Blog Tour: If You Leave by Courtney Cole – an excerpt, my review & giveaway!

Posted August 25, 2013 by Holly in Blog Tour, Reviews, Teasers / 1 Comment


26-year old Gabriel Vincent is a badass hero. Or he used to be, anyway. As an ex-Army Ranger, Gabe never thought he needed anyone. But after one horrible night in Afghanistan scars him in a way that he can’t get past, he needs someone who can help him heal…even if he doesn’t realize it.
25-year old Madison Hill doesn’t need anybody…or so she thinks. She grew up watching her parents’ messed-up abusive relationship and she knows there’s no way in hell that she’s ever letting that happen to her.
They don’t know it in the beginning, but Gabriel and Madison will soon develop a weakness: Each other.
But Gabriel’s got a secret, a hidden monster that he’s afraid Maddy could never overcome… And Maddy’s got issues that she’s afraid Gabe will never understand. They quickly realize that they need each other to be whole, but at the same time they know that they’ve got demons to fight.
And the problem with demons is that they never die quietly.

(Gabe’s POV)

“She’s not breathing,” Pax suddenly blurts, dropping his ear down to listen at her mouth.
“She’s not breathing. Jesus Christ.”
Maddy scrambles to try and help from behind us, to try and see, just as I pull into the parking lot. Before I’ve even come to a stop at the curb, Pax has the door open and is laying Mila out on the sidewalk.
“Breathe, baby,” he begs as he kneels and gives her a breath. “Breathe.”
He’s frantic and desperate and covered in Mila’s blood.
“Pax,” Maddy cries, pulling at his arm. “We’ve got to get her inside. We don’t have time for this.”
She pulls at him, but Pax isn’t thinking clearly and he shakes her off, turning back to Mila, trying to breathe into her mouth.
He’s interrupted by a team of people bursting through the doors with a gurney. Pax lunges up with Mila in his arms and thrusts her at the medical team.
“She’s not breathing,” he tells them in desperation. “Please—help her.”
The doctors and nurses close in around Mila as they lay her out on the gurney and rush her inside.
As they do, Maddy clings helplessly to the side of the stretcher . Looking down, I see that Mila’s eyes are still closed and she is as pale as I’ve ever seen anyone. More terrifying than that, though, are the words coming out of the nurses’ mouths.
She’s unresponsive.
There’s no pulse.
We need the paddles.
Maddy flinches as she hears them, tears running down her cheeks.
“It’s going to be alright,”Maddy tells her sister as the team shoves the gurney through the double doors and out of our sight. “Mila, you’re going to be alright.”
“Mila, I’m here!” Pax calls after her, when a nurse blocks his way. But Mila stays motionless. She couldn’t hear any of it.
I’ve never felt so helpless as when I watch them take her away. I know there’s nothing I can do and from the looks of all that blood staining the sheets covering her, I’m not sure that there’s anything that anyone can do. There’s no way she’s not going to die.
There’s so much blood.
If You Leave is absolutely phenomenal story that Courtney Cole has given us. I had the privilege of reading this early via Net Galley and there aren’t enough words to adequately describe just how fantastic a book this is. YOU. MUST. READ. IT. 
Gabe & Madison’s story will definitely touch you and hit home for some. I will tell you now it is 
beyond a 5 star read. I don’t think I could ever forget Gabe & Madison’s story or how it made me feel. 
I admit I wasn’t too crazy about Madison in If You Stay; I thought she was a stick in the mud considering her age. However, I have to admit my feelings for her have changed after learning her story and seeing just how much of her own life she gave up when she came back home. I love it when an author can take me from disliking to loving a character, so two thumbs up there Courtney! Gabe…oh my Gabe! Gabe’s story broke my heart every time he suffered a breakdown as a result from him PTSD (I’m not sure exactly what to call it so please don’t think I’m being rude or making light of PTSD by calling it a breakdown) Courtney gave us flashback scenes as well as Gabe’s reactions to them with such detailed accuracy I felt like I was experiencing them right along with him. Gabe’s chapters left me in tears A LOT. She did her research and she did it well. A nice change here was there was no insta-love, Madison tolerated Gabe at best while Gabe was on a mission to bed her lol
“after being overseas for three years, my penis isn’t listening to reason anymore. It knows what I need.”
The best part of reading for me was seeing these two broken people get to know each other and realize that despite what they first thought, they exactly what the other needs. They’re the glue to fix their broken pieces and make the other whole again. They had their ups and downs and moments when Gabe panicked but they never stopped loving each other, the love they had for one another is what helped them face their demons, their love is what made going through what felt like hell for them worth it to get their piece of heaven together at the end. 
“lets make this work, no matter what. Promise me, Gabe. I know there’s sh*t to work through. But we can do it. Because all that really matters is you and me.”

For me 
If You Leave gets 5 stars

:If You Leave is available for:

:About Courtney:

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

:Find Her on:

:Courtney’s Publisher:


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About Holly

I'm a born and raised Jersey girl (not as seen on TV) who loves escaping in books. I Google everything and I hate rain. I have a deep love for Starbucks, shopping, and HEAs. Stay as long as you'd like. Stalking is highly encouraged :-)


One response to “Blog Tour: If You Leave by Courtney Cole – an excerpt, my review & giveaway!

  1. I saw this on Goodreads and read a number of mixed reviews, but after reading yours, I’ll be giving this book a try!