Erryn reviews ‘Stay’ by Ash Knight. The book was published February 4, 2020 and is 296 pages. The audio was narrated by Isaac Grisham and released on May 25, 2021 and is 8 hours & 36 minutes. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I listened to this: I love trying new authors and narrators.
A quiet coffee shop gives two men who have lost too much a chance at love.
Joe Calloway has been on the run since he was 16, homeless and alone. He never lets anyone close. Between his traumatic past and his autism, he isn’t used to people taking the time to understand him.
Even so, when a stranger offers him a way to build a better life for himself, Joe finds the strength to go for it.
Madden Fields is fully devoted to his older sister, her autistic son, and his job as a nurse, but when he meets Joe, his carefully ordered life begins to pick up speed.
As their connection deepens, Madden realizes he’s going to have to hold on tight if he wants to be an anchor strong enough for Joe to stay.
Stay is a 88,000-word gay hurt/comfort romance novel.
I’m always game to try a new author, and I’m glad I picked up this book. This story spoke to me. Made me smile – both with gladness and with sadness. This wasn’t an easy read, but then I’m always up for what they call hurt/comfort books. As long as they have a happy ending.
Madden has it all. A great job as an ER nurse, a sister he adores, and an autistic nephew he dotes on. He has everything he could want – except someone to share that life with. He’s okay with that, though, until he crosses paths with a young man who is going to change everything.
Joe’s had a rough life. From a horrifically abusive home to living on the streets, he’s scrambled to survive. He’s young, but he’s got a lot of mileage. His life is about surviving. One day he enters a coffee shop, desperate, and the owner sees something in him. She offers him a job, and then makes a monumental effort to get the young man on his feet. Joe is on the spectrum and that only complicates his life. Then he meets Madden and something wonderful happens.
It’s not all roses and sunshine, though. Joe has some ingrained protective habits, including throwing up walls. Madden’s patience isn’t infinite, although pretty darn close. As they navigate the treacherous waters of a physical and emotional relationship, Joe’s past rears its ugly head and they might lose everything.
I really enjoyed the book. It spoke to me, and I love neurodivergent characters who are underrepresented. This book had touchstones that worked for me. I have to say that Isaac Grisham is a new narrator to me and I won’t hesitate to get another book narrated by him. He did a great job. Anyway, I’ll be keeping my eye on Ash Knight.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars