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Series: Between Breaths

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Review: There You Stand by Christina Lee

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: There You Stand by Christina LeeThere You Stand by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths,
Also in this series: All of You, Before You Break, Whisper to Me, Promise Me This
Published by Intermix on 21 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, GLBT, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 250
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: All of You, Before You Break, Whisper to Me, Promise Me This

Place(s) Traveled To: Unnamed, Tennessee

First Line(s): I swallowed past the lump in my throat and leaned over to pat Chopper, the dog I’d inherited from Joe, my latest asshole boyfriend.

Over the last year or so I’ve noticed a bit of a trend in long term series, in that there will be at least one book featuring and LGBT couple or one involving BDSM. Christina Lee already did a light BDSM story with Promise Me This (my review) and now she’s trying her hand at an M/M romance with There You Stand. There You Stand is billed as part of Lee’s Between Breaths series but for me, this one doesn’t really connect very well to the other books in the series. There isn’t a lot of overlap between the other books and so this one is more easily able to be read as a standalone novel. The story revolves around tattoo artist Cory and a new guy in town the quiet and ofttimes shy Jude. Cory is out and proud and while he likes Jude he can’t get a good feel for him as he barely talks to those around him. The two become closer when Jude approaches Cory for a tattoo and they slowly become friends.

I liked the chemistry between Jude and Cory and thought that the romance was sweet and even a little heart achy. It contained so many elements that I love and this one was quickly working its way to becoming a favorite read. But then the narrative changed and there was this whole other crazy story element added to the story. Jude’s backstory is a bit convoluted and over the top and it just became a bit of a distraction for me. I know I rolled my eyes more than once and I just found it hard to believe. To me, this aspect of the storyline really came out of no where and didn’t add much to the story except for unnecessary drama. Its this story line that also really sets it apart from the other Between Breaths books.

There You Stand Quote

I did enjoy There You Stand and its a book that I will probably recommend to some of my friends there were just elements about it I didn’t really care for. I wish that it had stayed with a romance focus and avoid that unnecessary drama or that random motorcycle club. It was just odd and didn’t really seem to fit and all the cryptic references leading up to the big reveal just annoyed me. I’ve never been a fan of cryptic comments and foreshadowing of things to come. Well, maybe once or twice is fine been when its brought up time and again it just grates on my nerves and I find myself yelling at the characters to just spit it out already!

There You Stand is a quick read and I read it in a day. I was engaged enough with Jude and Cory’s romance that I kept turning the pages looking to see how they’d reach their happily ever after. I loved the early moments between these two when they were both learning how to open up and trust the other. And I loved their game of Truth. It was just a simple and yet often emotional way to get across so much information without having to say too much. Seriously, without that motorcycle club aspect I probably would have ended up rating this one much higher and if I ever do decide on a re-read then I’ll probably just skim through reading those bits that I loved best and trying to ignore some of the other aspects of the story that I found distracting or just so-so. All in all though, if you are a fan of Christina Lee then you should give this one a shot as she does know how to write a good love story.

irishdarkblue

IR - There You Stand

Add Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen to Goodreads. (Click here to read my review.)

Add Breakable by Tammara Webber to Goodreads. (Click here to read my review.)

three-stars
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Monday, November 10, 2014

Review: Promise Me This by Christina Lee

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Promise Me This by Christina LeePromise Me This by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths,
Also in this series: All of You, Before You Break, Whisper to Me, There You Stand
Published by Intermix on 07 October 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Erotica, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 246
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: All of You, Before You Break, Whisper to Me, There You Stand

First Line(s): I backed the brunette against the wall, my lips at her neck.

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, Tennessee // Bridgeway, Tennessee

Promise Me This is the latest installment in Christina Lee’s Between Breaths seies and involves Nate and Jessie two characters that we’ve seen in previous books. Nate is a bit of a playboy and Jessie is a girl who acts tougher than she is. Nate is also playing a role as he is afraid of letting people get too close. He’s afraid of following his desires and ending up a man like his father. But as you read the book you see that Nate is just a big old mashmellow with daddy issues. For, his dad is physically abusive to his mom and when he was younger to him and his brother. Nate thinks he might turn out like him as he likes things a bit rougher in the bedroom and he’s afraid of going too far. Luckily for him he meets Jessie and she helps him work through his issues just as he helps her deal with hers.

