The Promise of Us

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

I received a free copy of ‘The Promise of Us’ in exchange for a fair review. This was my first experience with the author’s writing, but not with the contemporary genre. It was fairly easy to jump into this book, despite the fact that it picks up where ‘The Memory of You’ left off. It was easy enough to piece together the characters backgrounds. 
I found Claire to be a relatively interesting character, though a bit on the boring side for a main character. The plot was relatively interesting, and I found Logan to be charming. While the book was enjoyable on a basic level, it wasn’t anything earth shattering, either. It read a bit like a Hallmark movie, which I did enjoy. But for a contemporary (adult) romance, the characters weren’t very deep and often came across as emotionally immature. 
Overall it was a good read - great for those who like a straightforward, laidback romance. I just was left wishing that the characters were a little more mature and a little less cliche.
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4.5 Stars! 

This story is the Jamie Beck I’ve come to know and love - with compelling characters and complex situations that keep me engaged and twisted up inside. I was a little concerned about this series after the first book left me underwhelmed, but The Promise of Us was everything I was hoping for!

Claire, Steffi and Peyton were best of friends growing up in Sanctuary Sound, Connecticut. At 15, Claire was a victim of a random act of violence that ended a promising professional tennis career and plunged her into a world of constant pain and fear, which keeps her close to home and in her own bubble. She was left behind when her two best friends left for college and followed their dreams. Recently Steffi has returned home and the two have started their own interior design and renovation business. It’s not a big, exciting life, but it’s one Claire's happy with.

Peyton has become persona non grata, though, after getting involved with the man Claire was in love with, while he was still dating Claire. Now Peyton is back in Sanctuary Sound as well, recovering from a battle with breast cancer, and her older brother Logan will do anything to help Peyton repair her relationship with Claire. Including hiring Steffi and Claire to renovate his NYC apartment.

This book has so many layers to it, with such complex, flawed characters and complicated situations, and I loved all of it. 

The situation with Peyton’s betrayal is forefront in this story, and I liked how things weren’t brushed under the rug easily. People took sides, true feelings were expressed - sometimes harshly, and most importantly, Peyton was truly remorseful and didn’t demand forgiveness. I like how progress was made towards Claire and Peyton having a cordial relationship, and that it took to the whole book to get there. So often situations with such deep hurts are resolved too easily, and I am so glad Ms. Beck allowed Claire to have her feelings and express her emotions, and had her do so in a mature way.

Then we have Claire and Logan’s relationship, which at times seemed very one-sided and manipulative. Logan is not a perfect hero. But his heart was in the right place, so I found it hard to hold many of his actions against him. His intentions were pure, but his methods were frequently ill advised. Still, the mea culpa email he sent Claire at the end totally had me swooning. I love a heroine who tells the hero what she wants and is willing to walk away when he can’t give her what she deserves. I love a hero even more who then realizes what he’s lost and isn’t afraid to say “I was wrong.”

Finally, we have Claire and her also well-intentioned but completely enabling parents. At first glance it seems ridiculous that an adult would let her parents tell her what she should and shouldn’t be doing, to have parents so involved in your day-to-day life. As a parent, I can sympathize with how terrifying it would be to have your only child shot; however, to live in that fear, and continually feed that fear into your child into adulthood, is shameful. But that underlying, unobtrusive family dysfunction (as opposed to the outright dysfunction of Logan and Peyton’s family) is just another reason why I liked this book SO MUCH.

I went from not looking forward to the Sanctuary Sound series, to hardly being able to wait to read Peyton’s story. I love a good multi-book series where things are complicated and messy, and Ms. Beck delivered exactly that!

* thank you to NetGalley and Montlake Romance for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review
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3.5 Stars 

After not loving Steffi's book, I went into this book with much trepidation, but I was extremely pleased to find that The Promise of Us didn't focus on the “social justice/gun control” part of Claire's injury and instead focused on Claire the person and her physical and emotional scars. Although she was flawed and had some serious issues, I really liked Claire and found myself rooting so hard for her to break through the things that were holding her back. Even when she struggled, she was still so brave and so strong. 

