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Monday, December 7, 2015

Review: Make Me Stay by Jaci Burton

The next book in the Hope series is out! Have you gotten your copy yet? Very few small town romances work for me but this is one of them that does!

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Berkley Jove
Release Date: December 1, 2015

Having left his hometown of Hope years ago, only one thing could persuade architect Reid McCormack to come home for a lengthy stay—the challenge of renovating a historic building. But once the job is finished, he’ll be headed back to Boston, no matter how much he’s drawn to beautiful florist Samantha Reasor.

Samantha watches over her elderly grandmother and pours a piece of herself into every floral creation she designs. Her crush on Reid has been blooming for a while now, but she’s reluctant to act on it. A temporary fling isn’t what she’s looking for, even if Reid is smoking hot and super sexy. She wants a real, permanent, forever kind of love.

Two people with different goals couldn’t possibly work, and yet as their attraction grows into something deeper, maybe falling in love is the one thing Samantha and Reid can build a future on.

I don’t know why this is important to him now as he really doesn’t care about what I’m reading on a normal day but given that at 10 years old he still has the energy of an 8 month old puppy and a lust for MY shoes, I am not about to deny him anything so I have been informed by Mr. Pud that I MUST relate the following under pain of shoe destruction: He is still not over the fact that Make Me Stay does NOT have an adorable black pit bull like him.

*eye roll*

Yeah I don’t know when he became such a diva. Anyway, the title Make Me Stay kind of describes the story itself because the third McCormack brother has finally come back home. Of course, it’s a business related trip because that is the ONLY way Reid would ever set foot in the small town of Hope for long. Even with florist Samantha Reasor tempting him, Reid has plans to go back to Boston as soon as he’s done renovating a historic building.

Reid should have seen it coming a mile away: He was SO not going to have an easy time in Hope. His brothers are there, their significant others are there and now Samantha is in the mix. Reid has been the most mysterious of the McCormack brothers since he’s been absent for most of the series but for me he has been one of the most interesting characters in the entire Hope series. I identified with Reid the most because I could understand his wanting to get away from the small town he grew up in and while I’m not from a small town, I know the feeling of desperately needing to get away but Reid was also a grown man who still didn’t have his act 100% together! He was kind of coasting along without making any definite choices about which direction his life was going to go in. I think that had a lot to do with his reluctance to come back to Hope.

Then there was Samantha. I loved her selfless heart, the dedication and true love she had for her grandmother and the scenes with her caring for ailing grandmother were very touching. BUT I did think she was a little too good to be true. She was almost perfect and that can be a bit boring for me. I liked her and admired all she put into her work and her life looking after her grandmother but again Sam was so sweet she almost gave me a cavity. Her best trait is her independence. She wasn’t looking for a white knight to swoop in and save her but she wouldn’t mind a shoulder to lean on when things got tough. She was more than capable of handling the responsibility of her grandmother’s health and her business.

Make Me Stay didn’t have that pop or burst of chemistry between Reid and Sam either. Rather, it was a very slow burn where anything that could interrupt did interrupt and it started to bug me. I wanted these two to spend time together and get to know each other without personal and professional crisis’ springing up every five minutes. I was kind of disappointed with how this book didn’t focus as much on the romance and relationship building as previous books. The passion wasn’t there either; it was more like an afterthought whenever Reid and Sam were in scenes together. Definitely not what I was used to or what I was expecting.

Still, the good parts of Make Me Stay were what I was hoping for: the reunion of the McCormack brothers, their brotherly banter and the appearances of previous characters that gave the book a real small town, warm and fuzzy home feel that didn’t overwhelm or exaggerate. I loved how even though Reid had been gone from Hope for a long time, it didn’t dull his relationship with his brothers or his friends. It was like he had never left. If that wasn’t entertaining enough, Make Me Stay has an adorable supporting character in the form of a small dog with a big personality and tons of persistence.

Final Verdict: Reid and Sam don’t burn up the pages like Burton characters usually do but there’s still plenty of humor, warmth and entertainment for fans of the series.

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