Series: Between Breaths (#3)
Author: Christina Lee
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ New Adult
Blurb: A hot and consuming New Adult romance about a wayward musician and the one girl who keeps him grounded…
At college, Rachel has a reputation for being a sarcastic flirt with a thing for star athletes. No one at school knows that she’d had her heart ripped to shreds by her high school sweetheart, who’d driven them both off the side of the road on a borrowed motorcycle, and then abandoned her. No one knows the real Rachel Mattson—except one person…
Ever since he helped nurse his sister’s feisty best friend back to health, pierced bass player Kai Nakos has been head over heels in love. But the supposed bad boy can’t risk letting Rachel know the truth—especially now that the two of them are back in their hometown for the summer, together for the first time since the months following that fateful night. Never mind that Rachel’s ex is back, groveling for her forgiveness.
Shaken by her ex’s return, Rachel finds herself turning to the one guy she knows she can trust. Kai is willing to hide his feelings for her, just to have Rachel touch him again. After all, this is only a temporary fling. Until it becomes something more. But maybe it had been more all along.
Thoughts: During the summer before she left for college, Rachel’s self-centered boyfriend took her out on a friend’s motorcycle (without a helmet) and crashed. He walked away with a few scratches and she ended up almost dying with a traumatic brain injury. To add insult to injury (literally), he abandoned her afterwards and took off to his life and college like nothing ever happened. Kai, Rachel’s best friend’s brother, was her rock during recovery. He stuck with her and ended up falling for her. Once recovered, though, Rachel couldn’t stand being in the small town where everybody knew her story and pitied her. She went away to college and kept her past a secret. Kai went to Amsterdam for school and an internship and a recording studio. It’s been 3 years and both Rachel and Kai are home. Rachel is only here for the summer before she heads back to school, but Kai is back because of a scandal at the recording studio and won’t be headed back. His parents are disappointed and Kai is trying to figure out what to do with his life. Both he and Rachel are living with his sister and Rachel’s best friend, Dakota, time being. Everything changes for Rachel with the ex-boyfriend shows up and keeps trying to meet with her. She feels out of control and Kai helps her in the only way she wants…. sexually. He loved Rachel and will do what he can to be there for her, but he has to keep his feelings from her or it will mess up everything. The more Rachel leans on Kai (in and out of the bedroom), the stronger her feelings for him become. He’s a known womanizer, though, so she has to keep her feelings from him or it will change everything. What will happen when they both return back to their normal lives? What does the ex want from Rachel now?
First off I need to say that I haven’t read any of the other books in the Between Breaths series and I had no issues reading this as a standalone book. It was a little slow for me at the beginning, but it quickly pulled me in. Well…to be clear Kai pulled me in. He fell in love with Rachel while she was in rehab and struggling. Even though he left, he watched out for her and did his best to be her friend. He didn’t know what he was doing with his life, but he was always positive about his feelings for her. Swoon worthy qualities in my book. Let’s also not forget that he is a bad boy. This guy loves his music, has been in multiple bands and is rocking his piercings! Rachel has worked hard to push her vulnerability away, but struggles with it at times. These 2 coming together was cute and hot. You also get some hints of a budding romance between Dakota and Kai’s best friend, Shane, which I am sure will be book #4 in the series.