Three Broken Promises (One Week Girlfriend Series #3)

Three Broken Promises (One Week Girlfriend Series #3)

by Monica Murphy


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Breakout sensation Monica Murphy returns with a hot new contemporary romance—a heartfelt story of second chances, forgiveness, and redemption.

. 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. . . .

Praise for Three Broken Promises
“The heat between these two is explosive. . . . It is the emotion and the shared tragedy between Jen and Colin . . . that takes this book to another level.”Heroes and Heartbreakers
“Filled with emotion, drama, red-hot sex, intensity, and a love that may as well have been written in the stars, Three Broken Promises is another must read from Monica Murphy.”Holly’s Hot Reads
Three Broken Promises is an absolutely out-of-this-world perfect romantic story that swept me off my feet. Once again, I fell in love with [Monica] Murphy’s easy style of writing, great sense of humor and ideal characters. . . . I felt glued to the pages and there wasn’t a single thing that could make me stop reading.”Smokin Hot Book Blog
“I fell in love with this series the moment I opened One Week Girlfriend and Three Broken Promises didn’t disappoint. . . . I can say without a doubt that I enjoyed every minute of this book.”Book Blogger Paradise
“Murphy has done it again. . . . This story will make you smile, it will warm your heart and soul, and it may even have you pulling your hair out as these two amazing people navigate the rollercoaster that is love. I loved everything about it.”Roxy’s Reviews
“Such a delicious book . . . Monica’s writing is addictive as always, and I’m really looking forward to the next book.”City of Books

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804176804
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/31/2013
Series: One Week Girlfriend Series , #3
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 9.70(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Monica Murphy is the New York Times bestselling author of One Week Girlfriend, Second Chance Boyfriend, Three Broken Promises, Four Years Later, and the eBook novella Drew + Fable Forever. A native Californian, she lives in the foothills of Yosemite with her husband and three children.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1


“So why a butterfly?”

I lean forward, my boobs smashed against the back of the chair. I’ve been sitting here for what feels like hours, a needle pressing relentlessly into the sensitive skin on the back of my neck. The needle’s buzz fills my head, drowning out all the chaotic noise that usually occupies it.

I much prefer that incessant buzz. Easier to deal with compared to the endless stream of questions and worries that run through my brain.

“Yo, earth to Jen.” Fable waves her hand in front of my face, then snaps her fingers twice. Brat. I wish I could smack her but I’m too busy gripping my knees, bare-knuckling them like a little wimp.

“What?” I grit out from between clenched teeth, wincing when the needle sketches over a particularly sensitive part.

Oh, who am I kidding? All the parts are sensitive. Time to face facts. I’m a complete weenie. I thought getting a tattoo would be a cinch. I’ve dealt with a lot of emotional pain in my life, but not too much physical. What’s an hour or so sitting in a chair under a needle?

Apparently, it’s pretty shitastic, considering how much it hurts, and how much I have to gird my loins to get through it all.

Gird my loins—something silly my mom used to say. Back when she was happy and carefree and our family was whole.

Now we’re broken and distant. I don’t talk to my father. Mom calls only when she’s crying and drunk.

It sucks. That’s why I had to get away from my family. I have other reasons for wanting to escape this place now.

“I want to know why you chose a butterfly for your tattoo. What’s the meaning behind it?” Fable asks, sounding beyond irritated with me though she’s smiling, so I know she’s not. She came with me downtown to Tattoo Voodoo, the little shop she recommended for us to get our tattoos.

She got one, too, but she’s already finished, considering it was only a line written in elegant, simple script. A surprise tattoo for her boyfriend, fiancé, or whatever you want to call him, though considering they can’t keep their hands off each other for too long, I’m guessing he’ll discover his “surprise” sooner rather than later. Drew Callahan is so madly in love with her, it’s sort of disgusting.

But it’s also cute. Super, super cute, especially since it’s a line from one of the poems he wrote for her. How they make Fable swoon, and nothing makes that girl swoon. She’s pretty hardcore. She’s had to be, what with the things life has dealt her.

I could take a lesson or two from her. I’m too soft. I let people in.

