I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres.
I have owned this book for over a year but hadn’t read it because I heard there was so much angst in this. Boy howdy is there angst in this. Additionally, my old nemesis Miscommunication came to party with Angst and brought his a**hole brother, Misunderstanding, too.
So Angst, Miscommunication and Misunderstanding are at the party playing their loud music, being a**holes and just generally making it hard for Hope, Joy and Love to hear themselves over the racket and din. For a second it looked like Hope was just going to ditch entirely, when finally, Common Sense showed up and told Angst, Miscommunication and Misunderstanding to get the f*ck out.
I was grateful for Sean Crisden’s narration. I’ll tell you, he kept me going on this one through all the extraordinarily difficult times Amy Lane put her characters through. Seriously, there’s death, amputation of limbs, flooding, explosions, abuse, cheating, rape, depression…the only thing that didn’t happen to these characters was a plague of locusts.
Yet, Lane composes it all brilliantly like a gorgeous symphony of emotions and feelings, and Crisden delivers it like a pro. Bring a box of tissues with you for this one, folks – you probably aren’t getting out dry-eyed.
Now I need a damn hug.
Oh lordy. This is Amy at her angstiest. I think this had to be one of my first Amy Lane books ever and it was my first m/m audiobook. It is an absolutely amazing book and series by the very gifted Amy Lane “Queen of Angst”. And it’s long – but so worth it.
There are lots of people to keep track of, but they show up over and over, so it’s worth keeping track of them.
Carrick James “Crick” is the abused stepson of “Step-Bob” who escapes his house to find solace with the horses and men of “The Pulpit” – a horse ranch run by Parish Winters and his son, Deacon. Crick goes there starting as a young boy on the weekends and moves there as a teen when his family kicks him out for being gay.
Deacon is a shy, shy boy who has an interest in both boys and girls. He dates the pixie-like Amy for most of high school, making Crick (who has a massive crush on him) very jealous. Luckily Deacon sees the error in his ways and let’s Amy go so that she can find her own true love with Deacon’s very best friend in the world, John.
The first third of the book is this growth period of youth to young man, from crush to love. It ends with the culmination of that emotion and starts us on the second part of the book – where Crick loses his mind and signs up for the Army.
The second part of the book is Deacon and Crick separated by thousands of miles and in tons of emotional pain. There are several lessons learned during this period of separation and new life given and taken, new friendships forged and love being tested. Bernice “Bennie” – Crick’s sister – comes into Deacon’s life pregnant – the result of being roofied – and helps Deacon to resurface from his depression and helps him to find a reason to keep fighting.
Crick finally comes back to the pulpit but he’s been severely injured and the Pulpit is in dire financial straights ever since it came out that Deacon was “driving while gay” (something the conservative little town doesn’t tolerate).
The third part is Crick and Deacon reconnecting, figuring out how to keep the Pulpit financially solvent and the introduction of several of the characters we will see in future books.
Amy doesn’t pull her punches. It was absolutely brutal some of the things these boys endured while separated. You wanted to (no NEEDED to) punch Crick for being such an idiot at times and you wanted to wrap Deacon up in a hug and tell him it’d be all right.
I love, love, love these characters. Each and every one of them is fully developed and richly portrayed. The emotions are so authentic and the situations, though sometimes ugly and harsh, are deep and real and life-shaping.
For such a long book there is only a minimum of smexy times, but those times are very erotic and well done.
If you haven’t read this series you really should, but have some Kleenex handy and be prepared for an emotional roller-coaster.
Sean Crisden narrates only this first of the series and he does an amazing job. I don’t know how they go about selecting narrators – if anyone does I’d love to know! – but he wasn’t selected for the rest. I thought his Crick and Deacon were excellent, though I didn’t care for his Jeff.
Sean is always good at giving us well differentiated character voices and he really understands and does the emotions so well.
I highly recommend this book and the series.
6 of 5 stars
Was a very sweet story I thought the narrator read too fast At first I thought my speed button was on my phone but then I realize he was just reading too fast in the beginning
Imagine falling in love with the character of an audiobook. Yet that is what I did. I felt like one of the family gathered around Deacon, as invested in him as were the many who loved him or shall I say fell into his irresistible orbit of strength and dependable care. Then brick by brick the love of his life dismantles that strength by leaving him for a two year stint in the military. We had no idea how much Deacon relied on the one favor he asked from his father so long ago, the one man without whom he could not live. Hard to believe that those returning deep brown eyes and a crooked smile could bring our Deacon back to life. But they did.
I look forward to the remainder of the series, but will not blame the performances if my heart remains at Promise Rock.
I read this series a couple of years ago and decided to re-read before the final book is released later this month. I haven't done an audio book in a long time and wanted to give it a try. It was fantastic!
The book itself is phenominal, Amy Lane is an amazing author. The depth to this story is undescribible until you have read it. I love Deacon and Crick best, out of all the boys in the series. The pain, the joy, the love, the sex, the heartache and angst, oh, just amazing.
I liked the reading and was happy to see I could speed up the rate a bit. I hadn't tried this before, and was able to get the audio book on my phone and plug it in to my car. It's partially made up for my Kindle issues.... I upgraded to the Paperwhite but it doesn't have text to speech, which I have used daily to go back and forth between reading and listening. This way I'm listening to one book and reading another, but it seems to be working ok for me.
So the story, plot, writing, etc are wonderful, and the audio version works just fine!
I am a 30 year old over-the-road truck driver. I listen to A LOT of audiobooks!
This novel has a little bit of everything: War, Horses, Gay Love, Biggots, Natural Disaster, and more. Amy Lane brings people from all walks of life together into one large extended family.
One thing I have problem with a lot of MM novels are that you really get to know one character really well while the other characters motives and thoughts are somewhat vague. I am not saying that it is not described, it's just not really expressed. For example, we get to know about Jory really well in (:A Matter of Time,by Mary Calmes)] on the other hand Sam not really. Well I suppose this could be said about a lot of romance novels. You get to know the heroines extremely well like a good girl friend, but the heroes not really.
BUT in this story we are invited to join both of the main characters' mind and hearts. It makes the story a bit longer and maybe dragging in some parts, but I loved it. I am looking forward to continue reading the series.