Release Day Post, Giveaway, and Reviews: Stay With Me: Sharla Lovelace
Stay With Me
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From national bestselling author Sharla Lovelace, comes another romantic and heartwarming novel set in the heart of Texas.
“Sharla Lovelace’s quirky characters and realistic Texas settings put her solidly on my auto-buy list.” —Kelsey Browning, author of the Texas Nights series
Ian was the wild boy every girl dreams of, a renegade who thrived on breaking the law and setting Savi’s body on fire. It was all fun and games and hot excitement, no strings attached, until the one day he got serious—and then disappeared without a trace.
Savi has spent the ten years since committing herself to her work, her daughter, and to not thinking about Ian—or love. Just when it’s possible she might have found the one man who can change her mind, Ian pulls into town, bringing with him all of the lust, danger, and excitement Savi remembers.
As Ian stirs up old feelings and draws Savi back into memories and passion she’s too weak to fight, he’s also digging up dirt on the man Savi is falling for, doing everything he can to prove that Duncan is not who he seems to be. And Savi, unsure whether she can trust either man, will be forced to decide between rekindling a love that never really burned out and building a new one that looks ready to catch fire.
I was debating the pros of under or over the covers when I heard the water turn off, and I sucked in a breath and leapt onto the bed, climbing under the sheets like a nervous schoolgirl on prom night. Not that I ever had a nice bed on prom night. I had pine needles under a tree in the woods, but hey, I was moving up.
Pulling the comforter free of my black sheets, I tried making it a little sexier, lying on my side and partially covering myself with the sheet, one leg wrapped around the outside so he could see one cheek. I tested my leg and it was still smooth, thank God. I bunched up the sheet a little more, trying to make it a little messy looking and up the sexy vibe.
“Fuck, just hurry up before I have a stroke,” I whispered.
Which just about happened when that door squeaked open.
I was glad that I’d tangled myself in the bed, because one look at him walking out of my bathroom with nothing but a white towel wrapped around his waist and I knew I would have lost the ability to stand.
Savi Barnes is a mature woman. She has raised a daughter, runs a business, and has a close knit supportive family. But her world is about to rocked by two men. Bachelor number one is the handsome, charming town vet, Duncan Spoon. Duncan is new, exciting, charismatic, and stable.
And yet I got sweaty palms and heart palpitations every time I saw Duncan Spoon. I hadn't been that physically affected by a man since--ugh--since he who shall not be named left town.
Bachelor number two is her first love and former best friend, Ian McMasters, who she has not seen since he left her (and her daughter) eleven years before. She and Ian have history, volatile chemistry, and unresolved issues.
Now my biggest heartache, my kryptonite, the original cake before any icing, and the one person award of all my broken places was coming back.
Ian McMasters and I were like gasoline and fire. Chemistry I could feel from a mile away, and more addictive than any drug. Together, we were explosive.
So this already anxious, independent minded, somewhat awkward woman is thrown for a loop. She is torn between what could be and what was. She is learning more about what really happened in the past. Ian and Savi were a bit wild in their youth, but this older Ian is more of an enigma to her. And Duncan has the potential to be everything she ever hoped for. Both men were quite magnetic, sexy, and had good chemistry with her. But both men are also hiding some things and there is a lot of subterfuge, danger, and secrets lurking under the surface. Who is telling the truth? Who is the good guy or is there even really one?
This was told in Savi's point of view. The characters were well developed, flawed, and likable. The story line was interesting, intriguing, and kept me guessing. Usually I can figure out how things are going to turn out, but I have to admit that this one threw me some curveballs. There were surprises, plot twists and mysteries. There was a love triangle that I was totally invested in and had trouble deciding who I wanted to win. I found myself actually liking both men despite their issues. They were intense in different ways and devoted to protecting her the way they thought best. Neither man was quite what they seemed and nothing in this story was really black and white.
Sharla Lovelace knows how to pull you into the story and make you feel it all. It was full of tension, heartbreak, humor, mystery, guilt, love, and suspense. Savi had been so negative towards love due to her past that she often self sabotaged and expected men to leave her. She did not feel like she knew what true love was since it had done her so wrong. But now she has a chance to do love right. Question is which one is worthy? Savi's life was full of complications and difficult choices. I even had a hard time deciding what I wanted for her, but I enjoyed going on the journey with her.
I was gifted a copy from netgalley and publisher in exchange for an honest review.
“I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“You never have to find out.”
Turns out, I did.
Stay With Me hit me in a way I was not expecting. After seeing rave reviews for Don’t Let Go, I was intrigued by this author’s writing and when the chance to review Stay With Me came up, I took it. I was expecting a great romance, what I got that was unexpected was a little bit of suspense and those secrets that started coming out absolutely made this book for me.
