Stay by A.L. Jackson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“You see the beauty in the old. The beauty in the bad. The beauty that’s hidden in all things. It’s always here, we just have to look hard enough for it.”
You don’t have to look hard to see the beauty that bleeds into A.L. Jackson’s words, so wondrous and so WOW. Every word that this author writes is full of feels. Every word is mesmerizing and meaningful. Every word means everything. Every word IS EVERYTHING. Stay is the newest roller coaster of a rock star romance from A.L. Jackson’s Bleeding Stars series that is pure beauty in words that break, bind, and make your heart bleed.
Knowing the power and pull of this series and the way it extracts every feel from me, I devoured Stay slowly. I had to inhale this story in small doses to give my heart time to slow its beating, my body time to slow its breathing, and my brain time to process all of the feelings floating around in my head. I did not want to put Stay down, yet I had to process the firestorm of feels flowing and calm my emotions from this story’s sensory storm.
The Prologue pulled at me immediately, barreling down on my heart and soul with the power of a fierce fire, one where I knew I would get burned. This firestorm of feels was a fight I would not win…did not want to win. The fire of Stay lit me up with life, one where every breath matched every breathtakingly beautiful word. Light to light. Dark to dark. Beauty to beauty. Feel to feel. I knew from the Prologue that I would feel every bit, every blaze, every burn, and every bright light from Ash and Willow’s story. Stay would slay me everywhere, and that it did.
The first sentence and first paragraph of the Prologue hit me with the force of a thousand winds. Tears welded in my eyes just from that verbiage as I knew there would be many more to follow…all kinds of tears for all kinds of emotions evoked from Stay.
“We rarely know when our lives are about to change. When the direction we have been traveling to will shift. When the stagnant comfort we’ve cut out for ourselves will take a sharp turn south, or when everything we know will come to an abrupt, excruciating end.”
Ash Evans, the wild man and guitarist for Sunder, has a huge heart, humor, charisma, and is the life of the party. Tall, muscular, inked, dark blond-haired, bearded, and ocean-blue eyes, Ash is pure heat and easy on the eyes. Inside, though, Ash is battling demons that won’t die.
His wounds are so deeply embedded, making him bleed for the past that has held him prisoner for so long. Ash’s huge heart is a gaping wound, one that he believes he caused. He’s leading a life where he feels unworthy and that tore me to shreds.
“He was some kind of glorious avenger with a wicked smile and a wayward tongue.”
Beautiful, mahogany-haired, brown-eyed, and long-legged Willow Langston is hanging onto life by a thread. Everyone she’s loved has left. Willow’s heart is decimated; she has nothing left to give.
Just one chapter in and my heart broke…bleeding all over the pages. STAY…I wanted to stay steadily reading but had to catch my breath as my lungs breathed in every wondrous and wielding word. The words quickly became flames that lit me up. I searched for that light in the darkness, the darkness that tried to hijack my head and heart. I WAS ON FIRE…I WAS ALIVE.
Willow has nothing left to give…
Until Ash Evans crosses her path in what feels like fate.
“A stranger who’d touched me without saying a word.”
Until she finds Ash broken and burned.
“The man was so dangerous and alive. Compelling. Magnetic. A bright, bright flame.”
Until she saves him.
“She’d saved me. She’d bound herself to me in a way I was sure neither of us could quite understand.”
Ash owes Willow a debt for life….his life. Though Willow doesn’t want a thing…except the one thing Ash won’t give: his heart.
“I didn’t have any place left inside myself to get ripped up and torn to pieces. And somehow I knew this man would tear me to shreds.”
Only a few chapters in and I broke as I bled for both the hero and the heroine. Two broken souls who should be one. STAY…I had to catch my tears I wanted to stay inside, willing them not to fall. Tears that teased the dam of waterworks waiting to burst from the words that clutched my soul, extracting every emotion. Beckoning me. Binding me. Becoming me.
A connection, so big as if it beckoned from above, blazed between Willow and Ash. An aura of fire, fueled by fate, danced around them. Lighting them up. Lifting them out of the darkness…lifting me out of the darkness…if only for a little while.
“Do you feel that? Everything simmering around us? Threatening to boil over. A flame just waitin’ for a match.”
Oh how I felt this blaze of Stay burn me too. This passion penetrated from the pages to me.
“Tell me you want me. Tell me you feel this, too.”
