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Posted October 8, 2013
Posted July 22, 2014
Posted July 7, 2014
I love starting new series and discovering new authors. The Betw
I love starting new series and discovering new authors. The Between Breaths series and Christina Lee was recommended to me by a good friend, and since I have to read series in order...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Avery is a girl wading through her college life with detached sexual encounters and nothing of substance. Her mother's similar lifestyle and the tragic results it brought have taught her that love and relationships are a farce. She sets her sights on hottie Bennett at a party, but he shuts her down hard. Coincidentally, he becomes her new neighbor. Thankfully, he's also a bit of a knight in shining armor, as he demonstrates when he saves Avery from a break-in at her apartment. This starts a sweet friendship between the two of them, especially when they find out their parental situations are actually very similar.
All of You had everything I absolutely love in a new adult book. There was a hot tattoo artist, a slightly damaged bad ass chick, a situation that puts them in peril, and a virgin just waiting to be deflowered. The awesome thing is, in this case, the virginal half of the relationship is the guy. I freaking loved that about this book.
Bennett was definitely a surprise. He's a bad boy with a twist. He's tatted and confusing and complicated. He also paints beautiful pictures and is saving himself for someone who loves him. His mother's track record of going from man to man to man and not caring about any of them, occasionally making babies with them, and then not wanting to care for said babies, has taught him that if you're going to do the deed, make sure it's with someone who means something to you. Then, if something unforeseen happens, at least it would be with someone you love.
Damn. That might make Bennett the most sexy book boyfriend EVER.
Avery has her own issues and a really tragic past. She's buried it deep down below a layer of nonchalance and superficialness. Thankfully, Bennett proves to be her biggest challenge. The friendship they forge was so incredibly sweet. There was all this underlying sexual tension that was totally palpable, but above all that was a kinship and an understanding between Avery and Bennett that was even more sexy than the sexy times.
And yes - despite Bennett's lack of experience, there were sexy times, and wow. Were they fun.
I enjoyed All of You so much, I've already purchased the second book in the series. I look forward to continuing to discover this new-to-me author as I go through all the books in the Between Breaths series.
Posted June 28, 2014
Very good for a first book. Loved Avery and Bennett who grew to
Very good for a first book. Loved Avery and Bennett who grew to be such great adults from such rotten childhoods.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Loved Avery's girlfriends Ella and Rachel. Forget what a sad job out nurses have at times Loved Mrs.Jackson. she was sue a piotil character in Avery's life. Will be getting the next one. You are off to a gear start Christina.
Posted February 10, 2014
This is my first Christina Lee book and it will certainly not be
This is my first Christina Lee book and it will certainly not be my last. I like the way the author took a classic premise of virgin and a more experienced partner as the main couple but spun it for a totally different overview. In this case, the man, Bennett was the virgin and Avery the more promiscuous one. I've not read that format before. Bennett was a sweetie, caring and sensitive without any of the usual 'broken' elements that seem to feature perhaps too much in this genre. As much as I love my angst I enjoyed this story's lighthearted approach. Yes there were still issues but they were dealt with in a more softly softly approach. An endearing story of love sneaking up on you especially for Avery who doesn't do relationships.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
*arc kindly provided by publisher via netgalley*
Posted December 11, 2013
I had been seeing All Of You all around the blogosphere and it l
I had been seeing All Of You all around the blogosphere and it looked like something I might like. Then, a Pal of mine read it and enjoyed, so I bought it as soon as it came out. I really enjoyed it and was impressed that this was a debut novel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
You know, at first I wasn't sure if I would like Avery, but once I really understood where she was coming from, I really grew to like her. Her relationship with her mother is complicated. Her mother never provided a healthy role model with relationships. There's more to it than that, but let's just say they didn't have a good relationship, but Avery felt a sense of responsibility to her, because her younger brother was still living at home. She wanted to make sure her brother was cared for in every way. I really loved the relationship she had with her brother. It was the only healthy relationship she had.
