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Promises by Marie Sexton

Apparently this is the classic “gay for you” story: best friend Jared falls for hunky cop Matt who for the love of the man, decided that being gay is not so bad after all… but it’s not so simple, and in the end, it’s quite the wrong description.

First of all, at the beginning of the story Matt is not in the picture and Jared is living like a monk in a small town in Colorado. It’s the town where he was born and where his family, mother, brother and a sister in law he loves dearly, still lives. Jared went away only for College, but the degree he gained is taking dust on a drawer while Jared “works” in the family store. Work between quotes since there is not much work to do, and basically Jared is taking dust like his degree. But it’s the life he apparently chose, and so till now, no one put it in question.

Then Matt enters his life; friendly and handsome, raises the interest not only of Jared but also of all the free women in town. Matt though seems to prefer Jared’s company, and maybe he gave some conflicting signals, since Jared is not able to understand if he is wooed or not. When he tries to introduce the argument with Matt, he receives an embarrassed denial, maybe a little too fiery to not be suspicious, but Jared has too much at heart Matt’s friendship to insist. And sincerely, truth be told, I think Jared is quite happy like that, he has all the positive side of a relationship, companionship and friendship, without the negative aspects, jealousy and the unwelcomed attention of the town.

Jared blames a little Matt to be in the closet, but even if he is living in the open, Jared is as much in the closet as Matt; he has no open relationships, his only buddy friend is a seasonal tourist who he meets in the safe shelter of his house and never outside, around the town, probably no one knows of his existence. Jared blames the city, the conservative minds that would not accept him, but I think that it’s Jared that doesn’t accept himself. I think that Jared is even a bit embarrassed, since he likes men, but he doesn’t like as a stereotype gay man is; Jared is a beer and football guy, the only “oddity” in him is his preference for a bicycle instead of a truck, but other than that, I can easily picture him with a flannel shirt and cowboy boot, cheering for a football game with a beer in hand.

If you think well, Matt, with his love for books, his prim and proper look and all, he is more “gay” than the openly gay Jared. Jared claims to be gay but he doesn’t behave like that, Matt says he is not, but he is the one who resembles much one. Probably Matt is more gay than Jared, but he has never had the chance to test it, at first due to his family upbringing and then for his line of work.

I like the quiet evolution of their story, I like that Jared doesn’t push Matt, even if maybe he has hidden reason to do that, and I like how Matt arrives to his conclusion, with reasoning and carefulness, since now, I believe his decision is more firmly than one coaxed by sexual desire.

I like also the little town, it’s probably a more realistic shot than other fictional small town I read before; even if small, it’s a concentrated habitat, with good and bad people, with acceptance and refusal, but after all, not a bad place to live.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=55_212&products_id=1681

Amazon: Promises

Amazon Kindle: Promises

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Cover Art by Anne Cain

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
elena_62
Jan. 31st, 2010 09:50 am (UTC)

Hi, Elisa!

Thank you for the review!

Just yesterday a friend wrote me about this book: she found it as well very good. For sure I'm going to buy it.

Buona domenica!

Antonella
elisa_rolle
Jan. 31st, 2010 09:55 am (UTC)
It's a little different from the usual story and for a first time, a debut for what I know, it's for sure very good. Elisa
(Deleted comment)
elisa_rolle
Nov. 12th, 2010 08:35 am (UTC)
I like this series, the novels are very different from each other, and I have to read book 4, but I think this will become a favorite of the M/M fans.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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