“There You Stand” (Between Breaths #5) by Christina Lee – My Review

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Title: “There You Stand” (Between Breaths #5)

Author: Christina Lee

Genre: New Adult / M/M Romance

Release Date: 21st April, 2015.

Publisher: Penguin/InterMix

SYNOPSIS

From the author of All of You and Before You Break comes a new Between Breaths male/male standalone romance about the silent, inked up skateboarder and the tattoo artist who unravels him piece by piece…

Tattoo artist Cory Easton has worked long enough at Raw Ink to know, just by looking at a dude, what his body art reveals, what makes him tick, what even makes him scared. Until he meets the quiet and remote Jude York—so unreadable, so unreachable, and so unlike anyone else, he can’t help but arouse Cory’s curiosity.

As captivating and complex as his ink, Jude is a mystery—and Cory’s falling fast and hard under his spell. Against his better judgment to steer clear.

The rumors of Jude’s past overshadow him—whispers of prison and an unmentionable secret that’s kept him in the protective shadows of a local motorcycle club. As Cory probes deeper, he wonders how much he really wants to know. Especially since Jude has awakened something inside him that has been buried too long—and has him feeling completely alive for the first time in forever…

ADD TO GOODREADS

My Review

Complimentary copy received by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I have not really ventured into m/m romance until now, but not for the lack of wanting to. I am a firm believer of ‘love is love’, no matter your gender or race, so please do not misunderstand me. But you know what it is like to remain in your comfort zone instead of trying new things – or, in this case, genres – and taking a leap of faith? Well, most people – including me – are creatures of habit, thus making it difficult to expand our horizon from time to time. This, of course, also manifests itself in the books we choose to read.

But I am thrilled and actually very excited about the fact that I will now be picking up more m/m romance novels because of “There You Stand” by Christina Lee.

Cory and Jude are both young men marked by their pasts, and while their issues stem from different tragic events, the question is if they really are that different from each other? Obviously, I will not ruin the plot for you – that would be cruel – but what I do feel is acceptable to say is that these two men, as well as their connection, are probably some of the most beautiful souls I have come across in a long time.

I adored getting to know Cory, the sexy tattoo artist, and the way he yearns for Jude, the British and secretive skateboarder, made me fall a little bit in love with him myself. I became invested in their story from the very first page, and I love when that happens! And Jude…oh, Jude: what a truly sweet, sensitive man. I wanted to reach into my Kindle, haul him out of it, and hug him so hard! I realise that these are fictional characters, of course, but while reading their story, they felt incredibly real to me.

The mystery surrounding Jude had me very intrigued, and there was never a moment when I felt that the story was unnecessarily drawn out – to put it bluntly: never was there a time when I got bored. Quite the contrary, in fact, because I have been thinking about this book a lot ever since I read The End. Yes, a book hangover set it, and it has not really left me even though it has been weeks since I finished it.

I have been a fan of Miss Lee’s for a while now, and I adore her storytelling skills; she writes with passion, heart, and compassion, and it is always clear to feel all the emotions her characters go through. She also writes some of the most sensual and steamy sex scenes I have ever come across, and I would be lying if I said that is not part of the reason why I pick up her books. 😉 Ultimately, though, the love stories she writes are why I call her one of my all-time favourite  authors, and I want to applaud her for stepping out of her own comfort zone: writing a m/m romance novel and make it realistic. That, to me, is talent.

To sum up my review: if you, like me, are new to m/m romance, I would say that this book is a great starting point. The characters are genuine, the pace of the story is perfect, and the hotness factor is off the charts! The secondary characters compliment the main story as well, there are some pretty laugh-out-loud moments involving a specific dog, and it just gives you that feel-good vibe we all want to experience when reading romance novels.

So why not take a leap of faith and try something new?

Miss Lee: thank you for a fantastic reading experience! I truly love this book, and I just hope it will be available in print someday so that I can put it on my favourite books shelf. ❤

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PREORDER LINKS

Amazon US

Amazon UK

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

(from Goodreads Author Profile)

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys.  She’s addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.  Author of the Between Breaths series from Penguin. ALL OF YOU, BEFORE YOU BREAK and WHISPER TO ME available now, PROMISE ME THIS on October 7th, 2014.  Also Adult contemporary romance TWO OF HEARTS coming from Peguin/NAL on May 5th 2015.

