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. – Goodreads
Is there anything worse than a book slump? I don’t think so. After two weeks of not being to get into any book I finally decided to get into my library audiobooks, because they’ll be due soon. I am not sure that Stay With Me was the right choice. This book had so many problems for me, that while yes, it was nice to be reading again, I wished I would have read something…better.
Stay With Me could have worked, this could have turned into an awesome story about growth. But instead Calla was a huge pushover who annoyed me throughout the novel. I get that confidence does not come easy and takes awhile to come into, but even by the end there was no confidence. Ultimately, I expected more from this novel and was disappointed. I was disappointed that Calla kept calling her group of friends The Hot Guy Brigade, and she is just their friend. But I don’t think she’s really their friend, she doesn’t tell them anything. She’s told them her mother died. She doesn’t tell them anything about her past and that’s not friendship. Friendship is opening up and telling the hard things even when it sucks. The thing is, The Hot Guy Brigade, and their girlfriends want to know more about Calla. They want to be part of her family and they want to know more about her.
Following the same fashion as the previous two books in this series, it is full of the drama. But that drama is also what makes this book relatable. There were parts to Calla that I understood. I have next to nothing in common with Calla, I come from a fairly happy family, I’m not burned, I have no interest in being a nurse and yet I understood her longing to belong. I understood her wanting to be loved and to be part of her own family. The problem with this book and the rest of the series is so much of it ultimately blends together for me and makes it hard for me to enjoy or remember if I’m being honest.