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***
This book had promise. I really liked the characters and the story development. What bothered me was the internal dialogue. This is a dual point of view book and both characters used repeatedly the phrases “my boy” and “my girl”. For some reason this bothered me. To others it may be no biggie. But for me, that threw a star down the drain for this one.
Kay is a good girl. She does the right thing. She is a college graduate and she is struggling to get by. She has been cast out by her family for a mistake she made one night long ago. She has not been able to forgive herself or even think about moving forward.
Chase has bad boy down to a “t”. He is a tattooed ex-convict who is returning home to his roots to gain some much needed perspective on life. He inherited his grandmother’s farm house and a job from the local church.His Grandmother believed in him when no one else did. He is determined to put his life together again, but when he comes home, his old vices are waiting for him and tempting him to give in again.
Chase finds himself tempted right away. He knows he has to get his life together now. He has a mother who is counting on him to be a father figure to his baby brother who Chase feels responsible for.
Kay has her own demons to face. She pays her penance weekly but gets no resolution. Until one day she runs into bad boy Chase.
Could her redemption come in the form of a beautifully damaged young man?
As they spend time together, Kay learns that Chase is hiding something. He is holding back, but so is she.
Chase may be destined to self-destruct, but Kay is not going to give up on him so easily.
Some of my favorite quotes:
“Kay is a sandcastle on the beach, and I’m a fucking hurricane. I’d not only wash her away, I’d fucking destroy her.”
“It’s at that exact second I realize—in a rush, like a wave crashing all around me—I have fallen in love. I am head over heels in love with Chase Gartner.”
I wanted to love this book. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a bad book, I just didn’t love it. The internal dialogue was a bit sappy at times. I liked the characters, they had depth and I was able to connect to their story. So this one gets 3 stars from me. I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it, it was just OK. The ending was a bit anticlimactic.
So if you are looking for a good girl falls for bad boy with lots of angst and sappy dialogue, you will probably enjoy this one. It has an average of 3.8 stars on GoodReads, so there are some folk out there who really liked it. I just wasn’t one of them.