Friday, January 29, 2016

Book & Audio Review: Promises Boxed set by Jessica Wood

Promises boxed set by Jessica Wood

Publisher & Release Date: Self-Published, November 16, 2015

Time and setting: Present Day, Philly

Genre: Contemporary Romance/New Adult

Length:  373 pages

Heat Level: 3 Flames

Rating: 4 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

Promise to Marry

We were best friends since as early as I could remember. We grew up together. We were next door neighbors. We shared each other's deepest secrets. When I was thirteen, we made a pact: if we were still single by the time we were 30, we'd marry each other.

Today was my thirtieth birthday. I was single. I knew he was single too.

But we were no longer best friends, and a part of me knew that he hated me.

Promise to Keep

I’ve loved her since we were seven. We were best friends. We even made a pact to marry each other if we were both still single at thirty. I grew up thinking I would always love her for the rest of my life.

But I was proven wrong. Because the first time I made love to her turned out to be the first time I hated her. It became the first time she hurt me, and the first time I wanted nothing to do with her.

Today, nine years after the day that broke us apart, we are both thirty and single, and fate decided to intervene. I finally discovered that the reasons behind her betrayal were far different from the ones I’d created years ago in my mind.

Now I’m torn between my hatred over what she did and my undying love for the one girl who I’ve held close to my heart for most of my life.

But is the truth enough for me to forgive her?

Promise of Forever

He promised to always be my best friend. He promised to marry me if we were both still single at thirty. He promised me a forever together.

But that was before I discovered a secret that seemed to shatter everything I’d come to believe in. Had I lost him before he was ever mine? Had this secret ruined any promise of a forever together?

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Vikki’s Musings

I downloaded the first book for free and added the audio for $1.99. After the first one, I was hooked and devoured the other two books in the series. Promises to Marry series is an extremely fast read since total pages really only equal one full-length novel. That is my main complaint and the main reason I’m giving this 4 Gold Crowns.

Promise to Marry drew me in from the first page. I thoroughly enjoyed following their romance from 1st grade to adulthood. This pair really had a bumpy ride to their happy ending! The first book starts in present day and goes back to their childhood, and I found it fascinating. The second book is mainly what happened to their friendship during their college days, ending back in present day. The third book picks up where the second one ends and is primarily about how they at last resolve all their issues.

Chloe is a very complex character with issues of abandonment because of her mother’s addictions. She’s basically raised by her aunt and uncle in a loving home. I had a bit of a problem understanding why she was so messed up, but it all comes down to loving your mother no matter how bad a parent they are. Also, Chloe feels a lot of guilt for what happens to them when she was in college and that is why she makes bad choices. I didn’t get a clear picture until the third book. I’m glad I kept reading because all is revealed in book 3.

Jackson’s character is complicated as well. His parents had a loveless marriage, so while he had everything money could buy, he didn’t have a close relationship with either parent. He knows his feelings for Chloe go much deeper than friendship–even as a teenager–but he pushes them down, not wanting to damage their relationship. In book 2 and 3, he definitely acts like an ass most of the time and every time Chloe tries to tell him what is going on with her, he doesn’t have the time. That contributed greatly to Chloe’s choices.

This is fairly typical of the New Adult sub-genre, lots of angst, wild behavior, and bad decisions on both characters’ sides. I really enjoyed Ms. Wood’s writing style. Even though she goes back and forth from events in the childhood, teen years and as adults, I found the books easy to follow.

I’m glad I gave this series a chance. It is a riveting read from start to finish. If you enjoy New Adult romance, then you will love this series. I highly recommend it. I’d love to read the follow-up book, but $3.99 is way too much for a 117-page story. Of course, I may not be able to resist because I’m dying to know after reading some of the reviews. Happy reading!

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