Nate and Jessie are a good match for each and throughout Promise Me This I was cheering for them to get together. Although I did roll my eyes a bit at the BDSM aspects of the story as it was very light and just seemed to be tossed in as an after thought. Its a trend that I’ve been seeing crop in series these days where at least one book involves characters who engage in the life style, which is fine, but it doesn’t always fit with the story or the characters. These BDSM books are what I call BDSM light as they are shadows in comparison to other BDSM books I’ve read and just seem to be in the story because its part of a trend. This of course is just my opinion and could be a good intro for those who want to read more erotica but aren’t ready for Tiffany Reiz, Sylvia Day or similar authors.

Promise Me This was a quick read and once I settled down into it I read it in just a few hours. Its filled with all the usual cliches but it wasn’t a bad story just a tad bit unoriginal. I enjoyed Nate and Jessie’s romantic journey and there were parts of the story I could have done without but I enjoyed seeing characters from the previous books and I do look forward to any other books in this series that Christina Lee might write. Its not a heart achy book but Promise Me This is a great in between type read for when you are transitioning between genres or coming off a really good read.

 

irishdarkblue

 

Promise-Me-This Quote
three-stars
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review: Whisper to Me by Christina Lee

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Blog Tour, New Adult, Review3 Comments

Review: Whisper to Me by Christina LeeWhisper to Me by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths,
Also in this series: All of You, Before You Break, Promise Me This, There You Stand
Published by Berkley Books on 20 May 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians, New Adult
Pages: 228
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: All of You, Before You Break, Promise Me This, There You Stand

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, Tennessee

First Line(s): Scientists say that we’re all made of pieces of stars.

Whisper to Me by Christina Lee is the third book in her Between Breaths series which involves a group of college friends. While I liked the first two books in the series I didn’t love them and the one friend I cared about least was Rachel who is the heroine of this book. Initially I thought I was going to hate this book and I thought about not even reading it. But then I read the synopsis and learned that Rachel was going home for the summer and that her story may not be anything like we’d been lead to believe in the previous books. Previously Rachel is a carefree, over the top party girl that didn’t seem to have much substance but that isn’t all that she is. Before college Rachel was very different and before college there was a tragic incident in her past that put her in the hospital and everything she though she knew had changed.

Returning home isn’t easy for Rachel as she’s changed a lot in the time she’s been away and she’s become more than the girl from the accident. The girl whose boyfriend left her when she needed him most but there is a part of her that is still the same. Its the part that loved her friends Dakota and her brother Kai both of who she’s been avoiding and lying to about her college self. Just as she hasn’t been fully honest with her college friends about her past. Its hard keeping secrets from those you love and this is a constant struggle with Rachel. Its a part of her that makes her a bit elusive and stand offish at the start of this book but as secrets are revealed I grew to really like Rachel.

I grew to admire her for who she was and look beyond the surface of who she portrayed. I also loved her relationship with Kai. Oh my stars the feels that this book made me feel with these two! Such a heart achy read and found I couldn’t stop reading as their story progressed as I just wanted to see if they’d work past their obstacles and find a way to be together. Rachel and Kai had always been friends but taking things to the next level isn’t always easy and there are hurdles that get tossed in their path. But I do love a good friends to lovers story and this has all the things I love about such a trope and more. I also really liked how we got to see both Rachel and Kai’s points of view as it can really help to flesh out a story and make it feel real.

Whisper to Me is a book that I didn’t think I’d like and in the end its a book that is my favorite in the series and also one that I will re-read. I loved the chemistry between Kai and Rachel and I loved how much the title fits in with the story. This is such a swoon worthy book that I wish I could read it against for the first time. Its a quick, fun, new adult romance that I can’t recommend enough. There is much to love in this book and I hope that if you read it you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

 

irishdarkblue

 

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Whisper to me Quote

four-stars
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Review: Before You Break by Christina Lee

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Before You Break by Christina LeeBefore You Break by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths, Book 2
Also in this series: All of You, Whisper to Me, Promise Me This, There You Stand
Published by Intermix on 18 February 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics, Suicide
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: All of You, Whisper to Me, Promise Me This, There You Stand

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, Tennessee

First Line(s): “Daddy, please. I…I need to see Christopher,” I sobbed. “I need to be with him.”

