Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Little Death - My Review of STAY WITH ME by J. Lynn (aka Jennifer L. Armentrout)

STAY WITH ME is a New Adult contemporary romance being published by Avon (William Morrow), an imprint of HarperCollins, and is a part of Jennifer’s With You Saga!

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       STAY WITH ME Synopsis: 

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
Jennifer L. Armentrout/J.Lynn Bio: # 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 ** Facebook ** Twitter ** J. Lynn Goodreads  ** Jennifer L. Armentrout Goodreads

Stay With Me Goodreads

Because I reviewed an ARC and not a final copy, I am going to just concentrate on the things that I liked about the story and characters.  I encountered a few problems that I am going to assume were taken care of in final edits.  Also, I've discovered that I personally prefer this author's fantasy/paranormal stories more and therefore my review may be a little skewed.

It was really interesting to see Calla  leave school and head back to her hometown.  After discovering that her mother had stolen all of her money for school and had even jeopardized her ability to get financial aide for the next year, Calla returns home to find that her mother is missing.  The first person that Calla meets when she returns is Jackson James, or Jax, and he is tending bar at Mona's, the bar that Calla's parents had bought before their lives fell apart.

Jax is really a rather perfect character.  Is there such a thing as a good 'bad boy'?  If so, then he is it.  Jax is ex-military and carries that edge of tension and danger on his every breath. He quickly attaches himself to Calla and becomes her protector in her mother's drug-filled, dangerous world.  He is funny and sexy and extremely protective.

Because of her scars, both external and internal, Calla has a hard time trusting that Jax could really be interested in her. Besides, there is just something about him that makes her feel like she doesn't know the whole story.

Calla and Jax experience a lot of the same problems that most New Adult couples face such as; jealousy, ex-lovers, lack of communication, and the like, but with the added element of life-threatening danger.  It turns out that Calla isn't the only one looking for her mother and the other guys don't really care about keeping things nice.

While taking into consideration that Calla is twenty-one and has never been in a relationship before, I still felt that the way she kept running instead of dealing with things that come up with her and Jax was just annoying.  They had major talks about her doing this, but yet she continues to react this way throughout the story.  But like she says she's all in,
"But that doesn't mean I'm not going to do dumb stuff."
It was great to see some familiar faces even though Calla had left campus.  Cam, Avery, Jase, & Teresa all come to town to visit Calla during the summer.  And if you look real carefully, you can see Kyler and Sydney from Frigid.

Overall, this wasn't my favorite JLA book, but it was still entertaining.  I personally think that she writes some of the swooniest boys out there so pick this one up, just for the new book boyfriend if no other reason.  Jax is worth it.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Thank you to InkslingerPR for the opportunity to read STAY WITH ME in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This first song, A Little Death by The Neighborhood was chosen because of the chorus. The lyrics just seemed perfect for Calla.

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