IF I STAY
Author: Tamara Morgan
Release Date: May 12, 2014
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Ryan Lucas would rather be anywhere but Ransom Creek, Connecticut. After losing his high-adrenaline career as a Hollywood stunt driver, he's had to tuck his tail between his legs and take up employment as a chauffeur for the Montgomerys, a wealthy hotelier family.
Amy Sanders has returned home to Ransom Creek to take over her mother's former position as nanny to the Montgomerys—bringing her close to dashing Jake Montgomery once again. She grew up with a major crush on Jake, and it's not easy to leave those feelings behind, even though her friendship with the hard-edged family chauffeur, Ryan, has a sizzling undercurrent of undeniable attraction.
Amy's determined to prove to Ryan that life at Montgomery Manor isn't all bad, but each time they draw closer Jake swoops in. Amy is torn between two men—and two worlds. And Ryan is rapidly coming to learn that if he wants to make Amy his, he'll have to prove to her that life downstairs can be everything they both want.
Amy scooted out from underneath Ryan and got to shaky legs. Giving in to the indulgence of a backward glance to find him staring openmouthed at her, she lifted her shirt off and tossed it to the hallway floor.
“What are you doing?” he asked, his voice gruff.
She kept moving, an extra sway in her hips as she unbuttoned her shorts and shimmied them off her hips. “Leaving you a trail of bread crumbs in case you get lost along the way.”
She reached behind her and flicked open her serviceable white cotton bra. The only way to dress up that kind of bland plant material was to dangle it enticingly from one fingertip, which she did as she reached her door. It wasn’t locked—unless someone wanted to steal her ancient ten-pound laptop or her collection of Old World maps, there wasn’t much to take—so she pushed it open and slipped in.
One. Two. Three. Four. She flicked on the lights, assuming Ryan was right behind her. Five. Six. Seven. Was he seriously not going to follow her in here? Eight. Nine. Nine and a half.
She slipped out of her panties—more of the same boring white cotton, though at least they had bits of scalloped lace at the edges—and tossed them out the open door.
Nine and two-thirds. Nine and three-quarters. What the heck came after that?
“Goddammit.” Ryan stormed through the door and tossed all her clothes onto the floor. “Are you trying to kill me?”
He stopped, suspended in a swirl of desire that hit him from all sides, holding him momentarily aloft. In his haste to somehow find the ability to both walk and gather up Amy’s clothes, he’d forgotten that he held all her underclothes. Nothing stood between him and her completely naked body except distance and air—both of which mattered for absolutely zero.
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What I thought about If I Stay
Cute low key love story.. yes, there’s some drama, some of it gets carried away, but the jewel of this is really Amy and her outlook on life. Ryan can’t help but fall for her, and to be honest I also liked how Jake and Ryan's friendship developed over the course of the book too.
First half of this modern day chauffer / nanny story was a bit slow for me, but the second half was just right, and I loved the big ending where all the secrets are revealed.
Ryan as a former Hollywood stunt driver turned automotive-mechanic-to-the-rich was a different sort of character-a reformed bad boy, he's biding his time as a mechanic at the manor, hoping to ride out a bad reputation. Then along comes Amy, Jake, a car in a ditch, and a deal with the patriarch of Montgomery Manor.
I liked the setting for this story, it felt fresh to me. And it was very difficult to not like Amy. She’s sweet and lovely and it’s a no-brainer for Ryan to fall for her. But the ending was best, with the family secrets spilling out and Mr. Montgomery showing what being head of the family means.
So, a nice easy read, with drama that isn’t too heavy and a feel-good ending. Not a bad start to the series.
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Tamara Morgan is a contemporary romance author of humorous, heartfelt stories with flawed heroes and heroines designed to get your hackles up and make your heart melt. Her long-lived affinity for romance novels survived a B.A. degree in English Literature, after which time she discovered it was much more fun to create stories than analyze the life out of them.
Whether building Victorian dollhouses, consuming mass quantities of coffee and wine, or crying over cheesy 1950s musicals, Tamara commits to her flaws like every good heroine should. She lives in the Inland Northwest with her husband, daughter, and variety of household pets and only occasionally complains about the weather.
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