Friday, August 8, 2014

Blog Tour - - Promises Hurt by Elle Brooks

Promises Hurt By Elle Brooks

Published August 2, 2014


I wasn't planning on falling for Ethan Jamison, hell I wasn't planning on our paths ever crossing. He’s the most popular guy at school and a complete player. Me; I’m the perpetual good girl, trying to carry out one last request. But when you make a promise, how far do you go to see it through? 

~ Blair

It’s a running joke that I’m a terrible liar, if only people knew the truth. My whole life has been spent making excuses and deflecting questions. I was pretty good at it until Blair Thomas entered my world. She saw through the mask that everyone is so willing to accept. She makes me want to tell her all my secrets, but can she promise to keep them?

~ Ethan

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I look down at my cell and it’s 4:54pm. No sign of Ethan. No text to explain. What a douche. I mean, okay so I needed to be here anyway to collect books, but that’s not the point. He didn't know that. I can’t stand people that make plans and then break them without warning. It takes two seconds to send a text.

I’m packing up my things when Ethan Jamison barges through the library doors. He’s panting like he’s out of breath and his eyes are frantically scanning the almost empty room. Then they land on me. I stand completely frozen, mouth gaping like a total moron. Of freakingcourse it has to be that Ethan. He makes his way over, and the sound of his boots echoing through the otherwise silent room awakens me from my dumbstruck state. Emily’s letter flashes in my mind and I feel instantly embarrassed. Like, somehow he knows about it, which of course, he can’t, but I’m still panicking.  

He stops a few feet short of my table and looks a little unsure. This isn't the cocky Ethan Jamison that struts around school thinking he’s god’s gift. It’s thrown me a little.

“Hey, um…I’m Ethan,” he says, looking down at me. He lays his guitar case down at his feet and then adjusts his backpack on his shoulders. “Are you the tutor, I mean, sorry…are you Blair?”

I never realized how tall he actually is up close and personal. I’ve seen him play at a gig for about two seconds once, but he was on a stage, so of course he’s gonna look taller than everyone else. Emily and I have only stalked him at a distance. His blue eyes are boring into mine and I'm just standing there. Staring. Like an idiot. He shifts his weight and I realize he’s asked me a question. I still haven't replied. Shit.

“Er…yeah, I’m Blair, nice to meet you. I was just about to go, I thought you weren't coming. You’re late.” The last part comes out all pissy like I'm mad at him.

An amused grin starts to form; his mouth pulling up slightly at one side and the boy has dimples—real life honest-to-god dimples.

I shake my head and practically bark out, “I’ve been waiting for you for almost a half hour. If you’re gonna be late when we meet, you could at least give me a heads up?” Oh my god, why the hell am I telling him off?

His smile widens and he’s not even trying to look sorry. He drops his backpack on the table and takes a seat.

“Yeah, I had practice and it ran over. Steve has a no phone rule, so it’s kinda hard to let you know when I don't have my cell.”

Steve is the music professor; he’s got the new age hippy vibe going on and makes all his students call him by his first name. I pull my chair back out and take a seat. “Okay. Well, um, let’s just get started then.”

I look up and his eyes are zeroed in on my chest. What a complete douche, he’s already ogling my boobs. I cough twice and raise my eyebrows in a ‘what the hell, my eyes are up here’ stare, and his cheeks immediately redden.

“Shit, no, I wasn't checking you out! I mean…um, I wasn't staring at your…fuck, well I kinda was but I mean, shit; I was just trying to read what your shirt says.”
Holy crap, this guy’s more awkward than I am. 

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***ARC was GENEROUSLY provided by Elle Brooks for our HONEST REVIEWS***

Jaymee's Review - - 4 Stars

Promises Hurt by Elle Brooks is a heartbreaking story about two high school students who are both dealing with some unimaginable situations. The author has you hooked and rips your heart out before the prologue is even over so be warned that you will need a box of tissues near by! Blair is a sweet young girl, she is a typical high school dork and i loved her! She is funny, loyal, kind, strong and trying to move forward after suffering a loss that no high school student should have to face. When fate throws Ethan into her life it was perfect, their first meeting had me cracking up. The wildly popular Ethan, a well known play boy, is brought to his knees by his beautiful, dorky tutor. Ethan's whole life is a fraud, everyone thinks they know him but they know nothing, he's hiding something horrible that broke my heart. He acts like an arrogant player but on the inside he is sweet, loving and insecure. I wanted to reach into my kindle and give him a hug. They are drawn to each other from that very first meeting and before you know it they each spill their secrets giving them an almost unbreakable bond. The author uses alternating points of view so the reader gets the full experience of both characters. Both characters are deeper than you would expect from high school seniors, their life circumstances have made them wise beyond their years.

