Title: Stay Right Here
Author: CJane Elliot
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Bryan Roberts, Mark Miller
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Sometime in the last few months, aspiring musician Bryan Roberts lost the spark that made him love to sing. But when he meets singer/songwriter wannabe Mark Miller at an open mic night, the music starts to speak to him once more. Mutually attracted and inspired, Mark and Bryan commit themselves to their craft in a way they never have before.
The chemistry between Mark and Bryan is pitch-perfect. There’s just one tiny problem: Bryan already has David, a great boyfriend who helped him pick up the pieces when his last relationship went sour. But while Bryan struggles between passion and faithfulness, an earthquake shakes the city—and his perception of what’s right.
Sparks fly as soon as Mark and Bryan first meet at the local bar for open mic night. Both Mark and Bryan have a love of music and they are drawn together immediately after they meet. Soon, they are so captivated with each other they steal a kiss, and as good as it was between them, Bryan is immediately guilt-ridden because he lives with his older boyfriend. Even though he’s been unhappy and has felt restless with his relationship for some time, Bryan is determined to make it work between him and his boyfriend, so he vows to keep his relationship with Mark on a ‘friends only’ basis.
As Mark and Bryan become closer, Bryan becomes more tormented both with his relationship with his boyfriend and his budding feelings for Mark. He has so much in common with Mark, for once in his life he really believes he’s made a deep connection with him, but since he still cares for his boyfriend, he remains conflicted. But when Bryan is faced with a life or death situation, he realizes who he wants to be with for the rest of his life. Will Bryan leave his boyfriend and take a chance on a life with Mark?
Stay Right Here was an interesting read for me. I enjoyed watching Mark and Bryan’s relationship develop from strangers to a deep love between them. I thought the storyline was fast-paced and the lives of these characters really kept my interest. But in some ways I struggled reading this book. I understood why Bryan was together with his boyfriend, David. David was stable, older and helped Bryan when he was down. In many ways, David was Bryan’s security blanket, so I understood why he was reluctant to let David go. The problem with me was: I liked David and I thought David deserved better than what Bryan was giving him. David was kind and thoughtful, and he really wasn’t Bryan’s type, but I felt bad for him. Because of Bryan’s confusion about what he needed to do about David, he comes across a little selfish and there were times I didn’t like him very much. I even felt sorry for Mark, too. I realize that life can be messy and we are each faced with difficult decisions, and the author does a great job portraying that. Bryan is far from perfect, and in some ways this makes him an interesting and refreshing character, I just never really warmed up to him.
I honestly don’t know how I feel about this book. In many ways it’s well-written and it’s obvious the author knows her characters, and how to write an emotionally charged read. But I personally never liked Bryan that much, so the book never really took off with me. Also, the book is written in 3rd person, present tense. This distracted me at first, but soon I got used to it. I have a feeling there will be people who really will love and connect with the characters of this book, but unfortunately I never did. This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I’ll definitely try this author again. I liked her easy storytelling ability, and believe it or not, I liked the scorned boyfriend David. It would be interesting to read a story about him getting his own happy ending, after his life with Bryan.
Reviewed By: Gabbi