Review: If You Stay by Courtney Cole




24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.

He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match.

But he’s got his reasons.

His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn’t understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count.

As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn’t work. His dad couldn’t overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn’t keep up the impossible perfect façade.
So he slipped far, far from it.

Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn’t want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn’t there, then it isn’t, right?

And it’s never more apparent than when he meets Mila.
Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he’s got to figure it out because he needs her to breathe.

When memories of his mother’s death resurface from where he’s repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one…the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness.

But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it.

He knows that. And he’s working on it.

But is that enough to make her stay?


Wendy’s Review:

“Hey there, Little Red Riding Hood…”

Talk about starting a book off on the right foot. The first few chapters starts with a bang!! Now every time I hear about Red Riding Hood, I’m going to think of Pax!

“You’ve seen me at my worst. Maybe you should see me at my best.” (I LOVE that line!!)

Pax is damaged. BIG TIME. It’s easier for him to take a pill and slip into oblivion than to deal with the details and nightmares of his mom’s death. (And honestly, after finding out what happened. I DO NOT BLAME HIM ONE BIT!!) He knows he’s F*ed up, he just doesn’t seem to care. Mila makes him want to change that.

Mila has seen her own amount of tragedy and refused to let Pax destroy her heart. She finally decides to risk it, but on the promise that he wont intentionally hurt her. She saved him once, this time he has to save himself…for himself, not for her.

I love their story. Pax completely and irrevocably shredded my heart. I cried for him more times that I am willing to admit. I love that Mila is patient, kind, and sweet, but also does what is best for their relationship, no matter how much it hurts.

From reading the acknowledgements and the note to readers in the back, along with what I’ve seen on the authors social media, I went into reading this knowing that the inspiration for Pax was something very personal for her. It’s obvious throughout the book that drug use, for whatever reason, is something that she has looked at deeply in an effort to understand. You can tell there was a lot of love put into this story, and that’s partly what makes it so special.

I’m a latecomer to the Beautiful Broken series, but I’m excited to catch up on it. I just grabbed If You Leave, Until We Burn, and Before We Fall, so I will be caught up when Until We Fly comes out. *sigh* So many good books. So little time!! This is a great series so far, and I cant wait to see what the rest has to offer.

Buy Links:


Barnes and Noble

About the author:

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could.

She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds.

Every Last Kiss is her debut novel and she followed it with the rest of The Bloodstone Saga (Every Last Kiss, Fated, With My Last Breath and My Tattered Bonds).

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

Learn more about Courtney and her books at

Find her on Facebook at:!/courtneyc…

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