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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,


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BN stumbles, reverses course; Nook Press not releasing some self published titles; Noble Romance closing its doors

BN stumbles, reverses course; Nook Press not releasing some self published...

What we know today is that revenue fell 10 percent at the retail stores and nook revenue fell 29 percent.  BN says to expece revenue in stores open at least one year to fall “fall in the high single digit percentage range at retail stores and the low single digits at college stores. Michael Huseby, president of Barnes & Noble and CEO of Nook Media, said the company plans to release at least one new Nook device during the upcoming holiday season.” The Washington Post will be relaunched next year and BN is currently saying that they are back in the tablet business “If we want to be in the content business we need to be in the device business, no matter how they’re produced. We think we produce better devices than anybody else.”

So no spin off of Nook Media. No cessation of tablet devices. A ramp up of new media contracts.  Who knows, right?

Speaking of BN, some self published authors have reported issues with Nook Press.  It would be one thing if these were unknowns but one of the authors having issues is Tammara Webber who’s book “Here Without You” had an official release date of August 6.  It went live everywhere but BN and despite multiple emails and requests for assistance, the book did not go live until yesterday evening after Webber finally went public with her frustration.  This is also true for other authors.

One author who has self published a successful novel reported that she contacted Nook Press 4 times since she pressed the publish button and received nothing but assurances that the issue would be looked into. That was a week ago.  There is no phone number and no email address for assistance. Nook Press requires authors to use an online chat feature for help but there is almost no help forthcoming.

Delaying sales on the Nook Press platform only provides incentive for authors to go Amazon exclusive and given the popularity of self published books with digital readers, the failure to promptly publish these books will reduce the viability of the Nook as a digital publishing platform.

Over the next 30 days, we will remove all books for sale through all sales channels.

We will continue to send monthly royalty statements out and pay all royalties owed until all payments have been collected. We anticipate that this could be as soon as October, but we do not completely control third party sales.

Once this process is complete, this means that your rights will automatically revert to you per our agreement and if you need a letter confirming this, please email us and we will be happy to provide you one.”

That’s pretty good news for the Noble Romance authors.

I thought the DA readership would enjoy the quirkiness of it.