When Stay by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy showed up on my Kindle, it was a Monday night and thankfully, I was done with work. I was incredibly ecstatic to finally get the chance to read Matt’s story. This is another wonderful, Canada strong romance from two of my favorite writers.
Hailey Taylor Emery runs a successful business with her ex-husband, Jackson. Fetch is a service business that does just what the name suggests. It fetches things, whether services or items, for people. The company has a growing list of clientele, including a hockey player Hailey is almost sure is her crush, Matt Eriksson. Hailey gets called on to walk Matt’s dog and learns that yep, her crush is alive and well and she is walking his freaking dog, Rufus. It’s both a dream come true and a nightmare because Hailey cannot do anything about her crush, obviously. Client confidentiality is a big thing for her.
However, when Matt finally meets HTE (who he has nicknamed “Hottie”) he wants to get to know her. Her passion for hockey and general passion for life appeals to him. But he knows it cannot ever be a real relationship. Been there, done that, have the awful divorce to prove it, in Matt’s mind anyway. Hockey is not conducive to a happy relationship but he’s determined to spend some time with Hailey anyway.
Ah, Stay, my only complaint is that you are not a longer book because I could have spent way more time in the world of Matt and Hailey. I really, really liked these two together. Both of them have been through a recent divorce, both have had their confidence shaken, and both love hockey. They really match in a great way, but not in a way where there is no chemistry or spark in their relationship.
Hailey faces a lot of pressure, both in her new relationship with Matt, and with her business. She’s overheard a few things in the office that make her worry Jackson, not only her ex-husband but her best friend all her life, may be trying to buy her out. She is angry and scared but also nervous about confronting him. Their relationship is not all roses at this point but it is clear that they both still care about each other. I really liked that the authors made it a point to show that Jackson still respects and cares about Hailey. They just didn’t make a match as husband and wife.
Matt is the kind of guy hockey sex dreams are made of. Not only is he a dedicated hockey star, both on and off the ice, but he loves his twin girls, cares about his dog, and is a good man in general. He truly believes he does not deserve a happy ever after which really made me sad. I have to say, his ex-wife was just not a nice woman at all. Some of her words bordered on verbal abuse to me. I’m sure that was not the authors’ intention but as we learn more about her motivations and the divorce, the cruel things she had said to Matt seemed even crueler because of her guilty conscious. I was not a fan of this woman at all.
Matt and Hailey though? I just loved these two and watching them fall in love. From the very beginnings where they texted and lightly moved into flirting, until the very end when Matt conquered two of his fears, well, I was just happy for these two. This is the great stuff romances are made of!
And, I’ll just leave you with this little quote. There are a lot of funny scenes in Stay and this is just a small glimpse into one of those scenes.
Stay is available June 20, 2017!