Whisper to Me by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths #3
Also in this series: All of You, Before You Break, Whisper to Me, Promise Me This, Promise Me This, There You Stand, Two of Hearts
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: May 20th 2014
Genres: Fiction, New Adult
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A hot and consuming New Adult romance about a wayward musician and the one girl who keeps him grounded…
At college, Rachel has a reputation for being a sarcastic flirt with a thing for star athletes. No one at school knows that she’d had her heart ripped to shreds by her high school sweetheart, who’d driven them both off the side of the road on a borrowed motorcycle, and then abandoned her. No one knows the real Rachel Mattson—except one person…
Ever since he helped nurse his sister’s feisty best friend back to health, pierced bass player Kai Nakos has been head over heels in love. But the supposed bad boy can’t risk letting Rachel know the truth—especially now that the two of them are back in their hometown for the summer, together for the first time since the months following that fateful night. Never mind that Rachel’s ex is back, groveling for her forgiveness.
Shaken by her ex’s return, Rachel finds herself turning to the one guy she knows she can trust. Kai is willing to hide his feelings for her, just to have Rachel touch him again. After all, this is only a temporary fling. Until it becomes something more.
But maybe it had been more all along...
Whisper to Me is the third installment in the heartfelt and emotional Between Breaths series. Rachel was a prominent character in the previous two books, All of You and Before You Break. The story is told in alternating first-person chapters from Kai and Rachel.
Though she seems happy-go-lucky and out for nothing but a good time, the truth is Rachel is hiding a painful past. She was severely injured during a motorcycle accident and then abandoned by her boyfriend. She spent months doing physical therapy, learning to walk, talk and feed herself again. Though her parents and best friend were strong supporters, it was her best friend’s brother, Kai, who was her rock. He was tireless in his efforts to get her through rehab, constantly pushing her to do better and holding her when she reached the end of her endurance. Then he disappeared. Leaving her confused and determined to be someone else as soon as she reached college. Someone who wasn’t broken and afraid.
Kai’s feelings for Rachel became intense during her time in recovery. He knew she wasn’t for him, so he took off as soon as she was on the mend, knowing if he didn’t he might ruin their friendship completely. When they end up living in the same house for the summer, he realizes his feelings haven’t lessened at all. Too bad she’s still off limits. Except, Rachel is different now. She’s more reserved with him, and a lot more in charge of her own life..and her own sexuality. Just like Kai, she’s broken and the dark parts of her call to the dark parts in him.
This is a friends-to-lovers theme. Though they’d been separated for some time, their deep connection and friendship came through. Rachel opened up to Kai in a way she couldn’t with anyone else, including his sister, and she understood him better than even he did at times. There’s something beautiful in their friendship. They accepted each other as is, with no conditions or expectations. Of course they wanted the other to be the best possible version they could be, but there was no judgement. This set a solid foundation for their romance.
There isn’t a lot of drama or angst in this story, outside their own individual issues. The main conflict comes from neither Kai nor Rachel wanting to open themselves to being hurt, or to damaging their friendship. Rachel still had some emotional healing to do, and Kai needed to grow, but the relationship was, at its core, pretty solid.
Another solid, emotionally compelling read. Lee is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. With this book she definitely secured her place on my auto-buy list.
4.25 out of 5
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