by Courtney Cole
★★★★★ (5 / 5 stars)
*I received this book as a giveaway from the publisher for a review*
If You Stay is a sweet and steamy romance told primarily from Pax’s POV (but also switches to Mila) about how his struggles with drugs and drinking and the relationship with his parents have affected his life. He meets Mila, who is sort of a breath of fresh air for him to realize that all hope is not lost.
I really loved this story from beginning to end. One thing that is mentioned in the blurb and throughout the book is that ‘Pax is an asshole’. But the way he acts in the majority of the story, he’s far from it. Yes, he’s hard, brash, a bit of a bad boy, but he doesn’t mistreat women or do similar things that would constitute him as an asshole. And not until the last four or so chapters of the book does he really act like one, but his actions are justified. Though there was the boating incident scene, which was due to him misunderstanding her. Whether that’s considered being an asshole or not, is still vague. He really does care about Mila after she saved him from a drug overdose and helped him try and get over his drug and drinking habits, and their story continues to build on that.
There are a few twists to Pax’s story that work nicely to bring him and Mila together, as well as reconcile some issues between him and his father. Both Pax and Mila are broken in their own ways, and this story showed from a psychological standpoint how people best cope with emotional trauma.
I loved the characters in the book, except for Madison. I couldn’t connect with her, and she seemed to not have much substance to her to make me want to like her.
Pax was my absolute favorite character. I could totally connect with him, and the things he did in the story might seem questionable for the average person, but it was always justified in some way. He was like a caged bird waiting to get free from the emotional stress and trauma of his childhood.
The sex scenes in the book were quite creative and hot. And there was plenty of lovemaking to go around.
The HEA was especially sweet, and the bonus material at the end added the cherry on top of this delectable, sweet story. I will look out for more books by this author! I highly recommend you check out this great New Adult book!