Say You'll Stay (Return to Me, #1) by Corinne Michaels
Published by BAAE Inc on June 19, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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One word. Stay.
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 is a STANDALONE **
Well, you did it again, Corinne Michaels. You sucked me into this story. You took my emotions and chewed them up, spit them out and then allowed them to heal. OK, so that might be a little more graphic than necessary but you see where I’m going here. When I saw the blub for this book, I was interested. I’ve been on a second chance kick lately. Not that I actively seek them out but it seems to be what grabs my attention when reading blurbs and searching for books. I have to be honest and say that although I have loved everything by Corrine so far, I wasn’t really sure what to expect out of this one. So I made sure to go in completely blind. I stayed away from any early reviews for that reason and I’m so glad I did. I was given way more than I was expecting.
Presley and Zack are you typical small town high school sweethearts with big dreams. They were soulmates. When life gives one of them an opportunity they can’t pass up, it ends up breaking them apart. Both are forced to move on.
When an unexpected situation hits Presley, her life is thrown upside down. She loses her husband and is forced to move back to the small town that she grew up in with her twin boys. She’s done everything she can to avoid going back home because of all the memories it holds between her and Zack. Now that she’s back, she’s forced to face unresolved feeling not only for Zack but for her friends and family.
This story hits a lot of issues that people can relate to. I won’t say what it is because I want you to go into this blind but something that happens in this book is a major trigger for myself and something that I have had to deal with in real life. It’s ugly and confusing and overall heartbreaking. I re-lived every emotion along with the characters while this was happening. I was so emotionally invested around this part.
I loved both Presley and Zack. You can tell that their love for each other never really died. They had just learned to push it back and try to move on. Presley’s journey in this book is amazing. She is finally forced to really embrace who she is and learns just how strong she is. She’s had a lot thrown at her and she only comes out stronger. And then there’s Zack. Oh my sweet, swoon worthy Zack. I don’t typically fall for the sweet ones. I’m all kinds of messed up an like mine dark and twisted or extremely sarcastic. But every once in a while, one of the sweet ones sneaks up on me. I can only remember one other one, to be honest. But there’s just something about Zack that you just can’t ignore. He’s loving, loyal, patient and honest. The things he says to Presley literally melted my heart.
“Time has made you more magnificent than I remember. Whatever imperfections you see…I only see beauty.”
That right there is one of the most swoon worthy things I’ve heard in a long time.
I also really enjoyed the secondary characters. Everyone had their place and played a huge part of the story. Wyatt is hilarious and I feel like everyone needs someone like him in their lives. I can’t wait to read his story!
“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.