MAKE ME STAY by Jaci Burton shows another side to this author

Make Me Stay

make-me-stay-by-jaci-burton-635x1024Book 5 in the Hope Contemporary Romance Series
by Jaci Burton
Mass Market Paperback/E-Book 304 pages
Dec 01, 2015 
published by Penguin Random House/Berkley-Jove
Contemporary Romance | Women’s Fiction

E-Galley provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.




Having left his hometown of Hope years ago, only one thing could persuade architect Reid McCormack to come home for a lengthy stay—the challenge of renovating a historic building. But once the job is finished, he’ll be headed back to Boston, no matter how much he’s drawn to beautiful florist Samantha Reasor.

Samantha watches over her elderly grandmother and pours a piece of herself into every floral creation she designs. Her crush on Reid has been blooming for a while now, but she’s reluctant to act on it. A temporary fling isn’t what she’s looking for, even if Reid is smoking hot and super sexy. She wants a real, permanent, forever kind of love.

Two people with different goals couldn’t possibly work, and yet as their attraction grows into something deeper, maybe falling in love is the one thing Samantha and Reid can build a future on.

Jaci offers a great character guide to this story on her website.


My Take Oblong


Only one brother in the McCormack clan left Hope to do something different and has done well.  But, the pull of his home town is strong.  He feels at home there and he doesn’t really feel at home in Boston. 

I found it was interesting, when after a long time. I met up with friends with whom I had grown up. It’s interesting: I had made my life completely away from anyone outside my family, I had known from growing up. But even though I don’t remember a lot of them it was interesting and comfortable to meet up with people with whom I had a shared past. I imagine the effect would be more so if you went back to your home town and kept in touch with your friends.

So, when he is home and sees alll the work he could find there, and because he hooks up with a woman who is more or less on the same page, Hope starts to feel like the right place. But, he doesn’t want to admit that to himself or anyone else. 

He also gets a dog, or rather a stray dog adopts him. Other than romantic love and family, the trust of an animal like “Not My Dog” would be like a big sign telling you this was home. 

But Reid has business and Samantha has family obligations.  Outside of a fling, it doesn’t look like this relationship is possible.  Plus, Reid doesn’t have a great track record with relationships and his mother just took off on his father and his brothers when they were just kids. So that baggage adds to the rolling cart of “why we won’t work.”

Samantha is so busy running a florist shop and with her aging grandmother that a fling feels like all she can manage.  I don’t know a lot of people who can do the Friends With Benefits thing without it becoming a relationship of another sort.

I have to get back to the dog whose presence is nearly preternatural and he is a stress breaker and a bridge between Reid and the world.  Reid hasn’t really had to have responsibility for someone else and I think having “Not My Dog” centers him.  Just petting an animal can bring calm and peace.

In the long run, the story is about family and belonging to a community.  Community doesn’t limit you; at the end of the day it can buoy you up.  You aren’t alone when you have family.

I have enjoyed Burton’s other series: PLAY BY PLAY as well.  But I like Hope more; a small town with all the trappings can be more romantic and also Jaci writes the hook ups without the words I find overused and discomfitting.

I think that it”s exciting that erotica can tell a story, talk about love and belonging and still have some very juicy bits.  And Jaci is a master with this series.

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