“When you spend a long time wondering where you fit in, you hold on a little tighter to the people who make you feel like the perfect sized puzzle piece in their jigsaw puzzle.”
I was recently browsing through my recommended reads on Amazon (as if I do not already have a growing pile of books on my TBR list, I needed to find more to add to it) when I saw Beg You To Trust Me by B Celeste pop up. I read the description and it had me intrigued. When I saw it was the second in the series, I clicked on the first book and realized that I had read the first book last year! This had me determined to check this book out, and I am so glad I did as I fell in love with the story and characters! Beg You To Trust Me does have trigger warnings in the beginning as it touches upon some pretty heavy topics of sexual assault, bullying, and harassment. Hearing that it was dealing with such heavy topics, I am sure you are probably wondering how I could love it so much, and I have to say it is because B Celeste handled the situations perfectly-nothing was quickly handled or "fixed." Let me tell you more about it!
Beg You To Trust Me is a friends to lovers contemporary romance. It occurs parallel to the first book in the series, Dare You To Hate Me, so it was even easier for me to remember the first book while I was diving into this one. The story revolves around Skylar, who has joined Lindon U her freshman year, and Danny, who is currently in his senior year. Skylar is the youngest of 4 sisters and wanted to move completely away from her California rich family to get a fresh start and discover who she is without her family around. Skylar does have social anxiety and is very shy and introverted but so kind and just wants to make friends and enjoy her time at school. Danny, as I mentioned, is a senior in college and a star football player. He is popular, rich, but very down to earth, kind, easy-going, and just an overall well-balanced guy.
The story begins with Skylar waking up in a fraternity house the morning after attending a party where she drank too much and that she felt peer pressured into attending by her college roommate and their friends. She cannot remember anything that happened but can clearly see that she has lost her virginity. Danny, aka DJ, as well as Aiden (from the first book in the series) witness her walk of shame, which is even more humiliating for Skylar. As the story progresses after this initial introduction, you can very much see this socially awkward young woman struggle hard with the inner turmoil of this traumatic experience and the bullying she is receiving on a daily basis from her roommate for no apparent reason. Skylar struggles hard with what happened to her and not knowing who she spent the night with, to the point of her becoming even more awkward and uncomfortable around most people on campus. Thank goodness she was able to find a friend in Olive.
Danny is attracted to the shy, mysterious girl he keeps seeing on campus. The fact that she keeps running away from him every time he tries to have a conversation with her makes him even more interested. When he realizes that she is the girl he saw leave their frat house, he doesn't want to "double dip" as he calls it and wants to start up a friendship with Skylar. He keeps hearing rumors across campus about Skylar and her "loose ways" that he just cannot put together with the girl he is trying to get to know. However, he does see a lot of guys try to hang around her. Regardless, he wants a friendship with her and even tells her they are going to be the best of friends. While forming this friendship with Skylar, Danny is dealing with shoulder pains that is clearing showing he cannot make a professional career out of football and also dealing with some team drama that funnily enough loops Skylar into the mix some.....more on that later.
Honestly, Danny is the star of the book for me. As attracted as he is to Skylar, he can see she clearly is not ready for anything serious. He befriends her, and not to just "get in her pants." He truly wants to know this girl, her interests, her likes, and her dislikes. He listens, he remembers, and he shows an interest in the things that she does. How many guys will actually read the smutty romance book you like to read?? Ummm...Danny! When Skylar opens up to him a little about what has happened to her, he wants to help her in any way that he can. She knows which room she came out of after that party and tells Danny she will show him sometime when she can. He sees that she isn't comfortable coming to his frat house, so when she agrees, he tries to make it as easy as possible, just a couple of the guys staying in the living room, watching tv. He pushes Skylar to seek help as he can clearly see she is struggling mentally, emotionally, and physically with what has happened to her.
He offers to help and be there for Skylar any way he can. As their friendship starts to bloom into something more, Skylar asks Danny to help her experience intimacy so that she can have a good experience. There is a lot of kissing and touching and when they both decide to take it further because they want to, and not just to give her a better rememberable experience, it is beautiful. Though afterwards, when Skylar cries, you feel so bad as you know since she will not talk with anyone to work through her trauma, she cannot fully separate her beautiful experience with Danny to what happened to her. And she still struggles with being open and giving herself to Danny, to explain what she is feeling, so he then gets upset. It was heart wrenching when Skylar finally is able to open up and explains that she wishes more than anything that Danny was her first. When she truly begins telling her family what has happened to her, when she finally shows Danny the room she came out of, she finally is able to start the healing process. And as she heals, she realizes how much she is in love with Danny and cannot wait to get back to him to tell him so. (Ahhh, hearts in my eyes, squeals in my head!)
This was honestly a fantastic read because it was truly more than romance. It was heavy, truly heavy of a story seeing a young woman struggle with an assault and the bullying afterwards. B Celeste showed a true timeline of that same young woman dealing with the repercussions and emotions that follow that trauma. It's not a story where one page we learn of the assault, next page the heroine is struggling with the aftermath but meets a cute guy, and the following page is better and following in love. It is raw, the trauma lasts for months, you witness Danny, as well as Skylar's family, see her struggle and not know how to get her to fully open up to what happened. And when she does? Every single person is there for her, in her corner, ready to fight the battle with her. As much as she rolls her eyes at her sisters' banter and annoyances, they are there with both arms swinging to protect the sister they love. Danny learns more of what happened with Skylar and pieces the puzzle pieces together with what is going on with his teammates. He takes actions. And when his coach doesn't do what is right... he goes above his head to make sure something like this doesn't happen again. I truly could not put the book down, I absolutely loved the writing and how everything was handled. And that is why it is a five star read for me! I could read this over and over again as Danny and Skylar form a true friendship that only strengthened their love once they admitted it and gave each other a chance.
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