Before You Break (Between Breaths Series #2)

Before You Break (Between Breaths Series #2)

by Christina Lee


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New Adult sensation Christina Lee is back with a sexy and emotional tale about a bad boy on the edge and a good girl about to lose control....

A college baseball star isn’t supposed to have skeletons in his closet. But Daniel Quinn is hiding a past so dark, he refuses to let anyone get close. Except there’s something about Ella Abrams that goes beyond attraction—something that makes him want to open up.

Ella has suffered enough heartache 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 a suicide help line 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 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….

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451470874
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/07/2014
Series: Between Breaths Series , #2
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Christina Lee lives outside of Cleveland with her husband and son--her two favorite guys. She's addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. Reading has always been her favorite pastime, so creating imaginary worlds has become a dream job. She is the author of All of Me, Before You Break, and Whisper to Me. She also owns her own jewelry business, called Tags-n-Stones, where she hand-stamps meaningful words or letters onto silver for her customers.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher


“Hot, sweet, emotional, page-turner, awesome.”—Monica Murphy, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend

“A fresh and fascinating twist on the classic love story.”—New York Times bestselling author Jasinda Wilder

“A one-sitting read...From steamy to sweet and every emotion in between, Christina Lee had me glued to the pages in her unforgettable debut, All of You. This is one New Adult you don’t want to miss.”—New York Times and USA Today bestselling author A.L. Jackson

“Steamy, honest, and full of heart...A fantastic debut!”—Roni Loren, national bestselling author of Not Until You and the Loving on the Edge series

“Lee’s first novel is a wonder.”—Romantic Times

“A hot New Adult novel with amazing characters and a sizzling romance.”—Dark Faerie Tales