Then she meets Bennett. Based on looks alone, Bennett is pretty great. But, as I got to know him, I saw what a truly special person he was. He also had a bit of a difficult past, but he tried to live his life the best he knew how. When he and Avery meet, there is instant chemistry. Avery doesn't want to acknowledge those feelings, but she is willing to hook up. Bennett has other plans though. He doesn't do casual sex. He wants more from Avery. Once Avery let Bennett in to her life, the walls started coming down and I felt like they both had growth as a result of opening themselves up to love. They were a really great couple.
I don't really have much else to say about the book, but overall, I really enjoyed it. I liked getting to know Avery and Bennett. I also liked Avery's friends and Bennett's friend Nate. I'm looking forward to more from this author. Check it out if you're a fan of NA Contemporary Romance!
~His breathing intensified and I felt his bulge growing against my back. But Bennett said nothing more and made no other moves. I got the feeling her was trying to hold himself back, and there was no way I was going to throw myself at him.
It was the single most sensual moment of my life.-Loc 576
~"They don't make me feel anything. Not one. Damn. Thing." I shoved against his chest and his face crumpled.
"But you... you already own a piece of me. Don't you get it?" I yelled, stumbling back.-Loc 1672
~Before we drifted off to sleep, he whispered in my ear, "Avery, I want us to work through the sad and hard parts together. To always find our way back to each other."-Loc 2679
Posted November 16, 2013
Posted October 2, 2013
Bennett is such a nice change from other YA or NA male chara
Bennett is such a nice change from other YA or NA male characters, because he is the one who is more restrained and who is all innocent in the sexual area. It was seriously appealing to me and a breath of fresh air. I loved his every scene and wanted to know what he was thinking. It was attractive that he was chivalrous and treated her with even more respect than is the norm.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Avery is such a strong character. She knows self defense, and she knows how to get what she wants. She is more like guys in the normal aspect of she doesn't want commitment, just sex most of the time. She normally doesn't really let others in, and it is fun to see Bennett worm his way into her life and then into her heart.
Admittedly, the plot is similar to most of the other NA's the damaged individuals helping each other heal and learning to love again. Still it was addictive, and I am not tired of this story line at all. I know some of my readers are, and this is probably not the story for you if you are burned out, but to me, I enjoyed every page.
I also love that Avery is a lpn and that her job is a passion. There, at the nursing home where she works, she has formed a deep friendship with one of the residents. Her name is Mrs. Jackson and I adored her. She is fiesty, smart and intuitive, and I love the bond that her and Avery has and how much she helps her realize about life, herself and love.
All of You is a great title for this one because we get to see Bennett, who not only wants a hot body, but he wants commitment, emotions, conversation, and most of all--love. He wants every part of Avery and I loved watching Avery realize that she too wanted every part of him.
Both of their families and backgrounds plays into who they have become, and they are still dealing with repercussions of how they grew up and faults of their parents. But it molded them, and they have siblings that depend on them and share in everything that they went through.
The ending was perfect. Everything wove together and it was wrapped up beautifully. I sighed a contented sigh at the end, although I am eager for the companion novel to read more of Lee's masterfully crafted characters and intense chemistry.
Bottom Line: Amazing journey of Avery learning to love, helped along by the hot chemistry of virgin tattoo artist Bennett.
Posted September 28, 2013
4 stars - Two souls that crave and need each other - such a grea
4 stars - Two souls that crave and need each other - such a great ride!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
When trust is taken at a young age, it's hard to trust again. Both of these two characters have trust issues. Both have come from similar childhoods where moms made decisions that affected them profoundly. But each has reacted to things differently. Avery plays the field, never letting a guy in her bed for long and never in her heart. Bennett holds his heart differently, not giving a girl all of him. They need each other to learn that trust again.
