Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Review: If You Stay (The Broken Ones #1) by Courtney Cole

If You Stay (The Broken Ones, #1)Author: Courtney Cole
Series: The Broken Ones
Pages: eBook
Genre: New Adult/Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Lakehouse Press

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

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 fa├žade.
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?

Review: 5 out of 5 stars

This book is not a Young Adult novel; it contains language, sexual, drug and alcohol themes.

If You stay is another book in which I became immersed into the story and put real-life on hold. It kept me riveted from the very first page and held my attention throughout.

24 year-old Pax Tate lives off his inheritance, he is a {gorgeous} loner with a drug habit who used women when it suited him and treated everyone in a way which made him come across as an ass but things quickly change when he meets Mila Hill, the stranger who saves him from an overdose.

23 year-old Artist, Mila was a sweetheart to Pax – caring, devoted and her loyalty was unwavering but she held firm in her beliefs, respected herself and didn’t let him walk all over her but guided him to become a better person. I adored her as a character, her nature was so different to Pax’s but she bought out the best in him and tolerated him at his worst.

Pax has locked away a very important memory from his childhood which has left a huge void in his heart and more or less tore his family apart, he knows it relates to his mothers death when he was seven but he hasn’t wanted to dredge up the painful past. I was heart-broken for the person Pax had become, with Mila he came across as a sweetheart but you could also see how vulnerable he was and couldn’t help but wish happiness for them both.

Told from alternating POV’s, we get great insight into both of the characters and even though Mila had a few small issues since the death of her parents, she didn’t let Pax’s behaviour slide, she protected herself and her heart well.

If You Stay is definitely a story about redemption and salvation for Pax in the form of Mila, it was raw, dark and is full of ‘real life’ issues that the author dealt with beautifully such as drug and alcohol abuse, it wasn’t pretty but it was believable.

I have read Ms. Cole’s Paradise Diaries series and this book is so different to those books! It is smexy, romantic and full of heartfelt sweetness – the characters chemistry was off the charts.

Overall, a wonderfully written, emotionally engaging story with amazing characters and a really endearing HEA. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, If You Leave which follows Mila’s older sister Madison.

A great start to The Broken Ones series. 


  1. I'm completely thrilled with your review!! This sounds exactly like something I'll love and it's a book I just bought on impulse, hoping it would be a good one. :) At least today you aren't the cause of me blowing my book budget.

    Great review, Sharon!

    1. Haha! my budget is constantly blown on books ;)

      I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did, it was wonderful!

  2. Wahoo.....I love your review and ooh I want to read this. *click, confirm, buy* And that quickly I bought it

    1. Yay! enjoy Kimba, these characters were amazing! I loved everything about it.

  3. One of the best books I've ever read! I love it so much! Pax is amazing!:)

    1. Wasn't he a sweetheart! such a broken soul but I adored him <3

  4. I love your review, Sharon! You nailed all the reasons I loved If You Stay!

    1. Thanks Andrea <3 it was such a smexy, heartfelt read - definitely a fave!


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