Customer Reviews

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Before You Break 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
miztrebor More than 1 year ago
Before You Break surprised me in many ways. I read Lee’s Promise Me This which is another book in her Between Breaths series. I enjoyed that one. I knew I’d like Lee’s writing from that novel alone, and it came through in Before You Break, as well. What I wasn’t expecting is for Lee to have another set of characters that I didn’t want to stop reading about. The characters weren’t the only compelling things in this book. The portrayal of their stories, both the trouble pasts and their current issues, felt very real and relatable on many levels (even if readers haven’t gone through the exact experiences). I also appreciate the pace the romance took. It was as far from an instalove as you can get, but wasn’t frustrating to wait for either. There’s a small detail that irked me a bit while reading the book, but at the same time I was able to push it aside because of how amazing everything else in this story was. It’s rare that I can ignore a detail like this one, but the fact that it didn’t ruin my reading of this book (when it could have) shows me the strengths in Lee’s writing and will keep me coming back to each of her books in this series and more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SezjbSB More than 1 year ago
Before You Break is an emotionally sweet and at times heartbreaking contemporary romance, between two people who have lost someone close to them and blame themselves for the deaths. Ella first notices Quinn whilst dating her no good loser boyfriend, she finds herself drawn to him and he to her, but Quinn carries a burden of guilt that has him unable to start a relationship with anyone, even Ella who he is immensely attracted to. After the death of her brother she decides to become a psychologist and as part of her course she works at a suicide prevention hotline, it's here that she first takes a call from Daniel (which is actually Quinn) who is troubled and thinking of harming himself, Ella who answers the calls with her full name Gabrielle "Gabby" forms a connection with him, unbeknownst to each other about each's true identities. Chemistry sizzles and sexual tension is in the air whenever these two are in the same vicinity, the romance is hot and so very well written, we have appearances from Avery and Bennett from the first book there is something here to please everyone. This series is so good, so addictive and very enjoyable to read, I look forward to the next book in the series. For fans of new adult contemporary romances this is one series you need to pick up.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Christina Lee takes on the theme of grief and overcoming tragedy in her paperback release of Before You Break, the second book in the Between Breaths series. This a new adult book that will take readers to the edge of the cliff before reeling them back in. With strong themes and intense emotions this that book that will make you think about your own life and what it means. Lee does a remarkable job of showing what it means to help save a life and how that can change you. A good addition to the series! What I liked: Ella lost her brother to suicide. She coped. She survived. But it still changed her profoundly. She seems to have moved on, going into psychology and helping out at the local suicide prevention line. Lee gives readers a character who has turned tragedy around and made it her life's mission to help others. I thought Ella was strong and courageous but she is still wounded from her brothers death and it shows up in her relationships. I found her inspirational, yet still vulnerable and raw at times. Quinn lost his best friend in a car wreck that he blames himself for. He didn't have the same experience that Ella did with grief. Out of guilt he took on his best friends plan for his life, down to where he went to school, what sport he played, what fraternity he joined, but it still didn't take away the pain. He is depressed. He is looking for a way to take the pain away and he calls the suicide line for someone to talk to. Lee gives readers a tragic hero in Quinn, someone who needs hope. Little does either character know in the beginning that they know each other. Quinn is in the same fraternity that Ella's boyfriend is in and he watches as she is mistreated by Joel. All along Quinn and Ella under other names are talking to each other on the hotline. Helping each other understand their feelings and what is going on inside them. This is a really intense book. The themes are emotional and heavy, yet the book somehow keeps from taking the reader to a dark place. If offers hope for a different future and helps the reader to see that even when things look bad there is still hope. I loved these two characters together but and Lee uses a slow build up that will drive some readers crazy. You want to see them get together but readers have to realize that they have some pretty nasty obstacles and things to overcome and it wouldn't just happen in a few days. I liked the build up of the tension and the fact that the characters didn't just hop into bed after the first chapter. When you write book with such a deep theme, you have to give that a little respect and I think that is what Lee did here and I applaud her for it. What I didn't like: The setting for most of the book is the fraternity house. Given that, that is where Quinn and Ella first meet and get to know each other, it was somewhat understandable. But I wanted to see them in a different setting. I liked when they visited Ella's family and different times that they spent off campus. I wanted less frat house and more diversity in the setting, but it was still a very good book. Bottom Line: There were parts of this book that I really loved. The pacing is probably not what most readers are expecting. It's a slow simmer, compared to a rolling boil in the romance department. The themes are heavy and it bogs the book down now and then with it's intensity, but the story of hope that shines through is amazing. Lee does a great job with another book in the Between B
AlwaysYAatHeart1 More than 1 year ago
