Welcome to today’s stop on the review tour for STAY WITH ME by J. Lynn/Jennifer L. Armentrout!
Stay with Me by J. Lynn
Series: Wait for You #3 (full reading order below)
Release Date: September 23rd 2014
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You and Be with Me comes a daring tale that pushes boundaries . . .
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.
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JLA is one of those authors that you can trust–when I pick up a JLA book, I know that I won’t be disappointed, and her latest release, Stay with Me, is no exception. I am sooo in love with this series. Each book in the Wait for You series manages to be a captivating, sexy, fun read, and I highly enjoyed Calla and Jax’s story.
We first met Calla as Teresa’s college friend in Be with Me. We didn’t really know much about her, except for the scar she has running down her face, but it turns out there’s a LOT to this girl. First, she’s incredibly self-conscious about her scars–the one on her face and the ones on her body–so much so that she hasn’t really… well, done anything. She’s never been kissed, let alone had sex, never gotten drunk, never done anything fun during her 21 years. Her main focus has been getting through nursing school. Second, Calla has many secrets, secrets that shame her enough that she hides her past from her friends.
So when her drug addict of a mother steals all of Calla’s money that she needs to pay for school, Calla can’t keep hiding her secrets and ignoring/running away from her past anymore. The summer after her school year is over, Calla reluctantly packs up and moves back to her hometown, a place she never wanted to return to, to try to track down her mother to get her money back. But she never expected to get involved in dangerous schemes, and she definitely never expected Jax.
“… When I want something, I go for it. Life is way too damn short to live any other way. And I want to get to know you better.” Those lashes lowered one more time, his gaze tracking to my lips like they were some kind of mecca. “Yeah, I definitely want to get to know you better.”
Jax is the ex-marine bartender who works at the bar owned by Calla’s mother, and he is smokin’. He’s sexy, honest, blunt, and a very straightforward guy. And while I really, really liked Jax (and his naughty, naughty ways) I didn’t LOVE him like I wanted to. It took a while for me to warm up to him. Jax just seemed a bit too shallow at first, so I was reserved when he was first introduced, but over time, I gradually became fonder of him. He’s hot, but what I liked most about Jax was how sweet he is to Calla. He shows her just how beautiful she truly is, despite, and even because of, her scars.
“You like me.”
His lips twitched. “Not a new flash, honey. I like you, knowing that the scars are a part of you.”
“But how?” It wasn’t the first time I asked him this.
“I’ve already told you how.” Both hands were back on my waist again, and my breath caught. “I think it’s past time for me to just show you.”
I couldn’t really connect with Calla in the beginning, although like with Jax, I ended up enjoying her character as the book went on. I understood how her scars made her feel self-conscious and my heart went out to her, but I wanted her to stand up for herself more, to believe in herself more. But as Calla spends more time back in her hometown, working alongside Jax at the bar to make some money, she does gain more strength within herself. I really liked reading about her character growth–she learns not to hide her scars or hide away from those who care for her.
Calla and Jax together equals hotness!! I will say that Jax is definitely one of the hotter JLA boys, even though he’s not my favorite of her male characters. Jax gets to be Calla’s first for a lot of things, and I adored the two of them together. They do have bumps along the way, so it’s not an easy relationship between them. I liked that they had bumps, even though I wanted to strangle the two of them sometimes, because they two of them made a really great couple.
There’s also some action and suspense in Stay with Me, which I wasn’t expecting, or at least expecting that much of. Because of Calla’s drug addict mother, Calla and Jax are thrust into some dangerous stuff–some of which include threats, guns, drugs, drug dealers, the whole shebang. Some of the it was intense, some of it was predictable, but overall, I really enjoyed this suspenseful aspect of the book.
Stay with Me was another great addition to the Wait for You series. It definitely has a different feel than the other books, but it worked well with the story and characters. Calla and Jax’s story was so much fun to read–it’s not my favorite of the series, but I still really enjoyed it! It’s a fairly long book, but in between the hot chemistry between Jax and Calla, and the action and suspense, the pages flew by for me. Fans of the series won’t be disappointed with this next installment.
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.
Reading Order: Wait for You series
#1 ~ Wait for You: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Trust in Me: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Be with Me: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Stay with Me: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ Fall with Me: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4.5 ~ Dream of You: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (June 23, 2015)
#5 ~ Forever with You: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (Sept. 29, 2015)
#6 ~ Fire in You: Goodreads (2016)
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.
She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.
Website • Twitter • Facebook • J.Lynn Goodreads • Jennifer L. Armentrout Goodreads