Promise Me This by Christina Lee
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
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Nate has developed quite a playboy reputation around campus. It's not that he doesn't respect or trust women; he doesn't trust himself. The men in Nate’s family are prone to abusive behavior—a dirty secret that Nate’s been running from his entire life—so Nate doesn't do relationships. But he can’t help himself around one girl…
Jessie is strong, independent, and works at a tattoo parlor. Nate can’t resist getting close to her, even if it’s strictly a friendship. But it doesn't take long for Nate to admit that what he wants with Jessie is more than just friendly.
With Jessie, he can be himself and explore what he’s always felt was a terrifying darkness inside him. Even when Nate begins to crave her in a way that both shocks and horrifies him, Jessie still wants to know every part of him. Testing their boundaries together will take a trust that could render them inseparable… or tear them apart.
Nate is kind of a manwhore – at least he’s got that reputation. He gets it because though he does have sex with women he’s never with the same woman twice. He just doesn’t do relationships. The reason for that is that he’s scared that he’s going to be like his father – abusive. Nate has this desire that wants to control a woman in bed but he fears that if he lets that out that he’ll be like his father and it will seep into the crevices of the rest of his life and next thing you know he’ll be beating on a woman. He’s so afraid of this that he can’t really take too much enjoyment from his hookups. He’s incredibly attracted to his friend Jessie but he knows he’s not good enough for her and that he can’t let anything happen between them.
Jessie is a girl who goes to college and works at a tattoo parlor to make ends meet. She only takes a couple of classes at a time due to money issues but she loves what she’s doing. She’s currently taking a photography class and she loves it. Her father was a photographer and she would love to make him proud of her work. Nate gives her a project idea for her photography class and agrees to go with her on the photo shoot. They spend the day in the town Nate grew up in. It’s emotionally charged for Nate and Jessie picks up on that – trying to be supportive as possible without really knowing the back story. They have a great time getting pictures of covered bridges but then Jessie’s tire needs fixing and they end up having to spend the night in a hotel.
Nate is nothing like the men that Jessie normally dates – physically but the attraction that the two feel for each other is explosive and finally they can’t hold themselves back any longer. They have sex and it’s incredible for both of them. Unfortunately Nate is dealing with his inner demons and knows he can’t get involved with Jessie. The fact that he even wants to blows his mind.
Many things happen with Jessie and Nate as well as with Nate and his family. Nate has to come to terms with himself and who he is before he can be with Jessie but he knows that he can’t lead her on.
This story was so much more than I ever expected. Two friends coming from two completely different worlds is intriguing but can it work? Nate and Jessie proved to me that it absolutely can.
First there’s the lust and desire. Christina Lee brings a whole new meaning to the word intense. I was hot under the collar when the couple wasn’t even touching! I really loved how they could say so much to each other with just a look. Loved. It.
Nate, that poor guy, was so conflicted. His father had been beating his mother for years. It broke my heart to read about his turmoil as his father was such an ass and treated his mother so badly. Nate was so afraid to be like his father that he wouldn’t let his true self come out. He wasn’t sure who his true self really was. With Jessie’s help he finally gets the courage to talk to someone about his issues and it makes him to be a better, stronger man. He could then help not only himself but his mother as well, eventually.
Jessie was amazing. She was a strong, intelligent, independent woman who could still be submissive to a man in bed. Out of bed she wouldn’t take shit from anyone and I adored that about her. Her understanding of Nate went so very deep that it was like they were two halves of a whole and it made for some incredible scenes in the book.
This is a sometimes sad yet touching and wonderful story that’s hot and sexy as well. It made me smile and cry all within the span of a couple hundred pages. If you’re looking for an intense yet incredible book – this is it.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
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