Review and Excerpt Tour: Say You'll Stay: Corinne Michaels

Say You'll Stay
Corinne Michaels
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Release Date June 20, 2016 

One word. 

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 ** 

Presley Benson's life just imploded. Everything about her life has completely changed and blindsided her. Now she is alone with two young teen sons and forced to return to the small town she grew up in and her family's ranch. She is hurt, broken, angry, and fearful. And one thing she is most fearful of is running into her first love, Zach.

Zach Hennington is back in Bell Buckle too. His baseball dreams ended and now he is running his own family's ranch. He's got a girlfriend no one likes. The return of Presley rocks his foundation and brings back his own guilt, loss, and despair of the girl that he walked away from. And now he sees he could have a second chance to make it right.

But he will have a battle to help heal her and get her to trust again. She tends to avoid or run from issues. She keeps her secrets close in order to protect others, but at a cost to herself and risks them being exposed. She has a fear of rejection and being left. She has always been dependent on others, but now knows she needs to find her own way. Zach may be willing to be patient due to circumstances, but can he handle all of her secrets?

This book starts our emotional and heartbreaking with a powerful first chapter. Presley deals with so much. I felt for her as things kept piling on her.  Her resistance and wariness was understandable, but at times became a bit frustrating. And Zach was not perfect either and made some questionable choices. But I really fell for this sweet, sensitive, sexy cowboy and he made a swoon worthy hero. I loved them together as a couple, but at times wanted to shake sense into each one of them.

I enjoyed seeing various relationships building with her boys, Logan and Cayden.  I liked the side characters of his brothers Wyatt and Trent, her friends Angie and Grace, and  her family and brother, Cooper. All of the small town gossips and a certain antagonist added interest and drama. I loved the shift once they got to the ranch and it was a fun change of scene. 

This was an angsty, emotional, heartbreaking, raw, and romantic second chance love story with many underlying complications. Sometimes it almost felt like too much because there was a lot of drama and turmoil mixed in with the flashes of good stuff. It was full of tension waiting for the next twist or drama to unfold. But I felt their soul-deep connection that they never could totally hide. It was told in mostly Presley's point of view, but we did get some chapters in Zach's point of view that I really enjoyed. But this was ultimately Presley's journey back toward hope, trust, forgiveness, and healing. And reconnecting with Zach, her friends, and family was a big part of that. I am looking forward to the next two books in the series featuring Wyatt and Trent Hennington. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Zach walked away from Presley 17 years ago. She picked herself up and moved on, got married, had kids. But the fairy tale she thought she had found was not to be. Betrayed by her husband, she is forced to return to her parents’ home in a town she had sworn to never go back to. When she returns, she also learns that Zach returned several years before and seems to be everywhere she turns.

This was a very emotional story. From the opening chapter, Presley is faced with challenges she never expected and struggled to deal with. Moving home with twins was never in her plans, especially since she hasn’t returned home in over a decade. There are lots of secrets and unresolved issues that pop up as they navigate the story. From dark aspects of the life Presley had created for herself to secrets from their shared past, there were twists and turns to this story that I could never have expected. While it was a little heavy on the dramatic aspects, there was always something going on to keep me turning the pages.

Fun light moments popped up among the deeper ones. No surprise, I cried. What I wasn’t expecting was to be so torn up about these characters. They were immersed in present day decisions and drama that made it harder for them to work through the issues from their past and everything that Presley was having to deal with in her return home.

These two made for a great second chance story. That neither was completely sure what was happening in the present made it feel like they were on equal footing. The pacing was perfect considering what Presley was dealing with, and I loved how sensitive Zach was to her needs, not only upon returning to a small, gossip-riddled town, to settling into her new situation. 

The side characters were a lot of fun. Wyatt and Trent, the playboys of the three brothers, were fun to watch here, and make me want to know more about them as individuals. Wyatt had a thing for Presley though, and that alone made me hurt for him, especially as he put his hand in orchestrating several key moments for them. I was glad to see he will be the focal point of the next book in the series.
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
“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.
Then another.
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.

Corinne Michaels  

Corinne Michaels is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of The Salvation Series (Beloved, Beholden, Consolation and Conviction). She's an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife. After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness. 

Both her maternal and paternal grandmothers were librarians, which only intensified her love of reading. After years of writing short stories, she couldn't ignore the call to finish her debut novel, Beloved. Her alpha Navy SEALs are broken, beautiful, and will steal your heart.


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