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If You Stay (Beautifully Broken Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Courtney Cole
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (698 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A New York Times and USA Today Bestseller....

24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.


He's a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match.
But he's got his reasons.

His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn't understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count.

As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn't work. His dad couldn't overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn't keep up the impossible perfect façade.
So he slipped far, far from it.

Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn't want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn't there, then it isn't, right?

And it's never more apparent than when he meets Mila.

Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn't know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he'd better figure it out because he needs her to breathe.

When memories of his mother's death resurface from where he's repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one...the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness.

But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it.

He knows that. And he's working on it.

But is that enough to make her stay?

**Please note: If You Stay contains mature subject matter such as drug use and sexual situations. It is intended for mature audiences.**

Editorial Reviews


"I loved If You Stay. Like, really really loved it. The kind of love that kept me reading until 2:40 am and left me crying, smiling, devastated, and elated. The best kind of book love." - Andrea, The Bookish Babe

"Beautiful, raw, gritty, emotional and breath-taking are just a few of the words I can find to describe this book...reading this book was one of the best experiences I have had." -Amanda, Globug and Hootie Need a Book

About the Author

Courtney Cole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives near Lake Michigan with her family.  She's always working on her next project... or staring dreamily out her office window.  To learn more about her, please visit

Product Details

  • File Size: 439 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Lakehouse Press (February 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BD9HOY2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,998 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
87 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED LOVED LOVED this book!!!!!! February 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
First, I have to say a HUGE THANK YOU again to Courtney Cole for providing me an ARC copy of her book. I was lucky enough to win an autographed copy in one of her contest and to say I was excited is an understatement!!

I LOVED Pax. He immediately grabs at your heart strings. He is broken and makes you want to fix him. He is sexy as hell too! And oh, some of the things he says and does in the book! There are a few favorites I have. One is nude painting. Then there is the big bad wolf. And one of my favorite lines..

"You've seen me at my worst. Maybe you should see me at my best."
"When are you at your best?"
"In bed."

But Pax is far from perfect. He is a seriously f'ed up individual. He uses drugs and women to numb the emptiness he feels. But I will give him credit for being honest about it. Make no mistake, he is in your face honest and makes no apologies for it.

Mila is the light in Pax's dark world. From the moment he meets her, he begins to make some serious changes in his life. At first, she is scared to pursue whatever this thing between them is. She knows about the drugs and women, she has seen both up close and personal, and is scared of what a relationship with Pax would mean for her.

I loved the chemistry between Pax and Mila. I read so many stories where there is this instant attraction between the characters and it jut doesn't seem believable. I am not sure if it was the circumstances in which Pax and Mila meet or not, but I could feel the connection with them. And I appreciated the fact that she wasn't trying to fix him. She wanted him to be the one to fix himself. I think that was important because anyone in Pax's situation has to want to make changes in order for them to stick.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was good. February 12, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was hard to like Pax, the bad-boy-trust-fund slacker, when we first meet him. On the very first page, he's strung out on coke and pills and JD and a girl whose name he can't remember is giving him a BJ in his car. Mila finds him shortly thereafter, OD'ing in his car and saves his life. Truthfully, I give her huge props because I don't know how she did CPR with orange vomit all over him. Ugh!

So you'd think after this, he'll have an epiphany of some kind and become worthy of Mila but he doesn't. In fact, his behavior doesn't get much better for a while. It was pretty off-putting to me. It wasn't really clear what Mila saw in him. He was totally hot--she kept saying how beautiful he was. But it didn't seem like that was enough for good-girl Mila to give such a total screw-up a shot (more than once).

Anyway, if we choose to ignore the implausibility of that, the rest is okay. Each chapter switches back and forth between their perspectives, which I always like, and was well done here. Their relationship progresses pretty well, sex scenes are good without being as medically detailed as in some books. I even thought the disclosure and handling of Pax's past was done realistically and in an exciting way. That chapter was definitely a page-turner. Though his recovery seemed somewhat quick. Of course, it was a short book (only 85% of the kindle file is this book--don't know what that translates to in pages). So I guess they had to wrap things up.

It was a quick read, I read it in a few hours. But it seemed like something was missing. I'm not sure what it was--but there were very few characters. I came away with the impression that this small town was actually minuscule.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Opens with a bang... February 26, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I downloaded this book on a recommendation from a favorite author.

Pax is a jerk. He knows it, and he's fine with it. He lives his life going from one bit of oblivion to another regardless of the collateral damage he leaves in his wake, living for nothing so much as being numb.

And then he hits rock bottom, ODing in his car after a grossly casual encounter he's saved by Mia.

And when he wakes up in the hospital almost a week later, she's there. A good Samaritan with the face of an angel, a woman he immediately decides is too good for him.
But he's drawn to her nonetheless. And of course she's drawn to him regardless of his blatant bad boy vibe. And they begin a tentative relationship that quickly blooms into love.

But, as we suspect early on, Pax has some deeply buried demons that are still haunting him, and Mia is rightfully concerned about losing her heart to him only for him to spiral back into his self-destructive ways.

So yeah, I wanted to love this book because Pax is one helluva great character. I adored him.
But as I read I was reminded of an old saying.

"Sometimes it isn't the right girl so much as it's a girl at the right time"

I had a difficult time relating to Mia. It seemed the more Pax changed and fixed his "stuff" the more skittish and hesitant she became. The constant whinging about how HARD all of this was on her, about his PAST, about how much she was risking...And then he'd wax poetically about how much he didn't deserve her.
Bullcrap. Yeah he was a jerk before he met her. But really once we all find out what his subconscious had buried.
Can you blame him? I mean REALLY?

When Pax comes to her apologizes for wigging out, and professes his continued undying love...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ' Beautiful
One of my favorites !' Beautiful book
Published 5 days ago by Danielle Darrigo
4.0 out of 5 stars wow
Went unreasonably fast at some points, but it was amazing nonetheless. I was very happy with this wonderful book. ☺️
Published 5 days ago by Natalie Velasco
5.0 out of 5 stars good one, keeps you interested
good one , keeps you interested
Published 18 days ago by sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars Love love love this book
Love love love this book!!! Couldn't put it down! Finished it in 2 days found myself ordering the next book right after finishing it! If You Leave, just as good! Must read!!!
Published 1 month ago by sam
5.0 out of 5 stars A+++ This has something for EVERYONE!!!!
I absolutely loved this book and that's high praise from someone who is extremely picky and rarely rates anything 5! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kim M.
5.0 out of 5 stars heartwrenching....
That is the only word I can use to describe this book. It is such an emotional ride. Grab your tissues and get ready to find it impossible to put down.
Published 1 month ago by Karen
5.0 out of 5 stars
by far the best book I've read in a while. I felt the characters had depth and were easy to relate with and fall in love with. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Krista Ballou
4.0 out of 5 stars Great storyline realistic characters
This book was a very good read. The author dealt with real life issues and did not sugar coat or make them pretty. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Elizabeth
1.0 out of 5 stars Move Along
Not worth the read. It isn't worthy of the four and half stars that it received. I hate the way the characters were portrayed. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lexi
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Loved the characters in this story; Well developed and believable.
Published 2 months ago by Barbara
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More About the Author

Courtney Cole is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling novelist who would rather write than eat chocolate. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business, but no amount of working in the corporate world could quell her urge to write.

Courtney was born and raised in Kansas, home of incredibly friendly people and the most horrendous weather on the planet. Because summer days were so hot, she grew up reading stacks of books... and when she didn't like the ending, she wrote her own.

Courtney loves hot pink nail polish, Mitch Albom and thunderstorms (not necessarily in that order).

She currently lives near Chicago with her real life Prince Charming, two sons, one daughter and small domestic zoo. To learn more about her, visit

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