And then they stomp all over me. Or worse, ignore me completely.

“Freedom,” I finally tell her, exhaling loudly when the buzzing stops and I feel the washcloth brush across my freshly tattooed skin. “I’m ready to break free of this stifling cocoon called my life and find my own way, instead of relying on someone else. A butterfly’s a perfect representative of that, don’t you think?”

I can practically taste it. Freedom. I’ve always relied too heavily on others. My friends. My family. My brother especially, not that I can anymore considering he’s been gone for a while now. I might have run away that one time and tried to make it on my own, but I failed.


Not this time around, though. I’ve thought things through. I’ve saved money. This time, I have a plan.

Sort of.

“You really believe leaving is the best thing for you?” Fable asks, her voice incredulous, her expression . . . sad. She’s my closest friend, the first real friend I’ve made since I fled my old life. But even she doesn’t know everything. She’d never look at me the same if she knew. “Do you want to leave because of what happened to you before?”

Nodding, I wince when the tattoo artist—Dave—wipes the washrag across my skin yet again. “Finished,” he says matter-of-factly.

“Yeah, I can’t deny that my past comes into play.” I’d told Fable what happened for the most part when I worked at Gold Diggers, that sleazy strip club on the outskirts of town. My family doesn’t know, and I swore Colin to secrecy. The public story is that I was a cocktail waitress. The private story is that I stripped.

The secret, no-one-else-can-know story is one I can hardly think about, let alone admit.

“We all have a past,” Fable points out. She has a pretty bad one, not that anyone calls her on it. Drew won’t allow it.

“I know. I just . . . I can’t stay here forever. Even though you want me to,” I murmur, sending a pleading look in Fable’s direction. I don’t want the lecture again, especially in front of our new friend Dave. I don’t think I can stand it. I know she means well, but the words she says halfway convince me I need to stay every single time I hear them.

“I’m not the only one who wants you here,” Fable points out, brows raised, a knowing look on her face.

Her statement doesn’t need an answer. I know who she’s referring to. He’d want me to stay indefinitely, but I haven’t even told him I’m leaving yet. I’ll let him know tonight.


He provides the place I live, my job. He does it all with no strings attached, or so he claims. Really, I believe him. A deep, dark secret part of me wishes there were strings. Plenty of strings that tie me to him, bind us together until we’re so connected that we’d become one long word. Not just Jen. Not just Colin.


No way is that gonna happen.

So if I can’t have him—and really, I shouldn’t want him, or have allowed myself to become completely dependent on him for far too long—then I’m going to claim my freedom completely.

Stupid and risky and totally freakin’ scary, but . . . I need to do it. Recent events have pushed me into doing it. My past has come calling in the form of a customer at The District just a few nights ago. He came into the bar and ordered a drink. Thankfully, I was able to avoid him and he left without incident.

This could happen again, though. Having the man there was a reminder that I can never escape my past. I don’t want Colin to know what I’ve done. He won’t like me anymore. He’ll look differently at me.

I don’t think I could stand that.

Desperately needing to change the subject, I ask, “How does it look?”

Fable tilts her head, examining the tattoo on the back of my neck. “It’s beautiful. But you’ll never really see it.”

“There’s such a thing as mirrors, you know.” I take the very one Dave is handing to me and I look into it, see my reflection bouncing off the mirror that lines the entire wall. My long hair is piled on top of my head in a sloppy bun, revealing my neck, the reddened skin, and the butterfly.

It’s a delicate sketch in gentle shades of blue and black, looking as if it could somehow flutter its wings and fly right off my skin. If I like it this much now, imagine how awesome it’ll look when the skin is healed.

“I love it,” I breathe as I hand the mirror back to Dave, who sets it on the counter beside him.

“It’s pretty,” Fable agrees with a smile on her face. “I’m proud of you, Jen. I know you were scared to come here.”

