A Reason to Stay by Melissa Ellen

The male lead in this novel is named Rhett. You’ve got a lot to live up to Rhett ole’ boy when you have the same name as one of the most dashing and suave of literary characters, Mr. Rhett Butler. And now I’m thinking of Clark Gable. And now I need to re-watch Gone with the Wind for the millionth time. You wouldn’t mind waiting around for about, oh, four hours, would ya? Thanks!

What’s it About? a reason to stay

From Two Different Worlds. With Pasts that haunt them. An Undeniable love that heals them. Will one tragic night break them? Ava Conner is a smart, beautiful, independent, focused architecture student that has her life ahead of her. She knows what she wants and she is determined to let nothing stop her from getting it. She has no time for men and she is content with being alone. That was until she got knocked flat on her ass by Rhett Blackwood. Literally.

First Impressions

This is a meet cute as timeless as can be: the two literally bump into each other at a coffee shop. They exchange a heated glance, but not much else. Ava is decidedly shocked when she sees this man again at a party she’s helping to cater, and he’s accompanied by another woman no less! Our dashing lad seeks Ava out in a back hallway, insisting that he’s not actually “with” this other woman, and that he’ll find Ava later on. Let’s say the heated look in his eyes promises much more than conversation. And oh boy does he deliver.

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First Romps and One Night Stand Discussions

I will say I found it pretty interesting that for a man with such an intense presence as Rhett, their first time in the bedroom was relatively tame. Passionate, yes, but not too raunchy. Personally, I also delighted in the rather awkward discussion afterwards on what the status of their relationship was. Ava is understandably hesitant to pursue anything too serious after her last boyfriend cheated on her. I loved that she tried to be upfront with Rhett, and say if this is just a one night type of dealio, then that’s more than fine with her. Rhett’s insistence that this will not just be a one night romp in the hay will make you gasp in an “oh my” kind of moment.

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Admirable Leading Lady

You know, I’ve gotta hand it to Ava, I admire this chica for her willingness to stand up to Rhett when it really mattered. She wasn’t going to cower at his oftentimes dominant personality. The perfect example of this was during their first weekend together. They spend one glorious morning beneath the sheets, and he wants her to call off work, or get someone else to fill in for her so they can spend more time in bed horizontally. However, her work is really important to her, and gives her a sense of purpose and independence, so she refuses to relent to his insistence. Even when he has her pushed up against a wall, whispering into her ear with his deep and sultry voice. That’s one strong willed woman right there!

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Another example is with her friends. Ava actually has some close male friends who are almost like brothers. She’s pretty affectionate with them; with lots of hugs and cheek kisses involved. Now, obviously we all know this will undoubtedly cause Rhett to have an eventual coronary. That being said, Ava insists she won’t cut these men out of her life completely, and she does her best to bring Rhett and her friends together for some male bonding time.

Exes and Ohhhhs

So when it comes to this woman that Rhett took to the party, obviously it was more complicated than simply accompanying a family friend to a social gathering. The two were intimate as teenagers. Although it’s over between them now, Serena holds a tragic event from their past over Rhett’s head to keep him in her life, and manipulate his feelings of guilt. Again, I really admired Ava in that she saw right through this woman, and didn’t shy away from telling Rhett how she truly felt. Things do eventually reach a breaking point between Ava and Serena in a heated argument which takes place in a public restroom. This scene convinced me once and for all that no good can possibly come from using a public restroom in a romance novel. They might as well be called the cat-fight facilities. It’s practically a guarantee.

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Glossy Conversations

I will say I was slightly disappointed that what felt like some key scenes/discussions were glossed over, and I’m not just talking about the sex scenes! For example, after leaving the party where Rhett and Ava first meet, they head back to Rhett’s place. It mentions how they talk for hours getting to know each other. Next thing you know they have a deep emotional connection, and he’s uber possessive of their relationship. Now, I’m not expecting to be privy to every single thing they discussed, but I felt that their connection seemed rather abrupt and sudden by not going into detail about at least some of their conversation. What was it exactly that brought them together beyond just a heated exchange at a party?

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Blackwood Series, book 1. Things do end on a cliffhanger as the situation with Serena, Rhett and Ava gets kind of out of control. It’ll be interesting to see how things come together in the next book.

Should you read it? A unique relationship with a lot of moving pieces that come together for the cliffhanger ending. Things did sort of drag a bit towards the end as preparations are outlined in detail for Ava’s sister’s wedding. However, it has an emotional ending which really demonstrates the importance of family. I’ll admit I did kind of want to smack Rhett upside the head by the end of it, considering his inability to reach out to Ava during her time of need via phone, text, email, handwritten letter, sky writer, or even a freakin’ carrier pigeon.

Smut Level: They spend a lot of time in bed doing the deed, but we usually aren’t privy to the details.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. Independently Published. 423 Pages.