Be with Me: A Novel (Wait for You)

Release Date: 
January 20, 2014
Publisher/Imprint: 
William Morrow Trade Paperbacks
Pages: 
384
Reviewed by: 

“. . . Be with Me is delicious, unabashed melodrama. And it works.”

When Jennifer Armentrout, writing as J. Lynn, published the first book in this series, it was perfectly timed to help kick off the gold rush that is the New Adult or Emerging Adult (too old for YA) subgenre of contemporary romance. Readers who had just discovered Colleen Hoover and Cora Carmack gobbled up Wait for You. They swooned for Cameron and they empathized with skittish Avery. Even though it was built upon tropes already well traveled, the book spoke to readers’ emotions and was wildly successful.

In Be with Me, Ms. Armentrout’s latest entry tells the story of Cam’s little sister Teresa, who falls for his troubled best friend Jase. The two have been circling each other for years, fighting off a mutual attraction. And a certain overprotective big brother isn’t the only obstacle to their happiness. Teresa is meant to recover from the ACL injury that postponed her New York City dance career and move away. Yet Jase has family obligations keeping him in West Virginia as well as past sins for which he needs to find self forgiveness.

As if that weren’t enough, before the happy ending they will also face: Teresa’s history with domestic violence, her new roommate’s abusive boyfriend, an episode of not quite credible violence, a dramatic rescue, and two hospital visits.

In other words, Be with Me is delicious, unabashed melodrama. And it works, because nobody writes sexual tension quite like Ms. Armentrout. Readers will strap in and throw their arms up in the air for the ride, because they already know this author will deliver a swoon-worthy conclusion, with many tempting stops along the journey.

Loyal readers will notice and appreciate that Teresa’s voice is more forthright and amusing than Avery’s from the previous book. Teresa is not afraid to call it like it is—in frequently salty language. And the cultural references fall thick and fast, always appropriate to the college-aged protagonists. “The heaviness in my chest threatened to move up my throat and, if it did, it would get messy. And ugly. Like watching-The-Notebook kind of ugly.”

Lastly, the author has fun turning the tables on super-sweet Cam and Avery. Having Teresa call out the couple for being ridiculously happy together makes for a clever way to connect readers to the last book while finding something new to say about them.

Be with Me is exactly what readers will expect: a sexy, tense thrill ride with an abundantly satisfying conclusion.