If I Stay Review & Author Interview

IF I STAY                                                             TAMARA MORGAN
Posted:  May 6, 2014

If I Stay (Montgomery Manor, #1) Ryan Lucas would rather be anywhere but Ransom Creek, Connecticut. After losing his high-adrenaline career as a Hollywood stunt driver, he's had to tuck his tail between his legs and take up employment as a chauffeur for the Montgomery's, a wealthy hotelier family.

Amy Sanders has returned home to Ransom Creek to take over her mother's former position as nanny to the Montgomerys—bringing her close to dashing Jake Montgomery once again. She grew up with a major crush on Jake, and it's not easy to leave those feelings behind, even though her friendship with the hard-edged family chauffeur, Ryan, has a sizzling undercurrent of undeniable attraction.

Amy's determined to prove to Ryan that life at Montgomery Manor isn't all bad, but each time they draw closer Jake swoops in. Amy is torn between two men—and two worlds. And Ryan is rapidly coming to learn that if he wants to make Amy his, he'll have to prove to her that life downstairs can be everything they both want.                      90,000 words

     This story is set at the Montgomery Manor in Connecticut.  John Montgomery and his wife Serena have twins, Lily and Evan, as well as grown children Monty, Jenna and Jake.  Jake being the troublesome playboy.  Being that Mr. Montgomery is successful hotelier, Jake lives large on top of that his trust fund.  Which daddy has now pulled and summoned him home due to bad press.
     Amy Sanders grew up on the estate with the Montgomery children with Jake being her best friend.  They did everything together.  Yet, it’s been 8 years since she has seen him.  You see her mom was their nanny while they were growing up.  In fact she almost felt her mom loved Jake more than her.  Just a passing thought really, but everyone loved Jake she even loved him still fantasized about him.
     Like everyone else at the manor she too is a misfit with a dream unfulfilled.  From the day she arrived she has had a small crush on Ryan the chauffeur.  Ryan Lucas the misfit chauffeur use to be a hot shot stuntman in the movies in Hollywood.  He ended up with a drinking problem and wrapped a million dollar worth of car around a tree.  Mr. Montgomery was willing to give him a chance.  He’s been with him two years now.  Unlike everyone else though Ryan doesn’t live at the manor or eat lunch with the others or even go out to the clubs with the others.  He’s a loner.  Keeps saying in case my break comes and an insurance or studio is willing to take me on.  Same reason for not asking Amy out.  Doesn’t want to hurt her by bedding her.
     Then, one day she gets the never to ask him to come out with the gang for a drink.  He says no stiffly.  Then, she gets why.  So, she gets the group to change plans to do laser tag.  Which he goes for and he totally enjoys.  A crack in his wall and he feels odd and in awe that Amy would do that for him.
     Jake comes home.  Mr. Montgomery ask Ryan not allow Jake to date Amy and to make sure that they are not a couple to basically spy on them.  He agrees, so when Jake asks for one of the cars to take out Amy he says he needs to go ask his father which makes Jake mad.  Ryan comes up with the idea to drive them on their date in order to make sure Jake keeps his paws off Amy.  Since Jake had already told him that he basically just wanted to get in Amy’s pants, which is funny in a way since she won’t find her ass on that night.  Why you ask?  Because she will be laughing too hard.  He tries his game moves on her and she gives him and his moves, he gives to all girls he knows.  Can you say “Gamer?”
     Ryan came up with a surprise date for Jake to take Amy on…Taking her mom out.  Jenna, Jake’s sister is even flying out to take care of the twins.  Things become more than they seem and Ryan seems to hold the keys.  Will he fill Amy in or keep her in the dark?
     Ryan’s guilt is getting the better of him mainly due to his background of not having family.  It all seems like a plot to keep him and all the misfits Mr. Montgomery hires under his thumb, which only makes him angrier.  Let’s face it Ryan is just angry.  He’s had no one in his corner before.
     I loved this book because there were so many twist and turns.  Man oh man I never saw that ending coming at all.  I thought I had figured it out different from Amy and Ryan’s conclusion, but still was wrong.  Loved it I have to say a lot.  I give it 5 stars.  Sent by Author for honest review.  
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Author Biography

Tamara Morgan is a contemporary romance author of humorous, heartfelt stories with flawed heroes and heroines designed to get your hackles up and make your heart melt. Her long-lived affinity for romance novels survived a B.A. degree in English Literature, after which time she discovered it was much more fun to create stories than analyze the life out of them.

Whether building Victorian dollhouses, consuming mass quantities of coffee and wine, or crying over cheesy 1950s musicals, Tamara commits to her flaws like every good heroine should. She lives in the Inland Northwest with her husband, daughter, and variety of household pets and only occasionally complains about the weather.

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Author Interview

Rad-Reader:  What was your inspiration for the Montgomery Manor series?
Tamara:  I’m always looking for ways to bring my favorite historical premises and tropes to a modern setting—I love the high drama of Regency and Victorian romances but prefer to write in a contemporary setting. Montgomery Manor is my way of throwing upstairs wealth and downstairs servants together in the modern era.

Rad-Reader:  How did you get to know Ryan and Amy from IF I STAY?

Tamara:  I’m usually not the kind of author who bases characters on real-world people, but I started this book last year after Jennifer Lawrence won her Academy Award. I’m not saying Amy *is* JLaw, but there are definite parallels between the two…primarily in the fact that neither woman has much in the way of a personal filter. Ryan is a delicious foil to Amy’s naturally sunny personality—all rough edges and grizzled exterior.

Rad-Reader:  What are some of Amy's best qualities? Worst qualities? What about Ryan?

Tamara:  Amy’s Best Quality: Her sunny optimism
               Amy’s Worst Quality: Her inability to confront problems head-on
Ryan’s Best Quality: His honesty
Ryan’s Worst Quality: His refusal to move on from the past

Rad-Reader:  Who in the story do you relate to the best?

Tamara:  Well, I’d like to say Amy, because I would love to be her friend in real life, but she’s far too nice to be me. I’m probably more like Jake Montgomery. Selfish and vain and always smirking. *smirk*

Rad-Reader:  What are you working on now?

Tamara:  I’m finishing up the third book in the Montgomery Manor series right now. All three of the books will be coming out this year (May, August, and October), so readers should have plenty in this world to keep them busy!

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