Reviewed by Tori
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…(Goodreads)
Be With Me is the second book in J. Lynn’s NA Wait For You series. I really enjoy J Lynn’s aka Jennifer Armentrout’s voice and am a fan of all her series; from her YA fantasies to her adult contemporaries. I adored Wait For You, book one in the series, and had hoped book two would travel a similar path. And in a way it does. The same theme runs through it. A hero and heroine with issues attempt to start a relationship. Emotionally angst with a faint humorous vein, the storyline addresses both the issues and the romance as they intertwine and play out against each other.
While I enjoyed the story, I found myself annoyed throughout a majority of it. First off, I went into this expecting the phenom that was Wait For You. Avery and Cam’s story was the perfect blend of romance, angst, and drama. Both characters were dynamic and engaging and their relationship journey held me spellbound to the very end. Jase and Theresa were not Cam and Avery and that’s on me for expecting them to be. Unfortunately, their characterization paled in comparison and the drama had a forced over the top feeling to it.
Jase and Teresa shared one mind blowing kiss but Jase backed away from the potential there due to issues in his past. Also because Teresa is his best friend’s baby sister and he knows what she has gone through in the past. While his problems are legitimate, they aren’t as problematic as we are led to believe. I honestly felt his issues were more rooted in fear than anything else.
Jase, while funny and sexy, was an inconsiderate arse. There was a lot of ME ME ME in his emotional workup. He’s what I call a hit and run lover. So nice and considerate until the relationship crosses the line from flirty and fun to serious, then he makes up a lame excuse and bails. His constant playing with Teresa’s emotions was cruel though I believe unintentional. He would lead her on, build her up, then shut her down. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat. What annoyed me the most was that even though he didn’t want her, he would become an unbelievable jerk when she attempts to get on with her life without him. And she does try. I give her huge props for not becoming a weepy clingy mess everytime he has a freak out and leaves her. And he freaks out a lot. In a way, he was similar to Avery with his inability to deal with the emotions he was feeling for Teresa. The problem though is the POV is from Teresa and since her issues weren’t what was causing the problems between them, I didn’t connect with it as well. I needed to see what he was feeling and doing from his own POV.
Teresa was like her brother Cam in a way. She has her problems and like Cam, deals with them in a way that isn’t self destructive. She isn’t 100% healed but she isn’t stuck in the past either. Not like Jase. I genuinely liked her attitude and self confidence, though I felt she gave Jase too many chances. Ah, l’amour. J. Lynn makes sure to give Teresa the backbone and the know all to deal with Jase’s yo-yo love and a strong base at her back in the form of old and new friends. Her strength is admirable and I would have liked to have seen more of her on her own. I enjoyed seeing Cam and Avery in here and getting glimpses to their future.
The main storyline is interesting though not as captivating as book one. It moves rather fast with some witty dialogue and cute scenes but it lacks depth. It uses heavy dramatics and theatrics to garner a reaction from the reader. Usually J. Lynn manages to maintain the age dynamics without sucomming to the need for ridiculous and over the top escapades but that seems to not be the case for this story. The numerous misunderstandings are resolved in an adequate fashion and yet no lessons are learned from them until the very end. I found myself more intrigued by the secondary characters and their stories-Calla and Debbie. The romance eventually takes over the storyline and the balance is lost. As is any real character development. Also, my irritation towards Jase overshadowed my overall enjoyment.
The plot device used to facilitate the ending is a dramatic undertaking that doesn’t surprise us with it’s resolution. Some areas are left unresolved but I assume those will be addressed later in the series. We are left feeling Jase has finally gotten his act together and if he stays honest, he and Theresa may have a chance.