Excerpt: A Promise Broken - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Excerpt: A Promise Broken

A Promise Broken, Anissa Garcia’s newest standalone romance, is out now! But if you’ve not yet jumped into this love story, I’ve got an excerpt to share with you, plus an amazing giveaway that includes some fun items, a signed book and an Amazon gift card. Just make sure to scroll down below to get the scoop on how to enter.

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About A Promise Broken

After a relationship gone bad, Hilary Matthews feels unsure about where she belongs or what to do with her life. Enter Zach Collins, a love ‘em and leave ‘em, no-strings-attached type of guy. The perfect distraction for her wounded heart. Just one problem. Zach isn’t some random stranger. He’s her brother’s best friend, and more than that, he’s practically family.

Zach’s job as assistant to an A-list actor allows him the luxury of women, travel, and fun. But things change the moment Hilary makes her move, completely altering his world. Hilary is his fantasy come to life, his dream woman in the flesh, and…his best friend’s little sister. Crossing the line with her could not only ruin his friendship but also alienate him from the only family he’s ever known.

Embroiled in betrayal, lies, guilt, and heartache, Hilary and Zach must decide if what they share is worth the turmoil. With so much at stake, the repercussions of a promise broken might cause the battle of their lives. But it could be worth the fight.


I opened the door, and he turned, his big green eyes catching mine. A crinkle appeared above his brow as he gave me a careful grin. “Hi,” he whispered gently.

“Hi.” My stomach dipped, and my core ached when I looked at him.

He motioned for me to sit. The space wasn’t large, but it was enough to hold two wooden chairs and a small table. The Austin skyline was beautiful as the sun set over it, casting hues of yellow, pink and blue across the sky. Zach loved a great sunset. The humidity was more than I was used to, but the breeze helped.

We sat in silence and sipped our drinks. My sniffle had him turning. His hand reached over, and his thumb rubbed my dry cheek. First, it was tender, then the pressure deepened until I swatted his hand away. “What the hell?” I laughed.

He chuckled. “You have mascara everywhere. You look like a raccoon.”

“Thank you,” I said, running my hands over my face. “Ass.”

He paused, looking out at the sky. “He’s not worth it, you know.”

“I know.” I gave a bullshit grin.

His body shifted toward me. “I don’t think you do. What the hell is Graham doing, huh? Why’s he calling you? Why are you letting him?” My mouth parted, trying to say something. “Hilary, you’re better than that.”

“Excuse you. How do you even know it was him?”

He huffed. “The last time I saw that look on your face was when Evan and I flew home to comfort you. I know when it’s him.” He downed the rest of his drink and played with the glass in his hands. I took a sip of mine and felt the sting down my throat and to my chest. “Are you two friends?”

“He calls me from time to time.”

“Do you see him?”

“No,” I quickly replied. “Absolutely not.  Not…on purpose.”

He studied me, wanting answers. Answers I couldn’t give. It was difficult for me to move on from the rejection, the pain, the heartache. Despite the ways I tried to ease that distress, it seemed to crop up again.

“That’s why you came to Austin? To get away from him?”

“We live near each other. Run-ins are frequent.” Tears crept up again. “How can someone do that to another person? How can they say things and not mean them?”

“They think they mean them,” he said quietly. “Words don’t mean anything without actions behind them. You know that.”

“Broken hearts, broken promises…”

He ran his hand over his scruffy chin and nodded. “Happens more often than not.” Our eyes caught and remained on one another. His breath shallowed as he stared at my lips and licked his own. He stood up abruptly, and I followed. He seemed to be fighting off our growing attraction. I sensed his desire. He cleared his throat. “Evan said he’d see you tomorrow once he gets home from filming. Grace wanted you to head over in the morning so she can go over paperwork with you. I think you’ll also meet with her boss.”

“Okay,” I whispered, defeated. He headed for the door. I trailed behind him. He stopped when I spoke again. “Zach?” My voice trembled. His body turned to face mine. “He’s getting married…” I choked on a sob. “He’s marrying her…”

Zach grabbed my glass, set both his and mine down on the table, and wrapped me in his arms. I snuggled against his warm body, reminded of how safe I was. It was where I was meant to be. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, sweetheart.”

His lips pressed to my forehead as I rocked against him, finding solace, comfort, and a sense of home. “Over four years. I bored him for that long until he found someone better.”

“Stop it, don’t say that.” He cupped my face in his hands. “Don’t think that. He was always a dick, all right? I knew from the beginning of that relationship that it wouldn’t end well. Your brother and I both told you that.”

“This all sucks.” I hugged him tightly and buried my face against his warm chest.

“I know. Picking up the shattered pieces of an old life is never easy, kid. It usually takes half the time you guys were together to get over it. You’re almost there, and it’ll get better.”

“It feels like forever,” I mumbled against his shirt. “I haven’t been the same.”

“You’re not supposed to be.”

I looked up at him. The pads of his thumbs brushed off my tears. His touch was gentle, soothing. I inhaled, my hands held onto his wrists. I wanted the anguish gone, the aching pushed aside. I wanted to feel good. My eyes locked with his. I leaned forward, our foreheads pressed against one another. His hands tangled in my hair the way they had that night. The night I replayed many times where he’d given me pleasure. He’d made me feel beautiful and cherished. I wanted to feel that again, even if it was purely carnal.

Our breathing labored, I could smell the brandy on his lips, sense the heat of his body. Our noses grazed against one another, mouths hovered. All day it had been there—the desire surrounding us, the sexual tension sharp. Despite the fact that we hadn’t seen each other in months, our attraction was still present. I moved closer, my lips only centimeters from his. A harsh breath came from him.

“Hilary…” He stepped back. His hands rubbed over his face and through his hair. “God, this can’t happen. It can’t. I’m sorry.”

“I don’t have any expectations, Zach.” I grabbed his arm, stopping him from opening the door. “I’m not looking for anything but fun.”

He closed his eyes, his head bowed. “It’s not as simple as you want it to be.”

“It can be if you’ll let it.” I paused. He was worried what my brother would think. “Evan won’t find out.”

His voice grew agitated. “I can’t do it.” Before he stepped inside, he looked at me once more, his expression pained. “We can’t.” Before I could argue, he went into the house, while I stood rejected. My first night in Austin, and I’d already pushed too hard. With both of us under one roof, it was going to be a long, hot summer ahead.

Series Reading Order

Please note that A Promise Broken can be read as a standalone.


Win everything pictured here, including a signed copy of A Promise Kept, plus a $10 Amazon gift card! To enter head to this post on Facebook and LIKE, SHARE and COMMENT with one of your favorite romances this year!

Winner chosen Sunday, July 16th! U.S. entries only please.

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One Comment:

  1. Chris Gutowski said:

    Love the excerpt! Sounds a bit “angsty”…my kind of book!


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