SOCIAL LINKS

Facebook

Goodreads Author Profile

Twitter

Amazon Author Page

“All Of You” (The Between Breaths Series #1) by Christina Lee – My Review

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Title: “All Of You” (The Between Breaths Series #1)

Author: Christina Lee

Genre: New Adult

Release Date: 17th September 2013

Publisher: Intermix (Penguin Group (USA) LLC)

SYNOPSIS

Avery has just met her hot upstairs neighbor. He’s irresistible. Tattooed. And a virgin.

Nursing student Avery Michaels wants nothing to do with dating—she’s perfectly happy single. Privy to too many of her mother’s bad decisions and even worse taste in boyfriends, all Avery can handle is a string of uncomplicated hookups whenever the mood strikes.

When she meets smoking hot tattoo artist Bennett, she wants him—for just one night. But he won’t accept a no-strings-attached arrangement. He lives by a straight-laced code of values based on his own troubled upbringing.

Bennett sees something special in Avery and he wants more from her. Way more. As Avery wrestles with her emotions for Bennett, danger and tragedy force them to open up to each other. And Avery must face the terrifying realization that she wants more from him, too.

So she needs to make a choice—let Bennett go or finally let him in.

ADD TO GOODREADS

My Review

The New Adult genre might be considered “predictable” by some reviewers, but I for one wholeheartedly disagree with such sentiments. True, there are often similar themes recurring in these books, but what matters to me are the STORY, the LANGUAGE, and the FEELINGS they evoke in me. And yes, I do believe that capital letters are in order here.

This is the first full-length novel of Christina Lee that I have read, and I am so happy to end the year 2014 with a bang – yes, you may giggle all you want *wink* – and ”All Of You” was and is a book that fulfilled my hopes of finishing off the year with a great New Adult novel.

I will not go into that many details about the story line – read the synopsis, dear readers, and you will get a very clear picture of what this romance is about – but, as always, my review will be spoiler-free and reflect the thoughts and feelings I had while reading it.

One of the things that stand out in this book is the heroine, Avery: she does not do relationships because of past issues, but she is certain to make that very clear when she meets a guy her libido takes a fancy to. This makes her a very refreshing character in my eyes; she comes off as a rather cynical young woman, but anyone suffering from abuse will tell you that this is a very common character trait, and it deserves respect. She does, however, work in an environment that tugs at her heartstrings, and the more I got to know Avery, the more I saw a gentle and vulnerable side to her, and I could not help but admire this woman.

Meeting Bennett forces Avery to finally take stock of her life and issues, and I confess that I had a big, fat grin on my face when this guy reveals his hopes and wishes for the future: because here is a cute, handsome, genuine guy who does not sleep around – at all – and one who makes Avery trip over her feet because of the hot-as-sin chemistry they share.

I truly loved Bennett – no, scratch that: I adored him. He seems older beyond his years – and once you learn about his past, you fully understand why that is – and the fact that he seems hell-bent on sticking to his code, I found it incredibly sweet how his resolve wavered whenever Avery is around him. This, in my opinion, just goes to show that he is a very believable character, because – and let us be honest here – what hot-blooded male can resist a sexy woman? *wink*

Avery and Bennett are not as different as one would think, and I applaud the author for creating characters that you can relate to completely; their pasts, although different, are a part of who they are, but they strive to make their future become better from what they have known before. Moreover, they are both adamant about the fact that everything should happen on their own terms instead of letting others dictate their choices: that, to me, tells me that they are incredibly strong characters.

Miss Lee’s storytelling skills had me hooked from the very first page; the narration flows really well, and even though this, to me, feels like a very sweet love story, it is also one that left me chuckling and swooning on more than one occasion. I would say, though, that I would have loved a few chapters or an epilogue written from Bennett’s point of view, but that is not to say that the story is lacking in any way – I am just a greedy bookaholic who cannot get enough of this guy.

To sum up: if you love the NA genre, and if you have been searching for a somewhat different story for a while, but still one that will make you swoon and sigh, I would recommend “All Of You”. Avery and Bennett complement each other tremendously, and I actually miss this book couple a lot. Miss Lee, thank you for a wonderful reading experience! You have gained a new fan in this Dane. ❤

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PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Paperback US

Paperback UK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys.  She’s addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.  Author of the Between Breaths series from Penguin. ALL OF YOU, BEFORE YOU BREAK and WHISPER TO ME available now, PROMISE ME THIS on October 7th, 2014.  Also Adult contemporary romance TWO OF HEARTS coming from Peguin/NAL on May 5th 2015.

