Desert Isle Keeper
The Reckless Oath We Made
Fans of deeply moving, intense stories of love and redemption won’t want to miss The Reckless Oath We Made, the latest novel by author Bryn Greenwood. It’s a dark and gritty love story centred around the unlikeliest of couples, and it packs an emotional punch that will linger with you long after you turn the final page.
Zee put aside her dreams of happily ever after long ago. These days, she’s concentrating on the practical things in life: caring for her housebound mother, helping her older sister Lareigne look after her five-year-old son, and working at a local restaurant to keep a roof over their heads. Life is expensive, and money isn’t plentiful for Zee and her family, but she’s determined to do whatever she has to in order to give her nephew the stable life she never had as a child. Sometimes, that means picking up extra shifts at the restaurant, but it also means doing drug runs for one of the local dealers. Zee knows breaking the law isn’t smart, but she can’t afford to be picky about work.
When Lareigne is taken hostage by two escaped inmates from a nearby prison, it falls to Zee to bring her safely home, but a woman with a shattered hip can’t hope to take down a couple of dangerous men on her own. Fortunately, Zee has a champion, a man willing to risk his life to serve Zee in whatever way she sees fit. That champion comes in the form of Gentry Frank, an autistic man who believe his life’s purpose is to keep Zee safe.
The world hasn’t been to kind to Gentry. He entered the foster system as a young child, and though he was eventually adopted into a loving home, he still doesn’t believe he really fits anywhere. He has a deep fascination with anything related to chivalry and has recently begun to fancy himself a knight. Most people don’t know what to make of Gentry and his fascination, and it’s not uncommon for him to be made fun of. Two years ago, the voices he’s heard in his head since he was a child tasked him with becoming Zee’s personal champion, and so, he’s taken to sticking close to her just in case she needs him. This could come off as creepy, but Ms. Greenwood makes it clear that Gentry isn’t stalking Zee. Instead, he’s carrying out what is to him the most important duty of his life, and although Zee isn’t sure what exactly drew Gentry to her, she’s glad to have his assistance, especially now that her sister is in danger.
In most cases, a book like this wouldn’t work well for me. I tend not to enjoy watching the hero sweep in and rescue the heroine from whatever trouble she’s gotten herself into – usually I’m drawn to stories featuring self-reliant, resourceful heroines who are perfectly capable of saving themselves. But in Ms. Greenwood’s capable hands, everything about this story simply works, and I honestly can’t imagine it being told in any other way.
Zee isn’t a heroine who will appeal to everyone, but I loved everything about her, including her rough edges. Her moral compass doesn’t match my own, but I’ve never found myself in anything resembling the situations she deals with on a daily basis. At first, I thought she was little more than a user, and I hated the thought of her taking advantage of Gentry’s dedication, but there’s more to Zee than first meets the eye.
Zee and Gentry aren’t your conventional romance leads. In fact, it took me quite a while to figure out what a romance between them would really look like. Neither of them wants to settle down and have children, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be loved and appreciated by that special someone.
If you’re looking for a light-hearted romance between characters who always make the right choices, The Reckless Oath We Made is probably not the book for you. This is a book that will rouse a lot of feelings within its readers, not all of which will be comfortable or easy. Certain aspects of the novel were unsettling for me to read about, but that only adds to the power of the story the author is telling, and it’s a story we all need to read and embrace. This is a book that celebrates differences, pays homage to that moral gray area we each inhabit at least once in our lives, and reignites our belief in the power of true love, no matter what it might look like for each person involved.