If You Stay by Courtney Cole – @Court_Writes


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?


I really enjoyed this book! Mila and Pax are so, SO different but work well together. I have to admit, that opening scene almost through me off. It was pretty gross and the imagery made my stomach churn. But I was glad that I continued!

They have a sexy, immediate attraction once everything settles. Pax is broken and so is Mila which I think would be easy to take for granted. I LOVED the setting for this book, it made me want to grab a cup of hot chocolate, put on a sweater and curl up with Pax…LOL. We know that Pax is deeply broken, something that affected him so much that he has carried it with him the majority of his life. When we do find out, God, my heart just ached for him. I can’t imagine being in his position and I think I felt more of a pull toward this book when I found out that a lot of it was influenced and inspired by true events.

Courtney Cole’s writing is witty and addictive. The only thing I had a “ehh” moment with was the first intimate scene. It was VERY intense (man, one of the best sex scene ideas I’ve read) scene and I felt that it happened too soon. They were still vulnerable to each other and I can’t imagine being at the stage they were at and doing what they did.

At the end of the day, I really loved this book and I can’t wait to read more by Courtney Cole!


Read it! And take notes, boys, on that sex scene, hehe.




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