SOCIAL LINKS

Facebook

Goodreads Author Profile

Twitter

Amazon Author Page

Blog Tour: “When We Met” by A. L. Jackson, Molly McAdams, Tiffany King & Christina Lee – My Review, Excerpt, Teasers & Giveaway

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SYNOPSIS

Today’s premiere New Adult authors combine their talents to tell four original stories from inside one house. 

When four girls decide to live off campus together as juniors at a college in Michigan, they expect it to be their best year yet. Little do they know, it’s a year that will change the rest of their lives.

BEHIND HER EYES by A.L. Jackson 

Unable to live down her ex-boyfriend’s deception, Misha is determined to avoid betrayal. When, the new guy next door, Darryn starts to get under her skin, her defenses start to crumble. But trusting Darryn seems impossible, especially if he’s not sure he can trust himself.

SAVING ME by Molly McAdams 

On the outside, Indy is always ready for a party—but inside she’s breaking. Kier makes a weekly routine of saving the girl next door from herself on Saturday nights… but when will she be ready to remember him on Sunday morning?

FOULING OUT by Tiffany King 

Working at a sports bar, Courtney has become a pro at sidestepping propositions from arrogant jocks—which makes her a more elusive catch for campus basketball star Dalton than he expected. But when he falls for the saucy waitress, Dalton will have to rethink his game plan to prove he’s not the jerk Courtney expects.

BENEATH YOUR LAYERS by Christina Lee 

In order to ace her fashion internship, Chloe must team up with local college dropout and set builder, Blake—much to her chagrin. But after some “hands-on” experience, Chloe will have to ask herself if Blake factors into her carefully laid plans…

 

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

My Review

Complimentary copy provided by the authors through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I have to say that while I have read a few of AL Jackson’s novels, I have never read anything by the other authors – Molly McAdams, Tiffany King & Christina Lee. Well, that ends today! Because I am completely in love with these authors after having read each of their story in “When We Met”. Experiencing how these four college girls – Misha, Indy, Courtney and Chloe – find love has been very emotional, romantic, and fun at the same time.

Seeing as this is meant to be a review, I feel that it is unnecessary to go into too many details about each of the story – it would also feel more like a novella instead, if I were to do this, and that really defies the purpose of a review, in my opinion. Also, you should know by now that I do not want to give you any spoilers, because I really loathe them myself. However, I hope that I will be able to convey how incredibly special this book is to me, thus making you, my readers, wanting to read it yourselves.

But before I begin, I would like to add that each novella is told from dual POVs, and that is truly one of the major reasons as to why my rating of the book as a whole is so high.

The first novella is about Misha & Darryn. Then follows Indy & Kier, Courtney & Dalton, and ending with Chloe & Blake. While each character’s voice is distinctly their own, I am in complete awe over the fact that these four authors have managed to make the overall story blend together so well. I mean to say that although you are able to distinguish each author’s storytelling, thus each novella, from each other, the flow of the story works well, and the setting and the time period as a whole is spot-on.

Furthermore, I am of the belief that these girls, and their subsequent boyfriends, are very realistic and believable characters. Each of them are battling their own fears, perhaps even demons, and each will have to find the courage and open up their hearts to another – and, in doing so, letting go of their pasts and believing in a bright and hopeful future.

These novellas are, after all, love stories, and while they all happen to give you those warm and fuzzy feelings you hope to experience as a reader of this particular genre, there are also some very serious issues being dealt with at the same time. I love how the authors also manage to incorporate some great banter, wit, and, let me not forget to add, steaminess in their stories.

The reason “When We Met” does not get a full 5 star rating from me may seem inconsequential to some readers, but I feel that it would be a disservice if I do not voice my thoughts on this. Or, rather, one thought only: because although this book is near perfect to me, I feel that each character – all of them, yes – contain so many layers and hidden depths, and that I, in some cases, did not get to the bottom of the characters I was reading about at the time. So, to me, each story could very easily be turned into full-length novels – and make no mistake, dear Miss Jackson, Miss McAdams, Miss King & Miss Lee: I would LOVE to see this happen in the future! *hint-hint* That is why I choose to give the book 4.5 stars instead, which still makes it a favourite book in 2014 to me.

