic Deacon -- feel fresh to me in the canon of M/M romance. I liked them both, wanted their relationship to work, and was genuinely emotionally drawn into their story. It certainly kept me turning the pages.

I also liked the depth. I get so tired of novellas that end just as they’re getting started, if you know what I mean. This book -- plot, characters, setting -- offers real meat.

What I didn’t like

It’s just SO angsty. I don’t mean drama. I mean angstiness. There were moments I just wanted to shake some of these characters and say, “Really? Really?

Your mileage will vary. This level of angstiness isn’t my thing because I find it wearying, but it resonates with lots of readers (and authors) and seems to be fairly common among M/M romances Especially those written by female authors; I sometimes wonder if they are exercising some kind of wish fulfillment in depicting male characters who are just seething, quivering bundles of raw emotion waiting to be tapped, expressed and transformed.

I also feel like this is one of those “light beer” kind of stories: tastes great, less filling. I was genuinely emotionally gripped as the story was unfolding (tastes great), but at its (satisfactory HEA) conclusion the emotional attachment to the characters kind of faded away (less filling).

If you liked this, definitely read Lane’s “Truth in the Dark.” It’s an exquisite romantic fable.Truth in the Dark
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