Captivating Contemporary Romance
Promises We Break After Dark Book Cover Promises We Break After Dark
Decisions in Durham Book 3
Rachel Higginson
New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Workplace Romance
Reckless Siren Publishing
September 26, 2023

Ada Kelly is doing the best she can. Smart, driven, and practical, she works hard to make her favorite Durham bar, Craft, as successful as possible. Except she’s thwarted at every turn by the sibling drama of the bar’s co-owning trio. Still, she loves her job, and everyone she works with.

Well, almost everyone.

Charlie English is selfish, flakey, and the sexiest man she’s ever known. And he makes her absolutely stupid. Early on in her employment at Craft, Ada made the mistake of sleeping with him. She knew it wasn’t going to go anywhere. Charlie wasn’t the kind of guy who knew how to settle down. Or think about anyone besides himself. So why had she done it? And why would she still do it now? Years later?

Ada has promised herself she’ll never make that mistake again. She’s promised herself she’ll put Charlie in the past where he belongs and move on with her life.

But the thing about promises is . . . they’re meant to be broken.

“It was easy to be a grown up – one of those things that just happened. But it was a hell of a lot of work to be a well-adjusted, mentally healthy grown-up.”

Promises We Break After Dark by Rachel Higginson, takes us back to Durham, SC and her Decisions in Durham series for the final English sibling story about Charlie English and bar manager, Ada Kelly. Ada has quite the history with all three of the English family sibling/owners of the Durham bar, Craft. She is the force that has kept Craft running smoothly and the two brothers and sister from killing each other over the years. Ada has watched the two responsible siblings, oldest brother Will and younger sister Eliza, settle into relationships, yet there seems to be little hope for the charasmatic player and seemingly perpetual screw-up, Charlie, to get his act together. Atleast this is how Ada continues to view him after their hook-up and what seemed to be a geniune connection years ago. But her opinion of him is about to change when her tough armor, that was first created when her father abandoned her and her family as an impressionable young child, begins to show cracks as her carefully orchestrated life begins to change. Surprisingly to her, it just might be Charlie that can help her heal those deep-seated wounds and find the life, love, and happiness she has always wanted.

“Charlie English was oblivious to everything and everyone around him. Sometimes that was tolerable. Usually, it was totally fine. Sometimes I could write it off as Charlie being Charlie. And sometimes his oblivious behavior bowled me over. Crushed me beneath the bolder of his energy like an Indiana Jones movie gone wrong. Sometimes he lashed out with his unawareness in a way that punched straight through my flesh and blood and landed hits on the softer, secret places of my soul spirit.”

Rachel’s Promises We Break After Dark is the perfect completion to a really great contemporary romance series, Decisions in Durham. Each book is a 5 star stand-alone story but it really is worth reading them in order to get a more complete experience. I have loved this series from the beginning because of the heartwarming (and toe curling) romance, the memorable characters with spunk, and story-lines that are touching as well as entertaining. Ada has always been in the periphery and to finally get to know her on a deeper level has been a blast. She is smart and snarky and always entertaining, “Small talk was my actual death. The biggest ick I could ever imagine. If I had to talk to you, fine. But don’t bring up the weather or shopping or any other bullshitty bullshit up. Real talk only. Thank you.” She also has such a tough and driven exterior that you would never guess the fragile heart underneath. Even she is surpised by the walls and barriers she has built, “I hadn’t realized all the ways I had contorted myself to protect that vulnerable place inside me. I’d twisted myself into knots in an attempt to never let anyone see or touch that spot.” Even though she wrote off Charlie, thinking he didn’t care for her, it turns out that he actually cared too much and sees her like no one else ever has, “Someone told you a long time ago you had to go at it alone. That person is a f*cking liar. Life is better shared.” No one said the road to happiness was easy, and for Ada and Charlie, their journey involves some road construction to repair the potholes and fix the pavement before their paths can finally connect. But when the road opens up there is no stopping them. As a reader you will love every minute of Rachel’s five star romantic journey, Promises We Break After Dark!