Promise Me This by Christina Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Nate has a reputation on campus for being a love them and leave them kind of guy. He doesn’t kiss, it’s to intimidate, commitment, no way. A quick hook up with never a repeat performance is all the women get from him. It’s not that he doesn’t respect women, it’s that he doesn't trust himself. Nate comes from a violent family life so he fears that he too will be prone to abusive behavior. Nate has a secret he can never reveal urges that he forces himself to suppress. However, one girl makes him want more.
Jessie is a strong, independent girl; she is putting herself through college working at a tattoo parlor. Even though he should stay away, Nate cannot stop himself from wanting to be around Jessie. They keep things strictly in the friend’s zone. It does not take long for Jessie and Nate to admit they want to try it at more than just friends. They are definitely attracted to each other; they can be themselves with each other. Their easy friendship makes it seem so simple. Will Nate’s secrets and his lack of trust in himself stop him from having the life he wants and the girl of his dreams?
Christina Lee is truly a genius at New Adult Romance.
I was in love with Nate from the minute I read his first words; he had me falling for his preppy charm. His demons haunt him as he is trying to find his way in the world. Raised by an abusive father, he is concerned; he will turn out like him. Nate has sexual urges of dominance that he does not want to express fully. He is terrified that they make him as abusive as his father. Therefore, he suppresses his dominant feelings and only lets a little show when he finds a willing one-night stand. However, in his heart and soul, he craves something more, something he thinks he can never have.
Then one day Jessie notices him in a way she never did before after accidentally walking in on him in a compromising position in a bar bathroom. Jessie always thought of Nate as a poor little rich boy. Sure, he was hot, but not really her type. She usually went for the tatted up bad boys. When she walked into the bathroom bar and spotted Nate with a girl pushed up against a sink in a very not so boy next-door kind of way, Jessie saw Nate in a completely new light one she found herself desperate to explore further.
They had been friends lightly flirting and busting on each other. Never did either one of them think the other could be interested. An opportunity, throws them together and they get to each other. I loved how the two characters found more and more out about each other as the book progressed. The first sexual encounter when Nate lets some of his dominance show was hot! Hot! The second sex scene is even steamier; with each experience, Jessie and Nate grow closer and closer. The BDSM experimentation well written and well thought out. A chapter that was my favorite is when they both realize without saying it to each that they were making love and not just having sex, my heart just about melted it was a hot and tender scene all at once. I could not help but root for this couple as I read each page. Nate’s relationship with his dysfunctional family is heart wrenching had me angry for him and then crying for him and his brother. Jessie’s close-knit family in comparison made for a deeper story.
"Promise me this, explore all the different sides of you. We all have darkness and brightness inside of us. You won't know exactly what you're made of until you embrace all of it, feel it, live it. Only then will you be able to face all that life has to offer, head-on."
This statement really expresses exactly what the whole book was about and it truly touched my heart.
I love Christina Lee’s writing, she has become my favorite New Adult writer and I cannot wait to dive into one of her other books. This is the fourth in the series, but the second book in this series I have read; you do not have to read the books in order to follow the stories. Each couple has their own story if you want to know how the background characters got together, you can easily go back and read a book without feeling confused or lost. I was also excited to read the sneak peek of Dakota and Shane’s story characters from Whisper To Me book three in this series cannot wait for that one.
I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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