Published by Harper Collins UK on Feb 27th 2014
Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.
Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.
As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not…
BE WITH ME had pretty big shoes to fill. I adored the previous outing in this series WAIT FOR YOU and the characters Cam and Avery made a big impression on me. I quickly learned however that it was unfair to place such pressure on BE WITH ME as its story, tone and themes were very different to its predecessor but equally as affecting, thrilling and heart wrenching. This book had some moments that will stay with me forever and reached a place in my heart I didn’t think was possible for a romance novel.
BE WITH ME tells the story of Teresa, accomplished dancer, beautiful and brave, she’s experienced more in her young life than most. Bitterly disappointed to have her dreams of dancing at one of the world’s most prestigious performance schools put on hold after a career threatening knee injury, Teresa finds herself enrolling in college and pursuing an academic path while she waits for her medical results. To make life even more complicated she’s finally back in the company of her big brother’s best friend, Jace Winstead whom she shared one earth shattering kiss with the previous year. Jace, at first glance, is a commitment-phobe girl magnet that is only out for a good time. The secrets and heavy responsibility he carries on his shoulders is visible to a select few. Can he trust Teresa with his heart and finally find happiness and self-forgiveness in her love or will he push her away?
BE WITH ME was definitely a weightier book, both in plot and themes than I was initially expecting. I’ll admit it did take me longer to be enthralled with the love story of Jace and Teresa and my attention at times was firmly placed on Teresa and secondary characters like her friends Calla and Debbie. I was fully invested in Teresa’s story both present and more so her past. The darkness and pain she experienced as a teenager came back to haunt her in the most unexpected of ways and it was gut wrenching to watch as she struggled to accept how she handled her situation in comparison to others.
I did like Jace, he frustrated me a lot with his treatment of Teresa, I’m not the biggest fan of too much “push, pull” and while I sympathised with his situation I felt in this day and age it was unnecessary how it was handled and I spent a lot of the book yelling at him to just “TRUST HER AND STOP BEING AN IDIOT” lol which proves he affected me more than I care to admit and I was secretly rooting for me despite my misgivings. 😉
I felt Teresa and Jace were a good match and neither of them was the “weaker” party which is usually seen in New Adult novels. Both have experienced a lot in a short period of time, both bear the brunt of having to grow up quicker than their peers and I liked how they challenged each other and called each other out on their actions.
Of course being a J. Lynn book the sexual tension was simmering and I loved the build up as the heated glances filled with unspoken words seared the pages as the two danced around their feelings.
While the romance was wonderful the strength of this book for me was its darker edge and the care it took with handling heavy, emotional themes and its portrayal of the effects on Jace and Teresa. With plenty of stumbles and falls, mistakes and forgiveness, this book shows that while life doesn’t always take you on the path you’d hoped it can sometimes take you somewhere even more special.
The emotion, the numbing shock that encompassed my reading experience of this book was haunting and deepened my connection with Teresa and Jace making me yearn for them to get the happy ending they deserved. While it lacked the charm of Wait for You, it was still a mesmerising book filled with wonderful moments that were truly unforgettable.
Packed with deep emotion, heartfelt chemistry and moments of raw love and tenderness Be with Me was an inspiring story of second chances, bravery and finding courage to rise from the ashes of despair and find happiness in places you never thought possible.