More like petrified, but now I’m proud, too. I did it. I got a tattoo and I didn’t cry or run out of the shop before big, burly Dave got his needle on me, which I was afraid I might do. Kind of stupid, to be proud of something as simple as this. If my mom ever sees it, she’ll flip out. My dad will think I’m a common gutter tramp—his words, not mine. Not that I plan on seeing them anytime soon. I don’t want to go back, and they’re not exactly welcoming me. I think they’re almost glad to be rid of me. I was a burden.

I have a feeling Colin won’t really like my tattoo either. But I didn’t get it for anyone else. Just me.

Dave’s now placing a bandage on my fresh tattoo, rattling off the care instructions in a monotone, as if he’s said this before a million times, which he probably has. He hands me a sheet of paper with the instructions listed on it and I glance it over, not really seeing the words. My brain is too occupied with these people in my life who I wish I could please but rarely do.

They haunt me, hang out in my head like ghosts I can’t get rid of. Even Colin makes an appearance there, which is dumb considering I live with the man.

Fable’s cell rings, and from the smile that pops onto her face when she glances at her phone, I know it’s Drew. I watch her step away to talk to him privately and jealousy clutches at my heart, making it hurt.

I want that, though I’d never admit it out loud, and certainly not to Fable. Unconditional love, a man who would do anything—and I mean anything—to ensure I’m happy. Safe. Secure. Loved.

If I’m being honest with myself, I’d like to have that with Colin.

He acts like he wants more, but then he always pulls back. I’ve shared more intimate moments with him than with anyone else in my entire life. I’ve slept in his bed. He’s held me close. He’s kissed me . . . but nothing beyond the sort of kiss a brother bestows on his sister’s cheek or forehead.

Confirmation that’s the only way he’ll ever think of me. We grew up together, Colin and I. Well, Danny, Colin, and I. My brother and Colin were best friends. They were supposed to join the Marines together, but somehow Danny was the only one who ended up going into the service. Then he went to Iraq.

And never came back.

He’s the ghost who hangs in my head the most, though he doesn’t judge or make me feel bad. Not necessarily. It’s more like my big brother reminds me that sometimes, the choices I make aren’t always the best ones. If he knew everything, he never would have forgiven me.

Also, he makes me feel guilty for having certain . . . feelings for Colin. I always wonder if Danny would approve. Would he want me with Colin? Or would he have fought like hell to ensure Colin and I never happened?

It doesn’t matter. Danny isn’t around, and Colin and I are never going to happen. No matter how badly I want us to, he doesn’t. Not really. He likes having me around. He likes counting on me being there as a sort of crutch for him when his emotions, his demons, get out of hand.

But he doesn’t want me. Not in the way that matters most. Not in the way that I want him to.

So forget it. Forget us.

