Title: “There You Stand” (Between Breaths #5)
Author: Christina Lee
Genre: New Adult / M/M Romance
Release Date: 21st April, 2015.
From the author of All of You and Before You Break comes a new Between Breaths male/male standalone romance about the silent, inked up skateboarder and the tattoo artist who unravels him piece by piece…
Tattoo artist Cory Easton has worked long enough at Raw Ink to know, just by looking at a dude, what his body art reveals, what makes him tick, what even makes him scared. Until he meets the quiet and remote Jude York—so unreadable, so unreachable, and so unlike anyone else, he can’t help but arouse Cory’s curiosity.
As captivating and complex as his ink, Jude is a mystery—and Cory’s falling fast and hard under his spell. Against his better judgment to steer clear.
The rumors of Jude’s past overshadow him—whispers of prison and an unmentionable secret that’s kept him in the protective shadows of a local motorcycle club. As Cory probes deeper, he wonders how much he really wants to know. Especially since Jude has awakened something inside him that has been buried too long—and has him feeling completely alive for the first time in forever…
Complimentary copy received by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
I have not really ventured into m/m romance until now, but not for the lack of wanting to. I am a firm believer of ‘love is love’, no matter your gender or race, so please do not misunderstand me. But you know what it is like to remain in your comfort zone instead of trying new things – or, in this case, genres – and taking a leap of faith? Well, most people – including me – are creatures of habit, thus making it difficult to expand our horizon from time to time. This, of course, also manifests itself in the books we choose to read.
But I am thrilled and actually very excited about the fact that I will now be picking up more m/m romance novels because of “There You Stand” by Christina Lee.
Cory and Jude are both young men marked by their pasts, and while their issues stem from different tragic events, the question is if they really are that different from each other? Obviously, I will not ruin the plot for you – that would be cruel – but what I do feel is acceptable to say is that these two men, as well as their connection, are probably some of the most beautiful souls I have come across in a long time.
I adored getting to know Cory, the sexy tattoo artist, and the way he yearns for Jude, the British and secretive skateboarder, made me fall a little bit in love with him myself. I became invested in their story from the very first page, and I love when that happens! And Jude…oh, Jude: what a truly sweet, sensitive man. I wanted to reach into my Kindle, haul him out of it, and hug him so hard! I realise that these are fictional characters, of course, but while reading their story, they felt incredibly real to me.
The mystery surrounding Jude had me very intrigued, and there was never a moment when I felt that the story was unnecessarily drawn out – to put it bluntly: never was there a time when I got bored. Quite the contrary, in fact, because I have been thinking about this book a lot ever since I read The End. Yes, a book hangover set it, and it has not really left me even though it has been weeks since I finished it.
I have been a fan of Miss Lee’s for a while now, and I adore her storytelling skills; she writes with passion, heart, and compassion, and it is always clear to feel all the emotions her characters go through. She also writes some of the most sensual and steamy sex scenes I have ever come across, and I would be lying if I said that is not part of the reason why I pick up her books. 😉 Ultimately, though, the love stories she writes are why I call her one of my all-time favourite authors, and I want to applaud her for stepping out of her own comfort zone: writing a m/m romance novel and make it realistic. That, to me, is talent.
To sum up my review: if you, like me, are new to m/m romance, I would say that this book is a great starting point. The characters are genuine, the pace of the story is perfect, and the hotness factor is off the charts! The secondary characters compliment the main story as well, there are some pretty laugh-out-loud moments involving a specific dog, and it just gives you that feel-good vibe we all want to experience when reading romance novels.
So why not take a leap of faith and try something new?
Miss Lee: thank you for a fantastic reading experience! I truly love this book, and I just hope it will be available in print someday so that I can put it on my favourite books shelf. ❤
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
(from Goodreads Author Profile)
Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys. She’s addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job. Author of the Between Breaths series from Penguin. ALL OF YOU, BEFORE YOU BREAK and WHISPER TO ME available now, PROMISE ME THIS on October 7th, 2014. Also Adult contemporary romance TWO OF HEARTS coming from Peguin/NAL on May 5th 2015.