Living Promises is the third installment in the Keeping Promise Rock series by Amy Lane. This novel has the same intensity and honesty of all her novels. Lane is not a pleasant afternoon curl-up read. She grabs her readers and never lets them go. Her writing is definitely in your face. Living Promises is painful and beautiful and so real.
Living Promises is the story of two men with HIV: Jeffrey Beachum and Collin Waters. Jeff is a physician assistant and Collin owns a local auto repair shop. The first time they meet, both are dealing with the trauma of learning to live with HIV. The second time they meet its six years later and Collin has an agenda. His hero-worship for Jeff is now something else and he’s determined to get his chance with Jeff.
Characters from other stories in the Keeping Promise Rock series people Living Promises with ongoing stories of their own, but Jeff and Collin hold center stage. Collin wants a relationship with Jeff; unfortunately, he decides to make his move just when Jeff’s nicely made life is coming apart around him. The way these two very strong men come to realize what they mean to each is a story worth reading. Some of the scenes, such as the one between Jeff and his father Archie at his mother’s Alzheimer’s care facility, are gut-wrenching and tragic. Other scenes are warm and touching, as when Collin’s mother encourages him to pursue Jeff more forcefully.
Lane is a greater writer; her novels, such as Talker and Locker Room are consistently high caliber. Lane knows what she’s doing and Living Promises is a fine addition to the Keeping Promise Rock series.