If You Stay: The Beautifully Broken Series: Book 1

If You Stay: The Beautifully Broken Series: Book 1

4.4 96
by Courtney Cole
     
 

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For fans of Jessica Sorensen, J.A. Redmerski, and Abbi Glines...

Twenty-four-year-old Pax Tate is an asshole. Seriously. He's a tattooed, rock-hard bad boy with a tough attitude to match. His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with an intense guilt that he doesn't understand. What he does know is that he and his dad were

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Overview

For fans of Jessica Sorensen, J.A. Redmerski, and Abbi Glines...

Twenty-four-year-old Pax Tate is an asshole. Seriously. He's a tattooed, rock-hard bad boy with a tough attitude to match. His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with an intense guilt that he doesn't understand. What he does know is that he and his dad were left alone, and they have never been close. Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the black void in his soul. He pretends that the emptiness isn't there and this has always worked . . . until he meets Mila.

Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air that Pax has never known in his life. He doesn't know how to not hurt her-but he quickly realizes that he'd better figure it out because he needs her to breathe. When the memories of his mother's death resurface to haunt Pax, Mila is there to save him from his overwhelming guilt. Mila restores his broken heart, even as she evokes his powerful, sexual desires. Now for Pax to keep Mila, he needs to work on his issues-and stop being an asshole. But is that enough to make her stay?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/17/2014
Cole (Dante’s Girl) offers a new adult take on the classic bad boy/good girl theme with her first If You Leave contemporary. Mila Hill is taking photos of Lake Michigan when she stumbles upon Pax Tate, who has overdosed on a number of substances. After she saves his life by calling an ambulance and performing CPR, Mila is drawn to find out more about this poor little rich guy who finds oblivion in drugs and alcohol. She slowly gets to know him as a damaged man whose mind is trying to shield him from a horrific childhood incident. Told in alternating first-person perspective, the story digs deep into the multitude of reasons why these two need each other so badly. Pax is hard to love, but soon the reader comes to see why Mila feels the way she does. In places, the unvarnished emotions will bring readers to tears. Gritty, raw and real. (Apr.)
Mandi - SmexyBooks.com
"...[R]aw and gritty and well done."
obsessionwithbooks.blogspot.com Obsession With Books
"If you've ever loved someone unconditionally, in spite of their problems, read this book."
Andrea - The Bookish Babe
"I loved If You Stay. Like, really really loved it. The kind of love that kept me reading until 2:40 am and left me crying, smiling, devastated, and elated. The best kind of book love."
Amanda - Globug and Hootie Need a Book
"Beautiful, raw, gritty, emotional and breath-taking are just a few of the words I can find to describe this book...reading this book was one of the best experiences I have had."
Stuck In Books (stuckinbooks.com) on IF YOU STAY
"5 stars - Love this bad boy who's heart is pure gold!"
From the Publisher
"5 stars - Love this bad boy who's heart is pure gold!"
Stuck In Books (stuckinbooks.com) on IF YOU STAY

"...You should go grab this book asap."—thereaddicts.blogspot.com

"If you've ever loved someone unconditionally, in spite of their problems, read this book."—obsessionwithbooks.blogspot.com Obsession With Books

"I loved If You Stay. Like, really really loved it. The kind of love that kept me reading until 2:40 am and left me crying, smiling, devastated, and elated. The best kind of book love."—Andrea, The Bookish Babe

"Beautiful, raw, gritty, emotional and breath-taking are just a few of the words I can find to describe this book...reading this book was one of the best experiences I have had."—Amanda, Globug and Hootie Need a Book

"...[R]aw and gritty and well done."—Mandi, SmexyBooks.com

thereaddicts.blogspot.com
"...You should go grab this book asap."
Just Bookin' Around
"If you've ever loved someone unconditionally, in spite of their problems, read this book."
Obsession With Books - obsessionwithbooks.blogspot.com
"5 stars - Love this bad boy who's heart is pure gold!"

