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I Belong

Review: All of You by Christina Lee

Title: All of You

Author: Christina Lee

Genre: NA Romance

Series: N/A

Publication Date: September 17, 2013

Format: Ebook, 219 Pages

ISBN-13: 978-0698141254 (Intermix/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Bridget


Avery 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.

Quick & Dirty: Beautiful story about how love and friendship can heal wounds.  All of You is a hot new adult novel with amazing characters and a sizzling romance.

Opening Sentence: Love was like a loaded gun.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Avery Michaels doesn’t do the whole boyfriend thing. She is more into causal flings with lots of fun and no commitment.  Growing up with a mother who dated a long string of losers has taught her that love isn’t worth the heartache it brings.  Then she meets Bennett, the yummy tattoo artist that just recently moved in upstairs.  She is determined to make him her next conquest, but surprisingly he’s not into that kind of thing.

Bennett is a relationship kind of guy and he has his sights set on Avery.  He can see something special in her that makes him keep trying even though it seems fruitless.  As they get to know each other Avery knows she should stay away from him, but she can’t bring herself to let him go.

Avery is an interesting protagonist.  She is very protective of her heart because of some painful memories from her youth.  She got away from her destructive mother and is now working her way through college, but she still cares about her family and tries to help in any way she can.  I admire and respect that she was able to make some tough decisions and remain strong.  Her negative attitude on love was a little depressing at times, but watching her views change was worth the negativity.  It was emotional to watch her open herself up and become a more complete person.  In the end, I really loved Avery’s character and was glad I could read her story.

Bennett is one of my favorite new adult book boys.  I love that he was an optimist even though he had a hard upbringing as well.  His mother was very similar to Avery’s, but instead of taking that pain and turning cynical, he turned it into hope.  It’s true that he’s a virgin, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any experience.  He is very sexy and he knows how to use that to his advantage.  He is an artist and he uses his art to express himself.  He is a kind and generous person with a protective streak.  He can’t help himself when it comes to Avery he wants to help make her whole, but she has to let him in first.  Everything about Bennett was perfect, and I loved him to bits.

This was a fast read for me.  The story flowed perfectly, and I found that it was pretty hard to put down once I started.  There is a good balance of emotional heart pulling moments and the sexy times, because yes this book is very steamy. The romance is sweet and full of tender moments, but it isn’t perfect.  Avery and Bennett really have to work to understand each other and that just made them feel more real.  I did figure out most of the plot a little before things unfolded on their own, but I still found it really interesting.  I think this was a fantastic debut, and I really look forward to seeing what the author comes out with next.  If you are a fan of new adult romance, you should give this one a try.

Notable Scene:

My head still swirled from shock and anger and, most of all, fear. Especially about falling back to sleep tonight.  I’d decided right then and there that I’d be making my bed on the couch, close to the door and the knives in the kitchen.

When all was said and done, Bennett walked me back to my door. “You gonna be okay?”

I didn’t want my voice to deceive me so I just nodded and inserted my key into the lock.

He must have noticed some hesitation. “Avery, are you sure you—”

“Of course!” I snapped at him. “Look, I’m sorry. It’s been a long night. Thank you for everything.”

“Sure. Good night.” He headed toward the elevator and I reluctantly crossed over the threshold to my apartment. I could feel him watching me, so I thrust my door closed and propped my weight against it.

Suddenly my apartment felt different to me. Dimmer. Lurking shadows in the corners. Sinister creaks from the wind.

There was a light tap, and I heard Bennett clear his throat. “Avery?”

I backed away from the door like I hadn’t been leaning against it that entire time. I took a deep br and collected myself, then pulled open the door. “Yeah?”

Bennett’s face creased in concern. He held out his hand. “C’mon.”

FTC Advisory: Intermix/Penguin provided me with a copy of All of You. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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