Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee Review + Giveaway

Posted July 29, 2013 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 12 Comments

Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee
Publish Date: July 30, 2013
Source: Author for Review – Thank you!
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon 

All she wanted to do was forget. Forget the memory of walking in on her boyfriend in the middle of, well, another girl. Forget how she had her entire life planned out. And, forget about being perfect all the time. Unfortunately, she was Whitney Vandaveer and despite the fact that she moved to the middle of nowhere – she couldn’t.

He always knew he would never be more than nothing. No job, no money, no future. Cole Pritchett had accepted the fact that he would always be the screw up and he was okay with it. Until he met her.

Here’s the thing they quickly found out – sometimes we all need a little help escaping who we think we are. -(summary from Goodreads)

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Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee

My Thoughts:  I’ve been wanting to read something by this author for some time now because I’ve heard good things about her books. I’ll be perfectly honest and tell the world that when I saw the cover for Escaping Me, I knew I had to start here because it was so gosh darn pretty. I mean LOOK AT IT. You guys, the story on the inside of the cover is just as good and I read it in no-time-flat. You guys want a fun summertime story? I devoured this one.

The first thing you need to know is this:
Whitney Vandaveer caught her ex-boyfriend cheating on her. 

She’s moved away from the city, away from her father, away from Wes. 
She wants to be a new Whitney. 
We first meet Whitney after she passed out at the end of her driveway from becoming overheated while jogging. When Cole Pritchett drives by and sees this beautiful girl in trouble, he’d much rather not get involved, but he stops anyway to help. He picks her up and carries her into her house where her mother and sister nurse her back to health and scold her for pushing herself to hard when it is too hot outside. Whitney doesn’t remember Cole, but sister Mallory and mother Leanne assure her that she needs to find this good-looking boy and thank him for rescuing her. 

Whitney doesn’t realize that just a few hours later, she’ll get the chance – she runs into Cole at the local hang-out. She has a brief conversation with him and is not impressed at all. Sure, he’s super good-looking, but his manners need some serious attention. He doesn’t appear to be interested in her at all. In fact, he’s outright rude! And when Whitney sees him again the next time, he’s rude again! She doesn’t get it – nobody has ever been so rude to her! Does she smell bad? She isn’t that ugly, is she? What’s the deal? 

See, for Whitney’s entire life, she’s done what her father wanted her to do without question. More recently, she even did what her ex-boyfriend Wes wanted or asked without question. She never stood up for herself or questioned her father, and thought she could be happy fulfilling the role of trophy girlfriend and unquestioning daughter. When she found Wes cheating on her and decided to spend the summer with her mother, she decided she wanted to change and find out who she really is… Whitney realizes that she likes making decisions for herself, being a little bit in control every now and then, etc. Ordinarily, she would never pursue a guy, but this isn’t an ordinary summer. And she likes Cole. So she’s going to let him know it – if only she can get him to be nice to her…

The second thing you need to know is this:
Cole moved to the area after being forced to leave his home

by his brother. He doesn’t want any trouble in his new town. And he
certainly doesn’t want Whitney to see him as the person he thinks he is.
Cole’s brother Finn was on the local police force in their hometown and bailed him out over and over and over…not too long ago, Finn asked him to leave town and not get into any more trouble. Cole’s family life has always been, well, horrible. Cole feels like he’s a loser and that he’ll never amount to anything. He’s come to grips with this and is fine with it, he thinks – he just needs to stay out of trouble. He is able to find a blue collar job working with some great guys and a great boss, but he knows that he’ll probably be like that for the rest of his life. He doesn’t want to be like the old Cole – always getting into fights and getting arrested after drunken brawls. He just wants to live freely in this new little town and not get into any trouble – a new life. But when he sees Whitney, he gets a little bit worried that his plan for a new life might be in jeopardy. 

In Cole’s mind, Whitney is the kind of girl that guys would fight over. She’s beautiful. She seems to be carefree and kind and genuine. She’s the kind of girl that an ex-boyfriend would have a hard time getting over. All of these things make Cole nervous that he’ll fall right back into his old trap of fighting and getting into trouble, and he desperately doesn’t want to be that guy anymore. So he has this super-smart plan to just be rude to Whitney and maybe she’ll lose interest. What he doesn’t realize is that Whitney is kind of making herself over too, and learning to be bold, and that she’s going to pursue him until it becomes impossible for him to resist her. 

Eventually, he just can’t. 

The third thing you need to know is this:
YESSS!!! Cole isn’t ignoring Whitney anymore! 
So she asks him to – WHAT? – be friends? 
Friends? That can’t be right! 
Whitney asks Cole to be friends, and he says yes – but they both are really disappointed in that – almost angry (it’s kind of funny). Whitney wishes Cole had replied that he wants to be more than friends, and Cole wishes the same thing. (This is when you are supposed to just say how you feel and don’t expect people to read your mind.) But both are too stubborn to say anything about it until one day they just blurt it out when the tension becomes so thick they can’t stand it anymore. The romance that follows is so sweet and fun and awesome, and it seems that these two are just made for each other. 

HOORAY FOR KISSES!!!! Because yay there are kisses!! 

