Point of view:
1st Person. Alternating perspectives between Matt & Hailey.
Stay is the second book in the WAGs series by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. While this is a spinoff from the Him series – Matt is only superficially mentioned in those books (mostly the fact that he’s getting a divorce) and you could listen to this without having enjoyed those first. He’s in Good Boy (WAGs book 1) slightly more but still not impacting on this book. Bowen & Kennedy individually are two of my favorite authors and together, they are usually phenomenal. That said, this is my least favorite collaboration of theirs.
Matt Ericksson is a hockey player who has been divorced for 18 months or two years or something that we’re not exactly sure because the number keeps changing. Hailey Taylor Emory is the owner of an online “personal assistant” service called “Fetch” and is also divorced.
Hailey becomes Matt’s assistant and they flirt online for a bit. When an emergency job requires a personal delivery to Matt and they meet in person, sparks fly.
It’s a cute story and overall enjoyable. Unfortunately, there’s some issues that really detract from the overall experience.
*there isn’t a consistent timeline. Matt’s twin daughters are 4 when he gets a divorce, they’re 4 throughout the book, and they’re 4 in the epilogue. Ummm…
*Hailey’s chat name is “HTE” which Matt mentally turns in to “hottie” in his mind. But even after they meet and spend time together ~ 90% of the time he continues to call her “hottie” instead of her name. It’s sort of cute occasionally, but it felt somewhat impersonal or dehumanizing or something “less than”.
*Hailey’s character is inconsistent. She’s a professional who owns her own business. Yet she’s a blubbering mess around Matt for 50% of their interactions. Like beyond a few goofy interactions to “why on earth does he find that appealing?” There’s even a chapter titled “Loss of IQ” and then she proceeds to lose her IQ. I’m not sure whether 100% of this is due to how she was written or how Lucy Rivers narrated her.
I do like how Matt & Hailey navigate life after divorce. There’s some angst – but it doesn’t feel too OTT. Matt’s interactions with his daughters are adorable. It’s definitely an HEA and the epilogue is precious.
Note: I’m a little disappointed that the book obviously set up for Will O’Connor to get his own story, but years later Stay remains the last book of this series. (update: there’s now a note in goodreads that there are no more books planned.)
Jacob Morgan was good here. I have mixed feelings about Lucy Rivers in this book. I struggled to connect with her narration and portrayal of Hailey.
About the authors:
Sarina Bowen is the award-winning author of more than thirty contemporary novels. She has hit the USA Today bestseller’s list nineteen times and counting. Formerly a derivatives trader on Wall Street, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University.
Sarina is a New Englander whose Vermont ancestors cut timber and farmed the north country since the 1760s. Sarina is grateful for the invention of indoor plumbing and wi-fi during the intervening 250 years. She lives with her family on a few wooded acres in New Hampshire.
You can connect with Sarina Bowen here:
Elle Kennedy A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.
Elle writes romantic suspense and erotic contemporary romance for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!
You can connect with Elle Kennedy here:
About the narrators:
You can connect with Jacob Morgan here:
You can connect with Lucy Rivers here:
My Favorite Quotes
I warmed up to you the day we met. I melted for you the second you kissed me.– Stay by @SarinaBowen & @ElleKennedy #Audiobook narrated by @AKALucyRivers & @JacobMo46594164 #SportsRomance #Hockey #WAGsTweet