Release Date: September 23, 2014
5 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Yesi
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You and Be with Me comes a daring tale that pushes boundaries . . .
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.
There is something so special about a man who sees the girl’s inner and outer beauty equally. A man who can make her feel secure, make her feel loved, and make her see what he sees. That is a good, good man and in this book Jackson “Jax” James is that man. He made this story go from really good to phenomenal simply by being himself. He stole my heart and he made me fall hard for him. Stay With Me is the latest installment in one of my favorite series and it absolutely did not disappoint. So far, as much as I liked the other books in the series, none of them have made as much of an impact as Wait For You, until now. I can honestly say that this is the best one yet. Cam has always been my #1 in the “Hot Guy Brigade” but Jax has come in crashing the party with a bang! This is Jax and Calla’s story and it has everything that I love in a New Adult Contemporary Romance.
Calla has spent years trying to escape her past, trying to do something good with her life. She is a student at Shepherd University and has a great set of friends who know nothing about her past, as far as they know, she’s a local and her mom is dead. We met her briefly in Be With Me and I remember her because she was described as a sweet, beautiful girl but had a scar running down the side of her face. Summer is approaching and as all of her friends are making plans, Calla’s world is turned upside down when she learns that her mom, who is definitely not dead, has stolen money from her and pretty much has ruined her. She is forced to go back home and figure out a way to get everything sorted it. When she gets there she realizes that the situation is much, much worse than she could have ever imagined.
The first place she goes to is the bar that her parents own, her dad is gone, her mom is missing, and the only person that she could ever trust is still there sort of running things is Clyde, or Uncle Clyde as she calls him. The other person that is there is a sexy, new bartender named Jax. He absolutely takes her breath away and with good reason. He is hot, he is flirty, and he is truly the one who has the bar back to being what it once was. Instantly the sparks fly BUT, Calla, bless her heart, she has a pretty low self-esteem. Remember scar? Well her inner demons go way beyond just that visible scar and she can’t for the life of her, understand why Jax is flirting with her. As she starts to get an idea of how bad her situation really is, she realizes that she is going to have to stay and start making some money one way or another. Her only option is working at the bar alongside the very sexy bartender. And this is where the story takes off.
“And I think about how these fucking scars shaped your life. How they’ve beaten you down when you still are one of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever seen and these scars don’t even touch that. They are nothing compared to your smile or your pretty eyes or that sweet ass.”
Jax sees Calla, really sees her. He is drawn to her, he thinks she is beautiful, but instantly knows that she sees herself as anything but. He does nothing to hide his attraction to her and she does everything in her power not to fall for him. My favorite thing about Jax is that not only is he a really great guy, he is persistent. He is determined to bring her out of her shell, to make her believe that she is worthy and beautiful. He is also a protector and as the story unfolds, we learn that Calla is in real danger. They are forced together mainly because Jax is unwilling to let her be out there on her own, but also because he cares about her deeply. What starts out as a friendship quickly turns into something that Calla never imagined she could have. Everyone has secrets and as we learn what those are, as a reader, I was absolutely captivated by every twist and turn.
Stay With Me is a wonderful story. It is full of hope, learning to trust, and about believing in yourself. It is also oh so very sexy with some smoking hot scenes that made my heart race. It is beautifully written with the right blend of drama and angst, it has humor and laugh out loud moments, as well as the excitement of new love and friendship. I loved everything about Jax and Calla’s story and I didn’t want it to end. The appearances by all of the previous couples only added to the awesomeness of this book and reminded me of why I have been so drawn to this series. Stay With Me is definitely making it into my very short list of New Adult Favorites.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer L. Armentrout/J.Lynn Bio:
# 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.