Sounds perfect, right? Well, the problem is this: Whitney is only in town for the summer. When school starts back, she has to move back to the city because her father is paying for her to attend college there. What happens if they both fall for each other, because they’re both heading in that direction? What happens if they can’t stand to let the other one go? Both are absolutely afraid to make the commitment, but both can’t help how they’re feeling for one another. 



Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee is a deliciously perfect summertime romance story and I absolutely could not put down once I started it. It is perfect for summer. It’s a fun story. And I just fell in love with Whitney and Cole. The characters are fun, the setting is good, and I know that this will be on my re-reads shelf, which makes me so excited! 

Whitney Vandaveer. I mean, that name, right? You never really know what you’re gonna get with a character name like that. In this case, we have a girl that comes from the city, from money, that is only visiting her mom and sister in the “country” because she caught her boyfriend cheating. She’s jogging on one of the hottest days of the year and overexerted herself to the point of passing out at the end of her lane, only to have to be rescued by the new-to-town hottie. After my very first impression of Whitney, I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like her, but I have to tell you all honestly that immediately after she woke up from her embarrassing bout of heat exhaustion, drank some water, and recovered – I just loved her. She is a great, great character. Whitney knew that the life that she was living “at home” in the city with her overbearing father and her controlling ex-boyfriend wasn’t working for her, so she decided to make some changes. When she wasn’t 100% sure how to go about changing, it was trial-and-error until she decided what worked for her. With the help of her mother and sister (fantastic characters, by the way) she was encouraged to stand up for herself, make choices for herself, and figure out what she wanted from life. And what she wanted from life was very, very different from anything she had experienced so far. 

Whitney realized that she loved going out with her sister and friends, dancing and having a good time. Whitney realized that she could have fun in a rural setting just as much as she could in the city. She opened her mind to her sister and new friends, and learned all kinds of stuff, and I loved Whitney’s willingness to try anything. Whitney was fun, she was fun-loving, and she embraced this entirely different way of life in her mother’s town. And..because of her open-mindedness, she was also able to embrace Cole Pritchett who was different from her previous boyfriend in every way possible. 

Cole Pritchett described himself as a “backwoods” boy, which is pretty much the opposite of what Whitney was used to in a boyfriend. Not only that, he had a tough upbringing and a history of getting into trouble. By the time the book began, Cole had already made the decision to change and be a better person, so the Cole we read about is a Cole that struggles to maintain this decision. You know what? He does a great job. It’s tough at times for Cole, being alone/without family support and having to work extra hard for what he wants while his mind works against him, telling him he isn’t worthy of Whitney – but Whitney is great for him and to him. She encourages him to push forward with his goals and keep going and that she is on his side, always. Throughout the course of the book, we are able to see both Whitney and Cole transform for the positive in several ways, and it is really great that they are able to support each other along the way. These positive changes come with a few bumps in the road which served to make the story more interested and also to make their relationship stronger (after testing them and making me bite my nails a time or two). I love these two characters a ton and I feel like I know them as people, which is kind of weird but completely true. They are written in a very real way, and I loved that. 

Aside from these main characters, I loved reading the secondary characters – they were vivid and fun and easy to picture in my head. I loved the setting – a rural, small town atmosphere – these are always wonderful to me. I love the family relationship that is present in this book between Whitney, her sister, and her mother. And I just love the story. The entire package of Escaping Me is easy to picture, easy to visualize, easy to imagine – just fun story-telling with the added bonus of a summer time-setting so it is a great summertime read as well. 

I recommend Escaping Me to fans of New Adult Contemporary Romance and fans of characters that make positive development across the story. Both main characters make great change in this story, which is awesome, and I love that neither of them began as angsty, angry individuals to make these positive changes – both are very relatable characters that just need to find themselves and encourage each other along the way. I love the ending of this story – it made me smile – and like I mentioned earlier, I love that I’ll be re-reading this one, particularly as a summertime read. This may be my first book by Elizabeth Lee but it sure as heck isn’t my last. 


When I’m not writing or playing the part of wife and mother, you can find me dancing back-up for Beyonce, singing back-up for Miranda, or sunning myself on the beach with a drink in hand.  Here’s the thing about being born and raised in a small townβ€”you have a very vivid imagination!  Now, I channel it all to create stories where the girl always ends up with the right guy, first kisses are magical, and a happy ending is just that!

Follow Elizabeth Lee:  Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook / Website 


Escaping Me will appeal to fans of:

New Adult Contemporary Romance
Romance: Swoons galore. No triangle.

Great Family/sibling Relationship
Great Setting

Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee
is currently available for purchase.


And now for the Giveaway!

Author Elizabeth Lee
is offering (1) set of Signed Elizabeth Lee books

for one winner in the US/Canada
*contest begins Monday July 29, 2013*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


12 responses to “Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee Review + Giveaway

  1. I am always looking for a sweet summertime romance, and I swear you keep tempting me with all these fantastic reviews of titles I've never heard of before! Geez, lady! Fingers crossed I win this bad boy πŸ˜‰ lovely review!

    • This book is so much fun. It's really swoony but that Cole Pritchett is one of those fun good ole' country boys. I can't believe how fast I read this book, Melissa. I'll be re-reading it too. LOVED it and how cute is that cover?!

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