Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Elyssa Patrick

REVIEW:  Stay With Me by Elyssa Patrick

REVIEW: Stay With Me by Elyssa Patrick

Dear Ms. Patrick:

I’ve been reading a ton of New Adult books lately (probably because of the sheer number of them that are being published), but your new book, Stay With Me, is one that stood out to me as particularly polished, featuring interesting characters and one of my favorite hero tropes: the Caregiving hero.

Stay With Me by Elyssa PatrickHailey Bloom has been a star her entire life. She sings, she dances, she’s instantly recognizable all over the world (although presumably not for “twerking” a la Miley Cyrus). She’s decided to leave it all behind and go to college. It’s the first time in a really long time that she’s done anything at all just for herself. She didn’t consider the feelings of her controlling stage mother, her publicists, her fans, no one. She’s doing this for herself. But she’s having trouble getting over being “Hailey Bloom”.

When she arrives at Green College, she finds that the guys want to be the first to have nailed Hailey Bloom, and the girls don’t much like her because she’s famous and pretty, and all the guys want to be able to brag about having sex with a star. Her classes are much harder than she expected and her teachers assume that she’s been given everything in her life, so they are harder on her than she thinks is fair. One night, at a party, she steps outside to take a breather from being constantly scrutinized and finds herself on the back deck with Caleb Fox.

Caleb knows exactly who she is, but doesn’t treat her like she’s anything other than a pretty girl. He’s not star-struck, he’s not gushing, and he’s not making any particular moves on her. He’s kind, and offers her his jacket when she’s cold, and shields her from the interest of other guys who come outside looking for her. Make no mistake, he’s definitely attracted, as is Hailey, but he’s not pushy, and she likes that about him. But Hailey is at college to get a serious degree, and has no time for romance. She does share a kiss with him, but leaves the party directly afterwards.

Not one to give up on a girl who he thinks is a lot more than her public persona, Caleb decides to take action the next day when he literally bumps into Hailey at a farmers market, spilling tea on her. He takes her to his house to give her a dry t-shirt, and they end up having a very romantic encounter in his kitchen. Soon Hailey has met Caleb’s younger sister, who is also a freshman, and who strikes up an immediate friendship with Hailey, as well as most of his friends. And Hailey and Caleb begin a tentative and very sweet romance. Caleb woos Hailey with patience, care and respect. But when Hailey’s mother decides to snatch Hailey back into the limelight by telling secrets, Hailey’s instinct is to push away her love and the friends that she’s made. Will Caleb allow her to reject what they’re building? And will he be horrified when he learns more about Hailey’s past?

Because we are friendly on Twitter, I’ve read a number of books by you, and I think that your voice is particularly suited to New Adult. I found Hailey to be an interesting character, definitely damaged by the price of fame, but with a level of sweetness that made her likeable, even when she was pushing away the few who cared about her. Caleb is a dreamy beta hero. He’s not dominating in any way, but he’s determined to woo Hailey, and will not allow her to push him away. I found their romance to be quite charming.

My only complaints about the book would be that Caleb in particular is surrounded by a huge cast of friends, who clearly were sequel bait. And at times, I had a hard time keeping them straight. I also felt like I was missing a big confrontation between Hailey and her mother. I would have liked to have seen Hailey defend herself more against her mother, but I also thought her reaction rang true to her character. I just wished that Mommy Dearest had gotten what was coming to her.

Overall, I found Stay With Me to be a sweet and charming New Adult book that I enjoyed every moment of. I’m really looking forward to the next installment of the series. Final grade: B+.

Kind regards,

Kati

AmazonBNSonyKoboAREBook DepositoryGoogle

#Giveaway:  Elyssa Patrick, Ilona Andrews,Tracey Garvis Graves

#Giveaway: Elyssa Patrick, Ilona Andrews,Tracey Garvis Graves

Welcome to the Dear Author August Extravaganza, Day 29.

Every day this month, we are giving away copies of books, both digital and print, as well as gift certificates and even a digital reader. Stay tuned to this link to see all of the giveaways. They only last a few days each so keep visiting.

From Author Elyssa Patrick

STAYwithMeFINALamazon
With one look, I’m his . . .

With one touch, he’s mine . . .

With one kiss, it changes everything between us . . .

I’ve been famous since I can remember. Singing, acting, dancing—I’ve done it all. The tabloids cover my every move, but I don’t want that anymore. I want to be normal, whatever that is.

When I leave Hollywood for college in Vermont, I’m on my own for the first time in my life. This is my chance to figure out who I am and what I want in life.

But it’s a lot harder than I expected. I can’t escape my image. Classes are difficult, and I’m struggling. And then there’s Caleb Fox.

Sexy, intriguing Caleb Fox.

Caleb is the one man who doesn’t want to use me. He breaks down my walls. He challenges me. He wants me. And I just don’t know if I can give him the same—or if he’ll stick around when he finds out my shameful secret that the tabloids haven’t managed to uncover.

Dating him is risky enough, but loving him could break me.

website * TwitterGoodreads link

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ilona Andrews

Ilona-Andrews-backlist

The world has suffered a magic apocalypse. We pushed the technological progress too far, and now magic returned with a vengeance. It comes in waves, without warning, and vanishes as suddenly as it appears. When magic is up, planes drop out of the sky, cars stall, electricity dies. When magic is down, guns work and spells fail.

It’s a volatile, screwed-up world. Magic feeds on technology, gnawing down on skyscrappers until most of them topple and fall, leaving only skeletal husks behind. Monsters prowl the ruined streets, werebears and werehyenas stalk their prey; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds.

In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight.  But sometimes even trained killers make friends and fall in love, and when the universe tries to kick them in the face, they kick back.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tracey Garvis Graves

on-the-island-penguin-cover

 

Tracey Garvis Graves breakout novel On the Island hit #5 on the New York Times bestseller list and has sold over 500,000 copies to date, all for a book that Tracey originally promoted from her dining room table with guerilla marketing for less than $1,500.  Her recent eSpecial Uncharted: An On The Island Novella delighted fans by reuniting them with T.J. and Anna, uncovering the truth behind the mystery of the island𔃅s shack, and leaving Tracey𔃅s rabid audience hungry for more.

Now Tracey returns with her first hardcover novel COVET (Dutton; $25.95; September 17, 2013) which explores an intriguing subject often overlooked in women𔃅s fiction: emotional affairs.  A captivating story about three people who must choose between temptation, honor, and love, COVETintroduces us to Chris and Claire whose marriage is on the brink of fracturing.  This mesmerizing novel asks the provocative question – what if the life you wanted, and the person you loved, belonged to someone else?  Like a Jennifer Weiner, Emily Giffin, or Kristen Hannah novel, COVET is a smart, touching, and funny drama about relatable, intriguing people and relationships.

a Rafflecopter giveaway