Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane is the first book in the ‘Promises’ series. When I read the blurb, it hinted that this book was going to be an emotional read, but I admit I wasn’t prepared for the kaleidoscope of emotions I had while I read this book. I was swept up in the amazing love story of Deacon and Carrick and the long hard road it took for them to find their happy ending together.
The book starts with a bang and ends the same way. It begins with the prologue of Carrick “Crick” Francis is just about to end his two long year tour of duty in Iraq. Carrick and his best friend, Lisa, are in the middle of a convoy transporting supplies. He and Lisa are joking about how he has only five days left until he gets to go home. One moment, everything is right as rain for Carrick and the next, there is a loud, booming explosion and Carrick’s last thought is, “Oh, goddammit, Deacon-- I should have given you more time.”
The book then shifts to a nine year old Carrick is exploring different areas around his home, when he comes across a horse farm. He spots a teenaged boy training a horse. Even though he knows he is trespassing, he can’t keep himself from joining the small crowd that has gathered to watch. From the moment that Carrick and the teenaged boy, Deacon Winters, eyes meet there is a bond that forms between them that cannot be broken.
As Deacon and Carrick get to know each other, he soon finds out that Carrick comes from a family that is often abusive and doesn’t care about his well being. Deacon and his father, Parrish, soon take Carrick under their wing. Soon Carrick follows Deacon around and feels more than a little hero worship for the young man. As time goes by, Carrick falls more in love with the young and noble Deacon, and Deacon continues to make sacrifices and decisions about his own life that is often based on Carrick’s well being and happiness.
When Deacon’s father suddenly dies, Deacon puts his own goals on hold and starts running the horse farm. As time goes by, both Deacon and Carrick become closer, but they never reveal their true feelings for each other. Finally, one day they make love, but fear and lack of communication lead Carrick to make a spontaneous decision that will affect the rest of their lives together.
I loved, loved, LOVED this book! The relationship between Carrick and Deacon is extremely complex and truly beautiful to watch unfold as the story progresses. They both make mistakes that they pay for, and there were times I needed a tissue or three as I read through the ups and downs of their relationship. I wanted to strangle Carrick a few times for acting without thinking AND for what he did while he was on his tour of duty, but like Deacon, I ended up forgiving him and rejoiced when they are finally able to start talking and be together.
I couldn’t find a website on Ms. Lane, but I did find a very funny and candid blog that she writes. Here is the link if you are interested: http://www.writerslane.blogspot.com
Page Count: 344
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, shellshocked and alone, struggling to reforge his heart in a world where love with Crick is a promise, but no means a certainty.