Ask Me to Stay
by Terri Osburn
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Reviewed by PJ
Author Liza Teller’s new book is something of a mystery. She’s been hired to ghostwrite the memoir of Ray Wallis, an elderly stranger eager to share a very personal and surprising life story. The moment Liza arrives on beautiful Haven Island off the South Carolina coast, she has to ask: Out of all the semi-successful writers with stalled careers in the world, why her?
Kendall James, the dedicated ex-military man in Ray’s employ, has the same question. Why is this New Yorker in a frilly blue dress so important to Ray? But as protective and suspicious as he is, Kendall can’t help falling for the tempting outsider. And he isn’t falling alone.
As Ray’s life story unfolds, Liza and Kendall’s chemistry ignites. And all of it could be explosive. On an island this small, Liza soon discovers that there isn’t much room to hide—from the secrets of Ray’s past or from her desire for a man unwilling to give her the one thing she truly wants.
In a story such as this, it's imperative that the characters are interesting, engaging, and capable of pulling readers into their world. Osburn does a masterful job of doing just that. There are no superfluous characters in this book. Each one - whether primary or secondary - is brought to life through their words and actions, creating conflict, eliciting emotion, and pulling me deeper into their story with each revelation. I loved the push and pull between Liza and Kendall and I enjoyed their gradual evolution from adversaries to friends to much more. Their banter sparks and their chemistry sizzles but there's plenty of sigh-worthy tenderness there too. I love how Osburn opens a window into her characters' emotions, fears, and vulnerabilities though their interactions with others, not telling but showing, as we see during Liza's appearance at the island's book club meeting or her interactions with Kendall's dog, Amos. No mere canine wallpaper, the affable Pit bull is integral to Liza's evolution, her relationship with Kendall, and her overall journey. I adored him.
Ray is the linchpin that pulls this story together and could also blow it apart. It's no easy feat to reveal the truth of his life while still making him a sympathetic character that readers will forgive and accept into their hearts. With Ray, Osburn took me through a range of emotions from sweet affection, to curiosity, to disbelief, to anger, to eventual forgiveness. And tears. Such a flawed character she created but she made me care about him despite his flaws and she made me cry. I love when an author can do that.
Ask Me to Stay has my enthusiastic recommendation. I hope it won't be Terri Osburn's only foray into this type of women's fiction/contemporary romance blend. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Have you read any of Terri Osburn's books? Do you have a favorite?
Who are your favorite authors writing this type of book? Robyn Carr, Susan Mallery, and RaeAnne Thayne are a few of mine.
One person who comments before 11:00 PM, March 7 will receive a Kindle copy of Ask Me to Stay.
I have a second giveaway to add to today's post. The author of Ask Me to Stay has graciously offered a signed, print copy of the book to one randomly chosen person who leaves a comment before 11:00 PM, March 7. (open internationally)
Great review, PJ, and I agree with the authors you mentioned. I also like Kristan Higgins's recent women's fiction books.ReplyDelete
PS The book is already on my Kindle, so don't enter me in the giveaway.
I love Kristan Higgin's books too, Bridget. :)Delete
I love Terri Osburn's stories. They always leave me happy. I also have all of her books, so don't enter me in the giveaway either. Looking forward to more stories from her. Enjoyed your review.ReplyDelete
I'm really hoping she writes more like this one. I so enjoyed it.Delete
I have some of her books on my kindle, but haven't read them yet. My favorite authors that write this type of book are Susan Mallery and Sarah Morgan.ReplyDelete
Sarah Morgan is another good one! And I've been a Mallery fan for years.Delete
Thayne, Mallery and Carr as well. I love hem. I have not read Osburn. And I would only be interested in a print copy of the book if at all possible to put only in for that drawing. TY.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your great post today. I have read Susan Mallery's novels, and enjoy them very much. I look forward to Jenny Colgan's books as well as JoJo Moyes.ReplyDelete
Meant To Be was the first book I read by her and loved reading her since. I would have to agree with your choices but also add in Debbie Macomber.ReplyDelete
I have not yet read any of Ms Osburn's books, but I have this one on my Kindle. I like all the authors you mentioned as well as Kristan Higgins and Jill Shalvis.ReplyDelete
I think what appeals to me is the fact that they write about people who are humans with flaws and imperfections. You know, just like me and at least a few other people who populate the earth. Thanks for this review.
And thanks so much for the win - I have loved reading about Anna's travels.
I haven't read this authors books. Of this style of book, I am fond of Robyn Carr and RaeAnne Thayne. Your review certainly shows the appeal of this story!ReplyDelete
I own most of Terri's books but I'm not sure if I've read any of them yet. I love Robyn Carr and Kristan Higgins books along this line.ReplyDelete
I love Terri's books! The only series I haven't read yet(I am keeping it for a rainy day) is the one set in Nashville.ReplyDelete
I don't really read women's fiction, but I fallow my romance writers when they do write it, the only example that I can think of is Jill Shalvis.
I am a huge fan of Terri Osburn! Meant to Be will always be a favorite. Joe! Laura Florand also writes excellent romance/women's fiction, but set in France.ReplyDelete
I was a little crazy yesterday and didn't get to stop by to say THANK YOU!! This review brought me to tears. Thank you for supporting me all of these years. It means so much.ReplyDelete
I haven't read any of Terri's books yet but I've got a few on my TBR. Kristen Higgins is probably my fav author for women's fiction. Lately Jill Shalvis has put out a few that are excellent leaning more toward women's fiction rather than pure romance.ReplyDelete
I haven't read Terri's books, but I guess I'll need to look some up. I am very familiar with the works of all three of the authors you compared her to--Carr, Mallery, and Thayne. Thanks for the post.ReplyDelete