Logan was an interesting character to me. I wanted to really like him, but he was a way too blind to why Claire might have an issue with his sister's actions, and way too hipster-snobbish for my personal taste. Being that they're all usually upper class characters, Ms. Beck's characters often have a different world view than people in lower tax brackets but Logan's total obliviousness to other people and their feelings while riding his white-collar high horse frustrated me from start to finish. I kept waiting for personal growth on his part, but instead the growth was pretty much all on Claire's part. 

Even though I didn't love all aspects of this book, I did enjoy a good portion of the story and I am surprisingly really looking forward to reading Peyton's book – something I did not think I would ever say.
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This was a book about friendship, loss, betrayal, forgiveness and love.  All the elements were there to tell a wonderful story.

Claire McKenna had suffered a brutal attack years earlier that had shaped the rest of her life.   She was fearful of new experiences and traveling outside her comfortable bubble in the small coastal community in Connecticut.  Although, the incident had happened many years earlier, she bore the scars on her body and in her mind.  To make matters worse, one of her best friends, Peyton Prescott, had betrayed her trust when she became involved with Claire's boyfriend, Todd.  Now, Peyton and her handsome brother, Logan, are both back in town.  Peyton had been diagnosed with breast cancer and, at a very young age, had to undergo a bilateral mastectomy, along with other treatments to try and cure her.  Claire is determined to avoid both Peyton and Logan.

Claire had had a crush on Logan since they were kids.  He had always been kind to her but there had never been anything else.  Now, Logan, is around and he wants Claire to forgive his sister and move on but Claire is holding on to her anger and fear.  Can Logan show here there is a better way?  Will Logan finally see that his life can be better with Claire as a part of it?  

I enjoyed reading this book.  I loved the story and how the relationship developed between Claire and Logan and how they both were able to recognize the things in their lives that were missing and how much better their lives could be with the right people and opportunities.

I was given an arc copy of this book and I willingly offer my honest review.
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The second in a series about three childhood friends. I enjoyed this story, though it took a while for me to get into it. If I had to classify it, I’d say it was a friends-to-enemies-to-lovers book. I love a couple with a complicated history! Logan is the big brother of Claire’s childhood friend, Peyton, and she has had a crush on him since the moment she laid eyes on him. After Claire and Peyton’s relationship suffers insurmountable damage, it seems that Claire and Logan’s will, too. But this story is about how they make their way back to each other, and it’s both beautifully written and has its laugh out loud moments. Jamie Beck does it again.
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I'm not sure if I'm missing the point of this series or if there is just a little too much angst for me in general. In book one, The Memory of You, I didn't like female lead and thought too much time was spent on Claire and Peyton's issues. 
Now in Claire's book, I really didn't like Logan, the male lead (and Peyton's brother) because he was too busy pushing Claire to forgive Peyton and not enough actual romance between him and Claire.
I did like Claire, and I was all on board with her not forgiving Peyton. Yup, I'm that reader who is not very forgiving and actually wishing Claire would have been harsher in her dealings with Peyton. While as a person I of course feel sympathy for the health issues that Peyton is facing. But where is it written that all bad deeds are washed away when someone is sick? Peyton was a horrible friend to Claire, period. 
I did not appreciate Logan, not only pushing for what HE wants Claire to do, but also for pushing Claire to do things she IS NOT comfortable with. Frankly, he was a bully, in my mind, for a lot of the story. Yes, it can be argued that he was trying to help Claire overcome some of her fears. But these are fears she has held onto for over a decade...she wasn't going to overcome them all in a few days or weeks. And helping Peyton was his first motivation, not Claire. 
This review does not negate the regard I have for Jamie Beck or her writing. I think maybe the strong feelings I have prove what a wonderful writer Beck is; a mediocre book and writer would not bring out such strong feelings...good or a reader. I'll continue to read Miss Beck's books (just maybe not Peyton's!!)
Thanks to Net Galley for this ARC, obviously this review is given both freely and honestly!
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The Promise of Us by Jamie Beck
Book #2: Sanctuary Sound Series
Source: NetGalley and Montlake Romance
Rating: 3/5 stars


