Still cleaning up my database one ancient review at a time.
Promises is an emotional read about two guys who become friends and then fall in love. It’s a slow burn filled with fabulous sexual tension and lots of character exploration with touches of humor in all the right places.
Jared is a pretty content guy when the story begins. He’s co-owner of a hardware/auto parts store and loves his beautiful small town despite the fact that he’s gay and always has to deal with small town prejudice. If his life is quiet and a little lonely he’s good with that. He isn’t actively looking for love or following his dream of becoming a teacher for reasons that are later explored. But one day Matt, a tall, dark, newbie to town, walks into the shop and Jared’s quiet world explodes with passion, frustration and no small amount of turmoil.
I really enjoyed Jared’s character and it’s a good thing considering the entire story is told from his point of view. He’s a likable guy and though he’s drawn to Matt from the very beginning and not-so-secretly wishes Matt were gay, he’s not. Or at least he claims he’s not. As the two spend more time together watching football, camping and biking Matt starts to send out some confusing signals to Jared and its clear to Jared that the attraction is not entirely one-sided. But getting Matt to realize that is not an easy feat. Matt’s a police officer and is constantly harassed by his co-workers for hanging out with Jared and ignoring the bevy of beauties that are constantly coming on to him. And Matt’s father is an angry, drunk homophobic asshole. It’s quite the quandary and not an easy road but in the end these two work through all of the kinks and complications. The author doesn’t bring things up only to drop them, she forces these guys to take a long, hard look at themselves and make changes and they do.
Promises is grounded in the little details. How many books have you read where the two leads have perfect bodies yet they eat whatever they want and never seem to mention working out or getting sweaty outside of the bedroom? Perfection without pain just flat out bugs me. These guys are super fit but they work hard, get all sweaty and even get hurt. These little details make such a difference to me.
This one just misses being a five because there were some scenes that got a little draggy in the beginning but that’s a minor complaint. It’s romantic without going over the top smooshy sweet and I felt the love between the two, which is the reason I read romance (a lot of author’s tend to forget that part!). I’m anxious now to check out the rest of the books in the series and it looks like there’s at least six of them. (*Note to self: two years later and I still haven't read any of 'em, this is the story of my life)