 I loved All Of You, the first book in this series, and totally fell for Bennett.  I couldn't wait to read more from Christina Lee in this companion novel, to see what she had in store for her readers next.   Before You Break is Ella and Quinn's story.  We met Ella in All Of You.  She was Avery's best friend.  Ella is in a relationship with a real loser, but has been afraid to cut ties, a fear which stems from a tragedy in her past.  All that changes when she has a little too much to drink and winds up on the bathroom floor with none other than the mysterious and broody Quinn taking care of her.  Quinn carries his own grief and pain, which threatens to consume him.  He doesn't think he deserves anyone, especially Ella, but boy does he want her. Ella AKA Gabriella, works at a Crisis Hot Line, which Quinn AKA Daniel, calls in to distraught, broken, and ridden with self-imposed guilt.  Daniel and Gabby form one type of relationship, while Ella and Quinn form another.  When all the pieces meld together and the truth becomes clear, will they be able to hold things together, or will everything they have break apart? I did enjoy both of these characters, though Bennett and Avery are still my favorites, at least at this point. Ella is a bit insecure of herself, the way she looks, and the like, and has let circumstances and insecurity influence her, justifying her relationship with frat boy jerk Joel - even though her friends have tried to get her to see the truth about him.  Quinn sees her for the beautiful person she is and wants her to know this completely.  He is wonderful with her, even though he is battling his own demons.  The romance was sweet and sexy.  I am reminded of when Bennett told Avery in All Of You that he was a virgin, not a saint. That said, though neither Quinn or Ella are virgins, there is a lot build-up before they actually do the deed, and it is really hot.  The story also deals with some serious subject matter related to death, grief, and suicide, as well as learning to come to terms with and cope with the consequences of both.   Overall, I enjoyed Before You Break and would recommend it to fans of New Adult Contemporary Romance.  
TheAutumnReview More than 1 year ago
First impression: I saw baseball player and was immediately interested. Shallow? Probably.  The story: What I've come to realize about Lee's writing is that she writes some deep issue stories. Ella and Quinn's story was no different. The thought and care that goes into writing a story like this one was truly felt in every word. I won't go into the description of the story, because I think it's best to read a story like this and experience for yourself. But, I will say that watching these two learn to manage and heal from their past was quite a heart-felt journey. The characters: I wasn't too sure about Ella going into this book. It's not that I didn't like her, but I didn't feel like I knew much about her. After learning more about her past, I really felt sympathy for her. I learned that she's caring, aware of others needs and really does want to make a difference. I ended up really liking Ella.  Quinn made the book for me. I loved his character so much. He was thoughtful, sweet and respectful. I absolutely loved how he valued and treasured Ella. He made her feel special, but he gained just as much from his relationship with her. I really loved them.  Ella and Quinn have great chemistry. Like most NA's, there are some steamy moments between them, but it takes time for this couple to develop a relationship. I appreciate that Lee took the time with this couple. They needed to heal individually before they could truly open themselves to each other.    Overall: I enjoyed Before You Break. It's not a light read, but I was left feeling hopeful and happy for Ella and Quinn. I'm looking forward to continuing on with the series. I'd recommend this one to NA fans and would also say that this one could be read as a stand alone.  Quotes: ~"I'm not going to kiss you, Ella. Not tonight." She sagged against me, her forehead landing on my shoulder.  "Kissing you would be too easy," I whispered in her ear. "And you're not a girl I want to be easy with."-Loc 953 ~He was a living and breathing paradox. Laid-back and innocent just a moment ago and now so intense it left me defenseless, threatened to steal every last piece of my heart.-Loc 1783
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
I wanted to read Before you break because I loved Avery and Bennett's story in . I would have wanted to read it anyways because of the synopsis. Suicide is a issue dear to my heart because of my dad, and reading about it, especially about a suicide prevention hotline gets my attention immediately. I know that if it is written well, then I will identify with the characters because they are someone who is depressed and thought about it like me, or they have lost someone close to them and have to deal with the guilt, loss, pain, being misunderstood, and that gaping hole the person left.  Before You Break was well written in that aspect. Ella lost her brother Christopher and felt a lot of guilt about if she could have done something differently, and what would have happened if he got more help, felt more loved, and a number of other things. But she has turned the tragedy into her life passion, she took the steps she needed to deal with her grief and found a way to channel it by studying to become a psychologist and volunteering at the suicide prevention hotline.  The story with the anonymous caller (and you will figure out things before they do, but it actually works out very well and I like how that story line turned out) really touched something with Ella. She felt like she was hearing things that Christopher would have said or done, and she just wanted him to know that he was a good person, and it is amazing how he touched her and how she was able to help him.  Quinn is amazing. I was drawn to him because of the respect he had, and the control. That he didn't seem to fit right in and that was a good thing. The proper way that he treated Ella when Joel was nothing but a douche that needed to be smacked. I know that he was dealing with a lot from his past, also guilt and pain but blaming himself and thinking he was a terrible person and didn't deserve to be happy. His story is so sad as well and I couldn't imagine carrying the burden that he did. And oh his parents, they really got under my skin. They needed to step up and quit worrying about politics and their public image and see how ostracized and how much their son was hurting, they were letting him slip away. I am so glad that he had that sliver of hope though, and that he found Ella and through her the beginning of healing.  