Book Review: STAY WITH ME by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Genre: NA, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 448

Released on: September 23rd, 2014

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Goodreads Summary:

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.

My Review:

OMG. Hot, hot, hot. Like fiery pits of hell combined with the heat of a thousand suns upper-cutting a whale giving birth. This book is great. But it didn’t start off that way… Let me explain.

So, to start, I was having some trouble getting into it. I know Calla is from Be With Me and we saw her friendship with Tessa, but I wasn’t really interested in her as a character in Be With Me. For that reason, it made it a little hard to care about her story right from the start. But the book also starts off with Cam, Avery, Tess, and Jase all in the first chapter so for that reason I kept going. Once I reached maybe four chapters in, I was hooked.

Then I started to really sympathize with Calla and her situation and, let’s be real, financial problems are an issue pretty much anyone can empathize with. And I overall really enjoyed Calla’s voice throughout the novel. From the start though, I wasn’t too sold on Jax. He seemed like the type of guy who bosses everyone around because he thinks he knows what’s best for someone before the other person even recognizes it. And frankly, people like that bother me. He carried himself like he knew what was right and everyone else was wrong. So, Jax was a no-go from the beginning of the story.

But.

I came around to him. He’s seen some things in his life that make him weary and that’s why he tries to keep everyone away from the hurt and pain he’s experienced. In this case, Calla. However, Calla’s personality doesn’t put up with that too easily. She’s strong-headed, but also naive. And that’s a very cool combination because the two characteristics often clash. Jax’s passion for protecting those he cares about is one of the things I love about him. But it’s also a flaw of his.

Like any good JLA book, this one has lots of different conflicts wrapped in. There’s Calla’s own personal demons, then there’s her missing mother, then there’s Jax. So, it’s nice to see how all these conflicts intertwine and get themselves solved.

Overall, it’s yet another beautifully complex and delicious read by JLA. And I’m pretty sure I’ll be seeing Jax in my dreams for quite awhile.

MY RATING: 5/5

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