Release Day Launch: If You Stay by Courtney Cole – Review & Giveaway!
Check out the full blog tour schedule HERE!
Release Date: 02/12/13
Summary from Goodreads:
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?
***ARC received by author for review purposes***
24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.
I admit that that sentence right there is why I accepted to review this book. I don’t know what it is about these types of asshole guys that I love to read about. Maybe it’s the fact that most of them are actually a good person deep inside. Pax is not that kind of person. He really is an asshole and a bit of a loser. Sure, he may have a good side but at the beginning it’s buried deep, deep down. He uses alcohol, drugs, women and his trust fund money to escape life’s reality. As long as one or more of these things can make him lose himself into oblivion, then life is good for him. Until one night when he overdoses on a wicked combination on drugs and alcohol and almost dies. Luckily for Pax, Mila saved his life by calling an ambulance. When she visits him days later at the hospital, Pax is immediately drawn to her. Is he magically a nice person now? No way! He makes mistakes but Mila makes him want to be a better person and he tries his best to change for her.
After a rocky start, Pax convinces Mila to give him a chance and they start dating. I loved how their relationship progressed at a perfect pace and I loved their dates. Can you say naked finger-painting? But Pax still has a lot to learn about being in a real relationship. When he starts having nightmares about his mother’s death, (he doesn’t remember her death) Mila convinces him to see a therapist to help him find answers. But those answers uncover shocking truths, truths that Pax blocked from his memory as a boy for a reason. Pax’s first instinct is to shut people out and loose himself in his vices. But now that he has Mila in his life, will he let her help him or will he shut her out and screw up their relationship?
I have to give props to Courtney Cole for writing such an attention-grabbing opening scene that blew me away! (Pun intended) I had to do a double take and reread to make sure I was reading the right words. I was expecting a light and sexy read and was happy to find out that If You Stay has a really strong and emotional story. More than just a love story, If You Stay is a story about Pax facing his demons and learning from his problems. Even though we get dual POV’s (which I always love) we got to read more Pax POV scenes which helped me connect with him more. Yes he was an asshole at times (a lot of times in the beginning) but hearing his story made me understand him and made me feel for him. Although I liked Mila, I found it a little harder to connect to her. I loved that she didn’t take any crap from Pax and pushed back every time he tried to push her away. I was very happy with this ending (especially the fact that there was no cliffhanger ending). And I just want to add that I absolutely LOVED the epilogue in this book. It was bittersweet and a perfect ending to the story. I saw on Goodreads that this is the first in the series. I’m extremely curious to see if the next will be about Pax and Mila or somebody else. Maybe Mila’s sister Madison? All I know is that I want to read it. If You Stay was my first book by Cortney Cole but it will most definitely NOT be my last. Emotional, deep and freaking sexy as hell, If You Stay is a hit!
Some of my favorite non-spoiler quotes from If You Stay:
-He’s gorgeous and flawed and sexy. And I have no idea what I’m getting myself into.
-”You’ve seen me at my worst. Maybe you should see me at my best.”
“When are you at your best?”
-“Are you trying to find some sort of reason that I’ve become such an asshole? The reason is…I’m an asshole. There are some things in life that can’t be explained. Period. Assholes are assholes.”
-”I will try very hard not to hurt you,” he says. “I’m fucked up. So I can’t promise that I won’t. But I promise I will try.”
“Okay,” I whisper. “But try very hard.”
-”I think you set the bar too low,” I tell him. “You need to aim higher.”
I paint the edge of his pec, then flow downward to his rib cage.
“I have,” he says seriously. “With you.”
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 corporate America is 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.
Website / Twitter / Goodreads/ Facebook
a Rafflecopter giveaway