Review – Tell Me When by Stina Lindenblatt

Tell Me WhenPublisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: NetGalley

Amber Scott should be enjoying life as a college freshman. She should be pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She should be working hard to make sense of her precalculus math class.

She shouldn’t be waking up her college roommate with screaming nightmares. She shouldn’t be flashing back, reliving the three weeks of hell she barely survived last year. And she definitely shouldn’t be spending time with sexy player Marcus Reid.

But engineering student Marcus is the only one keeping Amber from failing her math course, so she grudgingly lets him into her life. She never expects the king of hookups will share his painful past. Or that she’ll tell him her secrets in return, opening up and trusting him in a way she thought she’d never be able to again.

When their fragile future together is threatened by a stalker Amber thought was locked away for good, Marcus is determined to protect her. And Amber is determined to protect Marcus…even if that means pushing him away.
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I have to admit the one thing that really inspired me to read this book was the stalking aspect. I’m always intrigued by stalking plots in books, because I think they can be so creepy and scary and so good.

Amber went through a horrible ordeal as a girl, she was stalked and tortured by someone whom she thought was her friend. People close to her were killed, and she has been living in the shadow of her former self. She is trying desperately to be normal, but between the nightmares and failing math, she worries if she bit off more than she could chew.

Marcus has been eyeing Amber since the first time he saw her, but tutoring her in math isn’t what he wanted to do with her. But after spending a little time with Amber, Marcus realizes that there is something horrific in her past, and he wants to care for her. Marcus isn’t the type to stick around, but with Amber he wants to help her heal and look toward the future. But they both have secrets, and getting past them might be more than either can do.

Poor Amber seriously had to go through hell, and she has the emotional scars to prove it. I felt horrible for her, especially as the details about her life came pouring out. I was a little surprised that all she had were the nightmares. If I was in her shoes, I don’t think I’d be able to function, let alone accomplish all the things Amber had. The strength of her character was astounding, especially as her past started to come back and haunt her.

Marcus was a bit of an enigma for me at first. He came across as this player, a total rake who wanted nothing more than to bed hop from hot chick to hot chick. He seemed okay with that too, but the more he got to know Amber and her story, the more he seemed to realize the value of having a partner, of letting someone in. I liked watching that transition in him, but wish we could have gotten it from his perspective. Since the story was told in Amber’s POV the whole time, we never got the chance to be in Marcus’ head. 🙁

The romance between these two was super cute. I liked the way that Amber wanted to have nothing to do with Marcus, and he had to work his way up to gaining her trust and becoming friends. I liked the way they leaned on each other and really took the time to build a friendship before moving into something more. The slow build in their romance really worked for me, especially given the trauma of Amber’s past.

I also really enjoyed the secondary characters in this story. I’m anxious to see what we learn about Amber’s friends, and the hard life lessons that they’ve lived through. I do hope that we’ll get the chance to see them have a chance at happily ever after, like Amber did.

All in all I was really impressed with Lindenblatt’s debut novel. I thought the stalking aspect of the story was so well done, especially as it was weaved through the present day storyline. I thought the romance was really well done given both Amber and Marcus’ pasts, and hope we get to see more of them in future books. I’m looking forward to what this author has in store next.
I give Tell Me When a B

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