"Stay" - Allie Larkin -2010

Ha Ha! He came up first in the image search!

I picked up "Stay" because of it's cute and cheerful cover.  Also, a quick glance at the back jacket showed debut author Allie Larkin hit the blurb jackpot.  Her novel features endorsements from 6 pretty well-known chick-lit/romance authors.  Since I just finished up Emily Giffin's latest, one quote especially intrigued me: 

"Wow! This book blew me away. Sharp.Smart. Observant. 
Buzzing with romance, friendship and heart. Most of all
incredibly well written.  Stay is sure to become the new favorite
among Emily Giffin fans. Enjoy!"  -Sarah Strohmeyer, author of The Cinderella Pact and The Penny Pinchers Club 

     However, I have read one of Strohmeyer's books, and it left the worst image in my head - checking for moles where the sun shouldn't be an issue...I'll say no more...Despite that, she is dead on with her recommendation of  "Stay."  

Based on the description and Giffin comparison, I feared
this book would be "Something Borrowed 2" just a rip-off of the engaged love interest plotline.  "Stay" could have gone that direction, but was so much better that it didn't.  

The heroine, Van (short for Savannah) is likable, but flawed.  She just watched her best friend marry the man she's loved for years, and goes home and drunkenly buys a dog on the internet.  The dog, who will be called "Joe" isn't a tiny puppy as thought, but is a purebred German Shephard who answers primarily to Slovakian commands and cost $6000 dollars.  But Joe is the keystone in Van's new life leading her to the life she's meant to have including a hero I would have liked to see a lot more of and some wonderful unexpected friends.

I know I would have gobbled it up in one sitting, if I hadn't been forcing myself to stop and get some work done!  Larkin also runs a blog called The Greenists for the environmentally minded,  which is cool, but I hope she's working on another book, I can't wait to read more from her.  "Stay" was the most enjoyable story I've experienced in quite a while -  not just in "chick-lit" but any genre.