Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Review: If You Stay by Courtney Cole

  • Publisher: Lakehouse Press
  • Publication date: 2/12/2013
  • Series: Beautifully Broken , #1 
  • Source: ARC sent from the author for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N 

24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.
Seriously.

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 fa├žade.
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?
Wrong.

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?

My Thoughts

Wow!! This book just jumps right into things and it continues the awesomeness all the way through. Now I am ashamed that I have not read Courtney Cole's other books because her writing is so fabulous. Now that I know that I am going to have to get all of her books!! This book tackles some very serious issues. It does not hold back. It's raw, emotional, sexy, and amazing!! It's a hard journey for Mila and Pax, but it makes them so much more believable and real. You want the best for both of them. You understand both sides. That is one of the things I love most about dual POV's. You really get to know each person on a deeper level since you get to be in their head. Mila and Pax seem so different at first, but they really have a lot in common, and have a lot of hurt from their pasts.

Mila is  a pretty strait edge type of girl. She's an artist and sees the beauty in life around her. She paints, and takes pictures and sells them in her shop. Her parents died a few years ago in an accident and now it's just her and her sister. She is very strong, but also closed off. If she doesn't open herself up, she can't be hurt. When she meets Pax, he is far from the type of person she would ever be involved with, but she can't help thinking about him. She lets him in as he tries to prove himself and she is able to let the real her out and be free. She knows that she really cares about Pax, but when he keeps doing things that make her have doubts about him and where things stand with them, she refuses to just let it slide. I love that she is very in charge of herself and their relationship. It's not to say that it doesn't hurt, but she is smart enough to do what she needs to. What is not only the best for her, but for Pax too.

Pax is more than the typical broken bad boy. He is truly a bad boy when we meet him. Literally messed up on drugs and engaging in sexual acts that mean nothing to him. He uses drugs and sex as an escape from his life. As a way to numb himself so he doesn't have to feel. I won't even tell you he's not a total ass at first because he is, but as you learn more about him and you see that he's really trying to be a better person, you can't help but fall for him right along with Mila. He has a lot of skeletons in his closet, a lot of hurt, hate, and regret in his head. It's really tearing him apart inside. Mila makes it better for him, but it's not easy to just totally change who you are. He really needs to prove himself and learn that he needs to trust Mila, just as she needs to trust him.

This story is just really amazing. You are taking a very broken person and giving him a second chance. Giving someone who is terrified of being hurt again the ability to open up and give love a shot again, even if you know that it might end up in heartbreak. Mila and Pax have to put their faith and trust in each other and work hard for their relationship, but that's what makes it so good. It's hard, but also sweet, fun, and sexy. The hard things make the good things so worth it. It's a love that is raw and deep. One that is flawed, but is worth every pain and hardship that they go through. I wanted so much for them to not break things to the point they couldn't fix it. The emotions this brought out of me were incredible!! I am now a total fan girl over Courtney Cole and will be reading more of her books for sure!!



39 comments:

  1. I never heard of this one before but just the first few lines of the synopsis just hooked me. This sounds just like the type of contemporary story I would love. I actually haven't read anything by Courtney either but this is definitely going onto my list now. Mila and Pax sound like really great characters! Great review!

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    1. I loved this so much. It is definitely dark and honest. It doesn't sugar coat things.

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  2. I'm SO happy you loved this!!! Great review chick!

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    1. Thank you so much for asking me if I would be interested in reviewing it!! I am so glad that I fit it in!!!

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  3. OH MY GOOOOD this sounds so good! I haven't read any Courtney Cole before so this will probably be my first too it's the first that REALLY called to me though! Also, it kind of reminds me of The Sea of Tranquility--the artist and the broken love interest, though this one sounds a lot more "bad boy" but that's even better, dude! :D Ok Hmm.. I'm hunting that one down right now her books are usually only like 3-4$ on Kobo! :D

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  4. Gah! It's only on B&N and Amazon! I guess I'll wait >.<

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    1. Awww!! Hopefully it will be on Kobo soon. It's so good!!

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  5. I've heard fabulous things about Courtney Cole's books! I'm so happy to hear that you loved this book because I've debated buying a copy and you totally convinced me. I love the sound of Pax. Bad boys that have a lot going on for them are my favorite because they are so complex.
    Fabulous review, Amy! I can't wait to read it! :D

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    1. I a a sucker for the broken bad boy!! You know that underneath it all he's not all bad.