Savanna “Savi” Barnes loves her home, her family, and her job. Running an antique store with her father, she also works across the street from her sister and brother-in-law. Her grown daughter lives a short distance away, but close enough that they see each other often. When Savi’s first love, Ian, returns to town, she is torn between her first love and what is growing with Duncan, her new boyfriend.
Savi was a fun character to read, when she wasn’t being pulled by the men in her life. As a 43 year old single woman, she has a completely different feel in this story than a younger woman would. She hasn’t had a stable relationship since Ian left town, and her interest in her veterinarian is the first she has entertained in 11 years. Her quirks were great -- the tendency to ramble when nervous, a former wild streak itching to return, and an absolute love of chocolate ice cream.
Ian has bad boy written all over him, even though he’s a grown man. Returning to town to help his brother save the family business, he can’t help but be drawn to Savi as if the last 11 years, and the ugly way he left town, had never happened. After all that time, he still loves her, and the sparks that once flew between them quickly burst back to life.
Duncan is just a sweet, sweet man. He is quick to reassure Savi when she jumps on her nervous rambles, and is always thoughtful and caring to her. He seems, at first glance, like the perfect guy -- great job, perfect dog, beautiful home. But as he and Savi begin developing a slow burn between them, his secrets begin to come out to cause friction.
Wow. This love triangle was unlike any I’ve read before, and it surprised me in the best possible way. The author took several risks along the way, and there were times I would have been happy if Savi chose either man. They both had good and not so good aspects of their relationship with her, and she needed them both during the course of the story, so it was a tough call.
There was an aspect of suspense as each secret was hinted at and revealed that kept me turning the pages. This was a roller coaster of sorts, full of flames and heat. Savi is all about the fireworks, the flash-bangs, the quick burn. Even when she finds a slow burn, it quickly races out of control. From start to finish I loved this book, and will be picking up more from this author as soon as I have time.
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Although, Stay With Me was less angsty than Don’t Let Go; Ms. Lovelace still provided us with a balanced amount of intense emotion, heat, physical and emotional chemistry, and drama. In my opinion, Lovelace nailed it once again!
I found myself absolutely invested in Savi and her guys from the very first page. For me, there is just something so tantalizing and intriguing about the push and pull of need (first love) vs want (new love). Ian and Duncan, both, held me captivated and coming back for more. I couldn’t help but adore our heroes, in all honesty, I wanted them both to win. I was definitely not opposed to a ménage (yes. yes, I went there). When I started Stay With Me, I was pretty much begging Kim to tell me who she loved the most. I needed to know which one she had rooted for. Ugh, my girl held steady and refused to relent with a simple response of both. Do you know how damn frustrating that is? She always shares with me, but the further in I got the more I realized Kim truly couldn't choose which team to lie on and I could totally see why.
Ian vs Duncan… Duncan vs Ian… *sigh,* no way in hell could I choose between these two delicious men either. And thinking back over the story, I truly didn’t want to. I enjoyed them both for exactly who they were to Savi. When it came to Ian and Duncan and who was the better man for Savi there really wasn’t any clear-cut answer. Which in itself is a feat; very seldom do I read love triangles and not come out at the end being team so and so; however, both men were swoon worthy amazing. I usually fall harder than hell for the bad boy and most often than not he is my choice in the end. The “good ole boy” doesn’t usually do anything for me. When it comes to Stay With Me I guess I can’t really say I didn’t have a team because I did. I sit solidly on the fence of Team Ian and Duncan. I was equally fascinated with both the bad boy and the good boy. My heart broke for them both and beat ecstatically each time one of them got their moment to shine. Good job, Ms. Lovelace, you made me fall head over heels for both of your men. You made me love them both so much that I just wanted both. Duncan and Ian, to get their HEA with Savi. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't for the life of me be upset with either man winning.
Well played Ms. Lovelace. Well played.
Thank you, Sharla Lovelace & Netgalley, for a complimentary copy of Stay With Me.
Sharla Lovelace is the Bestselling and Award Winning Author of three novels and a novella, the most recent being DON'T LET GO, with a forthcoming novel, STAY WITH ME, due in Summer 2014. Being a Texas girl through and through, she's proud to say she lives in Southeast Texas with her husband, a golf cart, a crazy mutt, and an aviary full of cockatiels.
Sharla is available by Skype for book club meetings and chats, and loves connecting with her readers! See her website www.sharlalovelace.com for a complete book listing, info on upcoming events, and to sign up for her monthly newsletter.