Say You’ll Stay
Author: Corinne Michaels
Release Date: June 20, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
It was all he had to do. Instead, he got on that bus and took my heart with him.
That was seventeen years ago.
I moved on. Marriage. Kids. White picket fence. Everything I ever wanted, but my husband betrayed me and I was left once again.
Alone, penniless, and with two boys, I had no choice but to return to Tennessee. He wasn’t supposed to be there. I should’ve been safe. However, fate has a way of stepping in.
This time around, the tables are turned. It’s my decision. Second chances do exist, but I don’t know if we can repair what’s already been broken . . .
** This book is a STANDALONE **
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Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***
“…life is a gamble. You played your cards and lost. Doesn’t make you a loser. Means you need to find a new dealer.”
I am a sucker for second chance romance, it is one of my favourite tropes. There are always those instances of reminiscing of the one that got away, but what happens when you get a second chance? Sometimes the past is too painful and there is no hope of going back, but sometimes, those old feelings come back and you cannot help but fall head over heels all over again, especially when “the one” was your first love.
“How can two people remember the same thing so differently?”
Corinne Michaels is known for her emotional, angsty, romantic reads but never before have I been hit with such an emotional impact as the first part of this book. Corinne Michaels takes no prisoners with her introduction to her characters and I cried a river in the beginning. So much so, I had to take a breather. I found myself thinking, well if this is the start…what the hell have I got coming? Needless to say though, it is not like that throughout the book, but such was the intensity of the beginning, it really gave you a feel for our heroine’s story and situation. My heart went out to her and her boys.
Presley had her perfect life in the city, a business she loved, a husband she loved and two wonderful twin boys. One day she comes home from work and her life is destroyed. Everything she thought she knew was a lie, now alone, penniless and desperate, Presley is forced to go back home, to the ranch in Tennessee where she was brought up by her parents and her brother. A ranch that she never thought she would return to, much less live on and a place that had many great memories, but one god awful one and his name was Zachary Hennington.
“We were so stupid to think we could have it all and it would cost us nothing. Life doesn’t care if you’re in love, there’s always a price for happiness, we were just unwilling to pay.”
Presley and Zachary were in the “IT” couple in school, everyone wanted to be them and were jealous of the intense love that they had found with each other at such a young age. They were the forever couple, the whole town thought they would be together till death us do part, until they weren’t. Now, years later, with a marriage and kids under her belt Presley is in no emotional state to be reminded of what she lost, but Zach is back too and it was only a matter of time before their paths crossed once again.
“He breaks me apart. He puts me together. He’s my poison and my antidote…for the first time since…I feel safe. And that’s not a good thing to feel in Zach’s arms.”
Presley and Zachary’s love was never in doubt, their relationship failed because life, circumstances and situations took their lives in different directions even though the ultimate destination was their grand prize. These two were young and naïve to an extent and made choices that they would later come to regret but by that time their new paths had been laid. As with any relationship there are misunderstandings and miscommunications but nothing too dramatic, but will they give the other the chance to explain?
This was more than a second chance romance, this was a test of strength, resilience and determination for Presley, this was a new start, with new foundations and she had to find the strength to build once again. Presley’s character is tested throughout but she is surrounded by people that love her and are determined to keep her head above water and most of all, living.
“…I don’t think we’re doing anything too fast. I think we’re just finding our way back to where we always were meant to be.”
I loved the relationships on the ranch and with the Hennington’s, yes there are more than one Hennington and Wyatt, Zach’s brother was a hoot and totally adorable and I cannot wait for his book, but I digress… This was a small town, everyone knew everyone and of course everyone’s business, but they looked out for their own. The relationship that Zach grew with Presley’s boys was heart-warming and would make even the toughest, coldest hearts melt. The way the boys were taken under everyone’s wings gave a true sense of family values and friendships.
“Face it, Pres. I’m the yin to your yang.” ~ Wyatt
“You’re the shit on my shoes.” ~ Presley
“I’m the bread to your butter,” ~ Wyatt
“You’re the pain in my ass.” ~ Presley
Yes, this book was emotional, yes it was a little angsty, yes I cried a river quite a few times but most of all I felt love and happiness throughout. I never doubted these two as a couple, I was itching for them to unveil all their skeletons and move past their past, it takes time, it takes a lot of work, it takes a lot of trust but they get there. Corinne Michael’s really delivered on all those emotions that I crave and her character connection was on point. She delivered Zach and Presley’s story with poignancy and passion. Their love was palpable and radiated through the pages and I couldn’t help but frantically read to get to the conclusion I was so desperate for. The growth in Corinne Michaels writing is prevalent throughout and with each story she hones her craft. This was an unputdownable read for me and now I am anxiously awaiting Wyatt’s story, it cannot come soon enough.
“You and me, Presley. You and me. I’ll give you the world.”
“Hey.” Zach peers at me as I shake off my thoughts. “I figured you’d be asleep.” He climbs the steps slowly as I get to my feet.
“I figured you’d be gone.”
I walk toward him, unsure of why he’s here. “I left for a bit, but wanted to come check on you.”
He snickers. “I couldn’t sleep.”
“Me either.” He’s close enough that I can smell his cologne. Even after a long night, being in the woods, he smells like home.
I take another step.
I’m so close I have to tilt my head to look into his eyes.
I breathe him in, feel his heat, and I can’t stop myself. I want him. I need him. I grip his neck and yank his mouth to mine. I kiss him. I kiss him and give in to everything I’ve been feeling. He doesn’t waste a second. His arms wrap around me, holding my body against his. My fingers grip his neck, keeping him exactly where I need him. This kiss is frantic, but God it feels good.
About the Author:
Corinne Michaels is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of The Salvation Series (Beloved, Beholden, Consolation, Conviction & Defenseless). She's an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife. After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness.
Both her maternal and paternal grandmothers were librarians, which only intensified her love of reading. After years of writing short stories, she couldn't ignore the call to finish her debut novel, Beloved. Her alpha heroes are broken, beautiful, and will steal your heart.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Corinne-Michaels/e/B00KMM4JEE/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1464739381&sr=1-2-ent
Corinne Michaels Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/corinnemichaelsbooks/