Say You'll Stay

Corinne Michaels
One word. Stay. 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 . . .

Reviews

Reviewed: 2020-07-05

The best description for this book/series in 10 words or less:

"Widowed woman returns home to find a previous lover." 

 

This is a stand-alone novel but it is also a companion novel since many of the characters in this novel will be in the other one, Say You Want Me.

The story becomes heavy almost immediately into reading it. Usually, stories in this genre have a buildup to the amount of conflict and devastation before an event like the suicide in this novel starts. Even though I understand the pain Presley has gone through in the events before the novel, she punishes almost everyone in the novel for it by not visiting her family and friends. I think that might be a little bit unrealistic because if she loved her family who has done nothing but loves her she would have been homesick and at least visit at least once or twice over two decades. The excuse Presley uses to stay away from her family in Bell Buckle is very immature and ridiculous. I felt that the grieving process was almost nonexistent as soon as Presley gets to Bell Buckle. I get that she's angry but she acts like her husband's suicide never happened.

I love this story as a redemption novel where characters who were once very immature and previously made poor decisions become more mature and continue to grow when the novel takes place. This novel truly shows the impact people have on each other's lives, and it also shows the actions that someone would take to protect their loved ones.

The main characters are pretty well-rounded and make the novel flow very easily. It didn't take long for me to finish it. Presley Bensen (nee Townsend) was always a simple girl with big dreams. She wants an old-school life of being a wife and mother, which I think is both her strength and downfall. She wanted that so bad that she never became independent on her own, even though she is a great mother. She lets the idea of love cloud her judgment in things and still continues to be dependent on everyone. It makes sense since she has a couple hundred thousand dollars of debt. Although she is very dependent and somewhat clingy, she knows who she is and where she came from. Zachary Hennington seems to barely be living his life. He dates someone who he doesn't love and knows it as soon as Presley shows up. I wish he kept his distance more and slowly got reacquainted with Presley. I do have to hand it to him because he is relentless and knows what he wants in his life. Plus, he is really good looking and great with kids.

The secondary characters are the ones I feel like really make this book pop. My first favorite character Presley's long-time friend and sister-in-law, Angie. She is very spunky and lives life in her own tune, and Presley's complete opposite. Then there's Wyatt who is Zachary's little brother. He is hot and has a good sense of humor, but is always there for Presley and seems like the only one to be able to get her out of her depressing rut. I really empathize with him since he truly loves her, but she has always been Zach's girl.

I felt like there could have been two endings to this novel. Obviously, the first ending would be the one the author gave at the end of the novel. Although the ending was satisfying, the place where I thought the first ending should be would have been perfect. There was a conflict with no foreshadowing, backstory, or thoughts that happens right after where the ending I thought should have been enough. It felt like the author had to put that extra conflict in there just to put it in there. I don't want to give it away, but I thought it was unnecessary after Presley already had to deal with her late husband's suicide and the debt he gave her.

 

Refer to my blog for a different view of this review:

https://axarr.blogspot.com/2017/10/review-wednesday-say-youll-stay-by.html

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