Title: Before You Break (Between Breaths #2)
Author: Christina Lee
Publication: February 18th 2014 by Intermix (Penguin)
Format: eARC, 226 pages
Genres: New Adult, Romance
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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.
Before You Break, Christina Lee’s sophomore novel, is a companion book for her Between Breaths series. While it’s not a sequel and can definitely be read as a standalone, it does follow All Of You, featuring instead one of Avery’s best friends, Ella. While I had liked reading All Of You, which was all kinds of unique and sexy, I enjoyed reading Before You Break more!
Having met Ella before in the first book, albeit as a supporting character, I was sure I’d be comfortable reading her. Ella, unlike her two BFFs who are masters of flirtation and one-night-stands, was the good girl of the group. She was loyal to her boyfriend and she wasn’t a girl who’d normally go for flings. She was sweet and good-natured- characteristics that I easily liked about her. I was pretty surprised to discover though that underneath her nice heart was a broken one.
What did you do when all the good inside you was yanked deep into the abyss of your soul because of one big event? Was it possible for one act in your life to ruin everything else- to mar it, weaken it, poison it, make it sour?
Ella has experience unbridled grief before and her backstory broke my heart. I felt sad for her but I was also proud that she had found a way to move on- by taking up psychology as her major and helping out at the suicide hotline. I positively admired Ella’s work and I think those phone calls with Daniel a.k.a Quinn really evoked lots of emotion. Quinn, the male protagonist, however, has still has not moved past the remorse and misery he has felt ever since losing his best friend in an accident. Blaming himself, he feels as though his life is worthless. His feelings of self-hatred and sadness were overwhelming- in a good way. I loved how Quinn’s portrayal was so raw and realistic.
I think the strong personage of the main characters in Before You Break allowed me to like the romance aspect more. Also, the two took their relationship nice and slow which I really appreciated. The chemistry between Quinn and Ella was good and the steamy scenes were irresistible! Hot make-out sessions alert! Having said that, there was more to their relationship than the sexiness- they also took time to build trust and break down walls. Quinn and Ella connected completely which was why them falling for each other was utterly agreeable.
I wanted to crawl inside of his skin and stay all night, just like this, nestled against him. His arms acting as a cocoon, a shield, a defense. Us against the world. Like I belonged to him.
To sum up, this one was a really good NA read. The last parts were satisfying- I was glad for the lack of heavy drama. The pace of the story was, in my opinion, pretty solid. Before You Break had emotion, romance and characters that readers could love. If you liked Lee’s All Of You, this one is even better- so go read it!
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