ACK! "Promised" was under my Christmas tree. YAY! Cannot wait to finish reading it. I've started it, and htrough no fault of the book, haven't been able to finish it yet. The "Birthmarked" trilogy is so good. The second book takes on the idea of abortion from a midwife's perspective. Though I have my own feelings on this subject (now is not the time or place to get into it), but I have to say that I felt like Caragh O'Brien did a good job presenting the topic and even though she kind of took a side it wasn't preachy or vicious or mean spirited about anyone feeling any other way. She just kind of put what she thought out there and left it at that.
So far, "Promised" is about trying to earn basic rights from an oppressive government and about the challenges of surrogate mothering. Leon is as lovely as ever and Gaia is definitely a character you can get behind.
So far this series is full of some great stuff: Gritty, tough circumstances... a matriarchal society with just as many flaws as a patriarchal society (Because I don't really think that if women ruled the world all problems would really be solved. I think they'd just be different.)... real characters who are flawed, but you can still get behind them.... and of course a love story that will make you swoon a little without scaring boy readers away.