Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: August 1st 2013
Series: Keep Me Still #1
Format: Special Edition ARC
Source: Provided by author for review
Layla Flaherty had the perfect life, or close to it. Until a stranger gunned her parents down right in front of her, leaving her with seizure inducing PTSD. After years of trying to pass as normal and failing miserably, she resigns herself to being invisible. But new to town Landen O’Brien sees her, and he likes what he sees. Much to Layla’s surprise, he doesn’t freak out when she has a seizure in front of him. He does the exact opposite, calming her until the tremors subside. But Landen has secrets of his own. Secrets that both bind them together and tear them apart. Scarred by loss, Layla leaves her hometown of Hope Springs, Georgia, hoping to put her painful past behind her and start over in college in California. When she runs into Landen at freshmen orientation, she has a choice to make. Reinforce those steel walls she's built up around herself or give the only boy who can keep her still a second chance. Landen’s more than ready to tear down those walls but this time when they come crashing down, they might bury her.
A few months ago I was given a special edition copy of this book that had a novella attached to it about the main couple and how they got their start. I almost hate to even mention it because it is no longer available and I think that's a damn shame. Let You Leave was a very beautiful beginning for a couple I have come to love and dare i say put on the top of my list of amazing couples...ever!
Layla and Landen meet in high school after Landen has to move yet again because of his father's military career. When he sees Layla for the first time he's caught off guard by her beauty and demeanor and instantly wants to know more about her. What he doesn't know is that she suffers from PTSD due to seeing her parents killed in front of her that has left her with a seizure disorder. She tries to stay to herself but Landen makes it impossible and soon a relationship develops. Landen has his own problems in the form of an abusive father who treats him like a dog. Neither one of them wants the other to know their secret but they ultimately become a source of strength for each other with Landen being the only thing that can help Layla through one of her episodes. The more Landen tries to make Layla fall in love with him the more she tries to keep her heart guarded because she knows how fast people can leave her. She's proven right when Landen and his mother move again leaving Layla's fragile heart crushed. Like I said I hate even mentioning this novella but I feel like the story of Layla and Landen isn't complete unless you know how they start. They have something so special it deserves being mentioned and I highly recommend you hound the author to release it separately.
In Keep Me Still Layla has moved clear across the country to go to college in California and start over after her breakup with Landen when he left. She's doing much better now after finding a medicine that has stopped her seizures and is starting to feel almost normal again. She's almost over the heartache of losing Landen until she finds out he's come to the same school she has. Couples like Landen and Layla are a readers wet dream. They have been through so much together and no matter what you just know in your gut that nothing will keep them apart. At first Landen acts like he doesn't want her back but as soon as another guy shows her attention he snaps out o it and makes his move. These two were so much fun because they push and pull and try not to get back together but ultimately the love they share is too strong.
Landen is probably the best book boyfriend hands down. He's confident, romantic, sweet, loving, caring and sexy rolled into one. probably the sexiest thing about him is his unwavering devotion to Layla and taking care of her. He's in college, he has a bright future in soccer but ends up turning down his dream to be with her. How can you not fall for a guy like that? Hes not without his problems though because he's hiding the real reason why he ended up at Layla's school and once it's out in the open it could threaten what they have rebuilt. Layla is one of my favorite female characters in a book. I usually tend to only fall for the guys or really kick ass women but Layla's soft demeanor and loving personality really hooked me in. She's been through so much and at such a young age it wasn't hard to love her character. Not only did she see her parents killed in front of her eyes but the repercussions from that event have left her with a brain injury that threatens her life. The chemistry between these two was magnetic and very sexy. I loved that Layla was so innocent and how gentle Landen was with her. Even though this was a New Adult story and the love scenes weren't super erotic, the intensity between these characters that has been building up was extremely hot. It was very passionate and drawn out and had me wanting to smoke a cigarette after and I don't even smoke!
The second best part was seeing Layla develop friendships and put herself out there. Her feisty roommate Corin was hilarious and very protective and made me so happy Layla had someone watching out for her besides Landen. Layla was always one to keep to herself because she felt like a freak with her condition but seeing her open up throughout was priceless. I also really enjoyed seeing Landen's friend and soccer teammate Skylar try to move in on Corin especially because he was a braggart about hooking up with tons of girls. Watching Corin shoot him down and keep him at a distance was hilarious and the relationship brewing between them seemed like it was budding behind the scenes. I would love to get a book about them because they just seemed like a fun and flirtatious couple.
By the time I was finished with Keep Me Still I was an absolute hot mess. This book took me through the ringer and had me biting my nails hoping that Landan and Layla would get it together and realize they were meant to be together. I never had a doubt they wouldn't make it because Quinn knows how to write a couple that will make you love them and root for them to have a happy ending. She may take your ass on a wild and very emotional ride but dammit you will love every minute of it just like I did. I devoured this book in less than 24 hours and highly recommend you read it too because a story/couple this epic is like lightning in a bottle, it doesn't happen very often. To say I was happy with the ending would be a gross understatement because when I got to the last page I was so incredibly overjoyed I felt like I could float away. I know that sounds totally gay but that's the best way I can describe the amazing feeling this book left me with. It's definitely one I can't wait to read again and again.
The kind of pain losing Layla Flaherty inflicts on a man cannot be soothed with beer. You have to douse it in gasoline, burn it out, retch it up, and let it bang against your skull for days afterwards, just for a distraction. Knowing the whole time that it’ll be back before you have a second to miss it. Special Edition ARC 43%
“Look at me,” I say softly, wanting him to open his eyes so we can have this shared memory. “Please.” His previously green eyes are so dark with his dilated pupils that they’re practically black as he releases everything he has into me. “You’re mine, Layla,” he whispers when he finishes and eases down on top of me, never once breaking our eye contact. “Your mine.” Special Edition ARC 73%
“It means that when I left Hope Springs, that wasn't the end for me. There’s never been an end for us, as far as I’m concerned. Love changes. Yeah, sure. It twists and grows, and maybe for some people it evolves into something different. But for me, all I feel for you has only gotten stronger. More intense and overpowering. I love you, dammit. I never had a choice when it came to that. Special Edition ARC 88%
About the Author:Debut Indie Author. I write New Adult books about country girls finding love in unexpected places. <3 Wearer of cowgirl boots, writer and avid reader of New Adult romance, lover of wine, addicted to chai tea lattes. Brand spanking new author of soon to be released books including Girl with Guitar and Keep Me Still (which may or may not include spanking). Gemini, wife, mom, and former high school English teacher living in Birmingham, Alabama. I spend my days chasing a three year old and hiding away with my Macbook. I spend my nights writing because sleep is overrated.
Keep Me Still is on sale (.99 cents) for a limited time and Hold Us Close is only .99 cents!