Monday, May 5, 2014

Book Review: Three Broken Promises by Monica Murphy

Three Broken Promises (One Week Girlfriend Quartet, #3)
Three Broken Promises by Monica Murphy
One Week Girlfriend #3
December 31, 2013
Bantam publishing
304 pages
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance 18+
(Contains: strong language, graphic sexual situations)
Source: eARC for Honest review
Book Synopsis:
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.
My Review:

I loved One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend. I loved getting to know Drew and Fable and their incredible story. Colin and Jen were introduced in SCB, and I was hoping Three Broken Promises would bring me another great romance. But despite how very much I loved the first two books, this book was just okay for me.

What I liked:
* Colin and Jen have an interesting past, and their connection through Jen's brother was touching and honest. It was good to find out more about them.
* The way Colin came to look after and help Jen was sweet, as was the compassion Jen showed Colin. You could feel their love for each other.
* Jen attempting to become more independent was admirable. She may have not made the best choices, but I rooted for her when she wanted to start fresh.
* Drew had a great cameo, as did Owen. I loved seeing those guys again.
* There were several elements that could have made this a great novella.

What didn't work for me:
* We lost the whole "meeting (or re-meeting) for the first time" stuff we normally get, so without that, some of the plot was skipped or skimmed through.
* I never fell in love with Colin and Jen. It's not that I disliked them, I just never connected to them like I did with Drew and Fable.
* Colin and Jen have some of the worst communication I've read. It went from interesting to frustrating to annoying and completely ridiculous. Their issues became repetitive, and I found myself skimming.
* I hated how rude and condescending everyone seemed to be to Jen when she talked about moving away and becoming more independent. Even Fable disappointed me. In the real world, people move away all the time. But they treated Jen like she was an idiot in one breath, then later talk about how amazing she was. They just didn't believe she could do anything on her own. I wanted her to move away from Colin, Fable, and everyone.
* Jen's past was messy for sure, and she made some very unfortunate choices. But she's been living rent-free in Colin's house making money working full-time at Colin's restaurant. I wish she had spent those months taking a class or two at a community college or something. Or even pondering that thought as she pondered independence and realized her skills were limited. But instead she just decided to make some more poorly thought-out decisions.
* I don't normally mind reading about sex, but in Colin and Jen's friends-with-benefits case, their sex scenes did nothing for me. Maybe it's because I had a hard time connecting with their characters. Maybe it's because the scenes felt overly descriptive and redundant. Maybe it's because, even once they broke through that physical barrier, their relationship still lacked so much honesty. Once again I found myself skimming.
* Their "secrets" were so obvious I couldn't figure out why the two of them couldn't figure each other's out on their own. Probably because they are such poor communicators.
* The final plot devise to reunite Colin and Jen was a bit far-fetched. It's not that I don't believe those things can happen. It's just that it became one more glowing neon light that Jen was incompetent at being independent, and clearly was incapable of taking care of herself. And that was so disappointing.

Okay, so this wasn't a favorite of mine. I'm still glad we got Colin and Jen's story. Personally, I think this would have worked better as a novella, cutting out some of the repetitiveness, and I probably would have enjoyed it more. Monica Murphy is still a good writer, just this book in particular didn't work for me. But this will not hinder me in looking forward to reading Owen's story in Four Years Later.
2-1/2 STARS

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