Review: Stay by Allie Larkin

stay-allie-larkinReviewed by Karin

This is a sweet romance. A friend enjoyed the book and shared her copy with me. Here’s the short take: Girl pines for boy-friend; girl gets dog; girl gets other guy.

Savannah ‘Van’ Leone is maid of honor for her best friend Janie, who just happens to be marrying Van’s heart throb, Peter. Van has loved Peter since college, and while it seems he loves her, they never got together once his family realized she was not from money. Peter’s life has been orchestrated by his family. And he is compliant. On the other hand, Peter and Van are best friends. But it is hardly fair to Van.

Van’s mother worked as head housekeeper for Janie’s mother, Diane. But Diane and she were good friends. (Her mother is now dead.) (Warning: breast cancer.) At the same time there were financial constraints that kept Van’s mother there instead of leaving. Van and her mother lived in the carriage house on the grounds, so when Van said she lived in Westchester, she did, but as the maid’s daughter, not the home owner.

So it’s complicated. And it gets moreso, when Peter shows up immediately after the wedding at the carriage house in a maudlin drunken state. She sends him off, but Janie’s mom sees the whole picture, and essentially buys her off. But that doesn’t exactly work. And it isn’t exactly what happened. Maybe.

When Van gets home, she gets soused, and begins to watch a marathon of Rin Tin Tin movies. Before she knows it, she wants a dog, and is searching the Internet. She buys a German Shepherd puppy from Slovakia without even knowing the exchange rate. The puppy ends up being a lot bigger than she anticipated.

And then she meets the veterinarian…

And it’s complicated, but you know it all ends well.

And the dog is very cute, very slobbery, and a real ally to her. She feels less alone. I love how the dog expresses protectiveness, love and concern for her.

There are other peripheral characters, equally interesting and well developed. I especially liked how Peter’s Aunt came through for Van. She is a character in herself. And it looks like she will have a love interest too, which is quite delightful.

Have you read it?

I got tired of reading the dog’s antics. I surely got tired of how much Van drank (which she stops.) I could hardly stand the descriptions of how dirty/messy she lived. I liked how she realized what kind of a man Peter is. I liked how they could all remain friends. I liked how she realizes she no longer loves him and how they resolve that. I like how Peter mans up for her at a certain point. (Other than that he reminds me of Ashley in GWTW.) The parental generation is certainly lacking, but the ‘grandparent’/aunt situation is delightful.) I liked how she stands up for herself and what she needs and deserves. It took her long enough to learn it. Of course, it is always easier to see in someone else’s life. How she gets to that point is the point of the story, which is very well written.

The dog on the cover is the cutest thing ever! And so is the Vet and his ‘grandfather.’

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Stay

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