STAY…I wanted to stay in this moment…soak up these powerful and poignant words…soak up this sun cast over this couple. Willow and Ash’s connection and chemistry was combustible, a force of fate. I could not help but smile a grin filled with hope as I was sucked into a wave of passion, one of soulmates, one of love powerful as those flames that ignite between them. I felt every burn…every blaze…every beautiful and brilliant word…I FELT IT ALL.
“On a breathy sigh, my lips parted. His hot tongue slanted against mine. Flames. I felt them everywhere. Burning me up from the inside…He would wreck me. I knew it.”
Their chemistry and emotions are explosive—as were mine—so hot and heartfelt that I felt the flames from Ash and Willow melt me.
“Tonight belongs to you. I’m going to touch you until you’re dancing somewhere with the stars and then I’m going to catch you when you come back down. Then, I’m going to send you flying again.”
Oh Ash! His words smoldered yet made me swoon so very hard! I LOVED THIS MAN of many layers but with a heart of gold that penetrated those layers the hardest…penetrating my heart too.
My heart was hit so hard, it spun right into my soul. This broken boy and this broken girl…they broke me. Again and again. My tears tore through this story, leading the way as I absorbed each feel-worthy word into my heart…my soul.
“You’re killing me, darlin’.”
“And you’re saving me.”
STAY…I wanted to freeze those feels that flowed through me, so beautiful and bittersweet. Permanent tears etched into my eyes. I sighed. Stay filled my lungs as I breathed in every breathtakingly beautiful word. These words filtered into my very core. STAY…I had to stop and catch my heart that this story so forcefully claimed.
Ash is Willow’s angel. Willow saved him but he’s saving her too. She is the calm to Ash’s chaos. Ash and Willow are saviors who are slaying the other’s demons…slaying each other’s souls…slaying my soul.
“You deserve so much better than what’s waiting here.”
STAY…I wanted Ash to stay. This bigger than life of a man with an even bigger heart, Ash, doesn’t think he’s worthy of love after a painful past for which he thinks he’s responsible. Oh did Ash’s words about being unworthy GUT ME…UNGLUE ME. I was destroyed…devastated…dying for Ash to stay.
“What if I want you to stay?”
STAY…I wanted this couple to stay together. I wanted to stay in this story, sinking so deeply where my soul could continue to soar, where I could continue to break in the most beautiful way. This book…oh did IT BREAK ME. Stay…is sorrow…soul…swoon…sensations…SO MUCH OF EVERYTHING! This book owned every piece of me. Stay?!? It’s already in my top books for 2017…perhaps my very favorite for this year.
Stay was the fire that burned me…making my heart bleed…and then nursing that wound. I felt as if I were walking on that fire, each word blazing with poignancy, passion, and promise. A destined and devastatingly beautiful love story, Stay hit my heart hard and fast—flames scorching my soul—while my emotions bled like water from a storm.
Tears of emotions flooded me, trickling down like raindrops…fire to water…feel to feel. I FELT every word like a kiss that penetrated every piece of me: body, heart, and soul. This firestorm of feels wouldn’t stop; I didn’t want it to end…ever.
I LOVED Stay. I lived Stay. I breathed Stay. I was bound to Stay. I became Stay. Stay slayed me. Stay sang to my soul. Stay is what I want to do, wrap myself in this magic a little longer…perhaps forever.
★★★★★ ‘but worth 10’ soul-slaying stars
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From NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson comes the next sexy, gripping Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel…
I’m Ash Evans.
The life of the party.
Hot. Rich. Charismatic.
A tattooed rock star with the world at my feet.
I burn through women faster than the strike of a match.
I’ve embraced my lifestyle and live it to the fullest.
Until the day my lifestyle caught up to me.
Willow Langston found me at my lowest.
Facedown in a puddle of my own blood.
I owe her my life and I have three months to repay that debt.
What I never should have done was touch her. Kiss her. Take her to my bed.
Love wasn’t supposed to be a part of the equation.
I gave up that nasty complication a long damned time ago.
Now I want her more than my next breath.
But she doesn’t know what I know.
Do I leave to protect her? Or can I face my demons and ask her to Stay?
NOW LIVE ON:
Amazon ebook: http://amzn.to/2jx7hWv
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/2knA7sn
Barnes & Noble: http://smarturl.it/StayNook
Google Play: http://smarturl.it/StayGooglePlay
Signed Paperbacks: http://smarturl.it/StayPaperbacks
A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Pulled, When We Collide, If Forever Comes, Come to Me Quietly, and Come to Me Softly.
She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.
Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children.
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