They had some undeniable chemistry, and I loved how it was taking it slow. Also that they had an emotional connection and could easily talk to each other. They also had things in common, like video games, something besides making out (although I love those types of scenes, for it to be realistic you need some other common interests besides the physical attraction). They saw something in the other person that made them feel more comfortable and brought out the best in them, but also that they could bring whatever to the table and they would still be accepted and loved.  This book has a somewhat high level of profanity if that isn't your thing. GD is thrown around some as well as Avery and Ella's style of talking to each other which you know already if you read the first book. That aside I love how real their friendship is. That they know each other and aren't afraid to speak the truth in order to help the other have what they deserve and see things more clearly.  So, my dear friends who are burnt out on NA, while this does have some unique aspects (the hotline, the anonymous caller) while I loved this story hard core, it may not be your cup of tea because there are the two that are from a darker past who find healing in the other and the good in themselves, and of course the sexual progression is much the same--although hot, steamy and amazing for me. Just the disclaimer.  I think that the ending was realistic and hopeful and it gave me the answers that I wanted and things wrapped up. Although I'd love more time in their heads and I can't wait to see how they are doing along with Avery and Bennett through the eyes of Rachel in the next book.  Bottom Line: Sexy story of a couple in different stages of healing from their pasts as they fall hard for each other.
Shadowplay4u More than 1 year ago
Before You Break is an exquisite masterpiece that showcases the transforming power of love and hope on the deadly effects of this life. The story that lies within the pages of this book is utterly boundless in its depth and power. Few realize the true impact of giving generously of your heart and soul to another, and fewer still actually offer their help to another. It’s not easy to give of yourself in order to help another rise from the ashes of their life, but it is immensely worth the reward of watching them change into the person that you have always seen in the depths of their soul. To help save a life is one of the most treasured and fulfilling endeavors that you can ever undertake. Please do not allow fear and insecurity to stop you from touching the life of one who is waiting for your words of healing and compassion to keep them moving forward and to spur them to come to life. Ella is a girl who has faced horrific tragedy and has pulled herself out by the sheer power of her will. She now wants to dedicate her life to helping others deal with similar horrors. Her heart drives her to give of herself, but is it also holding her back? She has gotten very comfortable with the life she has created, but is she really happy with it? It is really her life, or does it belong to another? Quinn has faced his own personal horrors, and he lives a shell of a life in order to honor another. He has lost himself, and in the process has watched his heart grow cold and wither. He doesn’t know who he is anymore, and he desperately needs a change of perspective. His jolt back to life comes in the form of Ella who brings out his desire to really live, his hope for true forgiveness, and his long repressed need to allow himself to love. Will Ella bring light into Quinn’s world and help raise him above the darkness, or will his darkness only end up consuming and destroying her along with him? I was completely entranced by Ella’s and Quinn’s world. While coming from different social statuses, they are two hurting souls who are inexplicably drawn to each other in many different ways. Quinn finds himself wanting to protect and love Ella as he watches her being sadly neglected by her boyfriend. While Ella can take of herself, she is only beginning to understand who she really is and what she desperately needs and wants. Her desire to reach out and help others who have gone through what she has experienced leads her unknowingly straight to Quinn. While their friendship begins to deepen into something that neither of them expected and cannot easily deny, they find themselves captivated by each other and wanting to do all they can to heal the hurts that they see reflected in the other’s eyes. There is an immense amount of depth and intensity in the supporting characters that took my breath away. I wasn’t expecting them to be so well fleshed out and intriguing. I felt a tinge of sadness at not hearing more of their stories after falling in love with them as well. There are so many dimensions that play out on these pages that I don’t feel that this review could ever give it its proper justice. This is something that you have to read and experience for yourself, and you will walk away with a completely different mindset. This is the first book that I have read by Christina Lee, and I have been completely blown away by it. Her story ripped through my heart, tore it shreds, and then quietly and tenderly healed it back together. The intensity and pain that flowed through the pages were lovingly offset by its passion and hope. The brilliant complexities of the characters and their relationships have given me a deep admiration and humble respect for this amazing author. Her heart and her passion shine through the words and hopes of the individual characters, and their journey has instilled a deeper appreciation within me for taking on the role of an encourager and helper. Such roles have always been looked down upon as being weak and meaningless, but in retrospect, if not for people who have played those roles in my own life, I would not be where I am today. I want to offer my heartfelt thanks and immense gratitude to those who tirelessly offer up kind and encouraging words to those they see growing dim and weary from the troubles of life. I pray that you always feel the powerful impact of your words and that your heart would swell with love for those hurting souls that you come in contact with.
These-Pretty-Words More than 1 year ago