This novel isn't a run of the mill teenage love story, it is a poignant tale of love, loss and heartbreak. Ethan and Blair find healing in their love but will it be enough? Ethan's secret is bigger than they are and by the end of this novel you find that there is much more to the story than you could ever have imagined. There is a secret revealed toward the end that left me reeling. Elle Brooks touches upon several painfully sad situations, her ability to portray emotions left me speechless. I felt every emotion in this story and the sadness is contrasted beautifully by the purity of Blair and Ethan's love. The way that Ethan spoke of her and to her literally melted my heart, I haven't read anything that sweet and beautiful in a long time.Their relationship was a beam of light through the darkness surrounding them. This novel is an emotional roller coaster that left me feeling totally wrung out by the time I finished. The last few chapters had me on the edge of my seat, not knowing how things were going to turn out and then I was slammed by a cliff hanger ending that was the total opposite of anything I expected! I give major credit to the author, I could hardly believe this was her debut novel. Her writing style and character development are terrific and I would have thought she had written several novels already! 

Storyline: hopelessly addicted
Female character: loyal, love-able
Male character: complex, swoon worthy
Author's writing style: captivating
Plot twists: knocks you off your seat!
Laugh factor: occasional
Cry factor: definitely don't read in public!
Steam Factor: sweet and sexy
Violence: Some, this book may not be for everyone

Melissa's Review - - 4.5 Stars

Okay, so here is the skinny on Promises Hurt...Blair is a super smart good girl who never realizes how beautiful she truly is.  She has her own style and is really quirky.  She doesn't really fit into an clique and wears t-shirts with goofy sayings on them.  She is suffering through a tremendous loss while trying to keep one last promise to someone very special to her. Ethan is wicked popular, gorgeous and hiding his painful home life behind his perfect smile.  A tutor session in the high school library bring Blair and Ethan into each others lives, their love blossoms quickly and promises were made giving them both the strength to keep moving forward through the pain.  Unfortunately for both Blair and Ethan love doesn't protect you from the truth and when it finally comes out it blindsides Ethan.  Will it tear them apart before they have a chance to keep the promises they made to each other?

Elle Brooks you ripped my heart out, replaced it and then ripped it out again!!  I didn't think I was going to make it through the epilogue.  Promises Hurt is a YA novel where Elle brings real life issues to the front lines through this beautifully written story of young love.  Not only did she give her readers strong, wise, well thought out characters but she gave us a realistic story line that was easy to fall in love with.  The story was heart breaking and at times hard to read.  It gave a dark glimpse into the silent life of abuse and the lengths the abused will go through to cover it up.  Elle also touches on cancer, chemo and death; three things that have touched just about every single reader.  She did a wonderful job touching on tough subjects while not making light or glorifying them.

I, personally do not read a lot of YA because it makes me feel a tad Mrs. Robinson but I have to say this book surprised me.  Perhaps it was because both Blair and Ethan seemed way more mature than high school seniors or just the way the sex scenes were written but whatever the case it was really well done.  The ending left me a wreck; my heart hurting and my brain pleading for answers.  I can not wait for book 2!!
 Elle Brooks' writing style has such a great flow, she is truly talented!!  Her plot was solid and her characters were simply perfected.  She laid out every major fact in perfect detail painting a vivid picture through her words.  I am 100% sure that Elle has a very promising writing career ahead of her!  Congratulations on your debut!! It was outstanding!!

Storyline: Perfect/Heartbreaking
Female Character: Smart and Beautiful
Male Character: Strong 
Author's Writing Style: Talented
Plot Twist: Earth Shattering
Laugh Factor: Just enough
Cry Factor: Get your tissues ready!!
Steam Factor: Well Done!
Violence: Trigger Warning!

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