When I was asked to read this one, I read the premise and thought - oh yeah...WANTS. Tattoo artist and player girl? Hearts hidden but events changing that? Yes, please. I love it when two people can heal each other. Some may feel it's an over used New Adult theme but I think it's the most hopeful thing about New Adult. So many grow up in less than perfect circumstances and those years right after reaching adulthood is the time to either fix it or to become more jaded. I love the hopeful stories of healing hearts and minds. And the healing in the story doesn't magically happen just because they are attracted to each other - no time and experiences combined with that attraction build the love they need to heal. Loved that.
I so loved Bennett. He's a hot artist. Yeah he does tats too but I love that he's an artist first. He draws and there's an art show in the story. We see a couple of his consult sessions for tattoos and I love how he asks questions and then he draws from their answers, creating something unique for each person. My daughter is an artist and I recognize the process. She starts with someone's idea but then she wants details to make it real. I love how the art comes alive then. So Bennett rang true to me.
While this boy is a virgin, he is no saint - his words. He has some sexy experience and it flows through the story A LOT. Oh yeah, this is steamy and sexy. Everything and anything is fair game except that one last thing. And skills? This boy has some skills.
I loved Avery too. She's protecting herself after some pretty tough pain in her teens. I so got her and I was proud of her. She pulled herself out of the mess that was her upbringing. College and a job are her focus. Kick-boxing and self-defense are important parts of her life along with a couple of great girlfriends. She's strong and determined - perhaps a little too determined to protect her heart. In this one thing, her and Bennett are polar opposites. She's bound up her battered heart to protect it while he's waiting to find the only one that's going to ever own his. Loved them together from the first time they meet.
The story is strong and I didn't want to put it down. I really liked the combination of detail and summary. The balance was perfect. I never felt like I missed anything but got the whole story. Started it one night and woke up early the next day to finish it. The clues gave me what was up with Avery's past and I did figure out most things a little before they happened but I loved it!
If the New Adult bug has bitten you like it has me, then you should totally pick this one up! If that NA bug hasn't bitten, you need to let it and this one is a great one to start.
Posted September 24, 2013
It is not often you find a book where the guy is the virgin and
It is not often you find a book where the guy is the virgin and the girl is the player, and I have to say it is a very refreshing change!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Avery Michaels does not do boyfriends or relationships. She much prefers a one night stand or calling her "buddy" Rob for a quickie. When she spots a gorgeous guy at a frat party, she sets in for the kill. But for once, the guy doesn't take the bait. Bennett Reynolds knows a mean eater when he sees one and Avery is most definitely one. So he flat out ignores her advances. He is a virgin not because he is waiting for marriage, just waiting for love.
Imagine both their surprise when they find out the next day that they live in the same apartment building. Despite their differences, they are still drawn to each other and their chemistry is palpable. A scary night had Avery leaning on Bennett for comfort and she struggles with that since she makes a point to never need anyone. Though they try to fight it for a while, inevitably they want to spend more time together.
Make no mistake, just because Bennett is a virgin doesn't mean there isn't any hotness in this book. He happens to have a very skilled mouth and fingers. The sexual tension between them is crazy hot and it makes their eventual coming together that much better. I really enjoyed the role reversal in this book and loved the sweet guy who knows that he wants to wait for someone special. And while Avery certainly has her issues to work through, I loved that she was respectful of Bennett's choice and never tried to pressure him. I highly recommend this read!
Posted September 21, 2013
I had been anxiously waiting to get my greedy little hands on Al
I had been anxiously waiting to get my greedy little hands on All of You, I'm so glad to say it was worth the wait.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
For being Christina Lee's début foray into New Adult, I say she has done a great job. I loved the characters, flaws and all. The story evoked emotion from me and I always enjoy that in a read, it makes me feel connected to the characters and their journey.
The storyline follows the common New Adult formula of broken girl with a tortured past meeting her White Knight on the road to recovery. At the beginning I did worry that I had read it all before however, Christina's writing and her characterisation more than makes up for the similarities.
