Sunny Shelly’s Review: Stay With Me, by Jessica Prince

Title: Stay With Me
Author: Jessica Prince
Series: Hope Valley
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rory Hightower had a good life. She had a loving family, great friends, and a job she adored, running Hope Valley’s local watering hole, The Tap Room. But there was just one thing missing. Ever since she was a little girl, she knew there was one special guy out there just for her. Her dream man. And when Cord walked into her bar, she knew instantly it was him. Which made losing him all the more painful.

Cord Paulson had only ever had one person he could depend on. And that bond ran deep. But when he moved to Hope Valley and met the breathtaking bartender with the bright blue eyes and stunning smile, he felt an instant connection. He wanted Rory from the moment he laid eyes on her. But when his past came back, and his loyalties were put to the test, he made the biggest mistake of his life.

Then one night changes everything. After avoiding him for months, Rory has no choice but to lower her guard and let him back in. And Cord plans to use that to his full advantage. He’s determined to repair the damage he caused to her heart and win her back. He may have lost the love of his life once already, but there’s no way he’ll make the same mistake twice.

**The Hope Valley series is a series of interconnected, standalone, small town romances.**





“I find out the love of your life saunters back in town, searching you out, and you didn’t even bother to tell me! I’ve been down this road before, Cord, and if you remember, I got my ass burned, so excuse me for not wanting to make a second trip.”

“For fuck’s sake,” he rumbled, finally taking a step back, giving him room to lift those long, strong arms so he could rake his fingers through his sexy hair in frustration. “She’s not the love of my life. Did I love her at one point? Yeah. I’ve been up front about that with you. But I’ve also been up front about the fact that those feelings in me died a long time ago. I haven’t loved her in a long fuckin’ time, Rory.” Before I could object and point out it wasn’t that long ago, he continued. “What I felt for her when she showed up wasn’t love, it was obligation. You know that too.”

“Then why didn’t you tell me she was back?” I snapped, refusing to get my hopes up.

“Because I haven’t even thought about it!” he snarled. “Christ, Rory! She showed up, made her play at Alpha Omega, and I shot her the fuck down.”

My mouth dropped open in shock. “You… what?”

“I shot her down. And I did it in a way that she couldn’t misinterpret at all, baby. And if that hadn’t been enough, the way Linc, Xander, and Rox laid into her solidified my point. After I said what I needed to say, I walked away. And yeah, it pissed me off, but once I was done feelin’ that, I put it outta my mind and never went back to it. I’ve been too consumed thinking about you for the past seven goddamn months to even give her a second thought.”

Oh god. Okay. I really liked that.

“But… if that’s the case, why haven’t you kissed me?”

His chin jerked back in surprise. “What?”

“All those times recently I thought you were going to kiss me… you were right there, and I thought any second you were going to do it. Then you pulled back and walked away from me. If you weren’t thinking about her, why’d you do that?”

“Because you said all you could give me was your friendship,” he barked, throwing his arms wide. “Fuck, Rory. What the hell did you think I was gonna do, huh? Break the trust I’ve been workin’ my ass off to build back up with you? I’ve wanted you so long I don’t know how to feel anything else, but I couldn’t risk losin’ you again. Not when I just got you back.” His fingers went through his hair again as he grunted, “Jesus, what do you want from me?”

“I—” I quickly clamped my mouth shut as his eyes swung back to me.

“Jesus. Fuck me,” he said on a low, shocked grunt. “You wanted me to kiss you?”

My cheeks flamed with humiliation, but there was no point in denying it. I’d already dug the hole this deep; might as well keep going. “I tipped my face up and closed my eyes,” I said, reminding him of what happened in my parents’ living room. “When a woman presses close, tips her face up, and closes her eyes, just a heads-up, Cord, she wants to be kissed,” I finished on a snark.

His voice came out in a whisper as he repeated, “You wanted me to kiss you.”

“I thought you were going to, so yeah,” I admitted indignantly, “I wanted it. But now I—”

And that was all I got out before he moved, wrapped his arms around me in a vice grip, and slammed his lips down on mine.



Sunny Shelly’s Review: 5 Stars

I have been waiting for Cord and Rory’s story since the beginning of the Hope Valley series, and it did not disappoint! There was this electric chemistry between them in all of the other books, but Rory ignored him whenever possible. I was dying to know why! They were friends first, and as they were starting to fall for one another, Cord’s ex came back into his life and gave him an ultimatum. The second he chose Laurie over Rory, he knew he made a mistake but felt an obligation to give his relationship his all.

Two years later, Cord has kicked Laurie to the curb and is determined to work his way back into Rory’s life. She doesn’t make it easy for him. At all. He broke her trust, and Cord sets out to make it up to her. He’s wanted her since the first time he saw her, knows he made a mistake and is prepared to grovel. And like the rest of the Alpha Omega guys before him, Cord gets what he wants.

While this story doesn’t have the underlying thread of the drug dealer in town that the previous books had, it does have a sweet young orphan named Zach. Cord sees a lot of himself in Zach, having been a product of the foster system himself. When Rory decides to take Zach in and become his new foster mom, Cord is there for her every step of the way. It brings them much closer, and while it’s not an easy road with Zach, it’s a heartwarming one.

I’m not convinced that the “Laurie” Cord whispered in the prologue was actually Laurie at all. I’m sure it was actually “Rory”! I loved the journey that these two took, the twists and turns, and how they became an unconventional family with foster son Zach. They all got exactly what they needed: Zach a home, Rory the guy she prayed for, and Cord the family he never had as a child.

Well done, Jessica Prince! I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.

Visit Hope Valley
a series of interconnected, standalone romances

Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon Universal


Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon Universal


Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon Universal

Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon Worldwide


Born and raised around Houston Texas, Jessica spent most of her life complaining about the heat, humidity, and all around pain in the ass weather. It was only as an adult that she quickly realized the cost of living in Houston made up for not being able to breathe when she stepped outside. That’s why God created central air, after all.

Jessica is the mother of a perfect little boy–she refuses to accept that he inherited her attitude and sarcastic nature no matter what her husband says.

In addition to being a wife and mom, she’s also a wino, a coffee addict, and an avid lover of all types of books–romances still being her all time favs. Her husband likes to claim that reading is her obsession but she just says it’s a passion…there’s a difference. Not that she’d expect a boy to understand.

Jessica has been writing since she was a little girl, but thankfully grew out of drawing her own pictures for her stories before ever publishing her first book. Because an artist she is not.

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