Publisher- Self pub
Released- Sept 6th 2013
Purchase- Amazon / B & N (coming soon)
When it comes to tattooed bad boys, Chase Gartner is the real deal. Partying, engaging in meaningless sex, getting into fights---Chase indulges in it all during his late teen years, thus firmly solidifying his status as a heartbreakingly gorgeous but way-too dangerous-to-trust guy in his hometown of Harmony Creek, Ohio. Then, following one fateful night of reckless decisions, Chase's actions finally catch up to him and land him in prison.
Now, four years have passed and Chase finds himself a free man. He returns to Harmony Creek, ready to pick up the pieces and start rebuilding his shattered life.
Things are off to a promising start when he meets Kay Stanton, a young woman with a tragic past of her own. Despite a powerful attraction, Chase and Kay are naturally hesitant to become involved. That's why friendship feels like the safest option. But when passions ignite and love blossoms, a relationship that is destined and meant to be can only be resisted for so long. When Chase and Kay finally succumb to their feelings they realize being together feels more right and true than anything they have ever experienced.
But their love is soon tested. Chase's wild past still haunts and tempts him, and Kay is keeping a secret that could tear them apart.
I Stand Before You is a journey of hope and forgiveness, coming to terms with the past and moving forward. But mostly it's a story of two damaged people who take a chance, open their hearts, and find true love.
New Adult/Contemporary Romance genres. First in a series.
***warning: contains graphic sexual situations, drug use, some violence, and profanity***
I'm a big fan of S.R Grey's Harbour Falls mystery books, so I couldn't wait to read her newest release, I Stand Before You. I admit, I don't read very many Adult/NA contemporary, but this was a beautiful, powerful and passionate emotional journey about mistakes, forgiveness and finding a love worth living for.
We start our story with Chase Gartner. He had a good life. His dad ran his own successful company, he has a great mom and the best little brother. He also had a promising future with the pictures he'd sketch and wanted to grow up to be an architect one day. But everything came tumbling down when his father lost his business, losing everything they own and so much more. Life as he knew it will never be the same. His mother spends most days at the casino, gambling her life away and Chase turned to drugs, sex and violence for escape. That is, till it went a little to far and he got caught with enough drugs to land him in prison.
Four years later, Chase is a free man and despite being tempted to turn back to his wicked ways, he's determined to live a different life. A clean life. A better life with better choices. His grandma left him the farm in Harmony Creek and working at the church and school as a maintenance man, Chase is well on his way to a second chance.
Kay Stanton will never forgive herself and neither will her family. Blamed and abandoned, Kay is a lost and broken after the lost of her six year old sister, Sarah. Her family will never forgive her and Kay must live with the secret of that horrible night for the rest of her life. When Kay and Chase meet it's the start of an easy and natural friendship but inevitably grows into something much stronger. But can their love heal the past? Or will the same mistakes creep into their future.
If I had to pick one word for Kay and Chase, it would be undeniable. Here we have two desperate souls that have been living with guilt, torment and haunted by all the mistakes they've made, but together, they have a chance to be the person they can be proud of and are stronger because of it. I've always been a fan of the they way Grey can write. Her mystery books are clever and unpredictable, but I think she took it one step further with this book. The emotional moments with Kay and Chase, together and apart were incredibly moving and irresistible. They have such a sad story filled with struggle and remorse. Grey captures that overwhelming desire to want something so desperately and then finally believing you deserve it come the end.
Chase got a bum deal growing up. He lost everything and when you don't know how to cope, some turn to the only escape that's available. Sadly, fighting, sex and drugs are the last thing that a young teen should be getting into. Lesson learned but not ever forgotten, I admire Chase for owing up to his mistakes, not changing who he is, but changing what he does with his life. He's crude, but sexy. Intense but playful, strong but vulnerable. He's human, complex and wonderfully flawed.
Kay is a fragile little thing. What happened to her sister broke my heart and I hate what her parents did to her. But through it all, Kay remains good and it shows when she gave Chase an honest chance.The friendship between the two was warm and sweet and made my heart happy, but I think the romance between the two was even better. Tender, sexy, seductive and amazingly steamy.
Another character that I liked was Will, and while we only got bits of him in Chase's memory, I fell in love with that little boy and just as afraid for him as Chase is and look forward to hearing his story in the next book; Never Doubt Me.
Find the author:
S.R. Grey is the author of the bestselling Harbour Falls, and Willow Point, first and second novels in A Harbour Falls Mystery series. She is also the author of I Stand Before You, the first novel in the Judge Me Not series (New Adult/Contemporary Romance).
Ms. Grey resides in western Pennsylvania. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, as well as an MBA.
She is currently working on Wickingham Way, the third installment in A Harbour Falls Mystery series, to be released in January 2014, as well as Never Doubt Me, second novel in the Judge Me Not series.
Other interests include reading, traveling, running, and cheering for her hometown sports teams.
Playlist for, I Stand Before You
Wanksta: 50 Cent
Radioactive: Imagine Dragons
Dream: Priscilla Ahn
Angels on the Moon: Thriving Ivory
A Man I’ll Never Be: Boston
Sweet Surrender: Sarah McLachlan
Tautou: Brand New
Breathe Me: Sia
Stay: Rihanna (feat. Mikky Ekko)
Hanging By a Moment: Lifehouse
Heavenly Day: Patty Griffin
Kiss Me: Ed Sheeran
Good Enough: Evanescence
My Lover’s Prayer: Otis Redding
Excuse Me: Fools For April
Sweetest Thing: U2
Found: Christel Alsos
Have A Drink On Me: AC/DC
Be Here to Love Me: Norah Jones
You Make It Real: James Morrison
Special thanks to Susie for giving us an Arc copy in exchange for an honest review.