Avery is a good time girl, she is not looking to lay down roots and she certainly isn't looking for more than a one night stand. So what is it about Bennett Reynolds that changes the game? Most likely his good looks, hot tattooed body and his heart of gold. I loved Bennett. He had the right combination of the bad boy looks mixed with the good boy charm. Perfect, right?
Avery was stubborn with her reluctance to let Bennett in, but with her past it was understandable why she couldn't trust anyone new to her. I enjoyed the introduction of Mrs. Jackson and the mystery of the intruder in Avery's apartment, I felt these elements brought something different to the story. And the five words or less thing? Those scenes were so sweet and probably my favourite part of the story.
Bennett was a deep soul. I really liked the poetry element and the meaning behind his tattoos. Even though Bennett was a virgin, he was in no way an inexperienced guy. The sexual tension was palpable and there were plenty of sexy times to enjoy ;) The scene in the tattoo parlour was sizzling. I did feel when they finally 'went all the way' there wasn't enough fanfare afterwards. It was very sweet in the way it was written but I just felt for it to be made as a large part of his character and to the plot of the story that a little more attention was deserved.
I found myself highlighting passages just for the sake of Christina's writing alone. I loved her prose, and some of the passages were really romantic. It only makes me excited for more of her work in the future.
If you are a fan of New Adult contemporary romance, I have no doubt you will enjoy this story. There is humour, romance, drama, sexual tension and angst. I laughed, I cried and I got the warm and fuzzies. What more could a girl want from a book?
*I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Posted September 20, 2013
Posted September 19, 2013
First things first ¿ I read this book in three hours which inclu
First things first – I read this book in three hours which included a trip to the Starbucks in the lower level of the hotel I was staying in at the time. I skipped dinner. I ignored my friends. I simply read these beautiful words…and I loved them.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Avery Michaels is not your typical female protagonist, especially in the land of YA/NA books. She’s coarse and crass, aggressively sexual and not at all ashamed to identify herself as a player. I didn’t like her at first– I couldn’t find anything relatable about her. In fact, I thought about flouncing for the first three chapters because of her.
But then the storyline began to move in a way to show how Avery was raised and why she behaved the way she did. So terrified of becoming what she’d grown up hating, she’s swung her actions to the opposite end of the pendulum. I can’t say that her history excused her behavior, but I truly began to understand her. Pain and fear can make the best of us…not so good.
And what kind of a romance would it be without a swoony boy - which brings us to Bennett. Sweet…beautiful…tattooed…virgin Bennett. That’s right…a male virgin. Talk about flipping the stereotypical roles in romance fiction. Bennett is the yin to Avery’s yang – the sweet, disarming, adorable, protective man who wants her for more than just a tumble in the sheets. He’s so sure, so confident in his choice to wait for love before he has sex. It’s not about religious idealism or looking for that mythical “one”, it’s just about finding love instead of just finding release. I liked him…a lot. And every word out of his mouth just makes the reader fall more in love with him.
I think what Christina did well in this book is to show how a person can grow and change and better themselves if they just open their eyes and their hearts. Avery was a woman trapped by fear – of love, of losing herself, of giving everything up to someone who could hurt her. Bennett has his own trust issues but he’s a bit less damaged so he becomes the touchstone Avery needs to see past the things holding her back. Together, they form a close friendship that ends up being a solid base for what becomes a wonderful love story. Though it’s not without it’s share of drama.
I give this book 3-1/2 stars. I think the characters had depth and appeal, I think the author showed their growth through a romance that was more slow burn than immediate fire, and I think many of the secondary characters attributed to a poignant and thoughtful story of getting over your past to find your future. The pacing was rushed at the end, there was a bit of forced drama that really wasn’t necessary and the repetition of certain phrasing was distracting of times. But in the end, I loved the story, loved Bennett, and would absolutely recommend this book to anyone wanting to read a realistic love story.
I’ll be quoting this book for a long time to come and counting down the days until Before You Break, a companion novel to All of You, comes out in 2014.
Posted October 11, 2013
No text was provided for this review.