The Bottom Line:  It makes me feel truly crappy and like a very bad person when I so aggressively dislike a character who has been through as much as Claire McKenna has in book two of the Sanctuary Sound series. Claire survived a life-altering tragedy and though she has recovered in many ways, she has not in other critical areas.  It is this lack of recovery, refusal to seek helps, and Claire’s truly terrible attitude that had me angry with her from her introduction in book one all the through the end of book two.  Claire has used her tragedy as an excuse for a great deal of bad behavior and cruel words and that I found to be completely off putting.  In fact, even when Claire began to work on her issues, I found I couldn’t overlook her past behaviors as they were so awful and so pronounced.  

With the above having been written, how am I still at a 3-star rating?  Logan!  Logan Prescott may be something of a playboy, but he presents himself as anything but in this read.  Logan is kind, caring, patient, talented, and likely the only man who can break through Claire’s horrifying attitude.  I found Logan to be a wonderful character with a strength of character that was quite refreshing.  I liked his attitude, his actions, his words, and his devotion to his sister.  Hands down and without doubt, Logan saved this read for me and kept me from dropping below three stars.
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Jamie Beck is easily one of my favorite authors out there right now. I came in to The Promise of Us without having read the first book (I'm not sure how I missed it!) and was worried I would be a little be lost, but each book focuses on a different character and there are enough details thrown in throughout the book that summarize the first book that it's pretty easy to just jump right in. The Promise of Us tells a charming story of Claire Mckenna who has known her share of heartbreak and disappointments after tragedy changed her life and her best friend ran off with her longtime boyfriend. She lives her life comfortably, but shrouded by fear and is happy to do so until somebody comes along and makes her question everything. Can she spread her wings a little bit and finally live? Should she? I think this story will surely speak to any reader and challenge us to get out of our comfort zone sometimes and do something unexpected no matter how scary it is at the time.
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Second in a series, focusing on Claire - victim of an accident and living with a degree of physical disability and emotional anxiety. I think Beck did a terrific job with the character development of Claire and her two friends Steffi and Peyton. Much of the book explores how the relationship broke and the obstacles to completely mending it. Then enter the men. I think Beck was trying to make Logan an alpha male archetype, but he ended up looking like a narcissist half the time. Ben was the “nice” guy - and Beck neglected to develop him like she could’ve.  Maybe that’s for book 3! I do think the guys could have been better written.  Even so, I enjoyed this read.  Thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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After a horrible incident and subsequent injury when Claire was young, she is living a very sheltered life due to the fear of being hurt again.  Logan Claire's story is filled with healing, exploration and expansion of horizons to find their happily ever after.  

This is a very touching and heartwarming story filled with great characters and a thought provoking story line. The Promise of us is well worth the read.going to be added to my re-read pile to be sure.
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Claire suffered a teenage trauma when she got shot in a mall shooting. Since then she lives a sheltered safe life with her limited mobility. Cautiously living life on her safe terms she finds a boyfriend and is looking forward to a good future when the boyfriend deserts her for her best friend. Now Peyton's name is anathema to Claire despite the fact that she finds out that Peyton has cancer and their mutual boyfriend has deserted Peyton too. It's only when Logan Peyton's brother comes to town with his sister and tries to get Claire out of her shell in an attempt to make peace between the two girls that Claire realizes how much she's given up. 
Logan's character is pretty manipulative especially as he tries to change Claire's mind about his sister but there is no doubt that Logan loves his sister.  The parents make a very interesting foil to the children but I love how Claire finally stands up for herself to her parents and tells them that they are smothering her. The icing on the cake of course is when she makes a presentation of her ideas to Logan's uber successful father and holds her own.   What Logan has going for him is how he coaxes Claire out of her shell venturing out further and further including the big bad city even if his original motives are flawed. Claire of course has the most character development as she moves beyond her reclusive afraid of her shadow personality tp be able to stand for herself and finally deal with the issue of her friendship with Peyton as an adult. 
Ms. Beck is a new to me author and I love her contemporary stories with heart. Yes while I had no trouble starting with this book I did go back and buy the first book in the series to read.
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3.5 stars

The Promise of Us by Jamie Beck is a well written and heartfelt read.

