I am SO thrilled to be a part of the STAY WITH ME blog tour, organized by Inkslinger PR. I love Jennifer L. Armentrout's Wait For You NA series. I never thought I'd say this, but Stay With Me was absolutely the best one yet. Read on for my review, and stay tuned tomorrow for an excerpt, the trailer and a great giveaway. And, don't forget to pre-order STAY WITH ME. Today's the last day to use your pre-order to gain a special Cam and Avery bonus scene! Visit Jennifer's Web site to learn more!
To Be Published September 23, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: e-book, provided by the author and Inkslinger PR
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iTunes ** Kobo ** GooglePlay
Rating: 5 STARS
(From Goodreads) 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.
The unthinkable has happened. I thought no guy in Jennifer L. Armentrout's Wait For You series could top Cam. I mean, Jase came really, really close. But, those Sunday morning eggs of his edged Cam out as top book boyfriend. Until now. Jax... well, this guy is so unbelievably amazing. He did it. He edged Cam out of the top spot.
Calla has forever dubbed herself "Friend of the Hot Guy Brigade." A fire when she was young has left her permanently scarred on much of her upper body, including the left side of her face. At this point, she's just trying to make it through college. When her junkie mom cleans her out, Calla is forced to go back to her hometown to try and get to the bottom of things. While there, she meets Jax who seems unbelievably unconcerned about her appearance. He's also very protective of her, especially when the guys who are after her mom start coming after her.
I've always been a big fan of stories in which the girl is put in some sort of mortal peril and the guy feels the need to take on the alpha male protector role. It's not that I enjoy seeing females reduced to the quintessential damsels in distress. On the contrary - I prefer strong, resilient women who make their own decisions and can stand on their own two feet. But, let's face it. In the face of danger, most people will crumble a bit, and it's always good to have someone there to back you up. Bonus points if that someone is super duper hot and sexy.
Calla is amazing. She's overcome some seriously awful circumstances to remake herself. And, when she's slapped with the unthinkable - $100K in debts she didn't rack up and nowhere to stay - Calla puts on her big girl panties and goes home, which is the last place she wanted to go. Calla made me sad for awhile, because even though she was incredibly strong and super smart, she doesn't see herself that way because of her scars. She's never had a boyfriend, never traveled - never done many things because of her self-consciousness. It's unfortunate that she saw herself that way.
But, Jax saw through all that stuff right from the start. And, this man was so confident and patient, he didn't allow her constant rebuffing to deter him from getting to know her better. It's like, he saw her and immediately decided that she would be his, no matter what she had to say in the matter. I loved that about him. He was not perfect either. He has a past to answer for, and his past comes back to bite him in the ass. He didn't respond how I would've liked him to at first, and when Calla calls him on it, he does own it. But, it didn't stop me from wanting to smack him around a bit.
Jax makes it his personal mission to help Calla start to live like she never has before. He sees that it's her own self-image that is holding her back from doing the things she wants to do. And, he also was smart enough to know that all she really needed was a little bit of a push. He did push her way outside of her comfort zone more than once. It ended up being a growing and learning experience for both of them.
The bad guys after Calla's mom put her in bad situation after bad situation, and Jax is always there to help her out. He's a former soldier, so the role comes naturally for him. His take-charge attitude was what really made me love this guy. He doesn't take no for an answer when it comes to her safety. Instant. SWOON.
Stay With Me is told entirely from Calla's POV. Her relationship with Jax was real and vibrant. This story is hot, hot, hot, too. But, there's sweetness in spades too. Jax takes his time wooing Calla. It was perfectly paced with no lulls in the action at all. We see lots from Cam and Avery and Teresa and Jase too, which I loved so much. Stay With Me was one of the best NA books I've read this year.
So, Calla mentions the Hot Guy Brigade in the beginning of the book. In her words, Cam is the president of the Hot Guy Brigade. Jase is the lieutenant. Ollie was second to the lieutenant, as was Brandon, her secret crush. So, it got me thinking - who would be in my Hot Guy Brigade?
President, Krista's Hot Guy Brigade
Lieutenant, Krista's Hot Guy Brigade
Second to the Lieutenant, Krista's Hot Guy Brigade
Who's in YOUR Hot Guy Brigade?