When I was a kid, I had a neighbor who wanted to be around me and my cousins all the time. He was probably like three years younger than me (which at the time was a super large age gap!) but we spent much of our youth together. I definitely bossed him around all the time and for some reason, he just took it. Fast forward 15 years, he mugged the DJ at my grad party, stole the DJ’s computers and pistol whipped him. Needless to say, we are not friends today.
But imagine how cute it would have been if we were able to stay friends? If he didn’t have to move away and live with his dad? If he hadn’t joined a gang? Oh the possibilities!
Fortunately that’s not what happened in this story. In Keeping Promises by C.E. Benson, we have Kamry and Jason, real childhood sweethearts. They meet in the 2nd grade and basically became each other’s everything. On the surface its a really beautiful story of how two beings come together and fell in love. They’re what one would hope happens from a childhood romance.
And yet and still, this love thing isn’t perfect. Could you imagine falling in love with someone, they become your everything, as a kid? Like here I am, discovering myself, who I want to become, but I feel totally incomplete without this other person. My relationship with this other person literally defines me. I could not. Knowing what I know now, I know that young love was not for me!
And that’s the complicated scenario these two find themselves in. In this story, Kamry and Jason met as kids, fall in love, and then the drama of a relationship happens. BUT the kicker here is that these two fall into a “hidden relationship”. Those always lead to disaster. Ladies, I know you already know about these! The “we’re together, but not gonna tell nobody”. Um yeah, no. Basically a recipe for DISASTER.
Moreover, relationships are complicated. Not love; relationships. There’s jealously, hurt, frustrations and just a cluster of complicated emotions. And that’s what we have between Kamry and Jason. A complicated young love. Really thinking about it, they met too early, became each other’s everything too soon and probably needed to grow more before love. But, you can’t tell these kids nothin.
Overall, I feel like its necessary to mention that this book doesn’t read like your traditional Black romance novel. It feels very much like literature; the kind you want to read! Its almost written like a poem to love; when its messy and complicated, young & dumb. Its a story about loving deeply, profoundly, and completely and much of a crazy situation it is. Its about giving away too much of yourself to someone who didn’t deserve all of you all at once. Its all of these things! This is my first book by C.E. Benson and I can honestly say I enjoyed it! Its a novela (which I’m finding I like to read now!) and while I definitely wanted more, it gave me just enough!
*I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review!
About the Author:
I am a 24-year-old writer of romance. I’ve been writing since I was 14 and this is what I love to do – and believe me when I say that I’ve tried other things! Keeping Promises is the first book of many I plan to write. You can get a copy on Amazon.
I am addicted to coffee, laughter, and words in every form – books, music, podcasts, subtitles on anime. My husband and I run a podcast together where we share (rant) about anime that we watch just because we like being nerds together. I also started a podcast called Written in Melanin with another author where we talk writing and books with writers of color.
I got married before I could legally drink (so no champagne toasts even though I was only 8 months shy of legal) and I’ve been fortunate enough to love the same man since I was 16. We currently live in Texas with our dog Alphonse – he’s named after the Elric brothers.