WHY I READ IT
Because Away left me gutted and I needed to know my people would be okay.
WHAT I RATED IT
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Fate took Cassandra down a path she never expected.
Then a small town in Colorado gave her exactly what she needed—until tragedy left her heartbroken and devastated. Alone with only her child and her memories, Cassie struggled to put her life back together, one day at a time, piece by piece. Finding love again was something she never thought possible. That was, until she ran into an unlikely stranger who flipped her entire world on its axis.
Aidan had a secret locked away in his heart; one that would surely send Cassie running the second she discovered it. He held onto her closely and kept his secret guarded, but one careless mistake could reveal all.
Their friendship was strong, their moments beautiful, and the love that brewed between them intense—something neither denied. The only problem? Cassie was slowly letting him into her life. Could she let herself get close to the one person she didn’t think she should?
Her mind tells her to run, but her heart tells her to stay.
**WARNING!! This review WILL contain spoilers from the first book in the Keaton Series, AWAY. You MUST read Away before picking up STAY. You have been warned. **
I honestly do not even know where to begin with this review. I read Away shortly after it was released and while Jason and Cassandra were falling in love, I was falling in love with B.a. Wolfe’s writing. Her ability to create a scene is something else. Every time I read it, I was transported to Keaton and into this world that she created. I could feel every emotion and visualize every image. Then, B.a. did the unthinkable…the unimaginable. She killed off the main character. I will forever remember sitting in my bed at 3 am, doing the ugly cry, and throwing my kindle down on the bed in a huff. My husband gave up trying to figure out why I was so upset. I was devastated that not only was it over with Jason and Cassie, but he was gone; ripped away from her. After everything she had lost, she continued to lose more. I was so angry!! I knew there would be a sequel, but I was devastated that Cassandra wasn’t getting her happily ever after, and wasn’t even sure I wanted to read it.
“Just breathe, baby. I’ve got you”
The ending of Away sucked…there is no other way to put it. But, when people say there is a reason for everything, believe them. Jason had to die so we could meet Aidan. Oh, Aidan. Sweet, sexy, swoon-worthy Aidan. Aidan is Jason’s brother and a bit of a mystery during the events of Away. We know he left home shortly after Jason revealed how sick he was. We know that the Bradley’s do not like to talk about him, or really even acknowledge that he is a part of their lives. We are about to get all the answers however, and get to the bottom of why he left and what his future holds now that his brother is gone.
Cassandra is barely holding on. Jason’s death has ROCKED her. She knows she has to keep it together, if not for her, then for Jase, her beautiful baby boy. Jason’s best friend Moose, and Cassie’s best friend Mel, help Cassandra to keep moving forward. As they approach the one-year anniversary of Jason’s passing, Cassie plans to return to Keaton, a place she has avoided for the entire year, honor Jason’s memory, and hope to reconnect with Jason’s parents. Cassie has no idea what awaits her in Keaton or that her one, true love is waiting in the wings.
“I need a sign. Please, just send me a sign.” The last of my tears trickled down, collecting on the ground. “I love you, Jase. Green light forever.”
Cassandra is about to get her sign. Jason asks Aidan (or Dan as he is also called), to watch out for Cassie. He needs Aidan to keep an eye on her and protect her. Aidan does that through Moose, until he accidentally bumps into Cassie. He knows who she is, but she has no idea she is staring at Jason’s estranged brother. All Cassie knows is the intense pull she feels towards him. She has felt virtually nothing since losing Jason and for the first time in a year, she is feeling a whole lot of something.
Aidan can no longer maintain the secret of his connection to Jason, when Cassie and Aidan meet at the Bradley’s house. Cassie feels betrayed and hurt that Aidan didn’t tell her who he was, but the pull that keeps dragging Cassie and Aidan together is entirely too strong for either of them to deny. Cassie thinks it’s wrong for her to have feelings for Aidan. She refuses to be disloyal to Jason that way. Thankfully, Aidan refuses to give up on them. He will be strong for both of them if he needs to be. Aidan realizes their relationship is a bit unconventional, but that doesn’t make it any less right, and he will fight for the right to call her his.
“And I know you feel it too, Cassie. I know you do. I can see it in your eyes. It’s not right in so many ways and I know that too. But in so many ways it’s more right that I’ve ever felt in my entire life.”
I am going to be honest here. This book was TORTURE! Absolute TORTURE. It was a beautiful type of torture, but torture nonetheless. After the gut wrenching, heartbreaking ending to Away, I honestly expected Cassandra to catch a break. Clearly, B.a didn’t think Cassie had endured enough anguish and suffering in her life and thought she should have to undergo more. I cannot tell you how many times I cried in this book. It felt as if I was crying every 10 pages. I am not a crier. I have said over and over how much it takes for a story to make me cry. I’ve seen it all, and you better bring it if you want to affect me in that way. Well, B.a. took that challenge and ran with it. It brought new meaning to the quote, “If you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain.” There were so many gorgeous moments of love and growth in this book. Cassandra works hard to pull out of the darkness she found herself in after Jason’s death. She realized all she needed to do was reach for Aidan’s hand and he would help guide her out. Their love story is not without more than their fair share of bumps in the road, but I am happy to say my kindle, along with a box of tissues, remained firmly in hand.
“I’ll be your X’s and O’s,” I whispered into her ear.
She released a soft breath as she nuzzled against my cheek. “And I’ll be yours.”