I was provided with an advance reader copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are mine alone. I received no financial incentives to review this book.
Series: Montgomery Manor #1
Published by Carina Press on May 12, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: the publisher
Ryan Lucas would rather be anywhere but Ransom Creek, Connecticut. After losing his high-adrenaline career as a Hollywood stunt driver, he's had to tuck his tail between his legs and take up employment as a chauffeur for the Montgomerys, a wealthy hotelier family.
Amy Sanders has returned home to Ransom Creek to take over her mother's former position as nanny to the Montgomerys—bringing her close to dashing Jake Montgomery once again. She grew up with a major crush on Jake, and it's not easy to leave those feelings behind, even though her friendship with the hard-edged family chauffeur, Ryan, has a sizzling undercurrent of undeniable attraction.
Amy's determined to prove to Ryan that life at Montgomery Manor isn't all bad, but each time they draw closer Jake swoops in. Amy is torn between two men—and two worlds. And Ryan is rapidly coming to learn that if he wants to make Amy his, he'll have to prove to her that life downstairs can be everything they both want.
Tamara Morgan’s Getting Physical series has been one of my more recent favourites, so I was excited to see that she was moving over to another series.
The prospect of a series set within the world of a wealthy family and their staff sounded too good to pass up. Montgomery Manor has the feel of an Upstairs, Downstairs kind of place, and the stories and the dramas that come along with it are a great match for romantic fiction.
So, here are my thoughts on If I Stay:
If I Stay is a really sweet and fresh romance, with a good mix of fun and dramatic moments.
Amy was a joy to read, a very sunny and cheerful girl but refreshingly normal. Sure, she felt the need to keep secrets to avoid disappointing the people she loved – but hey, we’ve all done that, I’m sure.
Ryan has the bad-boy vibe, yet there was a definite vulnerability to him. He didn’t go down the “I’m only in it for me” route, no matter what he told himself. I liked the caring side that emerged, and I liked that he was honest with Amy about things.
The romance that develops between them is, of course, unexpected for them but nonetheless, it is both hot and sweet. They balance each other out really well.
I have to say I enjoyed the second half of the story better than the first half – the beginning just seemed to be a little slow in comparison to the latter parts. The mystery around the reasons for Mr Montgomery wanting Amy to stay away from Jake, and around Amy’s parentage, was well done and I really liked how Tamara Morgan brought this to resolution.
I am definitely looking forward to seeing what else Tamara Morgan has planned for the Montgomery Manor series, and I am really hoping that the rascally Jake gets his own story – his would be a bunch of fun to read.
The start of If I Stay may not have been as fast as I would have liked, however there was plenty to like about it. A great start to what should be an excellent series.