Friday, May 17, 2013

Review: Ask Me To Stay by Elise K. Ackers

Ask Me To Stay
When family tragedy brings bad boy Ethan Foster home, he doesn't expect a warm welcome. In the small town of Hinterdown reputation is everything - and Ethan's was ruined long ago. Nobody wants him around, particularly not Sam O'Hara, the girl he left behind.

There's still a powerful spark between them, but Sam is afraid to risk her heart again. And Ethan is hiding a secret that will have repercussions for his whole family. Will the townspeople ever forgive him? More importantly, will those he loves the most find it in their hearts to take him back?

This tender tale of love and redemption is the first in a brilliant new series by Elise K. Ackers, author of Small Town Storm and the bestselling The Man Plan.

Publisher: Penguin Group (ebook)
Publication Date: April 10, 2013


Kat's Review

This is a touching story about family coming together when they're needed most.  It's marketed as a romance, but I think it's more of a family drama with the romantic element secondary to the main story.  That's not a bad thing, because the family story of the estranged brother returning to help his older brother deal with the sudden loss of his wife was engrossing in itself.  Ethan disappeared a few years after the death of his parents, leaving his brother Dean feeling as though he failed in his responsibility to raise him.  Ethan floats into town on special occasions only; births, deaths, and weddings mainly.  He left the love of his life behind when he went, leaving them both devastated and unable to move on.

When Ethan returns this time, he finds himself drawn not only to the woman he still loves, but to the children of his brother, who so desperately need him in their lives following the loss of their mother.  Ethan begins building a bond with them, and suddenly the thought of pulling another disappearing act seems less appealing.  The problem is that in trying to hide a secret to protect his family's reputation, he estranged himself from everyone he cares about.  The story follows his path to rebuilding those relationships, including the one he broke with himself by burying the truth and carrying it around for so many years.  Amidst this, Sam, the woman he left so many years ago, finds herself trying to unravel the reasons he left, and the reasons he would have to stay.

If you're looking for a steamy romance, you won't find it here.  Instead, this book is about love, secrets, and redemption.  The ability to forgive and to allow yourself to be forgiven.  There were passages in the book, particularly when the children were grieving their mother, that made me tear up. 

Rating: A Good Read

This is a short novel at just over a hundred pages, with enough drama to keep the story moving.  The family dynamics were tense and complex and realistic.  The romance is truly a small element of the book, but it's a good story that I read all in one go.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this title by NetGalley & Penguin Group in return for an honest review.


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