In my opinion, these novellas have a very strong message to give: to never give up hope even when you feel that all is lost; to believe in yourself, even when others try to put you down; and, above all, to never let go of love once you have found your soul mate. As long as you have this special person as your love, everything will be alright: because you are not alone. Someone is there to hold, comfort, and love you no matter what life deals you with.

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PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon US

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iBooks

Kobo

 

 Enjoy the excerpt!

SAVING ME – MOLLY McADAMS

“I’m about to embarrass the hell out of myself, but I don’t care anymore. I feel like when I’m near you, I’m safe, and it makes no sense to me. It is the weirdest feeling to have with someone I only know three things about.”

My eyebrows rose at that and I turned to fully face her. “Three?”

“Yes. Three things. Your name is Kier, you’re extremely quiet, and you are the biggest puzzle I’ve ever tried to figure out.”

I’m the puzzle?”

“Yes!” she said in exasperation.

That had to have been the most backward statement I’d ever heard. “And why am I a puzzle?”

“Because of what I just told you. I don’t know you, you don’t even talk to anyone, and I feel safe when you’re near me! Why is that? I feel like I’m going crazy because all I’ve been able to think about for these past two weeks is you, and how every time you open your mouth it’s like déjà vu, and I just—I don’t know what’s happening.” Her green eyes were massive and she looked like she was on the edge of losing her shit.

I took a few steps toward her and lowered my voice. “Calm down, Indy. You’re fine.”

“I just don’t understand,” she said loudly, the pitch of her voice rising. “Do you believe in past lives?” she asked suddenly.

I paused, a laugh slipping past my lips. “I’m sorry, what?”

“Past lives? Like that whole stupid YOLO saying is really just bullshit, because we’re about to get another shot down the road?”

I tried to contain my smile, but she was really fucking adorable when she was like this. “What does that have to do with what you’re freaking out over?”

“In stories with soul mates they find each other no matter what in every life. And it’s like they have a weird connection they can’t explain.”

I closed the distance between us and dropped my head so I was looking directly into her eyes. “Are you saying we’re soul mates?”

“No!” she said, horror lacing her voice, her cheeks filling with heat.

“I think you were,” I teased.

“I wasn’t, I was just saying that in stories . . . I don’t know what I’m saying, okay? But I don’t get what’s going on with us!”

“So now there’s an us?”

“Oh my God,” she whispered. “I need to stop talking.”

I laughed and took a step back. “I’m teasing you, Indy. And no, I don’t believe in past lives. I think we have this one, and that’s it.”

She sighed, and her body visibly relaxed. When she spoke again, she sounded exhausted—and in a way, defeated. “I don’t, either, but I can’t figure out how to explain this feeling like I know you.”

I ground my jaw for a few seconds as her green eyes held mine. “Because maybe you do know me. You’re just not ready to remember why.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

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A. L. JACKSON

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Come to Me Quietly, Come to Me Softly, Pulled, When We Collide, and If Forever Comes.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

To stay up to date with important news on A.L. Jackson, including new releases, sales, and exclusive specials and excerpts, text “jackson” to 96000 to subscribe!

Newsletter http://bit.ly/ALJacksonNewsletter

Website www.aljacksonauthor.com

Facebook www.facebook.com/aljacksonauthor

Twitter www.twitter.com/aljacksonauthor

Pinterest www.pinterest.com/aljacksonauthor

Instagram @aljacksonauthor

mollymcadams

MOLLY MCADAMS

Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband and furry four-legged daughters. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

Come be my friend!

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Tiffany King

TIFFANY KING

USA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iPhone and iPad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

For information on any of Author Tiffany’s titles, visit her blog at www.authortiffanyjking.blogspot.com

Where to connect with Author Tiffany

Twitter- @AuthorTiffany

Facebook- AuthorTiffanyKing

Pinterest- Tiffany King

Blog- authortiffanyjking.blogspot.com

Goodreads- Tiffany King

Email– authortiffany@yahoo.com

christinalee

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 gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.  Author of the Between Breaths series from Penguin. ALL OF YOU, BEFORE YOU BREAK and WHISPER TO ME available now, PROMISE ME THIS on October 7th, 2014.  Also Adult contemporary romance TWO OF HEARTS coming from Peguin/NAL on May 5th 2015.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChristinaLee

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7060187.Christina_Lee

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Christina_Lee04

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Christina-Lee/e/B00D1W5RSE/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1414001350&sr=8-2-ent

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