Say You’ll Stay
by Corinne Michaels
Release Date: June 20, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
5 Heart-Warming Small Town Crowns
Say You’ll Stay is the first book I have read by Corinne Michaels. I own three of her books but have never read them. This may seem odd, but let me explain. First, they all sound really good based on reviews and synopses, but I don’t like to read a story until it is fully written. So, the first two books I purchased are part of a duet, and, as result, I put off reading book one until book two was published. Then as all things do, reading them just got away from me. The second reason I haven’t read them is that Corinne Michaels doesn’t generally write tropes that I read. It is really hard for me to read about people who have lost spouses or have gotten divorced. The book has to be written especially well for me to like it if the plot line centers around one of these tropes.
Having said that, Say You’ll Stay, even though it follows one of these traditional tropes, accomplishes this perfectly. After a devastating loss, Presley is forced to return home with her twin sons, Logan and Cayden. She thinks her teenage lost love, Zach, has long since fled their hometown only to be surprised that he has also returned home. Say You’ll Stay chronicles the rekindling of their love while balancing the healing of a woman who has lost it all.
One attribute of this trope that generally turns me away from stories like this is it is hard for an author to pull off a woman loving two men. I often find that the first relationship is discounted, and the author tries to show the first love wasn’t real or as important as their one true love. Discrediting the first relationship to show the importance of the second relationship just doesn’t work for me. I end up hating the main character and the story. Corinne Michaels does not do this, which is one of the main reasons I enjoy this story so much! Through Presley’s characterization, the reader sees that she honors her relationship with Todd and still works to maintain her connections to his family for not only her sons but also herself. She never denies that she loved Todd. She never devalues what they had together, and this makes me love her and root for her to get her happy ending. I also really like that Zach never tries to devalue her previous marriage either. He never speaks poorly about her previous husband. He never tries to get her to admit that she never loved him. With his actions, the reader can see that he is also honoring what Presley and her sons had with Todd. Just like with Presley, his actions make me fall in love with Zach as a hero, and I am able to love them as a couple.
If I could some up my feelings of this story in one word, it would be heart-warming. There are times when I was on the verge of tears, let’s be honest, the first couple chapters were gutting, but by the end of the book my heart was a gooey mess on the floor. This is going to sound corny, but warmth just radiated throughout my body, liken it to the Grinch’s heart growing. I could just feel it in my bones. Presley’s road to forgiveness for herself, for Todd, and for Zach is just beautiful.
This is truly a fantastic read by Corinne Michaels, and I hope we get to see more from this cast of characters.
“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.
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 **
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/