Title: Stay (Blackcreek #2)
Author: Riley Hart
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Page Count: 361
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Wes Jensen just lost the sister who raised him, and gained custody of his niece. The last thing he needs to add to his full plate is dealing with Braden Roth, the one-night-stand who continues to try to push his way into Wes’ life. He has a kid to raise now, and Wes isn’t great at getting close anyway.
Braden has never had a woman or a man sneak out on him the morning after. From the start, Wes intrigues him, and Braden isn’t one to deny himself something he wants. And he wants Wes. The more time he spends with Wes and the little girl who constantly keeps them on their toes, the more Braden realizes this isn’t just about getting the guy who walked away.
As their lives intertwine more and more, Wes discovers Braden isn’t as shallow as he thought. But after everything Wes lost in his life, he isn’t sure he can risk his heart, and truly want Braden to stay—and if he did, would Wes’ quiet life be enough for Braden?
This was lovely. Wes has just become the legal guardian of his 4 year-old niece, Jessie, and Braden is a fire-fighter who is hot on his heels. We met these two in the first book and I was really looking forward to their story. It did not disappoint. There are no shocking twists or crazy happenings to advance the plot. Just two people getting together. One is a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, and the other is just trying to deal. With life. With new responsibilities. With taking on the role of a parent. Just…trying to deal.
Braden is there every step of the way to help Wes with all of this, rarely asking for anything in return, except for Wes to open up a little. I enjoyed Braden’s character immensely. The whole “open mouth, insert foot” phrase gets a whole new meaning here! Braden is an unstoppable force, naturally spreading his good vibes and energy to those around him. Wes, on the other hand, is weighed down, nervous about screwing up as a new parent, afraid to enjoy anything for himself in case he loses sight of his priorities.
Jessie, oh my God, she is the sweetest child! She’s such a loving, cute little girl. She is a huge part of the story and for the longest time, the two MCs interactions are with Jessie present. Please do not shy away from this book if this worries you. It all comes together so beautifully, with such warm family vibes. It is worth it.
My only niggles were that Wes’s doubts and holding back became a little too much after a point. Yes Jessie comes first. Yes she is the most important thing. But, chill dude. People have kids and they still have a life. It took him an entire book to warm up to this idea and it bothered me somewhat. I honestly wondered why Braden was so hung up on someone clearly not interested to do anything to keep Braden around.
But, in the end, I admit this was a wonderful read, albeit with a few typos and editing issues I am happy to overlook. The sex was hot hot hot, with plenty of dirty talk of the non-cheesy variety. The story was written in alternating POVs, which is my favourite style so we get a good picture of both characters.
The ending was too rushed but I am sure there will be a glimpse of these two in the next book, and I can’t wait!