Customer Reviews

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Three Broken Promises: A Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
TheAutumnReview More than 1 year ago
First impression: The cover is hot. I can totally picture the guy and the girl as Colin and Jen. I was interested in learning more about their past and the connection that they had. The story: Colin and Jen grew up together. Colin and Jen's brother, Danny, were best friends. Danny and Colin were supposed to join the military together, but Colin decided to take a different path. Danny ended up being killed in action and Colin hasn't been able to move past it. He harbors guilt over the fact that he should have been with Danny. Then, there's the situation with Jen. Colin promised Danny that he would look after Jen. But, he lost track of her for a while. When he found her, he was shocked to find out how she had been living. Since then, he's provided her with everything she needs. He's fallen for her too, but he doesn't feel worthy of her. Jen, on the other hand, wants to move on with her life and she wants Colin to be a part of it. He's long played the protective brother with her, but she needs him to be more. The problem is that they both have secrets and loads of guilt. The characters: I'll admit that I've never really been a fan of Colin's. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that he took care of my girl, Fable, when she needed it. And I do feel like Colin has a good heart. I did warm up to him a bit in this book. I liked how he took care of Jen. Jen...I liked her well enough. I liked the fact that she didn't want to be dependent on anyone and really wanted to move on with her life. Sure, she wanted Colin to stand with her, but she was willing to move on. What bugged me about Jen is that it took her too long to take a stand with Colin. I also felt like she had good intentions, but she made really bad choices. I'm such a planner, so it irritated me that she made plans to move on, but didn't really think it through. Not to mention the choices she made before moving in with Colin. Eek. I know that might sound nit picky, but it bugged me. What didn't work for me: I'm all for sex. And...I love how Monica Murphy stages her sex scenes. She knows how to write good sex. There were plenty sexy times between Jen and Colin. For the most part, I enjoyed those particular scenes. I had a bit of trouble feeling the intensity between them though. Maybe it was because they were holding back with each other? The biggest thing for me though was that I just didn't get all that excited about their story. I like Jen and Colin well enough and I do see their role in the series as a whole, but they aren't my favorites. I could easily put the book down and come back to it when I had time. Overall:  I did like it. I appreciated how their story came to a close and was relieved once the truth was out for both of them. I loved to see glimpses of my girl, Fable. She and Jen have a good friendship and I think Fable helps guide Jen. If you love this series as much as I do, I suggest you do read this one, even though it wasn't a favorite for me. It did have moments that I truly enjoyed, so it's worth a go.  Favorite Quote: "You banged him, didn't you." Fable's soft voice breaks through my dirty thoughts and I turn to her, ready to protest, but she shakes her head. "Don't bother denying it. You two are so obvious. Oh my God, no wonder you're glowing." She steps closer to me, lowering her voice. "You had sex. With Colin. Holy. Sh*t!"-Loc 1746
mysticrosetiger More than 1 year ago
This book was a great read. Jen and Colin's story was great. Even though both were fighting there past demons and Everything that happens. Love will find a way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first 100 pages dragged on and on with Fable and Colin stating their worries and insecurities over and over and over again. This could have been done in 30 pages, not 100. Felt it was filler to make the book longer. We do get our HEA in the end, but it took way to long. Was not Monica's usual good work.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
3.75 stars THREE BROKEN PROMISES is the third storyline in Monica Murphy’s contemporary, new adult series Drew and Fable. Although this is not the continuing adventures of Drew and Fable it is Jen and Colin’s story-Jen is Fable’s BFF and Colin is their boss. The story is told from first person POV –alternating between Colin and Jen. The storyline focuses on two twenty-something people who have more than a difficult time expressing their feelings to one another. Colin is a man possessed by the demons of war where his best friend Danny died leaving Colin the sole protector of Danny’s sister Jen. Jen and Colin’s relationship has always been more like brother and sister although neither want to address the proverbial elephant in the room-their mutual attraction for one another and the sexual tension and heat whenever they are together. Now that Jen lives under the same roof with Colin, she finds herself becoming Colin’s protector whenever the nightmares overpower his ability to sleep and think. Jen has a backstory that is slowly revealed throughout the storyline and one that is both heartbreaking and shocking to her friends and Colin. Knowing that Colin would never accept her past, Jen gives her notice and prepares to leave the security of her friends, her job and the man with whom she has fallen in love. The secrets they keep from one another weigh heavily with each waking day. The storyline is rife with angst and anxiety as Jen and Colin push each other at every step of the way. Jen needs and wants Colin to admit he has feelings for her but Colin believes it is his duty to protect Jen from others and men like himself. He wants Jen; he needs Jen; but in the end, his inability to express his love for Jen will push her away one final time. And in this, she walks into another situation even more dangerous than the one she left behind. The world building and sexual tension continue throughout the storyline but much of the time was spent in ruminations and thoughts about what ifs and whys; Fable’s brother Owen is but a blip on the radar although his storyline is the next to be told; and Drew and Fable play minor secondary roles throughout the story. But I did have an issue with the quick resolution to the build up of the story. The plot and premise of the final confrontation felt disjointed and disconnected to the storyline; it came out of left field and I was thinking-WTH just happened and where did that come from? THREE BROKEN PROMISES is a well written storyline but I didn’t feel the connection to the leading couple as I did with Drew and Fable’s story. Although there is plenty of angst and anxiety there was none of the heartbreaking revelations that pulled me into the story where I felt for the characters as I did with Drew and Fable. Perhaps it was Colin and Jen’s personalities or their lack of communication with one another-for two people in their twenties they still had plenty of growing up to do. Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First two books were great. Very well paced. This one dragged. By page 150 i was ready to strangle both msin chsracters and quit rrading. Everything was so whiney and boo hoo-ey and then suddenly everything is fine and way too lovey dovey for far to long. Felt like no climax before the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the first two and fourth before this one. This book about Jen and Colin was just weak. Jen has worked at the restaurant for two years, having no living expenses, buying cheap purses and boots and clothing, and she still doesn't have money to buy a car or live on her own? And they have all these problems but suddenly in the span of a few pages everything is solved, he is okay with his dad and her past, and his commitment issues are totally gone? Ridiculous. The other plots made much more sense and were far less sleazy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book left me disappointed. The storyline felt forced and too much filler. Did we really need to see the F bomb so many times? It made the story sleazy instead of romantic, which I was looking for in Jen and Colin's relationship. Hope the next book in this series is better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book 3 was just as good as the first two, I can't wait foe the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Monica Murphy has an excellent way of creating stories that mix well with each other without having to depend on the original. I eagerly anticipate the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic. It was so full of angst. The guilt that both characters felt made you feel for them, but it also made you want to strangle them! I was glad they both finally woke up. I am glad that all the books in this series keep all the characters around and you can still interact with them through the story
BookLoverAE More than 1 year ago
I barely made it completely through this book. While I loved Drew and Fable's story; Jen and Colin's relationship seemed moronic and childish. Jen wants to move away out from under Colin's overprotectiveness; however, the reader gets no indication that she can actually take care of herself. Every time something unexpected happens to her she makes the worst decision possible and then stand around while Colin repairs the damage. Colin, on the other hand, is supposedly so smart and business savvy that he is opening a second restaurant, but most of his feelings about Jen contradict one another. One of the big reasons Colin was so nervous about commitment is because of the way his father treated him; however, his father's excuse for his actions is treated very sparingly. The reader would think if his whole idealogy on relationships was just blown out of the water, there would be more of a reaction. Colin denies that he is taking care of Jen due to guilt. I see no proof of this though, because he is constantly consumed by it. By the end of the novel, neither of the characters convinced me they truly loved the other; I couldn't even tell if they liked one another most of the time. For two people who supposedly grew up together, Jen and Colin know remarkably little about the other. The plot was cheesy and overly predictable and the story could have been condensed quite a bit, because a lot of it had no substance. I felt that the author phoned the story in and did not put any thought into her character's personalities or motivations. Definitely a disappointment.
Jackiebkworm More than 1 year ago
Got ARC from NetGalley. Jen and Colin are not Drew and Fable and that's why people might not like them. I loved it from beginning to end. Colin and Jen have known each other since they were children. She's his best friend's sister, whom he's always seen as sort of a sister. But Jen has changed. She's grown and there's chemistry between Colin and Jen. There's a pull between them. The attraction is undeniable but they're past can tear them apart. Jen has her secrets which make her feel like she's not good enough for Colin. Colin has secrets that cause him to have nightmares. Jen doesn't believe in herself but that's all due to her past. In order for Jen to succeed she has to believe in herself and move on from her past. Once Colin finds out Jen's secret he has to decide if he loves her enough and if he can forget about what she once did. I loved that Drew and Fable made little appearances. Fable more than Drew, but it was great that they were in the story. You get to see how different Jen and Fable are. Fable is strong while Jen lets her past control her and drag her down. Jen is like Drew in that she runs just like he did. I'd highly recommend this story to anyone over 18. Monica Murphy really knows how to tell a story that will make you feel strongly about the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are literally reviews from 2013-1014 hello it just turned 2016
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Can't wait for the next one!
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This book was a huge letdown after Drew & Fable's stories which I enjoyed quite a bit. The character development wasn't good and they didn't seem to grow past their mistakes much. Colin & Jen didn't communicate and most of the time they came off as more annoying then endearing. I'd advise anyone to skip this one and read Drew & Fable's stories only.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It has good books but id recommend it for adults.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
slz52 More than 1 year ago
A perfect addition to the One Week Girlfriend series. Pretty steamy at times. I like that characters from the previous books in the series are also a part of this one.
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