{Review} If You Stay by: Courtney Cole

12:00 AM

Number of Pgs.: 220
Publication date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Lakehouse Press
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
How I got the copy: Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Rating:  5 Stars
From Goodreads:

24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole. 

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?
Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Setting: 8/10
Pacing: 7/10
Style: 8/10
Cover:  This cover just reminds me of spring time.  I like it, but at the same time their heads are awkwardly angled.   We can see up her nose!  I like the font though.
41+50=91 (5 Stars)

     I wanted to save this book for my dr. appointment this week because it would be easy to read on my phone in the office.  Well, I started it the other day thinking I'd just read a few pages.  I ended up reading it in pretty much one day.
     I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did!  I was expecting typical New Adult where the main guy is an ass and then the girl falling for him anyway and him treating her like dirt and her just staying with him and fawning over his great abs.  Well, some of that happens (Pax's abs are rockin), but Mila is a really strong heroine and doesn't take his crap.  So refreshing!

     There is also no insta love.  There is insta lust.  VERY big difference and I feel like Courtney Cole deserves a standing ovation for that.  The two characters are instantly attracted to each other.  One thing I don't get is how Mila can be attracted to Pax after she tastes his vomit when giving him CPR, but to each his own I guess.  But once she starts to know him their relationship grows and develops over time.  It was the most realistic developing relationship I've ever read in a New Adult novel.  And there were some seriously steamy scenes that you won't want to miss.

     The last few chapters had my eyes misting more than Niagra Falls.  I loved that it was dual POVs so we could get the full emotional effect from both characters.

     That epilogue...while it made me giddy was kind of crazy.  I feel like it's becoming a theme in NA books.  Want to know what I'm talking about?  Don't want to ruin it. You'll just have to read this awesome book to find out!

     Basically if you're a fan of contemporary and NA books you gotta check this one out!

“She’s like a breath of fresh air. 
I may be the Big Bad Wolf, but even wolves need to breathe.” 
― Courtney ColeIf You Stay

“Love never fails. 
But then again, sometimes love has to put boxing gloves on and be tough in order to survive. Sometimes, you have to do the harder thing—the thing where you let someone grow on their own.” 
― Courtney ColeIf You Stay


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