I hate to start my review off with an expletive… but Pax is an a$$hole. I mean, it’s right there in the summary; and truer words have never been written. But it’s so much worse than just an attitude problem. He is on such a self-destructive path, and if something doesn’t change – and fast – Pax may never see his 25th birthday. Enter Mila. Beautiful, smart, and incredibly sweet. She’s had a huge loss in her young life, though she handles it with such grace and bravery. When she finds the terrible mess that is Pax Tate, she wants nothing more than to fix this broken man and help him all that she can. But we all know you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. Will Mila be Pax’s saving grace; or will she be too terrified that, if she gives him her heart, he’ll make it as broken as he is?
“No. I can’t let you break my heart. I don’t have much of it left.”
What unfolds is a heartbreaking story that is full of sadness but also an incredible tale of courage and inspiration. It’s true it breaks your heart, but it will put it back together and then snuggle it. I adore the hopefulness of the story as well as the hopefulness of the characters.
“You’ve seen me at my worst. Maybe you should see me at my best.”
It's my intention to not share too many details of the story. This is something that should be read and felt firsthand. I enjoyed every minute of Pax and Mila as they each braved new waters and worked to overcome their fears.
“‘I’ve never been attracted to a bad boy before.’
‘Well, I’ve never wanted to be good before,
so I guess it’s a first for both of us.’”
While the story brought me to tears several times, I want to mention the incredibly beautiful Author’s Note that reduced me to chin-quivering sobs. It is just as lovely and powerful as the story itself.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy or boast, it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.”
– I Corinthians 13:4-8a
I really appreciate Ms. Cole sharing her note with her readers. I love her writing and how effortlessly she pulls such an emotional response from me. She is definitely on my auto-buy list; and I can hardly wait for book two of the series, If You Leave, which follows Mila’s older sister Madeline.
“But if you stay with me, if you stay…
I promise that I will never leave you again.”