If You Stay
By: Courtney Cole
Pub. Date: February 12, 2013
Publisher: Lakehouse Press
Source: eARC in exchange for an honest review/Ink Slinger Blog Tour
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 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? 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?
Pax is not your normal "bad-boy". He knows he's an asshole. He goes out of his way to be an asshole. When you think he will have a redeeming trait, he turns around and does something assholic (yes, I understand assholic isn't a word, but oh well!). But when Pax meets Mila, he doesn't want to be that guy anymore. He wants to get to the bottom of his past and what really happened to his mother all those years ago, something that he has no memory of, but everyday lives with the guilt from that day.
Mila is a sweet girl. She's just trying to get through life as normal as possible, especially after losing both her parents years ago. When she meets Pax, and SAVES HIS LIFE, she questions everything she thought she wanted. Despite his um, flaws, she knows that there is something special about him, and that deep down he really is a sweet and caring person.
I loved watching these characters grow, especially Pax. I think this story is about forgiveness, which Pax has to do a lot of. His transformation was definitely a unique one and it was hard to not root for him.
The writing was absolutely incredible! Courtney Cole has an amazing gift. She brought these two characters to life. Mila and Pax were both so realistic and so honestly raw! I am excited to read all of her other books and to see what she comes up with next!
Also, can we just talk about that cover for a second....HOT!
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 corporateFollow Courtney on twitter!
Americais 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.