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  6. I totally only skimmed this because I got it from a wonderful lady this past weekend and will be reading it soon. But I have to say AMY YOU KNOW ME SO WELL! This sounds like one that I am going to love! And would probably make a great addition to our BGDC post this week. Can't wait to see if you include it :)

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    1. Oh, it's included!! I might be fan girling over it a little bit too. Pax is freaking amazing and it totally the right type of bad boy!!

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  7. Thank you so much for reviewing this, Amy!! :) I love your review. <3

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    1. You're welcome!! It was so awesome!!

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  8. Fabulous review. I loved this book. I have read several of her other books and loved all of them.

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    1. I definitely have to read more of her books!!

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  9. I cannot wait to read this one, it's been on my TBR pile since the day C. Cole put it up on GR. I'm so in love with the sound of the plot and I'm glad you enjoyed it! I adore books about broken characters and second chances so I think it'd be right up my alley. Thanks for your thoughts, Amy! I cannot wait to dive into this:)

    Siiri @ Little Pieces of Imagination

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    1. OMG it's amazing!! I hope you love it!!

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  10. I'm so happy you loved this Amy! I love the dual pov, too, b/c without it, Pax would have been a hard character to like. I can definitely recommend Courtney's other contemporary books (I still haven't read her paranormal).
    Great review!

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    1. I am going to have to pick up her other books.

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  11. I really liked this one too and I’m really looking forward to reading Madison’s story next.
    BTW, I really love the awesome mix of books you review. I can always find a little bit of everything here!

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    1. I'm looking forward to Madison's story too. And thank you!! I try to read a variety of different genres to keep it fresh. Not just for my blog, but for my head too. That way I don't get burned out from the same types of books.

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  12. Stories about bad boys that reform can be pretty great when they're done well--and this one sounds awesome! This is the second rave review I've seen for the book today, so I think I may have to check this one out. Thanks for the review, Amy!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. This one is done amazingly well. I am not a fan of the bad boy who is actually really bad and doesn't redeem himself, but I do love the broken bad boy who tries like hell, even if he does keep failing.

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  13. Wonderful review! I really can't wait to read about Mila and Pax. Between your review and The Bookish Babes' review, I'm totally sold. Just bought it for Kindle. Thanks! :-)

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    1. I hope that you love it! It's really amazing.

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  14. YES! You def have to read her other books. I love her Paradise Diaries series! I also love that I'm seeing this book everywhere today. I have a copy & def need to read it asap. I love a story that is raw, deep, and emotional. Great review!

    Vivian
    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

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    1. I really want to read ALL of her other books now!! I love her writing!!

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  15. I'm going to try this one! Great review.

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    1. I love that you are trying more New Adult books.

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  16. OOH Mila sounds like such a heartbreaking character and Pax sounds like one of those people who helps heal the character AND he's broken!

    I AM SOLD ON THIS ROMANCE.

    *runs out to buy*

    I've read her paranormal romance series, which was like the Bloodstone Saga, and I really liked her first book, so I don't know what I'm waiting for! I'm getting the fuzzy feels just thinking about If You Stay!

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    1. Haha!! Just don't let your dad read the synopsis!! OMG I am dying still about Losing It. I keep getting you to want all these books that your dad wouldn't approve of. ;)

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  17. After reading your review I'm so buying it. I love this author!!!

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    1. This is very dark and gritty!! The opening chapter is like "Whoa!!" I knew it was going to be awesome!!

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  18. I just read another review of this a moment ago and between the two of you I'm kind of DYING to read it! I haven't been all over the hard hitting more 'depressing' books in awhile as I have just needed lighter reads, but I have to say that I'm loving the sound of the romance in this!

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    1. This seemed to be the review of the day yesterday. I read 4 other besides mine, and then say a bunch of promo posts too! Loved all the book love this was getting. It totally deserves it!!

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  19. So loving this twin thing we have going!

    I totally loved this book! You are spot on, too, with your review.

    Great job, girl.

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    1. How funny is that? Two days in a row we were twins with our posts!! Love that!!

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  20. I could kick myself in the ass for missing out on this book!! UGH --It sounds awesome! Great review!

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  21. I have only recently read and reviewed this and loved it just as much as you did! Loved these characters and the amazing story.

    A fab review!

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