Book Review: Stay Close (For You) by Alexa Riley

Stay Close is the first book in the For You series by Alexa Riley. I actually read the second book, Hold Tight, first. The books read as a series are great, and as a follow up to the For Her series even better. However, they can be read as stand alones as well.

A former Russian mafia soldier is hired to protect a friend’s young daughter, but he knows he’ll do more than keep her safe. Ivan tries to stay professional, but he knows he will do anything to keep her safe, even from himself. Penelope Justice is eighteen, old enough to graduate high school but—according to her parents—not old enough to live without 24/7 security. Practice has made her an expert at ditching her bodyguards. One look at Ivan and she never wants to run again. Ivan steals the breath right out of her lungs, something no boy has ever done. Then again, he’s far from a boy. This man, this man who looks like he could kill someone with the flick of a wrist, is everything. He is her future.

Stay Close is exactly what I have come to expect from Riley. Romance firmly rooted in instantly knowing your other half when you see them, and protecting them. Ivan has seen some ugly things, but when he sees Penelope he sees all light and innocence. Penelope sees the hardness and danger in Ivan, but knows he would never hurt her. Instead of sitting down and talking, the majority of conflict comes when they try to do the right this for the other without talking first. To be honest, that really annoys me but I will admit that it fell in line with the character's personalities- so while I did not like it, it fit the context. This story felt short, which is fair since it was novella length, but I felt like there could have been more character or relationship building rather than just having it be based on instant obsession.

Stay Close is not a surprise for Riley fans. Those that love her style will want to pick this one up and give it a go. Those that prefer more of a build up and character or relationship growth might want to pass. 

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