I enjoyed watching the relationship unfold between all the characters and I was happy Claire and Logan were able to find their happily ever after. 

Overall, The Promise of Us is a good addition to the Sanctuary Sound series.

*Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for the advance copy.*
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo – ☆☆☆☆
Tragedy struck Claire McKenna when she was approaching the top of her tennis game. Not only did it shatter her dreams of a professional career, it shattered the way she moved, the way she walked, and her self-confidence.

Cocooning herself in Sanctuary Sound, she's made a comfortable life for herself. Until one of her best friends steals her boyfriend and once again made her the object of pity.

Then Logan Prescott returns to town along with his boyfriend-stealing sister. He's always admired Claire and now wants nothing more to resolve the pain of betrayal between Claire and his sister. However, once he gets to know Claire again, he likes the woman she's become and he is now determined to break Claire out of her shell.

I really enjoyed this book, the way Claire's feelings were so heartfelt and real leaving the reader knowing exactly what she was going through.

Ruthie – ☆☆☆☆
This is the second book in the series – and I would recommend that you read them in order, as you will meet Claire and her troubles in that book too. It will help you understand just how traumatic the split in the friendship between her and Peyton was, and the difficulties faced by Steffi as she is close to them both. Small town life means that she lives in a gold fish bowl but has no prospect of leaving. As the story progresses, it is easy to see how she has been trapped, and how her loving parents have increased the strength of her fears.

Logan, Peyton's brother, has brought Peyton back to their family home to recover from her breast cancer treatment. He has known Claire all her life due to her friendship with Peyton, and he's well aware of her childhood crush on him. But right now, everything is broken and he is doing all he can to make Peyton happy. So it is inevitable that he will have to work on restoring some of the threads that held the friends together. Finding that he finds Claire to be beautiful, talented, and yet clearly closed off from life, he has a second mission – to make her break out of her prison.

You may surmise from this that Logan is driven and determined. He really is, and yet he does it out of love, even if he hasn't worked that bit out yet! It is moving, and also fun watching the two of them come to a position of unexpected mutual happiness. Amazing how both bending a little can make such a positive contribution to a relationship!

I enjoyed how there are some fascinating real issues of ethics and morals balanced with real life and love – how do you hate someone who stole your boyfriend, yet is suffering from cancer, and he left her as soon as he found out? Having been shot in a freak accident, how do you ignore the facts about the danger of guns, crowds and traffic, and manage to enjoy yourself in spite of the possibility of another injury? When is place a home – when beautifully decorated or when the person you love is there too?

I am looking forward to the next installment in this lovely series.
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Jamie Becks latest book The Promise of Us is the second book on the series but never fear, it can be enjoyed ad a stand alone.    Ms Beck is a new  favorite author for me.  I  love the style of her writing and the way she draws me into the characters lives.  This story is fulll of emotion and you are glad to be along for the ride.   I recommend this story
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This story had a plot that was fraught with relationship drama. I admit it was a book that I kept putting down as I was easily distracted from the story! I am usually one that can't put a book down. Once I got into the main storyline I enjoyed the book. Takes a little time to grab you, but a decent read! 

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my open and honest review!
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This was a wonderful story about second chances, forgiveness, healing and over coming your fears.

This is the 2nd book in the Sanctuary Sound series, however, it can be read as a stand alone book.
Claire is working on starting up her own company with her best friend Steffi. Just when she thinks things couldn't get worse, her ex-best friend, Peyton, and Peyton's brother, Logan, move back to town and flip Claire's whole world upside down. 

I genuinely enjoyed Claire and Logan's story. I found the characters very relatable. I was genuinely invested in both if the characters and was eager to see how their lives played out!

