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?
Pax is a 24 year old ‘fuck-up’. He’s a bad boy with a bad attitude to match but he’s got his reasons for acting like an asshole all the time.
When he was seven, his mother died, and it’s left Pax with a hole in his heart and guilt that he doesn’t know where it has come from. Due to his mother’s death, his dad uprooted them away from his childhood home and as the years have gone on, he and his dad have many issues that they just haven’t sorted out and since trying to be the perfect son and getting nothing back from his dad, Pax slipped, slipped so far that he began to use drugs, alcohol and girls to deal with his past.
But there is still an emptiness that fills his heart, no matter how hard to tries to pretend it’s not there.
Then he meets Mila and shes like this breath of fresh air. She softens his heart. He knows deep down the line he’s going to hurt her, but he’s going to try his damn hardest not to because he needs her.
But when the memories of his mother’s death resurface, Mila is there for him when the guilt becomes too much, but he’s retreated back into his asshole state, as it’s the only way he knows how to survive. Will Mila stay around or will it be too much for her to cope?
HOLY MOLY! I freaking loved If You Stay and I was so glad that I downloaded it. I had seen the hype around this book on Twitter and knew I had to get my hands on it. I love the whole bad boy/good girl love affair and I was totally indulged in the story right from the beginning. It was totally a bold move to open the book that way, but by hell it caught my attention (I read it on the train, my eyes were wide open and I was hoping no one was watching me) and from then on, I was hooked right until the very end.
If You Stay has so much packed into the plot that it’s hard not to feel for the story and all the characters involved. It’s not a story I have ever read before and I salute Courtney Cole for it. It’s got a raw feeling to it, with how both Mila and Pax go on about their lives before they meet. Pax is rough around the edges, whereas Mila sees everything in the world through her artist mind, seeing colours and beauty where there is none. I think that is why these two were so perfect for one another. They blended both of their different colours together and created a new one, just for them.
I loved Pax. He was fucked-up yes, but at the start, with how he handled life – well it was the only way he knew how. How to get through his day. His void was alcohol and drugs and when his life was in danger, it took that moment to make him see just how close he was to death and how he needed to do something because next time he really could be dead. And that’s how Mila fits in. When he was with Mila, it was like he had a new lease of life. He didn’t want to be the old him; he wanted to change for the better, for himself and to prove he’s not a fuck-up like everyone thinks of him. Mila was his ray of sunshine. The one person he could rely on and make him feels things he hadn’t for a long time.
Mila was a great character. She worked hard, she ran a successful business, she helped out at her parent’s restaurant and she really did see the best in everyone but she was closed off. She didn’t want her heart to be broken like it was when her parents died. But then there was something about Pax that she never really felt with any other guy. Mila wants to take that risk with Pax, even though she’s on guard with her heart, but Pax tries so hard for her and you can really see how easy it is for them both for fall for each other.
I really enjoyed the dual narratives. They really divulged into their fears, their feelings and their emotions; not just about themselves but about each other too. It was great to read their progress during their relationship from both Pax and Mila and of course, how deep they both fell for each other, through their struggles and the drama that surrounded them.
I loved their story, their journey to becoming the people they ended up being together. Mila helps Pax with his childhood memories that have enclosed and forgotten for years and even though their relationship struggled as Pax was hurting and didn’t know how to handle it, Mila never gave up on him, wanting to help him through the pain.
There are so many scenes that I absolutely loved reading about, but the one that had me giggling and really wanting to do is the naked painting. You could feel the emotions pouring off the characters and through the kindle over this scene and it was hot as hell.
So readers, if you like bad boys with a past, good girls who fall for said bad boy, a road to recovery, deep, dark secrets of the past and of course, scenes of a sexual nature then download your copy now and get reading If You Stay. I guarantee you will fall in love with this book too!