Re-read Review: “The Reckless Oath We Made” by Bryn Greenwood (Revisiting a Favorite!)

The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood cover from Goodreads

Original background cover photo credit: Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

People talk about having an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. I have a pair of imaginary bill collectors, so no matter which way I turned, there was somebody to remind me I needed money.

The Reckless Oath We Made, Chapter 1 opening

Author: Bryn Greenwood
Publication Date:  August 20th 2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Find it on: Goodreads

Synopsis

Zee is nobody’s fairy tale princess. Almost six-foot, with a redhead’s temper and a shattered hip, she has a long list of worries: never-ending bills, her beautiful, gullible sister, her five-year-old nephew, her housebound mother, and her drug-dealing boss.

Zee may not be a princess, but Gentry is an actual knight, complete with sword, armor, and a code of honor. Two years ago the voices he hears called him to be Zee’s champion. Both shy and autistic, he’s barely spoken to her since, but he has kept watch, ready to come to her aid.

When an abduction tears Zee’s family apart, she turns to the last person she ever imagined–Gentry–and sets in motion a chain of events that will not only change both of their lives, but bind them to one another forever.

A provocative love story between a tough Kansas woman on a crooked path to redemption and the unlikeliest of champions, from the New York Times bestselling author of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things.

From Goodreads

Review

Book Content Warnings: stalking, kidnap, hoarding, homelessness, verbal/emotional abuse, miscarriage, molestation, off-page animal abuse resulting in death, dog attack, foster care, white supremacy, racist language, animal neglect, parental death, parental disownment

Welcome back, everyone! Today I’m very excited to revisit The Reckless Oath We Made one year later and share second thoughts in another review. On first read I truly enjoyed this book, and on second read I discovered even more reasons to love it. If you missed it, check out my first ARC review here.

The Reckless Oath We Made is one of Bryn Greenwood’s recent contemporary fiction releases (full list here) which centers on themes of family, acceptance, and duty. Main character Zee deals with chronic hip pain, a hoarding environment, and other family issues while the male lead Gentry brings adoption, neurodiversity (autism spectrum) and additional disability rep into the fold. Each copes uniquely with the challenges they face, sometimes in a healthy display and at other times more reactionary. This second read I appreciated the amount of representation even more than the first. I had a stronger connection to Zee with the hip pain as something I’d also been struggling with, as well as her experience handling her dad’s funeral. This combination made me empathize with Zee much more than I did first read even though Gentry is still far and above my favorite character of the two.

As before, I found Gentry wholesome and loveable. He’s quick to come to a friend’s aid and slow to judge. The renfaire / middle ages fan in me also enjoyed his Olde English – something I don’t often seem to come across in the genres I pick. Something about the mix of Olde English and the occasional sexual tension blended very well to create a couple very steamy scenes.

“I didn’t know you were taking me to the gun show.” As soon as I said it, I could tell he didn’t understand. He turned and tilted his head in that cute, doggy look of confusion.

“My lady?” He was standing there holding all that stuff, waiting for me to explain.

“Gun show, like your arms are your guns. It’s just a saying. I only meant because your arms are so big. Whatever.”

For a few seconds he looked even more confused, and then he smiled and turned back around.

“‘Tis nigh dark. Thou must admire my arms and walk in the same while,” he said.

The Reckless Oath We Made, p134

On this go-around the dynamic of Gentry’s multiple voices or auditory hallucinations also clicked more quickly, which enabled me to focus more on his character instead of puzzling out what to think of the voices.

Overall this book is definitely still a top pick for me 😍 Gentry’s character is incredible, and Zee is complex enough to make it interesting. The affection, friendship, selflessness, and awesome amount of representation truly make The Reckless Oath We Made a standout read. Excellent for anyone who enjoys Old English in contemporary fiction books.

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