Date published:September 23rd, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow
Synopsis: At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.
But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she'd left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.
Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.
What I Thought:
I should know by now I'm going to fall in love with the characters in a Jennifer Armentrout (J. Lynn) book by the end of the first chapter. It's inevitable. Calla won me over first, but Jax wasn't far behind. Not only are the characters wonderful, but the story always is too. She always manages to do justice to the situations and challenges the characters find themselves in.
It was really easy to fall in love with Calla and Jax. I fell for Calla first and her I-will-find-a-way-out-of-this-mess attitude her mother dropped her in. I don't know if I would be that strong if it happened to me. I would be a mess, but she only let it momentarily phase her before she went looking for answers. Of course she didn't find the ones she was looking for but instead found more questions and lots of trouble she didn't deserve or need.
Thankfully Jax was there to help her out with the mess she found herself in. I loved how he saw all of Calla and liked what he saw. Calla had lots of issues to deal with and the way he helped her work through them was totally swoon worthy. I liked how honest and upfront he was with her when it came to his attraction to her. I mean it totally shook her up, but it was good for her.
It goes without saying Jax and Calla had amazing chemistry. You could see it and feel it whenever they were together. I loved how the book portrayed the importance of family, both blood and that forged by life and friendship. Whether it was Katie, Roxy, Uncle Clyde, Avery, Teresa, Cam, and Jase being there for Calla or Reese and Nick for Jax, it really felt like these two who'd always been outsiders found people who cared for them.
I've got to say the romantic suspense aspect was written really well. There was hardly a dull moment in this book. Scratch that, there were no dull moments in the book. There were lots of surprises and heart pounding moments though. From the first page to the last page, I was hooked. I think I read the book in just under three hours. I couldn't help myself. And let me talk about the feelings for a moment. You know how when you're reading and you're into the story, certain reactions become instinctive? Well I had plenty of those moments where I either burst out laughing or was in tears. Neither Jax nor Calla have had easy lives and as they shared their painful pasts, it was often impossible for me to hold back my tears.
I can't wait to see what happens in the next book with Roxy and Reese. Their chemistry in this book was palpable and I have no doubt Jennifer Armentrout is going to blow my mind once again. She's managed to keep each book in this series fresh, independent of each other, and yet closely bound as well. Like I said, the woman has mad story telling skills. Pick up Stay With Me and see for yourself.
About Jennifer L. Armentrout:
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.
She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.
* I purchased a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*