Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Launch Day Blitz: If You Stay by Courtney Cole Paperback Release with Excerpt, Giveaway, and Review

 by Courtney Cole
(April 8, 2014; Forever Trade Paperback; $12.00)

Twenty-four-year-old Pax Tate is an asshole. Seriously. He's a tattooed, rock-hard bad boy with a tough attitude to match. His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with an intense guilt that he doesn't understand. What he does know is that he and his dad were left alone, and they have never been close. Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the black void in his soul. He pretends that the emptiness isn't there and this has always worked . . . until he meets Mila.

Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air that Pax has never known in his life. He doesn't know how to not hurt her-but he quickly realizes that he'd better figure it out because he needs her to breathe. When the memories of his mother's death resurface to haunt Pax, Mila is there to save him from his overwhelming guilt. Mila restores his broken heart, even as she evokes his powerful, sexual desires. Now for Pax to keep Mila, he needs to work on his issues-and stop being an asshole. But is that enough to make her stay?

Buy Links:  Amazon  |  B&N  |  iTunes

I am humming as I duck out of the shop to grab a sandwich for lunch. As I pause to lock the door, I notice Pax’s black car parked on the street twenty yards from my shop. My head snaps up and I stare at it, my fingers frozen. He’s not in it. I don’t know if I am relieved or not.
“Looking for someone?”
Pax’s voice is right behind me.
You’ve got to be kidding me. This is too coincidental. I slowly turn to find myself face to face with the very man who has invaded my thoughts. Pax smiles, a slow panty- dropping grin.
            “Are you stalking me again, Miss Hill?” He cocks an eyebrow.
My heart hammers.
“What?” I choke out. “This is my shop.”
Pax shrugs. “And that’s my car. You were staring at it like you were hoping I would get out of it.”
I’m guilty of that. I can’t say a word in my defense. Instead, I stare at him like an idiot.
“What are you doing downtown?” I finally manage, changing the subject.
“I don’t cook,” he explains. “I’m making a food run. The bar down the street makes good burgers.”
“Oh,” I answer dumbly. “That’s what I’m doing too.”
He lifts his eyebrow again.
“Not the bar,” I add quickly. “I’m going to the deli, next door to the bar.”
Pax smiles again. “All by yourself? Haven’t you heard that there are some bad things going on in Angel Bay? Just a while back, some dumbass overdosed on the beach. Apparently, they’re letting all kinds of assholes in nowadays. It’s probably not safe for you to walk alone.”
I have to grin now, at his audacity.
“Oh, really? Wow. That does sound bad. Assholes are just running loose on our streets? I guess I’ll never know now when I’m going to bump into one.”
“How very true,” he answers softly, his golden eyes frozen on mine. Sweet Jesus. The man has beautiful eyes. So bottomless and warm. Like hot caramel. I gulp.
“Is this when you take your lunch every day?” he finally asks, breaking the silent stare.
“If I go out,” I answer. “Are you planning on stalking me again?”
We’re still standing in the middle of the sidewalk, but Pax doesn’t seem to care. Instead, he grins.
“Maybe,” he answers, before holding his arm out like a gentleman. “Since I’m here and you’re here and we’re both going in the same direction . . . I’ll walk you today. I’ll keep the wolves at bay.”
I stare up at him as I slip my fingers into the crook of his leather covered elbow.
“I thought you were the baddest wolf of them all?”
He grins again, wickedly. It lights up his eyes with a gleam.
“That’s probably true,” he admits. “Are you afraid?”
“I should be,” I tell him.
But I’m not.
He walks me to the deli’s door and steps away from me. I feel the absence of his warmth immediately.
“Have a good day, Mila Hill,” he tells me, his eyes flickering up and down the length of me. “Watch out for those wolves.”
And he’s gone. He disappears into the bar and I realize that I’m standing alone outside. I shake my head and sigh, going inside to order my sandwich. I have no idea what just happened, but Pax Tate is firmly in my head now. And I have the feeling he’s not going anywhere. My stomach flutters and I realize that I like that thought.

About the author:
Courtney Cole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives near Lake Michigan with her family.  She's always working on her next project... or staring dreamily out her office window.  To learn more about her, please visit http://www.courtneycoleauthor.com/

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My Review:  Let me just begin by saying what a huge fan of Courtney Cole's that I am.  She hasn't written anything that I didn't love.  When I read the first few lines of the synopsis, "24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.  Seriously.  He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match.  But he’s got his reasons," I knew I was going to fall in love with Pax.  There's nothing I love more than a good bad boy, and true to form, Pax totally and completely captured by heart.   

If You Stay is such a heart consuming story and I found myself fully vested in it from the very first page all the way through the epilogue (which was awesome by the way).  Everyone thinks Pax is just spoiled, badass, and nothing but trouble, and he is, but he is so much more.  Underneath that harsh exterior is a little boy who has been hurt and wounded by something that no one should have to bear.  He hasn't chosen the best ways to cope with his pain by any means, and it takes a brush with death and a beautiful girl who actually cares about him for him, to make him realize that there is something worth living for.  

Mila is that beautiful girl, the girl who makes Pax realize this....the girl who saves his life in more than one way....the girl who falls hard for him, despite her attempts to keep her heart intact.  Mila has had more than her share of heartache and loss in her life, so she's not a stranger to it.  She is kind and good, and sees past Pax's facade into the goodness that she believes is there.  I just loved Mila.  She was an angel, and she did see something in Pax that was worth saving, but not too much of an angel that she couldn't also see that he was "sexy as hell."  I mean the boy oozes with bad boy hottness and makes you just want to eat him up. 

If You Stay is Pax and Mila's story, and so much more.  It is raw, heart wrenching, emotionally consuming, and absolutely beautiful.  As the reader, you experience the full gamut of emotions right along with Pax and Mila as they fall in love, experience hurt, joy, and unimaginable pain, and somehow come out on the other side, struggling right along with them, loving right along with them, crying right along with them with they hurt, and rejoicing with them in their triumphs.....not to mention the romance is sizzling hot to.  I absolutely loved If You Stay.  This  new adult contemporary romance is hot, there's no doubt about that, but it also carries a much deeper message, one that everyone who's willing should take the time to hear.      

Grand Prize: NA Prizepack feat. IF YOU STAY by Courtney Cole, FAƇADE by Nyrae Dawn, THE SECRET OF ELLA AND MICHA by Jessica Sorensen, and BEST KIND OF BROKEN by Chelsea Fine, plus 10 winners will get a copy of IF YOU STAY. Runs through April 15, open to US/Canada only. 


  1. Have heard great things and can't wait to read this!

  2. So glad you liked this! Thanks for sharing the excerpt with us!!

  3. Replies
    1. Me too. Pax is my favorite of all the guys so far.

  4. This is on my wishlist. I am a sucker for the tattooed bad boys. ;) Great review.

  5. I've read it and I love the love story - total sucker for them :)

  6. this looks and sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. My favorite part? The beginning, the end - and everything in between!

  8. Great review! I can't wait to read this book!

  9. Love the excerpt!! :) I've been meaning to read this book for a while now :)

  10. Geez, I'm horrible, I still haven't read any of her books!

    1. They are pretty intense. I am not sure if you would like them or not. I think you would really enjoy her YA books.

  11. I did not realize this hadn't released before now. I'm very happy for Courtney!

    1. The eBook released - this was the paperback release of the book. I just love Pax.

  12. I'm so pleased to see you enjoyed this Ellen! I loved it, how amazing were Pax & Mila <3

  13. The book sounds good!!! I have read some other books by the author and had enjoyed reading them!!!!


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