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on 6 September 2010
KEEPING PROMISE ROCK is a heart rendering coming of age m/m romance that follows the lives of Carrick "Crick" James Francis and Deacon Winter. It is a story of finding your own kind of family, of making mistakes and accepting the consequences but above all it is the evolving love two men share that tugged at my heart strings. Amy Lane took my in to the lives of Crick and Deacon, how they shared their youth, their teenage years and their twenties together. How a young innocent crush from Crick grew in to a burning, gut-deep love and finds it answered by the one and only man who owned his heart for so many years.

The lives of Crick and Deacon are hectic with ups and downs and rife with their emotions which made this story so captivating in its sincerity. This story doesn't get sugar coated yet there is room for tender, loving and fun filled moments as well. At first the story is mostly told from Crick's point of view and gave me a close connection to him and his budding love for the 5 years older Deacon. The innocence is very much present but Crick's life is all but innocent, he has to take care of his younger sisters, his step-dad is a heartless man and a mother who doesn't care. Later on the point of views blend from both Crick as well as Deacon's side giving a more balanced and rounded storytelling.

Amy Lane begins this story with an attention grabbing chapter where events unfolds for Crick and ends with a cliffhanger. After that first chapter I was transported back in time to meet a young Crick on another life altering day. The first part of KPR I was pining for Deacon to acknowledge Crick's emotions for him, we all remember how intense a first love can be. A look, a touch, a smile of that person can make your day and Deacon is a teenager who is just likable. He doesn't come across as a goody two shoe but still is so charming, responsible and smart. He doesn't open up to many but when he does I knew it was a profound moment, knowing that this person truly mattered to him. From the beginning Crick and Deacon have a connection that only grows and strengthens with the bitter sweet and the emotionally intense events unfolding throughout their lives. Crick is impulsive, energetic and loyal which doesn't change much in the course of the years. It is his impulsive nature that tears him and Deacon apart.

Because KPR entails about 15 years and quite a lot of pages Amy Lane can really go in-depth with the character development and romance. The passion between Crick and Deacon is hot but the emphasis lies on the romantic development. There are homophobic issues, a teen-age pregnancy, alcoholism, losing friends and a war, all these more serious themes pass the venue and are just the bigger issues. At the heart it is the love between Deacon and Crick that swept me off my feet. Neither one if perfect, both make mistakes but it makes the love become all the more real. I connected to both because the story is so intimate, the characters are laid bare with all their strengths and flaws keeping no secrets from the reader. I was with them every step of the way to a happily ever after that became the culmination of all that Deacon and Crick wanted. Each other, family and the one place they called home, The Pulpit.

Separate and together the secondary characters; Crick's sister Benny, friends Amy, Jon, Andrew etc cetera created a unit, a support system, a family. All their lives entwine within the larger picture and I held each dear to my heart. Amy Lane knows how to make her characters go through deep valleys but she provides a small group that will keep you going in the darkest hours. Love and friendship is something that encompasses a maelstrom of feelings and I couldn't stop reading.

KEEPING PROMISE ROCK is a story that inevitable draws you in to the lives of many colorful characters but Crick and Deacon are the center of it. The gripping events that they shared with me made a lasting impression and this is one of those m/m stories that will never leave my shelves. I want the chance to revisit them...
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on 9 December 2012
Very strange review from J. Robinson - nope, didn't understand it either!! This was a very engaging and endearing story. The two main characters Deacon and Crick were great together, once Deacon admitted that it was Crick he wanted. There was heartache, joy, quite a few tears, and for me anyway, quite an uplifting feeling when I'd finished the book. I loved the fact that Deacon blushed so much when he was the centre of attention that his whole body turned pink, that Benny thought so much of Deacon as a surrogate father for Parry (strange name though) that she did eventually make it legal, that Crick loved Deacon so much and had done for so many years - it must be awesome to be loved like that! Deacon was my favourite character I have to admit, but Crick did run him a close second, and then of course the secondary characters like Lisa (sad) and 'Blood Loss', Jon and Amy were as steadfast a pair of friends as you could wish to hope for, and the new characters that appeared towards the end (Jeff and Shane) of course have their own books later in the series, which I will def. be buying. The less said about Melanie and 'Step-Bob' the better!
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on 10 June 2011
What a wonderful story that follows the lives of Crick and Deacon from children to adulthood, from heartache and dispare to hope and love. I couldn't recommend this book enough. It had me in tears and it made me smile.
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on 8 January 2012
I love this story to bits. I have cried myself to sleep for the last two nights after reading a chapter before bedtime. It is so beautiful and has become so real to me. I don't want the story to end...
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on 3 November 2011
Ok, so I cried nearly all the way through this book, and sometimes that's all you need from a great story. When you're feeling sorry for yourself, suffering from "Man-Flu", a box of tissues and an emotional story is all that works. This novel is character driven. The two protagonists, seperated when one opts for a two year stint in the Army, in Iraq no less become "family" to the reader.
Great read for me as I don't like too much graphic sex, but I love the slushy stuff. Tweets are a great way of progressing the two years of seperation. Loved it. Will def. buy the other two in the series.
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on 10 August 2013
I love these books, they are full of warm and generous characters. Though each of them hurt in their own way, together they are able to make it through.
Each character is unique, individual, yet there are things to love about all of them.
Some of the issues raised in these books are very close to my heart and Amy Lane handles them beautifully.
Though some of the scenes can be quite explicit, this is by no means the crux of the series. Warmth, generosity, love and family are what this series is about and I will definitely be checking out more from this author.
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on 3 July 2013
This is the first Amy Lane I have ever read and I can't wait to read more. I am an avid reader but this book was really the most 'unputdownable' that I have read in ages!
The story grabs you from the start and you instantly fall in love with both main characters.
Highly, highly recommended
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on 25 June 2014
I'm very late in the game when it comes to promise rock. What can I say a very heart felt and wonderful book. Made me fall in love with all the characters. Going to start the 2nd now : )
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on 13 December 2011
Okay l love a heart wrenching romance as much as any one ,, l do ,, THIS BOOKS IS SO RIDICULOUS , IT SHOULD BE CALLED A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS ,, THE COUPLE FACE EVERYTHING FROM DEATH , CHEATING , HOMOPHOBIA AND OF COURSE IRAQ , THIS BOOK IS NOT EVEN THAT LONG . NOT VERY GOOD.
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