“Avoidance is human nature.”
Pax Tate drowns his sorrows in drugs and alcohol. Being in oblivion is much better for him to cope with his past, or lack thereof. He has blanks in his memory, ones he’s chosen to subconsciously suppress, and it affects his everyday life. Ever since his mother died when he was a young child, his father and grandfather cut him off emotionally. Dealing with the past, family and the horrible nightmares is enough to push him over the ledge. Why deal with it all when it’s so much easier to black out and forget everything? One night turns to a near fatal experience, but is it enough to wake him from this nonexistent life he’s hates living?
“It isn’t long before the blackness comes back. I welcome it with open arms. I sing to it, I croon to it. I cradle it in my arms. I do whatever the fuck I want to to it because it’s a blackness of nights, and it doesn’t care. If I am alone in the dark, nothing matters. I can’t hurt anyone but myself, and I fucking deserve it.
I close my eyes and let the darkness cradle me. It can fuck me for all I care.”
Mia Hill is a blessing in disguise. She too is dealing with the loss of her parents, but through painting. It’s a way to free her emotions and the stress in her life. Painting is healing for her. If that’s not enough, her and her sister Madison, are struggling to keep the restaurant their parents left them up and running. Finding Pax on the beach one night changes so much for her, both good and bad. She’s finding herself drawn to him when she doesn’t want to be. She’s on guard when it comes to him though. She’s been hurt emotionally and with so much going on in her life, is Pax worth the risk if the only outcome she can see is heartbreak?
I would’ve preferred Pax to be a bit more of an asshole, to be honest. He did have those jerk tendencies that I love to read about, but I could always use more. Hey, that’s just me! He’s bitter and hurt from the past, and when all is finally revealed, well, he never expected it- nor did Mia. It was definitely a surprise to me and I felt it down to my bones. My heart ached for him because I wasn’t sure how he was going to handle the situation, if he was going to fall back into his old lifestyle or not. I was totally surprised by Mia’s actions towards the end. I did not see her doing what she did and for so long. I wanted so bad for them both to wake up!
Mia was an angel Pax never saw coming. The chemistry between them is pretty hot from the beginning, but how can it now be? Pax is delicious!
“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.”
Pax hated his life, but meeting Mia made him want to be a better a person. She saw his weaknesses and how easily it was for him to fall back. She was there for him when he needed it the most. But when one is pushed away, oh lord, my heart could not handle it!
If You Stay hits a little close to home for me…It was very real and raw in certain aspects involving drug use. I was caught off guard by how much the author got her facts right. I found myself not wanting this book to end and when it did, there was a bittersweet feeling to it that left a smile on my face. This is one of those books that I can look back on and make me feel content, at ease…it obviously took up a place in my heart.
Courtney Cole is a new to me author who was able to evoke so many emotions from me quite early on. When an author can do that, I know they’re a keeper.
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.