Jul 17

Stay Close by Alexa Riley Review

Alexa Riley - Stay Close - cover image


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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–he’ll make her his. Forever.

If she were to simply whisper my name, I would be at her feet, begging to touch what I shouldn’t, taste what doesn’t belong to me, run my hands along the sweet innocence she taunts me with.

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.

I’ve been hired to protect her.

I can’t help but think that perhaps someone should have protected her from me.

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.

I can’t let her go and I won’t give her up. I’ve done bad things in my life, and I don’t deserve her. But I can’t do the honorable thing.

I’ve never been noble, and I’m not starting now.


I’m a huge Alexa Riley fan, and their steamy, instalove novellas are one of my favorite guilty pleasures. I can’t get enough of their brand of over-the-top, obsessed, alpha males and the outrageous campaigns they wage to claim the virgin of their dreams. There is not a lot of realism in these types of stories, but that’s perfectly fine with me. This is fantasy-based escapism reading, and this talented author duo are the queens of this genre.

Stay Close is spin-off of their second full-length novel, His Alone, and the heroine, Penelope, is the daughter of the Captain and Paige from that book. I loved the hero in this book, Ivan, and I think he is their most endearing male-lead yet. This book had all the things I love about an Alexa Riley story: fast-moving plot, lightening quick instalove and enough steam to fill a sauna. It’s a very quick read – I devoured it in about two hours – and it was as sweet, safe and sexy as it gets from this author.

I read plenty of books that are realistic, emotional and moving portrayals of love. Sometimes, though, I just want—need—to escape into an easy-to-read, light-hearted, sexy fantasy, and Alexa Riley never fails to fill that bill for me. Stay Close by Alexa Riley gets 4.5 smooches from me!

~ Danielle Palumbo