24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.
He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match.
But he’s got his reasons.
His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn’t understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count.
As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn’t work. His dad couldn’t overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn’t keep up the impossible perfect façade.
So he slipped far, far from it.
Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn’t want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn’t there, then it isn’t, right?
And it’s never more apparent than when he meets Mila.
Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he’s got to figure it out because he needs her to breathe.
When memories of his mother’s death resurface from where he’s repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one…the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness.
But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it.
He knows that. And he’s working on it.
But is that enough to make her stay?
If You Stay is the first book I've read by Courtney Cole and I'm hitting myself on the head because she is an amazing author so I should've definitely read her books before. If You Stay is a new adult contemporary romance and if you're a fan of anything new adult like me you should go grab this book asap.
Pax Tate is an asshole. Those direct words are so true. Pax is an asshole and he knows it. He doesn't deny it nor does he make any excuses for it. I think his honesty with himself and towards the others is what made him such a fabulous character despite of him being an asshole most of the times. Pax had a really messed up past and as things begin to unravel we get to see all the reasons behind his behavior.
Then Pax meets Mila. Mila was a genuinely nice and sweet person. In some ways she was the exact opposite of Pax but I guess that is what made them so perfect for each other. It was like two puzzle pieces fitting together. Mila herself has been through a lot of things so we can understand her hesitance with Pax. I liked Mila quiet strength and her ability to stand her ground in tough situations. Her support towards Pax just made me like her all the more.
Pax and Mila together form a great couple. They have easy chemistry and the attraction cannot be missed. Leaving the physical attraction aside, the way they complete each other emotionally was just as great to watch. Pax and Mila are both flawed and to see them working through their issues to actually be with each other was beautiful. The way Pax is smitten by Mila is super cute. Their love story was amazing yet realistic.
Courtney Cole's writing style was bold and engaging. There was no shying away from any topics. The book goes from Pax and Mila's point of views so we get the whole story from both the sides. Pax's past was just heart breaking and to see him get a happy ending after all that he's been through made it that much more of an enjoyable read. I am so looking forward to reading more books by Courtney Cole. If You Stay is a great addition to the new adult genre.