Happy endings must be worked for.
Pax Tate used to be an effed up asshole, but you’d never know it now.
He’s got a sexy wife, their own little family, a cozy home, and a successful career.
Everything is perfect.
Until his past rears its ugly head.
Pax will do anything to protect his family,
even if he destroys himself in the process.
Review by Jen Skewes
If You Stay was by far one of my favorite books by Courtney Cole. I fell in love with Pax Tate, everything he had gone through and how he found the love of his life, the fight to survive and the struggles he faced. I just loved it all. When I found out the Ms. Cole was writing a follow up I couldn’t have been more excited. I read the blurb and was a little nervous, I think any time you get a follow up story for a couple that you loved and found their HEA, you always wonder will happen and where the story will go. While I had my own ideas, I am not sure I was fully prepared for what would really happen. This book exceeded my expectations on so many levels. Ms. Cole blew me away with the writing and the emotions I was able to feel while reading this story.
Pax and Mila are happily married with one daughter and another child on the way. Life couldn’t be any better. They are still so much in love. Pax has been through so much in his life but Mila is his light that helped him out of the dark world he was once in. She and his daughter are everything to him. When someone from his past makes their presence known, his life takes a different turn. Now he must fight not only for himself but for his wife and daughter, for his world.
I do not want to say anything about this story because you need to go in blind and experience it all on your own. There are moments in this book that just hurt my heart to read, and I am not going to lie it was a little tough at times and I felt myself getting choked up. But that is was made this book so beautiful and so amazing. I felt like I was on this journey with them. The writing was flawless, and written in a way that makes you feel every emotion with these characters. Everything about it felt so real and so raw. And the way it all happened, the way it all ended and everything in between was real.
Life is not perfect and there are always going to be struggles. Sometimes you feel like giving up because you see no hope in the end, but you fight for yourself and for your family. But that fight is not an easy one and when it seems like it may be over, life doesn’t just become perfect again. There may still be struggles to face but with the ones you love by you side anything is possible. And that is what felt so real about this book, and for me, this is what this story is about. I am being vague for obvious reasons but trust me you will not be disappointed. Fantastic job by Ms.Cole.
Note from Courtney:
I announced recently that I based the character of Pax Tate on my twenty-two year old son, Gunner.
Gunner is a drug addict. He's currently in rehab, and he's doing well, but it's been a long roller-coaster of a journey to get here.
Pax's personality traits are Gunner's. Even though Gunner's moods have been mercurial because of drugs, deep down he is strong and funny, charming and sweet. I wanted that to come through in Pax.
(Of course, when I'm writing the "sexy time" scenes, I'm definitely picturing Jensen Ackles or Alex Pettyfer in my head. :)
Pax's heart is as deep as the ocean, even though sometimes, he can be an asshole. I think readers realized that in IF YOU STAY, and that book sat on the New York Times for twelve weeks back in 2013.
Readers have asked for more Pax over the years, and it is only now, that I wanted to add more to the story. It is only now that I have come to terms with the fact, based on my son's own life, that happy endings must be worked for.
I hope you love Pax's story.
I wrote it with the ending I want for my own son, one of hope, of happiness and of good health.
I will give anything to make that true.
From my pen to God's ear.
I hope you enjoy the story. Thank you for reading!