From the author of All of You and Before You Break comes a new Between Breaths male/male standalone romance about the silent, inked up skateboarder and the tattoo artist who unravels him piece by piece…
Tattoo artist Cory Easton has worked long enough at Raw Ink to know, just by looking at a dude, what his body art reveals, what makes him tick, what even makes him scared. Until he meets the quiet and remote Jude York—so unreadable, so unreachable, and so unlike anyone else, he can’t help but arouse Cory’s curiosity.
As captivating and complex as his ink, Jude is a mystery—and Cory’s falling fast and hard under his spell. Against his better judgment to steer clear.
The rumors of Jude’s past overshadow him—whispers of prison and an unmentionable secret that’s kept him in the protective shadows of a local motorcycle club. As Cory probes deeper, he wonders how much he really wants to know. Especially since Jude has awakened something inside him that has been buried too long—and has him feeling completely alive for the first time in forever…
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Chopper, get your ass back here!”
While he was distracted, I silently moved toward him, hoping to grab hold of that leash. But just as I approached, he took off again, following that same squirrel who’d taken a leap to the next large maple.
I was out of breath and now beyond frustrated. I shoved my hand in my hoodie, my fingers closing on a sturdy dog cookie.
When I looked up again, Chopper was headed straight for the skate park. Shit.
“Chopper, goddamn it,” I called in some last-ditch effort. “You don’t listen for shit.”
Unexpectedly, Jude York neared the cement barrier at the entrance to the bowl. His board clenched in his fist, he seemed to be assessing the situation as the large dog charged nearer.
He left his skateboard on the concrete walkway and stepped into the lawn. He squatted down in the grass, made eye contact with Chopper, and the dog changed course to sail directly toward him. What the hell was that about?
Some type of deep whistle emitted from Jude’s lips and instead of slamming into his chest, Chopper came to a sudden halt beside him. Like Jude was a damn dog whisperer or something. His strong fingers grabbed hold of his collar and he reached down to mutter something in the dog’s ear. Chopper sat down in the grass. Actually fucking sat down—I had never been able to get him to do that.
I became motionless as I watched them, even though Ace was eager to inch closer. At least one animal heeded my command. I wondered what it was about Jude that compelled Chopper to run toward him. I mean, I got the appeal, so maybe it was just pure animal instinct.
The muscles in Jude’s forearm flexed as he stroked Chopper’s head and the dog’s tongue hung out in a happy pant. The little fucker.
As I walked closer to Chopper, Jude’s eyes lifted to mine. And for the first time I saw an array of other emotions alight in them. The most blatant being amusement, as if his irises contained a flicker of light. His lips tilted at the corners in an almost imperceptible smile and he looked so dazzling right then. As he held my gaze for the first time ever, something tightened like a fist inside my chest.
Shit, he was stunning. In that exotic kind of way. His hair was a mass of short blond dreadlocks, his skin inked mainly in black, and his eyes were the most gorgeous light green I’d ever seen—almost like cellophane. And now those same eyes locked on mine and held steady.
About the Author:
Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son--her two favorite guys.
She's addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.
NA Contemporary Romance ALL OF YOU, out now (Penguin/InterMix). BEFORE YOU BREAK in February and WHISPER TO ME in May, 2014. Repped by Sara Megibow.
Also the creator of Tags-n-Stones (dot com) jewelry.
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Review by Michelle:When reading a Between Breaths book by Christina Lee there are certain things that you can always count on. The characters will be engrossing, enticing, and compelling. There will be an intense attraction between the main characters with combustible sexual tension. The story will be original and absorbing and you will be left wanting more. There You Stand, Christina Lee's first male/male story, offers exactly this, but with a bit more action and adventure than we have seen in the past from this series, with an air of danger and a side of mystery that will keep you hooked.
Double the male leads means twice the opportunity to fall in love, and how could you not, with Cory who is adorably cute, open, sensitive, and funny and Jude who is hot, British, tattooed, athletic, vulnerable, and a dog lover? Hello! Both of these men are irresistibly swoony in different ways and the passion that brews between them is a sweet slow burn that churns beneath each interaction leaving you in breathless anticipation of the moment when walls crumble and desire is embraced.
I can't remember reading a story in which one protagonist has ever had to work quite so hard to get to know someone as Cory did with Jude, but it definitely fascinated me and thoroughly wrapped me up in trying to unravel the enigma that is Jude York. Not only did this keep me intrigued, but a solid friendship was formed between the two long before their attraction was acknowledged and accepted making for a real, steady, and believable love story.
Not your typical male/male romance as there is something much more profound beneath the surface including a painful past, the hint of danger, and obstacle after obstacle to being together. I feel as though there was a bit more that could have been explored from the past that would have lent itself to a lot more feels and so, while I felt the intense connection and love between the characters, I wasn't as consumed emotionally as I have been with some of the previous books. Although, if you are looking for suspense without an overtly action packed or painful story, There You Stand strikes just that balance.
Each story within this series is completely different with a beautifully diverse set of struggles, issues, and complications, yet they come together to make a wonderfully cohesive series that never fails to seduce and delight. True or false: There You Stand is a great addition to the Between Breaths series and a refreshing departure from the norm with Christina Lee's trademark touches that make it sweet, captivating, and charming? Absolutely true.
Rating: 4 Stars
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