Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Promise Me This (Between Breaths #4) by Christina Lee *Pick of the Litter*

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.

Type: New Adult
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 5 out of 5-- Pick of the Litter

Amazon | All RomanceGoodreads

So this...was pretty much me the entire time I was reading Promise Me This.

You know how sometimes you read a book and it just takes a hit at your heart and when you turn that last page you're left sitting there just...kind of holding your breath because, whew, yeah....it was that powerful? And you really don't know what to do with yourself next? That was Promise Me This for me. And I don't even know if I can explain why exactly. It just...was.

The quick of it is that sometimes the people around you aren't everything you think they are. And a weekend trip for a project can change everything. Something Jessie and Nate find out first hand when their teasing and comfortable--yet not too intimate-- friendship rushes head first into something more during a trip to Nate's home town for an art project. And the time together changes everything these two thought they knew about each other and brings some fiercely hidden secrets to the surface.
"So you're a country boy at heart?" I grinned. "I thought I heard a twang in your voice."

"Maybe," he said with a smirk. "Is that a bad thing? You know what they say about country boys and all of their large equipment."

I snorted a laugh, "That they're very acquainted with the farm animals?"
Okay, so, I freaking loved these two. Seriously loved them. They don't really have all that much in common other than a couple friends, a sense of humor and families that have had a tremendous impact on them in different ways. But the two. No question they were meant to be together. And that they're just awesome people.

Nate who is a rather straight laced, tattoo free, preppy rich boy and manwhore that never lets anyone close and Jessie who is covered in tattoos, artistic, comfortable with her sexual side but not into casual. There was just something about these two. How different they were from each other, their fascination with each other's bodies/skin/thoughts/difference, the absolute connection between them. There was just a force around them. You could feel it. They'd be having a moment together and it was like you just couldn't tear your eyes away. It was so intimate and real and no matter what they were doing-- be it some seriously hot lovin' or just holding hands--it drew you in.

"It's okay, Nate," she whispered against my lips.

I tried to control my breaths while reveling in her expert touch.

"I want you to let loose with me," she said and then gripped me more firmly, making me gasp. "I like it."

A growl erupted from the back of my throat and in two seconds flat, I had her pinned to the bed, my body flattening her to the mattress. 

Fucking hell, I needed to get inside her. She was already inside me, messing with my head.
The sex scenes were captivating and held an edge to them--which ohmigod I seriously loved that. There's nothing over the top but dominance is brought into play which, you know, totally my thing. *drools* Whew, yeah, it was a hot little read. But also something that really pushes Nate's limits since it brings all of his fears over his childhood into the picture. 

The storyline wasn't an easy one. Nate is struggling something fierce with an abusive childhood. With a father who beat his mother, who kept him in fear, was controlling and wanted to dominate everyone. Something Nate's finally facing and working through. I loved that Jessie was there for him. Encouraging him to seek counseling and to talk with someone. That it wasn't a taboo thing. Even if it wasn't an easy step to take. Watching Nate go through all of these emotional moments was just a powerful thing and I appreciate that Lee tackles hard subject matters and really shows there's nothing to be ashamed of in getting help and support from others when dealing with them.

One of the other things I really love about Lee's writing is that while not all of the parents are solid she includes some incredible ones. Something that all too often is left out of YA and NA. While Nate's father was an absolute prick Nate was close to his mother. Loved her and just had some sweet moments with her. And Jessie was incredibly close to her parents. The title actually came into play with this and it just got me. I think it may be the best title for a book I've ever read and quite the message from a parent to child.

Really, there wasn't a thing I would change about Promise Me This. I loved every second of it and my time with Nate and Jessie. With their friends. Their families. And all the little moments in between. I smiled, I cried, I loved the ending and hated it at the same time because it meant the book was over. I don't know if this one will affect everyone else like it did me. I hope it will though because, damn, it's an amazing feeling finding a book that touches you so deeply. One that'll stick with you and maybe just change the way you see things from now on. 

Have you read Lee? Have a favorite?
Do you like opposites attracting storylines?
What was the last read that just...made you hold your breath?
More Lee on herding cats!

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