Dec 31 2013 10:00am

First Look: Monica Murphy’s Three Broken Promises (December 31, 2013)

Three Broken Promises by Monica MurphyMonica Murphy
Three Broken Promises
Random House / December 31, 2013 / $14.00 print, $4.99 digital

Commitment. That’s what I really want from Colin. Ever since my brother, Danny, died in Iraq, Colin’s done so much to help me, including giving me a job at his popular restaurant so I can leave my crappy waitressing job at the strip joint. But lying in bed with him every night to comfort him from his horrible nightmares isn’t enough anymore. I know he feels guilty about Danny’s death, about not going to Iraq, but I can’t keep living this double life.

I love him desperately, but he’s got so many demons, and if he can’t open up to me now, then he’ll never be the real partner I need him to be. I gave him a month, and now I’m out of here. If he truly loves me like he says, he knows where to find me.

Where Monica Murphy's One-Week Girlfriend and Second-Chance Boyfriend focused on the budding, and sometimes complicated, relationship of Fable and Drew, Three Broken Promises now turns towards Fable’s friend, Jen.

Jen and Colin’s relationship is just as tenuous at first as Fable and Drew’s, but in a different way. Jen’s brother died in Iraq and Colin blames himself for that death. He’s taken care of Jen after she leaves her family behind. It’s not your typical “I’ll look after her every so often” situation, either. Colin gave Jen a job and a place to stay when she decided to move.

Unfortunately the pesky feelings of a man and a woman being both friends and living together begins to grate on both of them to the point that Jen gives Colin an ultimatum—talk about their attraction or she’s moving out of the house and to Sacremento.

While Colin has put himself in the role of the protector, it is Jen who has done a lot of the protecting the last few months.

Since Jen moved in with me, she’s been there for me without asking any questions, sneaking to my bed, offering me comfort, and I always take it. Revel in it. Then pretend it never happened.

Well, no more. I need to stop acting like a coward and talk to her. Before I lose her forever.

The initial basis of the novel is a total “Older Brother's Best Friend” story but quickly shifts to friends-to-lovers. The two work perfectly together, especially in a New Adult setting where the angst and the turmoil can really be free to play.

“She’s been circling you for the last twenty minutes like she’s a shark and you’re blood in the water”

I hadn’t noticed. Am I a dick for liking that Jen had? This hint of a jealous streak is new. I wish I knew what spurred it on.

Colin quickly learns just what is spurring on Jen’s flare of jealousy:

Irritation flits across her face, making her lips thing, her eyes narrow. “Ask you for anything else?”

“Anything. I’ll give it to you. No questions asked.”

“All right.” She takes a deep breath, as if she needs it for courage. “I want you.”

The heat between these two is explosive and makes for a fun read, despite the sometimes-heavy emotion. It is the emotion and the shared tragedy between Jen and Colin (or JenandColin if you’ve read the book) that takes this book to another level.

The pair must work hard to conquer this shared past and for their relationship to grow and for the secrets between them to be laid to rest.

Learn more or order a copy of Three Broken Promises by Monica Murphy, out now:

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Jennifer Proffitt is a Midwest transplant to New York City. She spends most of her time reading and writing about romance, but you can follow her other adventures on Twitter @JennProffitt. She works for Heroes and Heartbreakers and Criminal Element.

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