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455550814
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
04/08/2014
Series:
Beautifully Broken Series, #1
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
368,979
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Courtney Cole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives near Lake Michigan with her family. She's always working on her next project... or staring dreamily out her office window. To learn more about her, please visit http://www.courtneycoleauthor.com/

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If You Stay: The Beautifully Broken Series: Book 1 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 96 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a very active reader. I read so much sometimes it is hard to find a really good book the the characters will stay with me even after i have finished Pax and Mila will be close to my heart for a long time the writer does an amazing job with this book. She could have stretch it out a little more for me but it would have just been filler anyways i laughed i cried and i want everyone to read this book WONDERFUL
SaraBetty More than 1 year ago
This is a book I did not want to like... But I could not put it down... Pax and Mila were two beautiful people and while there relationship was pretty dark there was more good than evil as their story unfolded... I will surely read the next books in this series... Ms Cole is a gifted author and this book had to be difficult and very emotional to write... This is not an easy book to read but there are some important messages between the covers....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Loved this book. It has alittle bit of everything. It will make you laugh and definitely make you cry. And at times it will really piss you off. But then you begin to fall in love with Pax. It very enlightening. I recommend this book to everyone. The main characters Pax & Mila are wonderful together. Mila saves Pax in so many ways. And the author really defines Pax in a way that makes you think OH MY FREAKIN GOODNESS!! Could he get anymore messed up. Then he meets Mila and you think THANK YOU GOD!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I generally distaste romance novels because, generally, they're annoyingly predictable: weak female lead dominated by very strong (commonly annoying) male and watery plots. I figured you should know that about me. If You Stay, however, was an amazing story that knocks you off your feet from the very first chapter. I couldn't help but fall in love with Pax and Mila; the depth Courtney Cole gives both characters is perfect. With a compelling plot that kept me turning pages (until one in the morning) and subtle twists I would definitely recommend If You Stay to anyone who loves a good love story. It's been a long time since a story kept me up half the night because I couldn't put  it down. So anyone who isn't sure whether they'd like If You Stay, I can honestly say that it would be completely worth it to check out the story.
FaithSullivan More than 1 year ago
Wow! Talk about an opening chapter that packs a punch. Courtney Cole walloped me right off the bat...and I liked it. For me, there's nothing better than gritty realism when it comes to contemporary romance. It gets a little tedious reading about supposed bad boys who deep down are pretty mild. Pax is the genuine article. He's the kind of guy that's really out there in the world. The damaged-beyond-repair type that good girls are encouraged to stay far away from. And that's what makes the title IF YOU STAY resonate on a deeper chord. Mila knows Pax isn't good for her. My favorite lines from her are: "I can't let you break my heart. I don't have much of it left." and "He could very definitely hurt me if I give him the chance. I've already had enough pain in life. I don't need more." She's already troubled and she doesn't need more heartache to go along with it, but despite her better judgement she's inexplicably drawn to Pax. And he has a load of trust issues as well. He doesn't think he deserves Mila, and he's afraid he's going to do something to screw up their relationship. He's terrified that one day she will leave him if he doesn't change. He feels comfortable in the oblivion that alcohol, drugs and meaningless sex provide, but with Mila he begins to feel for the first time. They meet each other under intense circumstances, and the love scenes that follow get an A+ for imagination and creativity. Nude finger painting. Fried zucchini mishaps. A plunge in Lake Michigan. Cole has a knack for peering into the male perspective when it comes to sex. What guys are looking for...what they're really thinking...making her writing of the steamier passages really stand out. Pax is a horny son of a gun, but then most guys are and it's a turn on for female readers to get inside his head. But what sets this book apart for me is the serious philosophical questions it raises about the polarity of life and death, dark and light, etc. Cole is fascinated with these contradictory elements and they're brilliantly explored in the dream states of Pax and Mila. I'm enamored by the lines: "What I can see so far is that life consists of good and evil, black and white. And everything in between is a struggle for dominating the other. Life is a struggle. And I hate that it all ends with nothingness. That one day, you simply aren't here anymore. No more smiles, no more tears, no more anything." That is powerful stuff, and to find that kind of message in a New Adult novel is pretty extraordinary. I am blown away by how exceptional the insights in this book are. Courtney Cole, I like the way you think.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i just got done reading this book.. its a little slow to being with but when you get into and see what is going on with pax and Mila you just keep reading at lest that’s what happened with me. i could not wait to get on my breaks at work to see where the book was going to go next
clydeo More than 1 year ago
WOW!!  I am new to reading Courtney Cole.  I love reading romance novels and look for different authors to read.  I started reading and the first chapter is really does pack a punch.  But as you read the story of mila and Pax it just gets better and better.  I loved the characters and how real they were.  I love how Mila changes Pax but also accepts him for what and who he is.  I really felt sorry for Pax and what he went through.  But as the book says Love never fails.  It was an awesome story.  I reccommend it to anyone.  I cant  to read the next one in the series.  Love it and it kept me hooked and wanting more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Buy it. I read daily and this book is one of the best ever
