Presley comes home from work to find her almost perfect life isn't so perfect anymore. She loses everything. WARNING: It's been a long time since a book made me cry. Angela's Ashes, I think it was, in the late 90s. So when I say that Say You'll Stay made me tear up and get all sniffly, know that this is some serious heart wrenching going on. Have the tissues handy.
Returning to her home town, Presley is humiliated, depressed, and having a really hard time coming to terms with her new reality. Living with her parents, sleeping in her teen-age bedroom (complete withe posters!), and raising her kids in an environment that is totally foreign to them, while trying to straighten out the mess of her recent past is just too much; at least she doesn't have to deal with her former boyfriend. The one she'd loved from the time she was a girl, who'd left her and gone on with his life. It's a little easier to know he's no longer living in the small Tennessee town she's returned to, so she won't be running into the guy who destroyed her world 17 years ago.
Or not. Because he's there. And IT'S still there, too. The attraction, the fire, the passion. The love. Zach is just as handsome, just as sweet as she remembers, but now he's living in town and dating the school bitch, who hasn't changed at all. It'd be so much easier for Presley to avoid Zach at all costs and go on with her life, but fate - and Presley's and Zach's brothers - aren't having any of that. Good thing, because what kind of romance novel would it be if all they did was avoid each other for 310 pages?
This story will make you cry at the outset, then fill you with hope. There are laugh out loud moments, too. There's joy and hope, heartache and fear, romance and arguments, a meddling family (and town), a bar, nearly a bar fight, a bunch of horses, a misunderstanding, and a parade.
The ultimate questions are these: How do you take a life that has been burned to ash and turn it into a life worth living? How do you take love betrayed and make it back into a love forever? How can a woman who's lost everything, who has nothing, and who is afraid that heartache awaits no matter what action she takes, become the strong, confident, and powerful woman she needs to be? And can she do all that while raising her sons and falling in love with her roots, and her ex, again?
Get this book. Read this book. LOVE this book. Because a strong, satisfying, romantic story about a strong woman overcoming tragedy is always a good thing but this one gets the blue ribbon.
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