Release Day Promo and Reviews: Whisper to Me: Christina Lee

Whisper to Me (Between Breaths#3)
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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.

I padded to the kitchen and reached for a glass, unsure if Kai was even awake. As I turned the faucet on low, I heard it—the soft hum of his bass. My heart leapt in my chest. I didn’t know what the hell I was so anxious about. But the anticipation of seeing him, just talking to him alone, had revved my pulse to a feverish tempo.

But maybe he didn’t want any company tonight.

I wandered over to his door, unsure of what I’d say or even if I’d knock. Instead, I stood motionless, listening to him play. It was a low and drowsy strum, and I swayed against the wall, my senses dulled. During a longer pause, my knuckles tapped once and then twice against the wood.

I heard the sounds of what could have been his returning his heavy bass to its stand and papers rustling, and then the door slowly creaked open. Kai stood in front of me with his hair hanging loose at his shoulders. He had on those obscenely tight gray skinny jeans from earlier and nothing else.

My gaze followed the line of his neck, across his shoulder, to the muscular biceps propping the door open. I spotted the set of free weights resting beneath the stand of his bass. He’d definitely been working out in the three years since I’d last seen him. He wasn’t overly muscular like some athletes I’d been with, just lean and fit.

My gaze tripped over to his sculpted pecs and landed on his nipples. His pierced nipples—that seemed to harden at my perusal.

Fuck, that was hot. Since when did I think silver hoops dangling from a guy’s nipples were sexy? But on Kai, they worked. Like fruit waiting to be plucked, they hung above the trunk of his sculpted abdomen, while a smattering of fine hairs branched from beneath the button of his pants.

Hot damn.

“What’s up, Rachel?” He swallowed thickly. “Did I wake you?”

“I . . .” I finally met his eyes. “I couldn’t sleep and I heard you were up.”

“Yeah, me neither.” He moved aside to allow me to pass into the room. “I was trying to be quiet.”

“Actually, most of the time your music lulls me to sleep.”

“Yeah?” he said in a low and gruff voice. “Is that why you’re here—so I can put you to sleep?”

“No, you ass.” I grinned. “Well, maybe.”

When his eyes turned dark, I mumbled, “Just kidding.”

Rachel's life was destroyed in an instant three years ago. Her whole life changed and she needed time to recover.  Then she made her escape to a new life in college. She lost her boyfriend and left her best friends, Dakota and  her brother Kai, and Shane. She met new friends Avery and Ella in college, but she did not share her past pain and tried to be a new person. She kept up a facade as a more outgoing flirt with a penchant for jocks. But now she is home again with her old friends and back to being that girl she was before she left.

Kai was there for her during the hardest time in her life and developed feelings for his sister's best friend. After they went their separate ways, he tried to forget her, but it was difficult. And now that they are back together for the summer, it is impossible to ignore the feelings he has been carrying around for her. But his life is a mess and he knows he is not good enough. He is rough, tatted, pierced, and loves music. A far cry from the preppy jocks that seem to be her type. And he does not think she feels the same way about him.

But as they spend more time together she is remembering how Kai has always been there for her. She begins to start seeing him as more than a friend, but someone she is attracted to that really knows and cares about her. But Rachel is a girl who lost her way. She has put up walls and kept people out. Her personality had undergone changes over the years and she is trying to figure out who she is and where she fits in. 

It is confusing for both of them navigating between the attraction they are feeling and resolve it with their past friendship. Kai won me over early on. He was so sweet, protective, and had such strong feelings. But he was totally vulnerable, had fears, insecurities, and was afraid to scare her away. He also had a lot of guilt. I loved that in this story, it was the guy who held the torch for years.  And she really had no idea how he felt since he had hidden it so well. They both had crutches to help them cope with their issues and the void in their lives. 

But she has kept secrets from him, her old friends, and new friends. She has to deal with her worlds colliding and coming clean to all involved. She really needs an anchor and to let someone really in. And he needs to find direction for his life. He needs passion and purpose to overcome feeling numb. And their decisions do not only affect themselves but also their whole support system. 

Their connection was sweet and built on history. I loved how Kai had been there for her in various capacities and really knew how she had changed. Together their sexual tension and chemistry was hot. And his dirty talking was so in contrast to his soft, sweet side. But their communication seemed to be really good in some ways and lacking in others. So they were often confused about the others' intentions. And their lives and goals were not always compatible. 

Can they overcome all of the obstacles, open up,  and make it more than just a summer secret fling?

This is the first book I have read in this series, but I had no trouble reading it as a stand alone. I enjoyed her friends from college, Avery and Ella, even though I have not read their books in this series(but now I want to). And I liked their best friends Shane and Dakota. I would to see their full story in another book. There also seemed to be a little tease with his cousin Nate and a girl named Jessie. 

I really liked Christina Lee's writing style. It  flowed well, sucked me in, and kept me enthralled in their story. It was told in both points of view which was very important due to their confusion and hidden feelings.  The characters were complex and well developed. The plot line was interesting. Overall it was an engaging story about friendship, love, and finding your own way. It was funny, sexy, sweet, and Kai was totally swoonworthy. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rachel and Kai have known each other for years. Rachel’s best friend, Dakota, is also Kai’s sister. When a motorcycle accident caused Rachel to spend months recovering from near-fatal injuries, Kai and Dakota rallied around her and made sure she always had support. 

Since running away to college, Rachel has created a new version of herself, and has worked to keep the two parts of her life separate. Rachel projects an image that is confident and independent. Her college friends know little of her past, and what they do know is shades of the truth. Her family and friends from home wouldn’t recognize the girl who has spent the last three years in college. But returning home to help her mom move her business means facing her friends, at least for the summer. 

Kai is still trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. After losing his music industry internship in Amsterdam, he is living with his sister, trying to stay true to himself, while also pleasing his disapproving father. 

When the two old friends find themselves living together for the summer, the connection from their childhood begins to grow again. Both are attracted to the other, but neither have ever expressed those feelings to the other. And as their physical relationship develops, both are afraid to push for a deeper relationship, and the secrets keep piling up. 

I liked Kai and Rachel together. Beyond their history, they each understand the other so well that they think they know what is best and keep from challenging the other emotionally. Even when they were not acknowledging deeper feelings between them, each watched out for and tried to protect each other in such a way that if their families had been looking for it, they would have seen what was going on. 

Whisper to Me is sweet without being saccharine, and emotional without being overwhelming. It was entertaining with great, relatable characters and a fun plotline. While I haven’t read the other books in the series, Whisper to Me stands alone nicely. The couples from the previous books make a few appearances, at important plot points, and have peaked my interest in their own stories to the point where I will seek out All of You and Before You Break, as well as watch for Promise Me This, the next book in the series.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

All Of You (Book 1)
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Trade paperback print will be available on July 1st, 2014.

In this powerfully emotional debut New Adult novel, 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.

Before You Break (Book 2)
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In trade paperback print on October 7th , 2014. It can be read as a standalone.

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.

More upcoming on Goodreads

Christina Lee Website/Facebook/Twitter

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/InterMix. ALL OF YOU and BEFORE YOU BREAK available now, WHISPER TO ME on May 20th, 2014. 

Also the creator of Tags-n-Stones (dot com) jewelry.


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