KendraAnn More than 1 year ago
If You Stay by Courtney Cole gets you right from the beginning. Pax has a void that he tries to fill with drugs and women. Mila is a sweet girl with her own issues. Can these two come together and help each other? I loved their story. It was gritty and real and sweet but had so many unknowns that you have to keep reading to discover their pasts as the characters discover it for themselves. She wrote it with alternating POVs which makes the story even better! ~Kendra with For the Love of Books
JRCook1 More than 1 year ago
This book was everything that I thought it would be. Pax is the ULTIMATE bad boy!! Its about life & love. Sometimes life isn't wrapped up in a pretty little bow and at times and at times you just do what you have to do to get though each day at all cost. And uncondional love well yes its never fails but doesn't mean you have to be with that person. Sometimes walking away is what it takes. I read alot. Probably to much but this was one of the books that did make an imprint! It was jaw dropping at times and just plain aggrivating at others but thats what makes it worth the read. Can't wait to see whats in store for this little family!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book. I just bought this book this morning and finished it this afternoon. Would recommend book to everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg thats all i can say. I couldnt put this book down. I love pax with all his flaws like a real man and mila as a strong counterpart . Supportive, strong, open with a heart as big as a room. Just WOW!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the story and the characters. I really became immersed in the story and felt as if I were right there with the characters. Great writing and I highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a great,albeit short book. Wonderful characters and storyline.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
If You Stay by Courtney Cole is a gutsy and deeply emotional New Adult Romance. If you are on the fence about the New Adult genre or this book in particular, don’t be. Go out and get this book. First, Pax and Mila are in their early 20s so they are old enough to appeal to more mature readers but young enough to appeal to both the New Adult and Young Adult age groups. They are also paradoxically both mature and immature for their ages which adds an extra layer to their characters. Second, the extremely frank look at some hard core subjects (drugs, prostitution, familial death, and psychological issues) is hard and deeply emotional all at the same time. It is reminiscent of the movie Requiem for a Dream in the way it puts it all out there in a stark, unyielding, and very messy way. There is no sugar coating or white washing going on here. The ugliness of it all is right out in the open. Frankly, at first, it was hard to take, especially since you are hit with a lot of it right up front. But, in the end, the honesty of it was far more compelling and emotional than any partially hidden view of it could ever have been. This is the strength and heart of the book. Pax may be 24, but he is deeply troubled and emotionally scarred in ways he does not even know or understand. Despite this, when he meets Mila, he can’t seem to stay away. Her lightness calls to something deep inside his darkness. For Mila, her kindness is both her weakness and her strength. She too has dealt with difficult situations and she chose a different path than Pax. Mila is both deeply repelled by and deeply attracted to Pax. The juxtaposition of their choices in life and their outlooks on life make this seem initially like an “opposites attract” storyline but it really isn’t. They have certain life events in common; they are more alike than either can see. Just as Mila is not too perfect and still has the capacity to complain, be catty, etc, Pax is not too troubled. He has the capacity to care, even if it is often involuntarily. Because this is told in first person with alternating points of view, the reader gets to see into both Pax and Mila’s heads. They have distinct voices and both voices are compelling. While Pax has a more forceful and crude voice, Mila is no shrinking violet. Her voice tempers Pax’s in the same way her presence in his life tempers him. There is even a surprise twist in all this – something hinted at throughout the book but even my twisted mind couldn’t come up with the answer. It’s not an implausible twist. Ultimately, that’s one of the many beautiful things about this book. Whether that reality is beautiful or ugly, it’s always still real. Seriously, this is not a book you want to miss. RATING: 5 Heat Rating: Hot REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves,Review courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story is touching and compelling. A great read. Touches on lots of emotions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so amazing from beginning, when Pax was going down his long dark road, to the very end when he found someone to love & cherish. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who's known somebody struggling with things in their past or have struggled with things in their past. This book gives the perspective that things truly do get better with time you just need to believe in yourself and those you've surrounded yourself with.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didnt even finish this book. I just couldn't get into the story and I didn't like the characters. The "bad boy" is some entitled trust fund baby and just not my type at of bad boy at all. I didn't care for the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am halfway through and this is ridiculous. I rolled my eyes a couple of times. The book started out originally but has become ridiculous. The eye rolling started during their 2nd date in her painting studio. I am all for a good sex scene but they went out once and she was "waiting" but just got naked like it was no big deal. I may finish thus book i may not.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite authors. I literally can't say anything bad about this book. You'll be drawn in right from the start...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!!! Never new I could feel every emotion in one book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! I highly recommend to anyone who loves a bad boy turned good.
slz52 More than 1 year ago
The first page, let alone the first chapter will have you hooked.. The author did a fantastic job writing about pretty traumatic issues and was also able to show humor at just the right time. Good job.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Light romance makes a good read for the beach.