cover image Make Me Stay

Make Me Stay

Jaci Burton. Jove, $7.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-0-515-15564-8

Burton’s bland fifth Hope contemporary (after Love After All) brings architect Reid McCormack back to his hometown of Hope, Okla., where he’s renovating the town’s historic general store as an investment project with his brothers. Reid has a successful firm in Boston and no plans to stay in Hope, but he’s drawn to Samantha Reasor, a local florist. She’s taking care of her elderly grandmother and not looking for a casual fling or long-distance romance. Their relationship has all the expected ups and downs, which aren’t improved by the generic characterization and standard setting and plot. The prose is clear and clean, offering no particular stylistic pleasures. Nothing ever snaps the novel into focus or brings its themes to life. Reid, Sam, their friends and neighbors, and the narrative are inoffensive, but not especially emotionally effective, unique, or memorable. Agent: Kimberly Whalen, Trident Media Group. (Dec.)