Tag: Between Breaths

Sunday Spotlight: Before You Break by Christina Lee

Posted June 9, 2019 by Rowena in Features | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

This week’s Sunday spotlight book is a throwback to intense New Adult books, the ones that used to eat me up emotionally and then spit me back out, all whole and complete again. I read the first book in this series and enjoyed it but I wasn’t prepared for how much love I’ll have for this book. Before You Break tackles hard hitting, emotional issues and you won’t be able to help yourself. You’ll fall hard for both Daniel Quinn and Ella Abrams. Their journeys will hit you in the gut and their romance will fill you right up. This was a fantastic book and if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend that you remedy that because this book is the bomb.

Sunday Spotlight: Before You Break by Christina LeeBefore You Break by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths #2
Also in this series: All of You, Before You Break, Whisper to Me, Whisper to Me, Promise Me This, Promise Me This, There You Stand, Two of Hearts
Publisher: Intermix
Publication Date: February 18, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 223
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A sexy, emotional New Adult romance about a bad boy on the edge and a good girl about to lose control…

The star catcher of the college baseball team isn't supposed to have skeletons in his closet. But Daniel Quinn is hiding a guilty past so dark he refuses to let anyone get close. Except there’s something about gorgeous, studious Ella Abrams that goes beyond the electric attraction between them—something that makes him want to open up.

Ella has suffered enough heartache and guilt to fill one of her psychology textbooks, but she keeps that part of herself hidden behind a bubbly exterior. Until she receives an anonymous call while working the suicide helpline and the voice on the other end touches something inside of her that she can’t ignore.

Soon Ella and Quinn’s physical connection heats up, even as their deep and revealing hotline talks intensify. But by the time Ella realizes that her seductive jock and her sensitive caller are the same guy, it might be too late to save him—or to stop herself from falling too far.

Memorable Moments

Here are some of my favorite scenes and quotes from the book. So much goodness.

“I’m not going to kiss you, Ella. Not tonight.”

She sagged against me, her forehead landing on my shoulder.

“Kissing you would be too easy,” I whispered in her ear. “And you’re not a girl I want to be easy with.”

“Don’t misunderstand, Ella. I want you. So fucking bad.” I gathered her face in my hands. “The day I can finally bury myself inside of you is the day I know for sure that you’re mine. All mine. Only mine. And anything other than that isn’t good enough.”

“We always seem to end up against a door,” she breathed out. Her words faltered as I licked and nipped my way down her collarbone to the scoop of skin above her breasts.

“I have fantasies about what I want to do to you against this door.”

“This boy—this man—was asking for the moon and the stars. And I was willing to shoot us straight off the map. And offer him the entire universe.”

This book is full of feels and packed with lots of charming characters, witty dialogue and just all around goodness. Seriously, you need to meet Quinn and Ella. Their story is too good.

Between Breaths

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: June 2019

Do you love this book as much as we do? Let us know what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Christina Lee

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son--her two favorite guys. She's addicted to lip balm, coffee, and kissing. Because everything is better with kissing.

She writes MM Contemporary as well as Adult and New Adult Romance. She believes in happily-ever-afters for all, so reading and writing romance for everybody under the rainbow helps quench her soul.

You can find more info on her website: www.christinalee.net. From there you can link to her Facebook reader group called The Swoon Room as well as her IG account and newsletter.

four-half-stars


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Review: Promise Me This by Christina Lee

Posted November 25, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Promise Me This by Christina LeeReviewer: Holly
Promise Me This by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths #4
Also in this series: All of You, Before You Break, Whisper to Me, Whisper to Me, Promise Me This, There You Stand, Two of Hearts
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Genres: Fiction, New Adult
Pages: 238
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A new love will test the boundaries of passion between a privileged boy next door and the tattooed, blue-haired girl who helps him embrace his wild side...
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.
INCLUDES A PREVIEW OF TWO OF HEARTS.
Raves for Christina Lee’s Between Breaths series:
“This is one New Adult you don’t want to miss.” —New York Times and USA Today bestselling author A. L. Jackson
“Hot, sweet, emotional, page-turner, awesome.”—New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy
“Steamy, honest, and full of heart.” —Roni Loren, national bestselling author Christina Lee lives in the Midwest with her husband and son. She is the author of The Between Breaths Series, including All of You and Before You Break. She also owns her own jewelry business, called Tags-n-Stones, where she hand-stamps meaningful words or letters onto silver for her customers.