I was given an ARC of this book and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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DNF @ 13%

In the first chapter we learn:
- Claire was involved in a mass shooting as a teen, ending a promising tennis career and leaving her with a limp and cane but don't worry about her living off junk food in her 30s because "her body still melted calories like butter in a frying pan."
- one of Claire's besties stole her boyfriend, but then the boyfriend left the Peyton after learning she had breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy. 
- the third bestie in their group was the victim of a brutal assault.

The drama continued in chapter two when we learn Claire's parents "had suffered two miscarriages before they had Claire, and one after, which explained why they'd always treated her like she was made of spun glass. Things got worse after the shooting."

I had my heart set on a fun second-chance contemporary, but I couldn't stop the eye-rolling. Everyone so far had to one-up the other with their sob stories.
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I Loved Claire’s story. Watching her face her fears and see where she is holding herself back from moving forward. A emotional journey with a great ending. Logan is searching for the next big story but sees the bigger picture in life when he gets to know Claire again. 
 Love, laughter, friendship and rebuilding of life and friendship. A must read. 
I received a advanced copy in exchange for a honest review.
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The Promise of Us continues the storyline started in the first book, The Memory of You, but focuses on Claire McKenna. Like Steffi in the first book, Claire is struggling to cope with a really traumatic experience, after being shot when she was 15. Effectively ending the life she had imagined for herself. As an adult, Claire clearly still struggles with the mental and physical aftermath of the shooting, she walks with a cane and has debilitating anxiety and PTSD. On top of all that, she feels betrayed by one of her best friends after her boyfriend leaves her for her friend. And who happens to move back to their small coastal Connecticut town than Claire’s former friend, Peyton, who brings her brother, and Claire’s former childhood crush, with her. 

I enjoyed this one quite a bit, but I don’t know if I loved it as much as I did the first book. I’m a sucker for a second-chance love story like the one in the first book, I don’t know if I felt as connected to Claire and Logan’s characters. I found Claire to be a tad frustrating and stubborn at times. I found myself saying “does NO ONE in this town go to therapy?!”  Both Claire and her parents have clear PTSD from her being shot over a decade ago. The social worker in me was mildly horrified these characters were still deeply affected by the trauma, yet didn’t seek help. I can understand why Claire didn’t (my dad lives with PTSD from Vietnam and it took him decades), but her parents not seeking help for their trauma really bothered me for some reason.

Overall I still recommend The Promise of Us, it was a 3.75 star  
read for me (upgraded to 4 on NG and GR)! I am very excited the next book will focus on Peyton, she’s been the character I’m most interested in throughout the first two books.
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I have found another author to add to my list of must read writers: Jamie Beck. The Promise of Us tells the story of Claire, who, as a teenager, was shot in a mall shooting. Not only was Claire’s life irrevocably changed but so were the lives of her parents and friends. The girl who was once known for living the life to its fullest is now a woman who takes very few risks.

When Logan Prescott, the brother of Claire’s former best friend, returns home with his ailing sister, Claire realizes that the crush she’s always had on him still exists. Logan, always a playboy, finds himself attracted to Claire and wants to help her really live her life again.

I enjoyed reading this book. It’s quiet, thoughtful, and the characters react realistically.

Logan might not be the standard male in a romance novel. He’s a bit selfish and manipulative, traits that he acknowledges. In some ways, it was refreshing to see this different type of character as long as, you know, I didn’t have to live with him. On the flipside, he tries to photograph dire humanitarian situations so he is giving back to society and he genuinely cares about his sister and friends, Claire included.

For some readers who can’t put themselves in the shoes of a shooting victim, Claire’s behavior could be hard to tolerate. She lives in physical pain and fear and suffers from anxiety attacks when she’s removed from her comfort zone.

One complaint I have about this novel is that I think Beck waited too long to show us how smothering Claire’s parents are. Now, I completely understand their behavior. When you almost lose a daughter, you do tend to want to shelter them to the extent possible. It seemed that their behavior wasn’t shared with the reader until half-way through or more which felt too late because it gave me a whiplash kind of reaction.

If you are a fan of Susan Wiggs’ stories, you might enjoy The Promise of Us.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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