Perfect Swoon Let me just say this, ya’ll…one thing I’ve learned reading Christina Lee’s books? SHE GIVES GOOD SWOON. I mean seriously. First Bennett rocked my world in all his tattooed virginy glory. And then she gives me Quinn. A sweet, tender, baseball playing CAR GUY. I mean, talk about weaknesses!!! I can’t resist a guy with a passion for cars who’s sexy, sweet and unnnfffffffffff. Example? I absolutely loved the two sides of this story, how Ella and Quinn were not only getting to know each other in person, but also sharing secrets on a deeper level without actually knowing it. It made their connection just tug at all my heartstrings and I wanted them to be together so badly. The push and pull and the tension—which was also unbelievable in All of You—was just gah, so freaking good. And man, can girlfriend write a first kiss… If you have yet to experience Christina’s words (poor you) and her boys (no really, poor you!!) and her lovely stories, what the heck are you waiting for? If you like your romance with fresh plots, complex characters and seriously good love, you’re missing out if you aren’t reading her yet. Go grab yourself a copy of All of You and devour it, and then when Before You Break hits shelves next week, grab it immediately!!
WorldsCollide More than 1 year ago
An absolutely sweet, emotional, lovely romance, Before You Break was a fantastic read. I loved this book. It was truly enjoyable and just perfect. From the romance, to the secrets, this book was brilliant. Ella was a lovely heroine. She was very real and easy to like. After her brother's death, she had to deal with guilt and grief, but she pulled herself together and made something good come out of it. She was strong, likable, and I thought she was great. Quinn was also wonderful. This man was so sweet. He had so much guilt from his best friend's death building up but, even though he thought himself a monster, it was obvious that he had a truly good heart. He was so nice and sweet and utterly adorable. If you can't already tell, I totally loved him. He was perfect. The romance was lovely. I love how Ella and Quinn fell for each other both on the phone and in real life. I thought that was really sweet. They were a perfect match. And, the chemistry between them was hot. Even before they went all the way, the sparks were flying. I thought these two were perfect together. The plot was fast paced and I was hooked the entire way through. All the drama of Quinn's past continuing to haunt him kept things interesting and I was completely riveted. I really enjoyed the story and the ending was lovely. Before You Break was a brilliant New Adult romance. I absolutely loved this book. It was emotional, romantic, and really enjoyable. Romance lovers, this book is a must read. *I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
AboutThatStory More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful, touching story told from dual POV’s. It was so emotional right from the start and it totally pulled at my heart strings.  Ella and Quinn were great characters with tragedy in their pasts and watching their relationship develop was sweet, heart wrenching at times and extremely emotional. Quinn was just so lovable, a really great guy but way to hard on himself. I really loved watching Quinn grow, move on, and accept his past. Ella was a really likable, strong character. I really liked watching her come to term with things. Ella and Quinn had great chemistry together, almost a longing that you could feel. There was a nice mix of attraction and heat. I was rooting for them from the start!   This was extremely well written and had a decent pace. By 70% I was ready for some drama and when it finally happened, it was just the right amount. Not gonna lie, I cried. Wonderful ending.  The bits of heat throughout played out nicely and didn't over shadow the story. There was lots of anticipation, longing and build up. I thought there was just it the right mix. This is book two in a series, a companion novel and has a completely different feel than the first one (All of You). It was nice to get to see Avery and Bennett again. I'm looking forward to book three (Whisper to Me) which is Rachel's story.  If you are looking for a heartfelt, emotional, romantic read with just a bit of heat, then I definitely recommend this book.  ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
I was expecting lots of feels when I began reading Before You Break, simply because I know the emotional roller coaster Christina Lee put me through in All of You. But oh boy, this had double the feels. Before You Break was sweet and sexy, realistic and romantic.  As a result of her brother's suicide, Ella feels guilt and despair and wants to save others from feeling the same. Because of this, she volunteers at a suicide hotline as Gabriella. She's taken something dark from her past and turned it to something hopeful. One night, she receives a call from a broken young man named Daniel. They bond in a very special way and she becomes a great source of comfort for him in time. At the same time this is happening, she discovers her boyfriend's true colors and starts to grow closer to his frat brother Quinn. If you've read the blurb above, you know Daniel and Quinn are one and the same. Neither Ella nor Quinn realize this at first, however. The book is told through both Ella and Quinn's perspectives though, so the reader knows and truly gets to know both characters very well.  Ella and Quinn had something real together. It was wonderful to watch their relationship develop both in real life and over the phone. Both had been through so much in their pasts, both harbored guilt for things that were truly out of their control. Their relationship developed slowly and felt believable and realistic. The feelings they were developing for each other were obvious through their actions, dialogue and thoughts. It wasn't insta-love and it wasn't built on lust alone. They had intense chemistry, that's for sure, but it was more than that. I loved both of these characters. Ella was strong and smart and sweet. Quinn was something else. He was sexy and swoony and cared about others. The two of them were powerful together. It was easy to connect with both of them and feel the things they were feeling. There were secrets a'plenty between the two of them and I just hoped throughout the book that their relationship would be strong enough to withstand them when they were revealed.  This book truly left me breathless. It was powerful. It dealt with the very serious issue of suicide in a way that, while painful and emotional, was still hopeful. The writing was fantastic, just as I've come to expect from Christina Lee. The characters were likable and relatable and I found myself falling for both of them. This was a wonderful follow-up to All of You and I can't wait to see where Christina takes me with Whisper to Me, her next book.  I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.