Nate and Jessie were first introduced in All of Me, book 1 in this series. I remember being intrigued by them then, but I had no idea I’d love them so much. Jessie is bold, daring and not afraid to take what she wants. Nate is steady, strong and a little bit wild. And definitely in need of someone like Jessie to bring out his bad boy side. 

Because of the way he grew up, Nate fears some of the darker urges he has. Specifically the kind he fantasizes about doing in the bedroom. Outwardly he and Jessie are complete opposites. She’s dark and grungy, with tattoos and an attitude that defies anyone to question her choices. Nate admires her and is attracted to her. He’s afraid of some of the things he wants to do to her. Until Jessie admits, during a silly, drunken game, that she’s been spanked during sex before. Then Nate begins to wonder if his urges aren’t all that bad after all.

Nate is a clean-cut, preppy type. The complete opposite of what Jessie normally goes for. But when she walks in on him getting it on in a public restroom, her opinion begins to change. Instead of the straight-laced jokster, she begins to see the intensity he hides. When he offers to help her with a photography project and they end up spending time alone in a hotel room, she realizes Nate has dark fantasies, one she’s willing to explore. If only he would let her. Instead he’s afraid of hurting her. Afraid of becoming what he grew up with. She’s determined to show him that she’s not only ready, but willing to take everything he wants to give her.

Though they’re outwardly opposites, Jessie and Nate actually have a lot in common. I really love how they connected to and brought out the best in each other.  Especially as it pertains to Nate’s childhood and the way he deals with the anger and shame he feels. Jessie really helped him open up and deal, even going so far as to help him find a counselor. His sexual awakening was especially interesting because it’s usually the woman who has problems dealing with her urges. I liked the way Lee explored the consequences of his childhood as they related to his current sexual practices.

Jessie was a great heroine. She was tough and independent, but also very caring and perceptive.  She isn’t afraid to go after what she wants, but she is cautious about starting something with Nate, since he seems so different than her usual type. Not to mention she doesn’t want to ruin their friendship. Speaking of, I like how tight their friendship was, and how much closer they became over the course of the novel. It wasn’t hard to buy into their romance, considering how much they opened to one another.

The story is sexy, intense and the best kind of dirty.  I was fully immersed and wasn’t ready for it to end.  I wanted to make Nate my own.

4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Review: Promise Me This by Christina Lee

Posted November 13, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

promise me this
Rowena’s review of Promise Me This (Between Breaths #4) by Christina Lee.

A new love will test the boundaries of passion between a privileged boy next door and the tattooed, blue-haired girl who helps him embrace his wild side…

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.

This is the fourth book in the Between Breaths series by Christina Lee. It’s a series that both Holly and myself have come to love. I adore the characters in this series and while this wasn’t my favorite book in the series, I really liked it. I really liked getting to know both Jessie and Nate and I thought their romance was too cute for words.

Jessie and Nate are friends and they have absolutely nothing in common. They’re not each other’s normal type but that doesn’t stop Nate from being attracted to Jessie.  But Nate isn’t going to go there with her because he likes her and he doesn’t do relationships…like ever.  There isn’t anything anyone can tell him to change his mind about that. He’s got some family issues that keep him from trying for more than a bang session with girls and it’s not until Jessie wakes up and smells the Nate is hot coffee that things start to change for Nate too.

