Review: Be With Me by J. Lynn

Be With Me J. Lynn Wait For You
Be With Me J. Lynn Wait For You cover

Title: Be With Me 
Author: J. Lynn 
Series: Wait For You #2 
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, NA 
Publication date: February 4, 2014 
Rating: ★★★½ 

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…

“We need to tell your brother." 
And that would be terrifying. For Jase. But I smiled.  
"Maybe I'll just update my Facebook to 'in a relationship' and tag you?"

So here’s the thing. I cannot see this book loose from Wait For You. I can’t help comparing them and the thing is.. this just wasn’t as good. It’s still a good read, don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed reading it and it was a one-sitting kind of book. I stayed up until five in the morning to finish it (and was a zombie the day after - totally worth it) and I have no regrets.

J. Lynn (or Jennifer L. Armentrout) has a very compelling writing style. It reads really fast and you get sucked into it whether you want to be or not. Her characters are people you can’t help but root for and her stories always have that extra touch aside from the romance. I think she knows that. I also think she tried a little too hard here.

The story picks up where Wait For You and especially Trust in Me left off. Theresa Hamilton (Cam’s sister) is the main character. When an accident and the following knee-surgery put her dreams to become a professional dancer on hold, she is forced to start college - something she never imagined she would do. It leaves her a bit hollow, worsened by the fact that she will now have to keep running into Jase Winstead. Her brother’s best friend and the guy she has been in love with for ages. It gets even better when it becomes really clear that he is not interested in seeing her.

Theresa was nice enough even though I had imagined her quite differently before. I guess I expected her to be more like Cam. Confident. Strong. I know there was her past to consider, but I imagined life as a semi-professional dancer had hardened her. That wasn’t the case. I wouldn’t go as far as to say she was insecure, though. Overall she was pretty mainstream. There wasn't anything that made her stand out. You’d think the fact that she got beaten up by her ex-boyfriend on a regular basis would have done the trick, but somehow that part felt a bit… staged. I didn’t get the feeling she was really struggling with it. It was mentioned often enough, but I wasn’t feeling it. Not the way I did with Avery’s heavy past. The same applies to her lost dancing career. It didn’t really make an impact on me. I did love her relationship with her brother, though. How she relied on him in many ways, but also told him off when he was being overprotective.

And Jase.. Well, he was definitely no Cam Hamilton. He was swoon-worthy enough. Handsome, flirtatious, confident and abs so hard you’d probably need a bucket to collect your drool. Most of the time he was really, really great but…. well, but. He has his own demons from the past he needs to reconcile with. And as heavy as that stuff was, I don’t think it justified the way he treated Theresa. He was caring, he was sweet and most of the time he was there for her. Yet I couldn’t help but feel that he was also a terrible jerk who kept dragging her along. It was completely understandable that it wasn’t easy for him to commit to a serious relationship. In my opinion that still doesn’t mean he could just jump her whenever he felt like it and then say: ‘I’m sorry, this was a mistake’. If he wasn’t ready, well then he needed to keep it in his pants. Just saying.

Maybe better writing would have helped as well. It was so very repetitive and plain. Especially when it came to describing Jase. Theresa kept going on and on about his stunning gray eyes. And yeah, they probably were. I felt myself completely swooning the first time. The hundred time? Yawn. Not so much. She changed things up in the second half, though. Then they suddenly became ‘liquid silver’. Okaaaaaay. I also thought the cupcake-thing was insufferably cheesy.

Too much. Which also applied to the drama-level. Both Theresa and Jase have pasts you wouldn’t wish on anyone. Yet somehow that wasn’t enough. Dramatic events kept piling up until I just couldn’t take it seriously anymore. I guess technically it was possible for all of this to happen to a single person - but it just didn’t feel authentic. And when a contemporary doesn’t feel authentic anymore - it changes from something that will stay with you forever into something meh.

But I hopelessly enjoyed all the scenes with Cam and Avery. And there are many. I love it when cherished characters like them make a reappearance. They obviously aren’t as developed as they were in their own book, but trust me - this alone makes the book worth reading. I got all squeamish the first time Cam came into view. To be honest, they kind of stole the show. I may have loved them more than I loved Tess and Jase - which is not a very good thing.

I also enjoyed the return of Stephanie a lot more than I should have, haha.

So yes. Good read. But not nearly as good as Wait For You. Because that one really touched my heart and Be With Me somehow didn’t succeed in that. But read it, I still really enjoyed it. J. Lynn wrote a compelling romance. She always does.

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