Also in this series: Fall with Me, Wait for You, Forever with You, Be with Me
Series: Wait For You #3
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on September 23rd 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Narrator: Sophie Eastlake
Length: 14 Hours and 31 Mins
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.
Calla has never really had the chance to live a life she has wanted to, but she has a “bucket list” of items she desperately desires to do. Calla has been working hard to forget her life previously to coming to college and the painful memories it brings. She is focusing on her nursing education and spending time with her friends. Friends that she tells no real truths about herself with. But when her past comes back to bite her in the behind, she is forced to return home and face up to real facts. Her mother is on the run, messed up with some dangerous people, took everything Calla had financially, and now Calla is in debt and has little money. She ends up returning to the bar her mother, Mona owns a place she tried long and hard to forget. Then she meets the man who runs it, Jax. Jax is sex on a stick….sexy, drop dead gorgeous and built with lean muscle and with the most gorgeous lips and brows that Calla can’t get enough of. He knows how desperate her situation is, and he knows her more than he lets on. But when Calla’s life is threatened because of the bad people Mona is messed up with, Calla has no choice but to lean on the one man who can protect her. Will Calla find a love she never dreamed of finding and getting a happy ever after she deserves or will her past ruin any chance of a future with Jax?
Jaxon James is a man who has seen some horrors in his life. He grew up in a mining town and enlisted in the military, never wanting a part of that small town life. Jaxon discovered true horrors once he enlisted into the marines and went on tours. He saw horrific things happens and lost close friends and managed to save the life of his closest buddy Reece. But Jaxon is still haunted at times by his time in the military. Now he works a bar, has rebuilt it from the druggy’s that worked there into a reputable business. But Jaxon is holding back from Calla, a woman he wants more than life itself. He knows that this is not the place for her, its not safe. He understands the dealing that Mona has had for years, but Jaxon is determined to keep the woman he loves safe at all cost. Now Jaxon was a hero you would want to marry—-swoon worthy, but honorable, kind and so nice. He can be a bit alpha at times, but I felt like it was not overkill and really balanced him out. He is confident and goes after what he wants. In the past he has been a bit of a man whore at times, but when you understand why, it becomes understandable in the end and I admired his strength and protective instincts and loved the way he was with Calla.
“I gotta tell you that I love you, Calla,” he said, and I was surprised the heart monitor didn’t catch the fact it felt like my heart had stopped for a moment. “No bullshit. I do. I love the way you think, even if it’s annoying as fuck at times and even then it’s still cute. I love that there’s a shit ton of things you’ve never gotten to experience and that you’re going to get to experience them with me. That I have that honor. I love your strength and everything you’ve survived. I love your courage and I love that you make shit drinks, but no one cares, because you’re so damn nice.
Calla is twenty one years old, and in her mind hasn’t really lived much of a life. Never been kissed, never had alcohol, never eaten apple pie, or gone on a roller coaster.
“I’ve never had apple pie,” I blurted out.
“You’ve never had apple pie?”
His brows rose. “Why?”
“I don’t know. Just never tried it.”
“That’s so…so un-American,” he said, and I rolled my eyes. “Are you a terrorist?”
Her life hasn’t been one where she could do those things. She has spent her whole life fixing up her mothers messes. When Calla was just a girl, her two brothers were killed in a fire and she was scarred, scars she tries desperately to cover up with the best line of makeup available. Calla’s life changed after the fire. Her father deserted the family, because he couldn’t deal. Her mother became a druggie and alcoholic. But when she came to college, she thought her life would change for the better and she had a plan for the future. But when that future is ruined she has no choice but to return home and try to fix her mother’s problems. Calla is a heroine I instantly connected with. She has gone through a horrible childhood and teen years. I admired her inner strength and courage she has. She is very resilient, we also see some character growth in her where she truly realizes the importance of Living life instead of just existing.
Plot and Story Line
Stay With Me is the third installment in the series but the first book I have picked up from this author. When I saw the audiobook avaiable through my library….I snatched it up instantly. I was hoping that it wouldn’t be too much to pick up a book in the middle of the series and one thing I liked was even though I found myself intrigued by the two previous couples, I didn’t feel like I had to read the previous books to read this one, it was pretty easy to catch on. Now Stay With Me was a book I was instantly drawn into. I was intrigued by the blurb, and just wanted to know more of this pair. Both Calla and Jax make such a great couple, but I just love it when an author introduces trauma into a character. It seems to add more depth to a story and boy did J.Lynn AKA Jennifer L. Armentrout really create a beautiful and heart wrenching romance story that had me listening to this audiobook as much as possible.
“Each time I saw you, I felt like . . . I felt like I knew you a little bit better. I never talked to you but seeing you always smiling or laughing . . . or being peaceful . . .” He shook his head, and my heart spasmed. “There’s something about that . . . it drew me in, Calla. Fuck. I fell for you before you even knew my name.”
In fact I stayed up late yesterday finishing it up, because I couldn’t take my ear buds out. The story just got better with each chapter and this pair is so perfect for each other. They both learn certain lessons that are needed for a healthy relationship. Neither of them have had a full on serious romantic relationship, so they both make mistakes but they also learn how to be better partners for each other along the way as they stumble and fall but they get right back up and keep working at it. This aspect is what I loved most, neither Jax or Calla gave up on the love they discovered for each other. They keep fighting for it even if they make stupid mistakes. But we also get a “dangerous” aspect added to the story line that really added to the story and didn’t detract from it. I love a good mystery and suspense and boy did I enjoy this portion of the story so much!!! The humor was fantastic and I had so many bursts of laughter from the dry humor that was put in the story that really lightened up some more serious tones of it. This was quite a remarkable romance to read and I can’t wait to pick up the rest of the series!!
WOW!! I really love this cover, because that pose….man I LOVE it!! Its so *sigh* fantastic and it makes you give a double take when you look at it. Very compelling.
Stay With Me is a compelling and heart wrenching romance that will leave you spellbound from the first pages. A love story that shows the strength of love, and showing its readers that the right love is worth fighting for. A PROFOUND ROMANCE!!