Release Date: February 12, 2013
Age: Mature New Adult (17+) Contains sex and violence
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Issues, Drama
Source: Ink Slinger
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.If You Stay is an intense and dramatic love story that unfolds into one of the most shocking books I've read in a while. It tackles serious issues throughout the story and builds, it was hard to put down, but sometimes more than I could handle. Courtney Cole will have any reader reliving the intense emotions that she instills in her characters, crying for them and laughing with them. The drama in this book rivals most and is the perfect mixture of truth, hurt, and love.
He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match.
But he’s got his reasons.
His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn’t understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count.
As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn’t work. His dad couldn’t overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn’t keep up the impossible perfect façade.
So he slipped far, far from it.
Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn’t want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn’t there, then it isn’t, right?
And it’s never more apparent than when he meets Mila.
Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he’s got to figure it out because he needs her to breathe.
When memories of his mother’s death resurface from where he’s repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one…the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness.
But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it.
He knows that. And he’s working on it.
But is that enough to make her stay?
When we meet Pax he's completely broken, he's at the end of a dark road and he's drowning in the abuse that has existed for him. He's alone, even when he's not, and while financially he's doing well we all know that money can't buy everything. When his life takes a dramatic turn he meets Mila, who saves his life in more ways than one. And, the physical attraction between them is something neither can ignore. From here not only do their emotions escalate but so does the story. The past that Pax is so desperately running from (even not entirely knowing why) catches up to him and it's time he faced his demons. The thing I loved about this story was the fact that the characters tried working things out, they sought help, and things don't get better over night.
My favorite thing about If You Stay is Mila. She's supportive and brave; probably one of the most loyal characters out there; but, she stands up for herself. She's strong, not only for Pax but for herself. I loved the fact that she thought of herself as the girl and not just the heroine, she's fragile herself and coping with her own life and she realizes that and knows that she's only human. This book is a prime example of why alternating POVs should be in all books. Going back and forth between the characters draws me into both sides of the story. It made Pax and Mila's romance three dimensional and a heart palpitating read.
If You Stay is a powerful and riveting account of the horrible sides of human nature and the best sides. It's dark, grimy, and all-consuming, a book that fans of this genre will not want to overlook. It contains drug use, violence, alcohol use, sex, and more adult themes. I do not recommend this read to anyone under 17. I haven't read anything else by Courtney Cole but I will be definitely be checking more of her work out.
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Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.
Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.
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