Just like every other book I have read by Courtney Cole, I LOVED If You Stay!!!
24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.
He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match.
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?
**Warning -Contains sex and violence**
Love me some Pax and I know you will too 🙂 Here is an excerpt to tease you ♥
I am humming as I duck out of the shop to grab a sandwich for lunch. As I pause to lock the door, I notice Pax’s black car parked on the street twenty yards from my shop. My head snaps up and I stare at it, my fingers frozen. He’s not in it. I don’t know if I am relieved or not.
“Looking for someone?”
Pax’s voice is right behind me.
You’ve got to be kidding me. This is too coincidental. I slowly turn to find myself face to face with the very man who has invaded my thoughts. Pax smiles, a slow panty-dropping grin.
“Are you stalking me again, Miss Hill?” He cocks an eyebrow.
My heart hammers.
“What?” I choke out. “This is my shop.”
Pax shrugs. “And that’s my car. You were staring at it like you were hoping I would get out of it.”
I’m guilty of that. I can’t say a word in my defense. Instead, I stare at him like an idiot.
“What are you doing downtown?” I finally manage, changing the subject.
“I don’t cook,” he explains. “I’m making a food run. The bar down the street makes good burgers.”
“Oh,” I answer dumbly. “That’s what I’m doing too.”
He lifts his eyebrow again.
“Not the bar,” I add quickly. “I’m going to the deli, next door to the bar.”
Pax smiles again. “All by yourself? Haven’t you heard that there are some bad things going on in Angel Bay? Just a while back, some dumbass overdosed on the beach. They’re letting all kinds of assholes in nowadays, I guess. It’s probably not safe for you to walk alone.”
I have to grin now, at his audacity.
“Oh, really? Wow. That does sound bad. Assholes are just running loose on our streets. We never know when we’ll bump into one now, I guess.”
“How very true,” he answers softly, his golden eyes frozen on mine. Sweet Jesus. The man has beautiful eyes. So bottomless and warm. Like hot caramel. I gulp.
“Is this when you take your lunch every day?” he finally asks, breaking the silent stare.
“If I go out,” I answer. “Are you planning on stalking me again?”
We’re still standing in the middle of the sidewalk, but Pax doesn’t seem to care. Instead, he grins.
“Maybe,” he answers, before holding his arm out like a gentleman.
“Since I’m here and you’re here and we’re both going in the same direction… I’ll walk you today. I’ll keep the wolves at bay.”
I stare up at him as I slip my fingers into the crook of his leather covered elbow.
He grins again, wickedly. It lights up his eyes with a gleam.
“That’s probably true,” he admits. “Are you afraid?”
“I should be,” I tell him.
But I’m not.
He walks me to the deli’s door and steps away from me. I feel the absence of his warmth immediately.
“Have a good day, Mila Hill,” he tells me, his eyes flickering up and down the length of me. “Watch out for those wolves.”
And he’s gone. He disappears into the bar and I realize that I’m standing alone outside. I shake my head and sigh, going inside to order my sandwich. I have no idea what just happened, but Pax Tate is firmly in my head now. And I have the feeling he’s not going anywhere. My stomach flutters and I realize that I like that thought.
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.
You can contact her here:
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/courtneycolewrites
Novel Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17032328-if-you-stay
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3112212.Courtney_Cole
Buy it here:
Getting a chance to read an ARC of If You Stay by Courtney Cole was an exciting moment for me, so I dove right in! I wasn’t sure what to expect after reading the blurb but was pleasantly surprised. The writing was great and the story kept me interested the whole time. I kept thinking I knew what was going to happen next and it never did. That right there made me love the story even more!
If You Stay is Pax and Mila’s story. And, wow, they have a crazy start!! Mila never thought she would fall in love with the bad boy after she saved his life. They are total opposites!! Pax is screwed up! He lost his mother as a child and is nowhere near close to his father. He is loaded from the inheritance he received when his mom died. So what is a 24 year damaged, rich boy to do?? Yep, you guessed it….women, drugs and alcohol. Pax warns Mila that he is not good for her but yet he can’t stay away from her.
“That would make you the Big Bad Wolf,” she points out. I laugh, “Now you’re catching on,” I tell her.”
How Mila knew there was good in him after finding him in two separate uncomfortable situations blew my mind. I would have run for the hills and never looked back. The girl should get an award for putting up with all that she did but I do get it that she felt something for him. She is so caring and an all around awesome person. She fought with all she had to help Pax straighten out his life.
But, don’t get me wrong, Pax was not all bad. He couldn’t help that he had a screwed up past. He just didn’t know how screwed up till later. What a SHOCKER that was!!! That was the point in the story that I was like, where in the hell did that come from?!?! I was expecting something totally different and I applaud Courtney for that shocker 🙂
I thoroughly enjoyed this story just like every other story I have read by Courtney Cole and I definitely recommend it!!