Review: All of You (Between Breaths) by Christina Lee

My Thoughts

Sexy, angsty and so fun to read.
An instantly absorbing story from beginning to end.

4stars

Synopsis

all of you coverAvery has just met her hot upstairs neighbor. He’s irresistible. Tattooed. And a virgin.

Nursing student Avery Michaels wants nothing to do with dating—she’s perfectly happy single. Privy to too many of her mother’s bad decisions and even worse taste in boyfriends, all Avery can handle is a string of uncomplicated hookups whenever the mood strikes.

When she meets smoking hot tattoo artist Bennett, she wants him—for just one night. But he won’t accept a no-strings-attached arrangement. He lives by a straight-laced code of values based on his own troubled upbringing.

Bennett sees something special in Avery and he wants more from her. Way more. As Avery wrestles with her emotions for Bennett, danger and tragedy force them to open up to each other. And Avery must face the terrifying realization that she wants more from him, too.

So she needs to make a choice—let Bennett go or finally let him in.

My Review

This was such an enjoyable read to me. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the synopsis grabbed me upon first read. I sensed there would be a ton of angst and I loved that. It was sexy and sweet and I really liked both of our protagonists. It had just the right amount of feeling that I believed  the story, envisioning it like a film that  developed before me. I couldn’t sleep one night and picked this up at 2:00 a.m. and quickly devoured half of the book in one sitting, making myself put it down to get some sleep only to finish it in the morning. It was fast-paced and fluid, a great book to pick up in between series or when looking for a fun, sexy story with a swoon-worthy protagonist like Bennett.

“If you remained in charge of your life, they couldn’t mess with your head or put their hands on you without your permission… Love was only a ridiculous fairy tale that was never satisfying, warm or safe.”

Avery Michaels hasn’t had the easiest life, raised by a self-centered mother who binged on alcohol, drugs and men. She grew up with a warped sense of love… the kind of “love” that was threatening and illicit, harsh and deeply disappointing. With only her brother to show her any kind of real affection, she bolted from that life as soon as she could, when things happened that couldn’t be forgotten. It was then that Avery decided she would be forever in control of all aspects of her life, making herself impervious to the kind of experiences that were hurtful, that caused her to lose pieces of herself over time.

“I told myself that no one would have that kind of control over me again… I’d be in charge of my own life — including my sex live. And no guy was worth losing myself again.”

The story begins with Avery at the party, looking for the next guy to bed, to merely satisfy a physical need. She was good at this. It was never a problem and she always got what she wanted. She was in control. But when she spots a gorgeous guy from afar and their eyes meet, she feels as if she’ll combust. She’s flooded with desire and then just as quickly left reeling with the sharp sting of rejection as he simply looks away. No interest there.

But as fate would have it,  she bumps into him again as he moves into her apartment building. I just loved Bennett right away. I could picture him easily in my head. Avery can hardly believe her luck knowing that this man still had the power to unsettle her so completely. When an unforeseen situation arises and Bennett saves the day, an easy friendship forms. Being around him feels so good and right, but as she battles with herself at seizing the opportunity to seduce this man that seems to also be affected by her, she learns the truth. He’s a virgin. A beautiful, gorgeous, inked tattoo artist… and a virgin.

Whereas Avery doesn’t believe that real love exists, Bennett insists on it. He awaits a girl that he can share real feelings with, a girl with whom he can build a forever. Interestingly enough they both share similar backgrounds, but traveled down different paths coming to completely contradicting convictions. Avery doesn’t want anything serious and Bennett doesn’t want anything unless it is.

The sexual tension between our two protagonists was intense and undeniable. And slowly but surely Avery finds herself falling for him despite her best attempts to squash those unexpected feelings.

“I played by my own rules. I was in control. Simple as that. I didn’t need anything more complicated.”

There’s that push and pull in the story as insecurities threaten what they have together, despite its undefined nature. I absolutely loved how honest and caring Bennett was… how steadfast he was in his convictions. It’s evident that he’s fallen for Avery too, but it’s continuously frustrating to him that she won’t let him in fully. It also didn’t help that one of Avery’s friends pushed her to use him to get what she needed and then move on. The only thing that I struggled with is the way the friends talked to each other, it was constantly b*tch this and b*itch that when they conversed with each other and I felt that interrupted the flow somewhat and made me doubt how much the friends truly cared for her. Nonetheless, this is a perfect New Adult story. In the end, it’s the insecurities within that she must overcome in order to let go of her past, relinquishing control in order to find that elusive love and happiness she though didn’t really exist.

“I felt my heart unfurling, smoothing out, blossoming — into an unblemished kind of love.”

Overall, I really enjoyed it. It’s light and angsty and sexy with a touch of suspense. It kept me captivated and curious to how the end would unfold. If you’re looking for a book that will keep your attention and have you grinning with all its sexy, swoony moments, definitely check this one out! Before You Break, the second, standalone book in the series is coming February 14th!

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Reading Order and Purchase Links

Click on the cover image below to purchase through Amazon.  

all of you cover

Available Now

all of you cover

Coming Feb-14

all of you cover

Coming May-20

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Comments

  1. Sirlei Farley says:

    Thanks for the tip! It’s been added to my Goodreads “to-read” list! 🙂

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