Eli Sabatino, determined to make a name for
himself amid Seaside, New Jersey’s nightlife, has laid out the perfect plan for
success. But that plan didn’t include Layla, the hopeful bartender who walked
in for an interview. He knows, as an employee, this blonde bombshell is
off-limits but he can’t fight the undeniable force of attraction that pulls him
Layla Del Duca has the weight
of the world on her shoulders. With a full course load, a boyfriend, a sister
to take care of, and an alcoholic mother, she needs to regain control of her
life. Her job at Fierce is priority number one. But a complication she didn’t
expect looms behind the eyes of Eli, her handsome new boss.
Emotions collide full force
and they can no longer turn a blind eye to what their hearts are telling them.
But, can their passion
survive when Eli can no longer promise the one thing Layla asks of him? Will
everything change? Will he stay?
Layla smiles. “It’s nice to see them back together.”
“It is, makes my life a hell of a lot easier.”
I glance over at her. Her eyes are glassy, cheeks are
flushed but she’s relaxed and it’s not a sight I get to see often. “One less
thing for me to watch over.”
Layla who was sitting across from me on the booth that’s
out on the deck lies down, crosses her ankles and places her hands on her
I laugh. “What are you doing?”
She points up to the sky. “Looking at all the stars.”
I toss back the rest of my beer and follow suit lying
down where we are head to head. Neither of us talks for what seems like
forever. It’s not an awkward silence but a comfortable one.
“Tell me something about yourself that no one knows,
She’s quiet and I almost think she’s fallen asleep when
she starts, “I’ve always wanted a tree house.”
“A tree house?” I ask just to confirm I’ve heard her.
It’s so random.
“Yeah, and not one that’s on the ground, I wanted a real
tree house high up in the trees.” She sighs. “When I was little I used to watch
from my bedroom window while the dad from the house behind ours built the
Foster sister’s one. For two weeks he worked on it for them.” She turns on her
stomach and rests her chin on her hands. “He put it way up high, nailed pieces
of wood on the tree for steps. He brought up these big pieces of wood that he
used for the floor. Then a few days later the house was framed out. He even
made them a little porch that he put railing around. By the end of the second
weekend I saw him hoisting up a huge triangle piece that he used for the roof.
Mr. and Mrs. Foster brought the girls up so that they could see it. The looks
on their faces was priceless.”
I turn around and face Layla on the bench. Her eyes are
even glassier now than they were before.
“They painted the little house that was big enough for
the four of them to sit in. Mrs. Foster made them little curtains for the
windows and planted little flowers in the flower boxes that hung off of the
railing of the porch.” Her smile grows. “I watched the little girls bring their
baby dolls up in a little box that they would pull up, like their dad used for
the roof. Mrs. Foster even made them a picnic basket at dinner time, too.”
A little tear escapes the corner of her eye and I watch
as it runs down her cheek. She doesn’t even bother trying to wipe it away.
Being this close I notice the freckles sprinkled across her nose and I suddenly
want to kiss each and every one of them.
“Hmm,” she mummers.
“I’m sorry you never got your tree house.”
She smiles a sad smile. “Me too.”
It sounds like Layla didn’t have a great childhood, maybe
she didn’t have a dad like me or maybe she did and he just couldn’t be bothered
with her. I don’t want to ask because it’s a personal question and Layla
doesn’t give away much about her life. So for now I’ll take what she’s willing
to give me and vow that if I ever have a little girl, I will build with my own
two hands the best damn tree house ever seen.
Stay for Me is completely different than Megan’s other books, and I absolutely loved it! I love when we think we know what to expect from an author and then she throws something at us that we just don’t see coming at all. That’s what Megan did with Stay for Me.Layla Del Luca has not had an easy life. Because she can’t depend on her mother, Layla struggles daily to take care of herself, her little sister, all while working and going to school. The only help she gets is from her overbearing, jealous boyfriend Brian, who only seems to help out just to throw it back in her face and to remind her that she needs him because of everything that he does for her. She feels that this is the best that life has for her, until something better comes along that she’s not expecting: Eli Sabatino.
Eli is starting a new chapter in his life by going into business with his friend Cooper Cahill. While Cooper is away playing baseball, Eli is handling the interviews for their new club, Fierce. When he finds out he’s interviewing a friend of Cooper’s on-again, off-again girlfriend Jaylinn, he is reluctant until he sees Layla for the first time.
The attraction between Layla and Eli is instant, and they soon find that the chemistry between them is too much to ignore. Eli wants Layla, and as much as she wants him, she is reluctant to let go of Brian because of everything that he does for her. She also doesn’t want Eli to see just how bad her life is. When everything seems to blow up around her, Layla is left with no choice but to turn to Eli for help.
With Brian no longer in the picture, and her life the best it’s ever been, Layla finally relaxes and lets things progress between herself and Eli. Their connection is so strong, and it doesn’t take long before they have completely fallen for each other. Their lives are perfect, and they are planning for the future, and then something from the past comes along and destroys everything.
For me, this is the most emotional book that Megan Smith has even written. You just don’t see what’s coming, and it will make you feel as though your heart is being ripped out of your chest. Stay for Me is a must-read that I just can’t recommend highly enough. 5 well deserved stars.
USA TODAY bestselling author Megan Smith is a New Jersey native managing
purchasing for an award-winning business IT and software development firm – and
by night creating the memorable characters her fans have grown to adore.
Smith’s The Love Series introduces readers to MacKenzie Cahill – a hopeful
young woman who experiences adversity, challenges and the bittersweet triumph
of true, authentic love.
Smith is a wife and mother, who makes time for her family, professional life
and the creation of the Cahill’s world. Fans of The Love Series – Trying Not To
Love You, Easy To Love You, Hard To Love You – are captivated by relationships,
special bonds and family ties pervasive in Smith’s emotional, energized and
engaging work. Smith is also the author of the 2014 releases, Let Me Love You –
continuations of The Love Series, Finding Us (Finding Series) and a few top
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