Title: How to Raise an Honest Rabbit
Author: Amy Lane
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Buy Link How to Raise an Honest Rabbit (Knitting Series)
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Rating: 5+ stars
A Guest Review by Sammy
Review Summary: A grifter finally discovers someone who may mean more to him than the thrill of the next con. And learns how to knit as well.
Blurb: Everything about Jeremy has always been a lie—including his last name. When one grift too many ends in tragedy, Jeremy goes straight. But life’s hard for an ex-con, and Jeremy is down to panhandling and hope when Rance Crawford offers him work at a tiny alpaca farm and fiber mill. Jeremy takes him up on the job, thinking this could be his last chance to be a good man, and meets Aiden, who is growing into a better one.
As Aiden comes of age, Jeremy finds himself desperate to grow up, too, because Aiden starts looking to him for things Jeremy doesn’t know how to give. Being honest is terrifying for a man who’s learned to rabbit at the first sign of conflict—more so when Aiden gives Jeremy a reason to stay that can’t be packed up and carried in a knapsack. When Jeremy’s past comes knocking at their door, can Jeremy trust enough in Aiden and his new home to answer bravely back?
Review: When I started knitting at the tender age of ten, I ended up with a raggedy misshapen scarf in hot pink that I lovingly bestowed upon my poor father who swallowed with an audible sound and then smiled and said it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. When Amy Lane started to knit, How to Raise an Honest Rabbit sprung from her wonderfully fertile imagination and leapt onto the page to dazzle us into saying it was the most beautiful thing we have ever read.
I am fairly certain that the story of Aiden and Jeremy will not end up in the goodwill bag eventually. No, I think this one will lodge itself firmly into your heart and make you feel warm all over.
“Cause you’re my reward Jeremy. I’ve been a good boy, growing up. I’ve done all the right things, and I’ve loved doing them. Maybe not at first–maybe it took a little time, even–but you became the person I most looked forward to in the world. And I need you to get used to me here in your space, so just know that, okay?”
Aiden, a talented colorist and yarn creator, has watched and waited more than two years for Jeremy to settle inside his own skin and gain mastery over his tendency to run at the sight of an honest conversation. He has endured Jeremy’s initial near constant chatter and his strange quirks like hiding his money, his food and yes his dreams of a stable life in various receptacles around his tiny room off the barn. And all that time, Aiden has slowly fallen in love with a con man who is desperately trying to go straight and learn how to be an honest man.
However, Jeremy carries memories that leave him breathless in fear and determined that he could never really amount to anything that might even resemble a person anyone could love–even though he, himself, loves Aiden more than anything–more than the thrill and ease of the next con. But his was a tortured past and a spotty future, and how can he possibly ever be what Aiden would be proud to be around?
“And he remembered that he had to keep talking, to cover up that he was a battered table, covered in filth, bad money deals, a few drugs, cheating, lying, conning–it was all on his top and needed to be hidden.”
And so, we watch these two men weave themselves into the fabric of each other’s lives and more than once we gasp at the poignant beauty of a man, Jeremy, discovering he is someone who not only can be loved but who deserves to be loved. Along the way, we get to read some of the funniest, and, yes, saddest dialogue; fall in love with characters that leap off the page into our hearts, and yes–learn to know at pair of fingerless gloves. Honestly, the story just made me shake my head at author Amy Lane and bow once again to meet her and tell her how much I love her storytelling.
How to Raise an Honest Rabbit is more than just a somewhat screwball romance. It is also the story of a man who does not even know his own last name, who has lost the only family he has ever known to a terribly violent death, and whose body and soul has been peddled along with the con time after time and yet he still comes to possess a breathtaking heart of compassion and humility.
I could not put this book down–I sincerely laughed and cried and felt so remarkably happy by the story’s end. Not to mention I think I want to try knitting again–well maybe not but you get the idea, right? I loved it–loved this story.
As always dear reader, the choice is yours. This is not a story of great angst or fast paced action packed scenes–no, this one creeps into your heart and simply makes you want to hug the person next to you in delight. So, I give you How to Raise and Honest Rabbit by Amy Lane and encourage you to curl up with one of the finest reads of 2012.