Title: Tell Me That You’re Mine(Tell Me #3)
Author: Victorial De La O
Publisher: SMP Swerve
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Ryan McCallister is ready to come home and put the heartbreak of his first love behind him. But when he returns after teaching abroad, the home he once knew isn’t quite ready for him. The woman Ryan once loved is living with his brother; his friends have moved on; and his new landlady, Eva Romero, seems determined not to like him.
But Ryan likes Eva. A lot.
It doesn’t matter that Eva has a six-year-old son and a troubled ex-husband; when Ryan’s with her, everything makes sense. Eva isn’t convinced she’s ready to take another chance on love, but Ryan’s determined to show her he’s worth the risk.
It’s feels like an eternity since I’ve been home. In reality, it’s only been a year.
My slow walk to the house is surreal. The lawn is as pristine as ever, each blade of grass shorn the same height by Jude’s meticulous mowing. The red geraniums I planted years ago are thriving. And the dent in the porch rail, caused by my foot accidentally connecting with the wood, is still visible. But I don’t remember the house being this uninspiring shade of blue, or the crack on the front stoop being this wide. This house, this city, used to be my whole world. It seemed a lot bigger then.
Discordance skitters over my spine: what should be familiar is foreign, relief mingles with anxiety. Time snaps and contracts as I knock on the front door, and suddenly it seems like an hour since I left. A nanosecond.
The door swings open, and the reason for my hasty departure is staring at me. She’s as pretty as I remember—maybe more, damn her. Green eyes that used to flutter when I kissed her, full lips that whispered confidences in my ear.
Now, her face is frozen in a hostess’ smile. Her fingers worry the bottom button of her pink cardigan and the threads begin to loosen. She doesn’t know what to do because she wasn’t expecting me. I guess it wasn’t nice showing up a day early.
“Ryan. You’re home.”
Home. Does she mean mine or hers?
I had almost forgotten what Lizzie’s voice sounded like, but its husky depth brings the memories of the six months we spent loving each other rushing back.
Well, I had been loving her. She’d been falling in love with my brother.
I wait for my heart to ache, but there’s only a small twinge. That’s a surprise. In my mind, this was all so much more dramatic and intense. Hard stares and pinched lips. A little social awkwardness seems so mundane by comparison.
And then the door swings open wider and Jude is there. My pulse stops—doesn’t slow, just ceases to exist for a second. Leave it to him to bring the fireworks.
Like the house, Jude seems smaller than I remember. Or maybe that’s because he has gone expressionless, his discomfort hard-crashing him. His hands dig into his pockets, searching for an anchor, pulling his shoulders into a hunch. It takes a lot to knock Jude off his game. Glad to see I can still have that effect on him.
When he opens his mouth, no sound comes out. It’s unusual for me to have to step up and be the better man when I’m around my big brother. But today is that day.
Copyright © 2017 Tell Me That You’re Mine by Victoria De La O
4 “More Ryan, thank you & please” Stars
ARC via NetGalley. Thank you, Swerve!!!
Oh, yes, this is Ryan’s story. And, oh, yes, I’m still so very much in love with this guy. And, oh, yes, he’s fictional, but who cares?
I met Ryan McCallister last year when I read Victoria de La O’s amazing debut, Tell Me How This Ends, and dude made me feel. If you haven’t read that book yet, then I must warn you: this review might spoiler the ending of book 1, so go read that lesson on how to write love triangles and then come back to this review.
Back to Ryan now. In Book #1, I rooted for him (and for his brother, but let’s pretend that didn’t happen, so we don’t hurt his feelings), and I felt so bad for him in the end that I wanted to hug him and bring him home with me. But I couldn’t because Ryan moved to the other side of the world.
That little problem is solved in Tell me That You’re Mine (and the significance of the title for Ryan and everything that has happened to him since the first book just hit me right now, and my heart is breaking again *snifs*). Ryan is back, and he’s even more adorable than I remembered him to be.
A little nerdy, a lot sexy and equal parts sweet and angst, Ryan won me over with each new page. The more I read about him, the more I remembered why I’d been torn between Ryan and his brother (Jude is normally more my book-boyfriend type, with all the brooding he does). Ryan got to me so many times in this book. Whenever he interacted with Jude, or helped Diego, or thought about his father. Thing is, NOT falling in love with Ryan is almost impossible.
So it wasn’t much of a surprise that Eva couldn’t resist him.
I have to say that my love for Eva came slowly. It took me more than I’m used to with Victoria de La O’s characters to fully connect with her, which also suprised me because she’s Latina, and I’m always happy to see Latinx representation in books.
I can’t exactly point out why I didn’t fall as madly in love with Eva as I did with Lizzie or Sam, from the previous books. Maybe the romance moved a little too fast. Maybe she was a little too closed off at first. But once I got to know Eva better, I could see why Ryan had fallen for her.
Eva was a strong woman in many senses. There was such a mature vibe to her that I sometimes forgot she wasn’t even in her thirties. It had less to do with the fact that she had a six-year-old son, and more with the way she faced her problems.
In a sense, I feel like I was Jude in regards to Evan and Ryan’s relationship.
I didn’t initially think Eva was good enough for my precious Ryan, but once I saw who she was and how she treated the people around her, then I was all in.
I think Eva’s situation with her ex-husband was what did it for me. It was portrayed in a heartbreaking way because of how respectful the author was to these character and their history. It would’ve been so easy to turn her ex into a villain, but Victoria de La O once again showed me she was better than that. She made me feel for Eva, who was torn between helping the man she once loved and finding a place for her new love in a her messy life. She even made me feel for the ex.
And as a I started falling for Eva, her relationship with Ryan started making more sense to me. I started smiling when they acted cute together, and anticipating their love scenes. It was a different experience from what I had with the first two books, but it was worth it. So, in the end, I was Jude again and gave Eva and Ryan my blessing.
Speaking of ending, fans of this series will love that special extra chapter that takes place in the future. No spoilers here, because you’ll want to experience it the way I did, but I have to say that that extra chapter touched me deeply. For me, the Tell Me series ended with the thing that made it so special to start with: beautifully written characters showing the kind of emotion that left the pages of the book and tugged at my heart, giving me all the feels. I’m going to miss them, but I’m ready for whatever Victoria de La O comes up with next.
Guest review contributed by U.S. – Brazil Book Review. As a book review diplomat of sorts, this blogger reviews books in English and Portuguese. If there’s romance in the book, she’s probably loving it.