This was a really fun story to dig into. Nate and Jessie were really strong characters that leaped right off the pages and straight into my heart (cheesy shit and all). I adored the both of them. I thought their romance was fantastic and their first love scene? Hot damn, Nate! I wanted to say to Nate what this pervy weirdo said to me in a bar once.  I wanted to tell him to, “Give me your lips!” Haha.  That’ll show girls not to talk about the way Nate kisses. He kissed the hell out of Jessie.

I really liked Nate. I felt for him when we find out about his family life. His mom, dad and even his brother. It couldn’t have been easy growing up in that house but I really admired that Nate was able to grow up and be mindful of the person he wanted to be. I liked that he worked hard to make sure that history didn’t repeat itself and I loved the way that he loved his Mom.  Their relationship was great and I really liked the person that Nate’s Mom became over the course of the book.

Jessie was a great heroine for Nate. I thought their differences made them even more perfect for each other. I loved that Jessie didn’t have a dark childhood that she was struggling to overcome. I liked that one part of the main couple came from a normal background and had a great support system in not only their friends, but in their family too.  Far too often, we see a whole lot of dark childhoods from both the hero and heroine in NA books.  I was happy to see that wasn’t the same here. I loved that Jessie was able to show Nate that not everyone is bad and he was a better person than he was giving himself credit for.

Watching these two grow closer and closer made the story so easy to fall in with. I was invested in both Nate and Jessie’s life and I adored just about everything. There were times when I wanted to throttle both Jessie and Nate but in the end, I was so happy with the way everything fell into place that I closed the book with a big ol’ grin on my face. My least favorite part of the story was Nate’s Dad and there were times when I would get so frustrated with Nate’s Mom but none of that stopped that grin from spreading across my face once I was finished.

It was good to see everyone from the previous books. I’m not sure what is next for this series (it’s not the end, is it? I don’t want to say bye to these characters) but if Christina Lee writes it, I will definitely read it. I completely recommend this book.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from InterMix. You can purchase it here or here in e-format.


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Review: Whisper to Me by Christina Lee

Posted July 10, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Rowena’s review of Whisper to Me (Between Breaths #3) by Christina Lee.

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 Book #3 in the Between Breaths series by Christina Lee, a series that I’ve come to love the hell out of.

We met the heroine from this book in the first book in this series, All of You. She’s one of Avery and Ella’s friends and is a total flirt with a thing for athletes. She makes no apologies for who she is but I’ve wondered, reading the other books if there was anything more behind the obvious facade. You could tell that though she liked being a party girl, there was much more to Rachel than even Avery and Ella knew.

When we first see Rachel in this book, already you can see the differences in what she presents to the world and what’s really going on. She’s getting ready to head home to help her Mom with her Mom’s shop and she’s kind of wary of going back home because of …something.  When she gets home, she moves in with her childhood best friends, Dakota and Kai and things to start to slowly shift for her like they always do when she’s home. When shes home, she’s not just Rachel but she’s Accident Rachel and escaping to college was her chance to change that. To get away from the looks of pity. So being home for the summer and trying to get back into the swing of things is a lot harder than Rachel thought.

Especially because Kai is back and in her space both head space and physical space and seeing him again brings everything back to her.

I don’t even know where to begin with this review because there was a whole lot about this book that I liked. I liked that instead of the girl pining away for the boy, things were switched up and it was Kai that has had a thing for Rachel for years. I liked that though Kai had some pretty strong feelings for Rachel, he didn’t let her get away with shit. If she was being dumb, he told her. If she needed a friend, than he was there for her as a friend.  I loved that he made himself available to her in whatever way she needed because he was in love with her. I loved the friendship between Rachel, Piper and Ella. I loved that there was never any judgment for the way that Rachel chose to live her life. They were there for her with whatever she needed and they didn’t turn away when they felt betrayed. They understood and that’s a lot harder than you’d think. I liked that Rachel made the decision to make changes in her life to move on from just everything and that she wasn’t forced into it because of circumstances.

