October 20, 2014

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: Promise Me This (Between Breaths #4)

The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

Promise Me This (Between Breaths #4), by Christina Lee
Published October 7, 2014
Publisher: Intermix/NAL Trade
Format: e-book, obtained from the publisher
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) 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.

I've decided that everyone needs a little Nate in their lives. A man who is outwardly the pretty, charming boy, but inwardly, he's a closet bad boy. That's a change of pace, right? Nate single-handedly made Promise Me This the best book in Christina Lee's Between Breaths series yet. 

Nate comes from an abusive father. His brother is already showing signs of being just like him, and Nate is determined to not let the other men in his life define him. But, the fact is, Nate is sometimes prone to a little violence himself. Granted, it's usually in the bedroom, and it's of the sexy nature, but to Nate, it's all black and white. Violence is violence, and it has no place in his life. Except, then Nate has a chance to be with Jessie, a girl he's crushed on for a long time. And, Jessie's not exactly a shy violet. As she starts to bring out those parts of Nate he'd rather keep hidden, he has to decide whether he's capable of showing her it all.

I can't imagine growing up with a father like Nate's. He beat his wife within an inch of her life, and even took a few turns at his two sons from time to time. Having a dad like that would absolutely shape the man a boy becomes. So, the fact that Nate is as sweet and chivalrous as he is is a bloomin' miracle. He's made it his life's mission to not grow up to become his dad and to eventually save his mom. Somehow, Nate has translated that into tramping down every urge he has to rough somebody up - whether it be in anger or in passion. And, that's so sad. Because those emotions - anger and passion - mean you can feel and that you're alive. As a result, Nate is practically dead inside. 

And then there's Jessie. She's artistic and creative and she brings a beacon of light to Nate's drab existence. She's had her own problems in life, but somehow Jessie has become comfortable in her own skin. And, that example is exactly what Nate needs. On an impromptu trip to Nate's old neighborhood, Jessie starts to chip away at Nate's carefully constructed composure. Because, she likes the rough stuff when it's done for fun. And, Jessie becomes determined to show him the difference, and that sometimes it's okay to unleash his inner beast. 

I felt so badly for Nate. I get why he didn't know the difference. And, I also get why he was so scared to discover the difference. The burning desire to be as unlike his father as possible is what made me love this character so much. And, Jessie's persistence and reluctance to quit made me love her. Jessie and Nate were so perfect for one another. Nate found his perfect match - the girl who challenges him and loves him unconditionally. She loves all of him - even his wild side. ESPECIALLY his wild side. 

Promise Me This was told in dual POV, and thank goodness for that. Getting inside Nate's head was imperative for this story, I think. The chemistry and passion between Jessie and Nate was off the hook, and it was the perfect complement to the story. Of all the characters we've met in the Between Breaths series so far, these two were my favorite.     

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