Before You Break by Christina Lee wasn’t a book that I meant to read at this time. I have a list for the month and I had every intention on sticking with the list so I’m not sure what lead me to picking this one up. All I know is that once I started I didn’t want to put it down. Its not the greatest story ever told but it was engrossing enough that I read it in just a few hours. I liked the character of Quinn and wanted to know more of his story although the female lead, Ella, did annoy me at times. She was a bit of a mary sue and didn’t have much of a backbone at times. She often let her boyfriend walk all over her and just made me sigh heavy sighs when reading her POV.

I also wasn’t a fan of how she and her friends would communicate with each other. Well, most of their chatter I was fine with but I didn’t understand the need for the insults used as endearments that they used (i.e…Love you bitch). It just never seemed like a smooth conversation and always seemed so awkward and forced so I always tried to block them out when they appeared in the text. Other than that it was nice to see Ella living a life outside of the male lead of the story. Although initially this one seemed like it might be a cheating story and so it did take away my enjoyment even if Ella and Quinn did have a lot of on chemistry on the page.

I liked the character of Quinn and how complex he was. For once, in a new adult story, the male lead was dealing with some very real demons but unlike most he did seek some help by calling into the schools suicide hotline. And even though he was going through some tough things he didn’t use that as an excuse to be a complete and total dickhead to those around him. Quinn was a genuinely nice guy and he had real feelings for Ella and I was glad when she started to return them. Because as a couple they did work together and I was invested in their HEA.

Before You Break is a quick read and I enjoyed it. I like the story and the characters more than All of You. While this may not be a story that I re-read I don’t feel like my time was wasted. By the end of the book I liked Ella more than in the beginning and I look forward to see her and Quinn again in the next story, Whisper to Me, which involves Ella and Avery’s friend Rachel. Now there’s a character that I am interested in learning more about.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review: All of You by Christina Lee

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: All of You by Christina LeeAll of You by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths,
Also in this series: Before You Break, Whisper to Me, Promise Me This, There You Stand
Published by Intermix on 17 September 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 219
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Before You Break, Whisper to Me, Promise Me This, There You Stand

Place(s) traveled to: Unknown, Tennessee

First Line(s): Love was like a loaded gun. You slid your bullet inside the cold metal chamber as a safeguard for the inevitable day that everything went to shit.

All of You by Christina Lee is your typical New Adult novel about a girl who meets a boy. Both are wounded in various ways and one has way more experience to the others none. The big difference in All of You is that its not the girl who is the virgin. Avery is afraid of getting her heart broken so she surrounds herself with meaningless hook ups and a hard exterior. And its not until she meets Bennett, her gorgeous tattooed upstairs neighbor that things start to change. Because he doesn’t want to be just another one night stand with Avery and so he pursues her with old fashioned wooing and sheer determination.

All of You is a quick story and I liked how Bennett wasn’t your typical virginal character that is dying to get rid of the V-Card as if its a shameful thing. There is nothing wrong with waiting until you feel a real and lasting connection with someone and I think that Christina Lee does a good job in showing that in this book. I loved Bennett’s character and I thought that there was lots of chemistry between him and Avery. My problem with this story often came from Avery as she is a pretty unlikable heroine sometimes. And I didn’t always understand her actions even though this story was told from her POV.

The plot was nothing spectacular and does follow a lot of the tropes one would expect in a contemporary romance but it wasn’t so cliched that I was rolling my eyes every few minutes as I’ve done with other books. But there was something missing from the story and I can’t quite put my finger on what. I just remember that at the end I just felt like something was lacking and I wanted a little more from the story. There were also moments that felt a bit rushed and others that dragged out so, for me, the pacing was a little inconsistent.

I did read this book in two short sittings though so it does make for a quick read and a nice escapist book. There are no deep hidden meanings or crazy suspenseful subplots. There’s just two people struggling to find their way towards each other. And sometimes that is all you need in a story. I enjoyed All of You for what it was and am looking forward to its companion story, Before You Break, which is scheduled to be released in February 2014. With luck there will be cameos of Avery and Bennett and we can see just how they are managing now that their story is done.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
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