Stay Close (For You, #1) by Alexa Riley
Published by Carina Press on July 17, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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A former Russian mafia soldier is hired to protect a friend's young daughter, but he knows he'll do more than keep her safe–he'll make her his. Forever.
If she were to simply whisper my name, I would be at her feet, begging to touch what I shouldn't, taste what doesn't belong to me, run my hands along the sweet innocence she taunts me with.
Penelope Justice is eighteen, old enough to graduate high school but—according to her parents—not old enough to live without 24/7 security. Practice has made her an expert at ditching her bodyguards. One look at Ivan and she never wants to run again.
I've been hired to protect her.
I can't help but think that perhaps someone should have protected her from me.
Ivan steals the breath right out of her lungs, something no boy has ever done. Then again, he's far from a boy. This man, this man who looks like he could kill someone with the flick of a wrist, is everything. He is her future.
I can't let her go and I won't give her up. I've done bad things in my life, and I don't deserve her. But I can't do the honorable thing.
I've never been noble, and I'm not starting now.
Stay Close can absolutely be read as a standalone. Even though it is a spin-off of another series, you will not be lost. Although, I’m not sure why you don’t want to read all the AR books in the world! I certainly can’t get enough of them.
Penny is the daughter of Captain and Paige, who we first meet in the For Her Series. It was certainly great to get a bit more of their epic love and seeing how strong it still is. Being a twin of course brings a special bond and Penny’s bond with her sister is no different. However, the two of them definitely have their own personalities. Penny is considered the softer one with a bigger heart. One that everyone seems to want to shield. So when a big bad Russian named Ivan shows up, everyone thinks she should stay away. Yes, he’s her bodyguard but it should be left at that.
Ivan has grown up on the streets and has done a lot of stuff that he would like to forget. Life has made him rough and he’s resigned to the fact that he is emotionally cut off and will forever be alone. Until he locks his eyes on Penny. From that very first moment, he knew she was his.
So in typical AR form, we get the over the top sweetness. Penny is the shy virgin and Ivan is the strong, assertive male. The one thing that was missing for me was the alpha tendencies that we normally get in an AR book. This one was a bit tamer. Sure, he made sure she ate and she has him wrapped about her finger even while he might be telling her what to do but it’s never bossy and full blown alpha that I’ve come to love.
I know I’m in the minority here and don’t let my rating fool you, I did really enjoy this book. I just didn’t connect enough to give that good and tingling vibe that I normally get. This is clearly a case of “it’s not you, it’s me” so make sure you grab this one up and gobble it down. If you are a fan of AR already or just like over the top sweetness with instalove, then get this book!