There were times when I wanted to smack both Rachel and Kai for waiting so long to tell each other things but for the most part, I really liked the two of them together. I liked that Kai knew Rachel before she went to college and became the party girl. I liked that Rachel trusted Kai with everything in her heart, even when she was pushing him away at the same time. But the person that got on my nerves was Dakota. Her hurt feelings and her whole secret relationship with Shane, the fact that she needed time to get over the “betrayal” of Rachel having the audacity to keep things from her made me roll my eyes down the street but other than that, this was a pretty fab read and I’m oh so thirsty for more.

Christina Lee is fast becoming my go-to author for New Adult romances. I fall into each of her stories so easily and she does a great job of hooking me from the beginning. There’s none of that beginning hump of info dump to slop through, it’s just awesomeness from the beginning and I appreciate that. This is another fantastic addition to an already pretty fabulous series and if you haven’t read this series, why the heck not? You should definitely fix that. This one is great!

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Intermix. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Review: Whisper to Me by Christina Lee

Posted May 23, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Whisper to Me by Christina LeeReviewer: Tracy
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
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: May 20th 2014
Format: eARC
Genres: New Adult
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

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...

When Rachel was in high school she was in a motorcycle accident with her boyfriend Miles. While Miles came away with a few bumps and scrapes Rachel ended up with a traumatic brain injury. It took her many months in rehab to be completely functional again. When she was back on her feet she headed off to college and hasn’t been home often since then. She’s soon to be a Senior and not really happy about being home for the summer but her mother needs Rachel’s help moving her business to a different location. She’s staying the summer with her best friend Dakota not knowing when she made the plans that Dakota’s brother, Kai, would be in residence as well.

Kai is a young man who is in flux. He is a musician who has been studying music theory in Amsterdam as well as working at a recording studio. An incident and misunderstanding at the recording studio causes issues and that means he’s now back home for the summer. He’s staying with his sister as he works for his family’s casino. Kai is thrilled to see Rachel home. Since he was by her side, as her friend, for the majority of her rehab he came to know her better and eventually fell completely in love with her. He’s never said anything to her or to anyone about it and has tried not to show his feelings. During an emotional moment Rachel and Kai kiss and go a bit farther. Kai is thrilled but doesn’t want to scare Rachel off. He tells her he’s there for her whenever she needs a shoulder to cry on. She takes him up on his offer.Rachel and Kai start spending their nights together doing wonderfully erotic things but not actually going all the way. They get closer and closer emotionally and their chemistry is off the charts.  Neither knows how the other is feeling and they’re both afraid to mess up their friendship. In this case having a close friendship might actually count in the con column rather than the pro column.Where to begin with telling you how much I liked this story?? There were so many things to like I’m not sure where to start.

Kai – he is wonderful. He’s got it goin’ on in the looks department, that’s for sure. He’s half Dutch, half Native American and has piercings in awesome places. How could I not lust after this guy? Lol As sweet and kind as Kai could be – and he really could be – he was a dirty talker in bed and that just made his times with Rachel that much more incredible. He’s smart, fun, funny, loves his family and would do anything for Rachel. Completely sigh worthy in my book.

Rachel is gorgeous and a really good person who’s made some bad decisions in her life. After the accident she was thought of in town as the girl with the brain injury – she hated it. Going off to college she could remake herself into anyone she wanted and she did. She was the party girl who got attached to no one. Unfortunately her worlds collided which caused a bit of strife with all of her friends. She was a bit of a lost soul and Kai helped her find her way.

The friends to lovers story that Lee gave us was really pretty outstanding, I must say. The writing, the story, the secondary characters that all played a role in the romance, the hero and heroine…everything was damned near perfect. The angst in this one was pretty low, which I loved and it made the book that much better.

This has been a wonderful series so far and this was a perfect addition.  It’s one book I’ll definitely be recommending to my friends – if they haven’t read it already – that’s for sure.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Christina Lee

four-half-stars


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