Review copy provided by publisher/ netgalley
Destiny Romance (Penguin), April 2013
Synopsis- 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.
Review- I have enjoyed previous titles of Elise K. Ackers from contemporary romance (The Man Plan & Unforgettable) to romantic suspense (Small Town Storm) and was pleasantly surprised to find her stray from a traditional romance story in her new novella series, Ask Me To Stay. It’s very much a family drama with a romantic sub-plot. The story displays emotional depth with many scenes that held an emotional punch through the setting of mood and short, poignant sentences and dialogue surrounding the characters. Told from the alternating viewpoint of new widow and father of two, Dean, his estranged brother Ethan who returns for the funeral and his ex-girlfriend Sammy whom he left behind a decade earlier and left her heart broken.
Ethan has become the guy who ‘always leaves,’ he’s not reliable and he’s considered selfish by his brother Dean who is suspicious of Ethan’s return to their hometown. No one expects Ethan to stick around, but when he does he surprises those around him. Not only does he form a close and important relationship with his grieving nephew, but Ethan becomes a stable figure in their lives, someone they may actually rely on. Of course with his history of running away and shutting people out, both Dean and Sammy seemed to be on edge around him, just waiting for him to disappear from their lives and hurt them again.
The romantic sub-plot with Ethan and Sammy is very subtle but seemed to work. Even though there was minimal scenes between them in the first half of the book, it seemed each interaction had a purpose and the emotional turmoil experienced by both was very clear. Being a romance fan I’d have liked this plot to be a little more dominant in the story, but I actually really liked Ethan and the relationship that he recovers with his brother and how they all interacted.
I look forward to reading more of this series as the next instalment puts Sammy’s brother Cal in the spotlight. Ask Me to Stay is a family drama with a heavy focus on relationships and reparation of past mistakes. Clearly Ackers is very versatile within the sub-genres of romance and I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next!
Elise K. Ackers stopped by my blog a little while back for a Q&A which can be checked out here.
“I really liked this”
Ask Me To Stay can be purchased via Destiny Romance and other leading ebook retailers.
This book was read as part of the AWW2013 challenge: