26-year old Gabriel Vincent is a badass hero. Or he used to be, anyway. As an ex-Army Ranger, Gabe never thought he needed anyone. But after one horrible night in Afghanistan scars him in a way that he can’t get past, he needs someone who can help him heal…even if he doesn’t realize it.
25-year old Madison Hill doesn’t need anybody…or so she thinks. She grew up watching her parents’ messed-up abusive relationship and she knows there’s no way in hell that she’s ever letting that happen to her.
They don’t know it in the beginning, but Gabriel and Madison will soon develop a weakness: Each other.
But Gabriel’s got a secret, a hidden monster that he’s afraid Maddy could never overcome… And Maddy’s got issues that she’s afraid Gabe will never understand. They quickly realize that they need each other to be whole, but at the same time they know that they’ve got demons to fight.
And the problem with demons is that they never die quietly.
Have I read a Courtney Cole book yet that I didn’t LOVE?!? Nope!!! And If You Leave is no different. I read If You Stay a while ago and had forgotten how much I loved that book until I started this one. If You Leave jogged my memory of Pax and Mila’s gut wrenching emotional story but, let me tell you, I think Gabe and Madison’s story just blew theirs out the water. All I could say, after I finished and sat my kindle down, was PERFECTION!!! Courtney knows how to write a story that will rip your heart out and shread it into pieces, while also making you love every moment of that pain. You don’t just read the story, you feel it. You cry! You laugh! You hurt! You smile! Well, you get the point 🙂
Gabriel is broken, no wait….I can’t even come up with a word that describes what he is going through other than tortured. He has spent the past few years doing what is right because he is that kind of guy…loyal, protective, and determined. Now, he is home and fighting a bigger battle than he was when he was in Afghanistan.
Then we have, Madison. Madison is just going through the motions of what she thinks she has to do…take care of her deceased parent’s restaurant and watch over her sister, Mila. Can Madison and Gabe be anymore messed up? Madison, maybe….but Gabe, no. I am pretty sure the poor guy is at his limit 😦 I have to say, reading about what he is going through and having an understanding of it made this story so much more emotional for me. People really do come back from military tours with these issues, and like Gabe, most of them are afraid to face them and get help.
Both, Madison and Gabe, need to face their fears so that they can move on. That is easier said than done, though. They are meant to be together and Courtney does an amazing job at making you feel the attraction and the pull that they have on one another. Can the strong pull to be together be enough though, to get them through all their baggage? I wasn’t sure for a while, but was so hopeful since Courtney always comes through for me with the HEA’s. Yeah, she might put your emotions through the ringer first, but you will be happy in the end.
I can honestly say that there was not one thing about this story that I didn’t like. I devoured every emotion, every word, and every character, even if it broke my heart at times. This is a series that everyone MUST read and I am impatiently waiting for the next one 😉
Even though I mostly only talked about the gut wrenching emotions, there are so many funny parts to this story and here are a few quotes to give you a taste 🙂
“Are you done waving your penis around now?” ~Madison
“Where do you want me?” ~Madison
“Under me on the bed.” ~Gabriel
Jennifer Harried’s Review!!
5 HEART WRENCHINGLY BEAUTIFUL STARS!!!!!
This book was AMAZING. This is the 4th book by Courtney Cole that I have read and I have to say she never disappoints me. She has become an automatic buy Author for me. I love her writing style. The way she can create so much feeling into her stories and books is outstanding. Every book I read by her brings out a gamut of different emotions for me. This book was no different. I smiled like a goon, I swooned, I got pissed and I cried my eyes out. I love when a book can do that to me. That in my opinion is what makes a 5 star author. I loved book 1 in this series ( If You Stay ). I totally loved Madison in If You Stay, so I was extremely excited to learn that she was getting her own book. This book touched on some pretty heavy subjects, but I felt that the way Courtney wrote this story, she really gave an accurate portrayal of the real side of these topics. She didn’t glam them up or skirt around the tough stuff, she makes you see the harsh side of things. I don’t want to say to much because I feel it would give to much of this amazing story away. So all I will say is that this book/series is a DEFINITE MUST READ!!!!!
Like I said before, I loved Madison. She is an amazing female character. With everything that has happened to her you would think she would be a shell of a person, but she isn’t. She is loyal to a fault and I love that about her. She really shows you that she is willing to do anything for the people she loves. But she also has a huge fear and I don’t blame her for it one bit. I was glad to see that with time and the help of Gabriel she was able to overcome her fears and open herself up to love and life. Now Gabriel…..WOW, he is absolutely swoon worthy. He is also loyal to a fault. He proves that by his love and protection of both Madison and Jacey ( his sister). He is an alpha male with such a sweet protective side that you can’t help but fall in love with him. And he also has a steamy side that makes your panties melt. He also has some serious demons to overcome. There is one part that I didn’t like him very much and I didn’t agree with his decisions, but in the long run I understood why he did things they way he did them. He was protecting the ones he loved. I was also glad to see that he is able to start on the road to recovery. I think his demons will take a little longer to overcome then Madison’s, but I think together they can do it.
I was absolutely thrilled to see Pax and Mila in this story. I figured we would get some glimpses here and there, but no, they are an important part of this book. Which I LOVED. I was so happy to see how things turned out for this couple, and was even surprised to see that their story wasn’t drama free. It added a whole nother level to this book. I was glad to see how their story concluded.
The secondary characters of this book were also really great. I loved Tony, he was a strong father figure to Mila and Madison. Brand ( Gabe’s BFF ) he is another swoon worthy character. I really hope he gets his own book someday. Jacey ( Gabe’s sister ) I don’t really know where to start with her. She is all kinds of messed up, but was also a great support to Madison. I didn’t agree with some of the things Jacey did in this book, but like i said all kinds of crazy 🙂 I am glad to see that the next book in the series is Jacey’s story. I really hope we get to see her straighten herself out.
I would definitely recommend this book/series to everyone!!!!! I truly can’t think of one bad thing about this book. Courtney’s books always leave me satisfied and happy in the end. Pick up this book, you won’t be sorry.
Favorite Line :
“Maddy, I consider wherever you are home.”….Gabriel
Buy it HERE!!!
About the Author
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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