#BookReview: You Can Stay by Elle Connel #elleconnel @headlinepg @NetGalley

Hi everyone! Today, I have a book review for a great read from an author new to me, Elle Connel. I received an invitation to read and review this book from the publisher, via NetGalley  >>>

About the Book:

Book cover for You Can Stay by Elle ConnelShe’s the perfect host. He’s the perfect prey.

Someone is hunting Connor. While taking part in Selection, the elite Special Forces training programme, he must evade capture by a squad of paratroopers for several days in the wilderness of Bodmin Moor. When he’s offered proper rest and recuperation by the owner of a local farmhouse, he knows he is breaking the rules. But what’s the harm in accepting the kindness of strangers? Especially as his training partner Dele appears to have deserted him in the dead of night.

Eilidh is an impeccable host. Connor can barely bring himself to leave her charming farmhouse, though he’s running out of time to make his next rendezvous and re-join his partner. But he doesn’t realise what he’s walked into – because the choice isn’t his to make.

This isn’t Eilidh’s first kidnapping. She’s done this before, but they never came as close to perfection as Connor. Why would she let him leave?

My Review:



Many thanks to NetGalley and Headline for a free Advance Review Copy of this book.

I haven’t read anything by this author previously, but the cover and book description intrigued me. This is a dark, gritty, and sad read. The ending is not at all what I expected, or wanted, but the story is thoroughly enjoyable all the same.

“She can see nothing beyond her fingers. Darkness smothers the moor.” … from this intriguing opening line, the reader is taken into the darkness that fills Eilidh (pronounced Ay-Lee). And the lesser but still dubious demons that lurk within Conner.

The characterisation was done brilliantly, and even though they’re not likeable people, you still find yourself rooting for them, and personally, the two I really wanted to succeed were Conner and Julie. Bodmin Moor, known and loved by me, was so well described it came alive and resembled a menacing character in its own right. Below are some lines that stood out for me in particular …

“The reflux from his empty stomach had only lubricated his bloody mindedness.”

And …

“He saw his mind slipping away, escaping through one of his eyeballs.”

And …

“A terror that was not rational but made up of the dark, the cold, the peaks, their indifference.”

I could go on, as the writing was so superb. As you may have guessed, You Can Stay gets a solid five stars from me.


NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.


I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂


For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …


UK … https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08R8XRTB2/

US … https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08R8XRTB2/

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Mae Clair

The setting sounds incredible!
And I thoroughly loved this line: “He saw his mind slipping away, escaping through one of his eyeballs.”

It sounds like some amazing writing and a riveting story. Great review, Harmony!

Beem Weeks

I love dark and gritty. I’ll have to pick this one up. Thanks for sharing this one, Harmony.

Diana Peach

This sounds like a great read and your impressive of the end intrigued me. Thanks for the compelling review, Harmony.

Jan Sikes

I had actually looked at this one on NetGalley and almost picked it up. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it. I think I would enjoy it, but would have to be in the right mood for something dark and sad.

Joan Hall

Great review, Harmony. I’d venture to guess you’d read more by this author.

D.L. Finn, Author

Great review, Harmony. It sounds like a good read 🙂

Priscilla Bettis

That line about his mind slipping through his eyeball is brilliant. It sounds like an awesome book, Harmony. Thanks for sharing your review!

john howell

Thanks for sharing your excellent review, Harmony.