Friday, December 26, 2014

Review: Stay With Me by J. Lynn

Stay with Me (Wait for You, #3)
Stay With Me by J. Lynn
(Wait For You #3)
September 23, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance
Contains: sex and language
Source: ARC for Honest review

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.

I wasn't expecting to love this book as much as I did. I enjoyed Wait For You, the first book in this series, but didn't love it, and for some reason decided to skip Be With Me, the second book in this series. But something about the Stay With Me synopsis appealed to me and I wanted to give it a chance. And I'm so glad I did. I loved it. So Stay With Me can definitely be read as a standalone. While the other two couples make some appearances, having read their stories prior is not a necessity, though you may want to check out their stories later. But if you have read them before, you'll love their appearances.

As for Stay With Me, we are introduced into Calla's world, the life and the upbringing she hasn't shared even with her closest friends. But circumstances beyond her control (aka, her mom stealing from her) force her home to deal with not only her mom's situation, but also the life she left behind years ago. And once she's home she meets the sexy bartender at her mom's bar, Jax. When the severity of her situation comes to light, Jax thrusts himself into Calla's life, whether she likes it or not. And the suspense and craziness of Calla's new situation weaves an exciting path that had me glued until the end.

I found the combination and blending between Calla's situation with her mom and the budding relationship between Jax and Calla really well done. Honestly, when I saw the page count of this book, I was concerned that it would drag and be filled with unneeded moments, but it wasn't. And trust me, I looked. But it was all great and all necessary and I have no complaints. Taking this ride with Calla and Jax felt non-stop. I was never bored and felt the action and suspense was completely engaging all the way until the very end.

Then there's the relationship between Calla and Jax. I liked the way their story progressed. I didn't love something Jax told Calla initially, but that was my only complaint. Because Jax is a great guy. Like really, really great! The thoughtfulness, the gentleness, the protectiveness, and the tenderness he shows Calla are beautiful and endearing. Even when he screws up, I love how he learns from that situation and becomes a better man. And I loved Calla. While I may not be able to relate to her very difficult background, I could still relate with her insecurities and lack of experience at her age. But I loved her personality and her drive and the way she also learned from her mistakes. Then put Calla and Jax together, and they make not only a great problem-solving team, but also a beautiful, tender, sweet and sexy couple. The way their story comes together is fantastic and I loved it to the very end.

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