Sunday, February 16, 2014

Book Review: Before You Break (Between Breaths #2) by Christina Lee

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Before You Break
Between Breaths #2
By:  Christina Lee
Release Date: Feb. 18, 2014
Publisher:  Intermix
Source:  Publisher

GR's Summary

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.

*A companion novel to ALL OF YOU

Between Breaths Series:

My Review on All Of You HERE

My Thoughts:

I had the pleasure of reading Ms. Lee's debut story, All of You, the first book in the Between Breaths Series, and became an instant fan of hers.  I enjoyed her unique storyline, the way she brought her characters to life, and completely pulled me in to Bennett and Avery's story.  Along the way, we were introduced to Avery's good friends, Ella and Rachel.  I liked Ella, and was really excited to get to know her better, and read her story, Before You Break.

In Before You Break, Ms. Lee did an excellent job of developing her main characters, Ella and Quinn.  I knew very little about Ella before I started her story.  I was excited to see the depth of her character, as I got to know who she was.  Ella was a psychology major, who enjoyed helping others.  She worked at a suicide hotline, and she had a real gift of connecting with others through her sensitivity and compassion.  Her brother, Christopher, had committed suicide when she was in high school, and she wondered if there was something she or someone else could have done to prevent it.  Therefore, she took her job seriously, and when she was on the hotline, she thought about her brother, and how she could help the person that she was speaking too.  One night, she gets a call from a suicidal guy by the name of Daniel, and the two of them connect.  Pretty soon, Daniel is periodically calling the hotline to speak to Gabriella, (Ella) whom he knows as Gabby, and the more the two talk, the more that they connect.

Daniel, "Quinn" carries a huge burden of guilt, over the death of his best friend, Sebastian.  He comes from an upper middle class family that is immersed in politics.  Sebastian and Quinn's families were always close.  They played baseball together their whole lives, and even though they were opposites, they couldn't have been any closer.  Sebastian was outgoing, wanted to be a baseball star, and all the girls wanted him.  Quinn enjoyed baseball, but didn't want to play professionally, was introverted, and had a passion for restoring cars.  Once Sebastian died, Quinn stopped working on cars, and focused on doing all of the things that his best friend had planned on doing.  He wasn't happy in his life, but he felt like he owed it to Sebastian, and Setbastian's parents, to make them proud.  

Ella has a womanizing boyfriend, Joel, who is disrespectful and doesn't treat her well.  Joel belongs to a frat, and Quinn is one of his frat brothers.  Quinn can't stand Joel, and the fact that he disrespects and cheats on Ella.  Soon Ella and Quinn are around one another at the frat house and for fundraising events.  They both have a strong attraction but beyond that they end up making an emotional connection.  However, things are complicated.  Ella has a boyfriend, Quinn doesn't think he deserves to be happy, and Ella doesn't realize that Quinn is Daniel, just as he doesn't realize that Ella is Gabby, the girl he's been trusting with his darkest secrets, on the suicide hotline.

I really loved, Before You Break.  I enjoy Ms. Lee's writing style, her realistic characters, and portrayal of real life situations.  In both of her books, it was the guy who was holding back from intercourse, and I liked how she reversed the typical cliche, where the woman is usually the one holding out for it.  Also, I appreciated that Ella was described as having curves.  She didn't have a flat stomach, and wasn't skinny.  Yet, Quinn found her beautiful, sexy, and loved who she was.  A lot of romance stories deal with women that are described with as what our society deems as beautiful.  I applaud Ms. Lee for giving us a, "real" woman, who had depth to her character, and dealt with a lot of the same insecurities that typical females deal with on a daily basis.  I love that Ms. Lee always gives me a story that is realistic, touching, and not filled with cliches.  Quinn was very different from most of the males that I read about in romances. He wasn't an outgoing, womanizing, alpha male.  He was a good guy, who kept to himself, and wasn't looking for a relationship, and he didn't sleep around.

My Rating:

I give, Before You Break, by Christina Lee, 4 Beautiful, Touching, Realistic, and Steam Filled Stars!  You will fall in love with this story, and will hope that Ella and Quinn find peace, love, and happiness with each other.  This story was very sweet and romantic, but it also had some very steamy and swoon-worthy love scenes.  If you enjoy a great series, with a little bit of angst, healing, friendship, and growth, try out Ms. Lee's, Between Breaths Series.

My Favorite Quotes:

"What I saw in Quinn--beneath the surface of his eyes--was something wholly uncultivated, despite his smooth exterior.  Something passionate and undisciplined.  And it made me want to throw all my rules out the window and feel wild and untamed with him."  (eARC, Loc. 496)


"Ella was mesmerizing.  A force so captivating she was difficult to resist.  Like a powerful tide washing over me, pulling me under, and compelling me along a path that was terrifying and exhilarating all at once."  (eARC, Loc. 1344)


"Guilt and regret are powerful things.  But they can destroy your life.  Somehow you have to learn to forgive yourself so you can move on."  (eARC, Loc. 1464)


"I didn't know anything about her.  What she looked like, how old she was, where she lived.  Only that she was this calming voice.  This peaceful force that permitted me to spill my guts.  Spill my soul."  (eARC, Loc. 1525)


"Kissing Ella was like coming hime.  There was no other way to describe it.  It felt natural, thrilling, right.  (eARC, Loc. 2115)


Courtesy of Ms. Lee's Facebook

Book Teasers:
Courtesy of Ms. Lee's Facebook

Preorder At:

About Christina Lee:

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives near Cleveland with her two favorite guys. She's addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything.

New Adult/Young Adult author. NA Contemporary Romance, ALL OF YOU, releases September with Penguin. BEFORE YOU BREAK in 2014. Repped by Sara Megibow. 


  1. I really enjoyed BYB, too. I loved how Lee focused on the emotional more than the physical. And yes, Ella and Quinn were such great characters. Great review, Lindy!

  2. I adored Quinn and I loved that he was such a great guy! Him and Ella together were wonderful. I too loved that Ella was described as having curves and that Quinn loved them. Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

  3. I really liked the first one and I'm looking forward to the rest of these books!

    1. Oh, You're going to enjoy this one! Quinn is amazing, and I adored Ella! Have you seen the cover for Rachel's story, and read the synopsis? It looks and sounds liker it's going to be a great story!!!

  4. I just finished this one last night and LINDY. I am so in love with freaking Quinn. And Ella too! Both were such great characters and I truly loved getting to know them. Their sexual tension nearly KILLED me, but I loved the way Lee paced and handled their relationship! I'm so glad you liked this one too!

    1. We love the same books! I can't wait for the next book in the series!!!!

  5. I am not familiar at all with this author or series, but it really looks like it's the kind of story I enjoy reading! A hot quarterback with secrets mmm yes! And a studious girl who is ready to live it up a little is always fun to read about, too.
    Awesome review, Lindy! I'm adding the whole series to my TBR :)
    Have a terrific Tuesday.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    1. Thanks Lexx! It's a great series! I hope you have a wonderful week :)


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