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***
The book follows Chase and Kay, and it gives us both of their point of views. The writing style is full of inner monologue- like the characters are talking directly to you, telling you their side of the story and how certain situations actually went.
The blurb of the book is right on target of what to expect out of the novel and their relationship follows the saying "slow and steady wins the race." This novel takes its time to flush out pasts and to have Chase and Kay connect on an emotional level, using each other to heal their own brokenness, before things get physical. At times I found it a bit too slow, the inner monologue got a tad bit tedious. I would have liked to see Ms. Grey stretch her wings as a writer and strive to show her fans the story she created instead of telling us.
This story is sweet enough to give the lightest of hearts a satisfying read. Those looking for something gritty and raw may be a little disappointed. Chase and Kay are big on terms of endearments, calling each other my girl and my boy, and they act as a unit. Conflict between them gets resolved quickly, though there is some drama that keeps the novel entertaining.
Overall I liked the relationship between them. Bad boy Chase is undeniably tender with the woman who snags his heart, and it's always a pleasure to read stories where the Hero changes for the one he loves on his own accord because he wants to be good enough for her.
I Stand Before You is a little predictable and a little cheesy, but at the heart of it, there's a great message on learning where to place the blame and on overcoming obstacles life throws you. There's a satisfying ending and, we're given an epilogue that acts as a lead in into the second book of the Judge Me Not series. I can't say I have an idea of where the series will go. I'm not sure. It seemed like it may still follow Chase and Kay which would be great.