Layla Flaherty had the perfect life, or close to it. Until a stranger gunned her parents down right in front of her, leaving her with seizure inducing PTSD. After years of trying to pass as normal and failing miserably, she resigns herself to being invisible. But new to town Landen O’Brien sees her, and he likes what he sees. Much to Layla’s surprise, he doesn’t freak out when she has a seizure in front of him. He does the exact opposite, calming her until the tremors subside. But Landen has secrets of his own. Secrets that both bind them together and tear them apart.Scarred by loss, Layla leaves her hometown of Hope Springs, Georgia, hoping to put her painful past behind her and start over in college in California. When she runs into Landen at freshmen orientation, she has a choice to make. Reinforce those steel walls she's built up around herself or give the only boy who can keep her still a second chance.Landen’s more than ready to tear down those walls but this time when they come crashing down, they might bury her.
“The boy who saw me at my worst and kept me still.”
After finishing this book, all I could do was let the author know how Layla and Landen's story affected me: crying and unable to stop re-reading their story over and over again. I seriously couldn't stop reading it and I finished the book in less than four hours. I am officially bookstruck and in love with Caisey Quinn's story.
Keep Me Still is a wrenching and heart-breaking story about fierce, sweet and also passionate love that shows us what life's about, not always perfect and, sometimes, so unfair and messy that could wreck us. But always worth fighting for what Layla and Landen share: true love and a future together, healing themselves in the process.
What makes this story so amazing and definitely worth being in everyone's shelves, is that the main character's, Layla and Landen, are not perfect. They both have a troubled past and some dark secrets. And they don't have a dreamy happy ending, but a real happy ending.
I loved to see how these characters chance, evolve and grow up as the story and time gets by. We get to know Landen and Layla in high school. Landen moving out once again, with an abuser father that hits him for no reason, is new at Layla's school. And then there's beautiful, innocent and lovable Layla, who witnessed her parents being mugged and killed in front of her and because of that she has seizures frequently. They both have unfair lives, despite this they find each other and from the first instant you know they are bound to have an epic, romantic and painful story to share.
"You are the most dangerous kind of beautiful,"he says, brushing my messy hair away from my face.
At that time, Layla's so innocent that you want to hug her and protect her just like Landen wanted to. And he's the sweetest guy a girl can meet. They are simply perfect for each other and they find a way to help each other sharing their darkest and most painful secrets. And I almost had a mini heart attack when I arrived at the end of their time together in high school. I couldn't believe this fated couple would have this ending and I almost cry in a depressing, why-life-has-to-be-so-unfair way, until I realized it was not the end of the book (thank you very much) and of their relationship.
After this, you meet once again the characters, with different lives, more mature and in the same college, although it was not planned. At least not like they wanted to. Frankly, this was my favorite part of their story. Layla's a woman and has more confidence in herself and Landen's willing to do whatever it takes for a second, third and all the chances Layla would be willing to grant him. Because he's not leaving and he wants her. And it's so romantic and you see what a great and epic couple they can be, that you're dying to read every single word and every single moment between them. And we also meet some incredible and funny characters that are a essential part in Layla and Landen's life.
Lucky me, I also get the opportunity to read Hold Us Close, a Keep Me Still novella, that took my breath away, make me cry like a baby and that made me love Landen even more for wanting to be a better man for the love of his life and admiring even more Layla to stay strong in the bad situation she's living after their expected, hollywood-style, happy ending. Because, happily ever after is just the beginning and this couple has a lot to heal and discover some unraveling truths that would put their perfect world, upside down.
The ending was the perfect one for this couple. Realistic, dramatic, full of emotion and breath-catching. I wouldn't change a thing and I truly think Caisey Quinn couldn't have written a better story. And now, after reading their story, I can fully understand why's called Keep Me Still and what the author wanted to share with us, readers. It perfectly suits Landen and Layla's relationship and it's what makes their unconditional love, an unforgettable one; to the level of The Notebook.
"If you glanced at us right now, you'd probably be envious. We look like the perfect all-American family. (…) But if you look close, you might see our scars. We don't hide them. Like the broken seashells I once loved to collect, what marks us is what makes us who we are.
We wear our scars proudly, the one's we got on our way here. But we are here now."
Reading this book makes you realize how life can be cruel sometimes, that we cannot choose our family or our life and we definitely cannot change the past. Despite this, we have to find a way to stay strong and keep living, because life a futile gift we have and we can lose it so quickly we might not even see it coming. I admire Layla. She has had it worst than anyone, but she keeps fighting back after meeting the only person that makes her want not to be invisible anymore.
With memorable, strong and real characters, Keeps Me Still will take your breath away, will make you be on edge, cry and wish for things to be different for the characters, and you will probably desire their unconditional, epic and passionate love. But, I can assure you one thing: You won't be able to forget Layla and Landen whenever you see or eat a milkshake with cherries on top.
Caisey Quinn lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, daughter, and other assorted animals. She is the bestselling author of the Kylie Ryans series as well as several New Adult Romance novels featuring country girls finding love in unexpected places. You can find her online at www.caiseyquinnwrites.com
Prizes include a $50 Gift Card, a KEEP ME STILL Kindle Case, and a swag pack. Plus signed copies of WISH I MAY by Lexi Ryan, BREAK IT UP by E.M. Tippetts, and a winner's choice title from Elizabeth Lee. 5 winners get one or more of these prizes!