I Stand Before You: Judge Me Not #1

I Stand Before You: Judge Me Not #1

by S.R. Grey


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A story of love, a story of hope. How can you move forward when you're anchored to the past?

When it comes to tattooed bad boys, Chase Gartner was the real deal. Partying, engaging in meaningless sex, getting into fights---Chase indulged 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 caught up to him and landed 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615839875
Publisher: S.R. Grey
Publication date: 09/04/2013
Pages: 398
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

S.R. Grey is the author of the bestseller Harbour Falls and Willow Point, first and second books in A Harbour Falls Mystery series. She is also the author of I Stand Before You, the first novel in the new 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 novel in A Harbour Falls Mystery series, to be released in January 2014, as well as Never Doubt Me (Judge Me Not #2).

Other interests include reading, traveling, running, and cheering for her hometown sports teams.

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I Stand Before You: Judge Me Not #1 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
witchyreader0 More than 1 year ago
Chase Gartner is a bad boy party guy with checkered past that includes less-than-stellar reputation in his hometown and a stint in prison. After being away for four years, he returns home looking for a fresh start only to find Kay Stanton, a young woman with her own difficult past and a secret.  S.E. Grey has written a New Adult romance that unfolds in an emotional, realistic way. It’s a terrific change from the formula romances with their perfect, yet static protagonists and cliched situations. Ms. Grey has created a pair of beautifully flawed characters in Chase and Kay, both of whom grow and change throughout the course of the story. The development of both characters, but especially Chase, won me over—he was troubled, compelling and extremely hot! Witnessing his and Kay’s struggles kept me hooked—I read nearly all of this novel in one night, only giving up and going to sleep because I knew I had to get up early the next morning. I love Ms. Grey’s writing style. Her descriptions are vivid and engaging and her prose is clean and easily read. Plus, telling this story from both Kay’s and Chase’s eyes gave it a richer, more detailed perspective than it might have with only one main POV character. Providing both characters a voice gave each of them more depth, thus making each one extremely relatable, I thought. With “I Stand Before You,” you get a steamy, intense, complex read. I cannot wait for the next book “Never Doubt Me.” Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I. Love. This. Book. A heart-wrenching, beautifully written tale of true, gritty love. Unlike many romance novels where the characters are perfect to the point of being completely unbelievable, Grey's characters are relate-able and human. They inspire empathy in the reader in a way that most authors are not able to accomplish. I found myself to be invested in the story in a way I rarely am. The 400-something pages absolutely flew by. Can't wait to read more from this author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Genuinely Moving! A Beautiful Journey that Resonates in Your Soul! ‘I stand before you’ by S.R. Grey is a Soul Stirring journey that resonates deep within you through the  strong character development and realistic storyline. I am not a fan of anything considered fairy tale or fantasy. I am a Lover of pure ‘Realism’. I MUST connect with the characters and ‘Feel’ their emotions but, most importantly to me, it must be believable! Life is not sugar-coated and I don’t expect my books to be either =) This endearing journey is emotionally gripping and it will captivate you with its unique ability to pull at your heartstrings as you can genuinely connect with each character on a heartfelt level. The author does a  tremendous job at character development as we are able to not only see but, also feel the growth of both Kay and Chase throughout the entire story. The Story is narrated from two different perspectives and provides evidence that two totally different people can be struggling with the same issues and be connected profoundly. I was captivated by the raw and sometimes traumatic connections I felt with each character. There are no villains for you to hate and no perfect ‘hero’ persona …just the purity of two tortured souls reaching out for support and understanding while growing, each in their own way. The Author does a brilliant job of giving great depth to each individual and providing us the ability to connect with them on a real life level while providing vivid imagery, emotionally gripping scenes and throwing us a much needed life raft when the seas of life get turbulent. Being the first book of a series the Author takes the time to develop each character bringing in family dynamics (most of us can connect with) and the demons many struggle with while weaving together both an unforgettable journey and a strong reader connection that leaves you crying “Next Please!”. I highly recommend it to everyone and anyone who loves to get lost in a saga that is realistic and filled with lessons in personal growth that we can carry with us in the end…giving you some hope to cling to and a clear message that we are not alone in our suffering. A job well done! I will look forward to the next book in the series! Many Thanks for a Truly Moving Read!
EDL85 More than 1 year ago
“I Stand Before You” is an exceptionally good contemporary romance with flawed but charismatic lead characters. It is told from alternating viewpoints, both those of Chase and Kay, and in two very distinct voices.  Chase is a recovering bad boy—at age 20 he was living the hard and fast life, into drugs, and broke his Gram’s heart by getting arrested. Four years later, he got out of prison and started chasing his second chance, working as a maintenance man at the local church.  Kay is a sweet, good woman with a secret from her past that has been breaking her heart for four years; it involves the death of her younger sister and being disowned by her parents.  Both Chase and Kay are lonely and, when they meet, instantly attracted—though at first they try to remain friends. Eventually, though, their relationship deepens and it turns out they are compatible in every way—except for their dark pasts. “I Stand Before You” focuses on both their relationship, their individual struggles, and how those struggles affect how they relate to each other and move forward in life.  I really enjoyed this novel—for a romance, it’s gritty and real, and the tension isn’t so much created by whether the characters are right for each other and will get together, but whether they can overcome their own demons and find happiness. The dialogue is great, and by the end of the novel I really felt like Kay and Chase were real people—so I’m glad their story will be continuing in another novel. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy contemporary fiction and romance. (Though as the description notes, there is strong language, drug usage, and sex; if that offends you this may not be the best romance for you.)
Kylixie More than 1 year ago
Definitely glad I bought this book! A friend of mine suggested I read this book and since she kept going on and on about it I had to check it out for myself. I am so glad I did! I was immediately drawn into Chase and Kay's world, right there with them through their ups and downs. Not only could I relate with Kay on several levels but I really felt for Chase. I really enjoyed getting to know all the characters and was sad when the story ended! I wanted to keep reading!! Why is it so many girls want that bad boy trying to be good? Don't know the answer but Chase definitely fit the bill, and he's hot hot hot. Loved the romance and the descriptive s*x scenes, more please! Give this book a read, you won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a beautiful & fantastic heartfelt story about two people struggling to stay a float from the darkness that has taken hold of their lives..come too find out that their might be a way too fight that darkness & shade some much needed light on their lives by falling in love with the other...taking this journey with Chase & Kay two very strong & passionate characters., in one of the greatest adventure I have the pleasure of reading about and thankful that the author shared this story., & allowed reads like me to follow in their story.. I definitely recommend this must read story...looking forward too the next in this series. ??:) ?????
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
I Stand Before You is a fantastic, character-driven book. It’s a story about absolution and finding true love. I was absolutely enthralled with it from beginning to end. It took me through a myriad of emotions and left me wanting more at the end. “Twenty years of age feels like ninety when your freedom is stripped away.” I was taken with Chase immediately. His prologue was powerful. It was a long chapter that set the tone for the book perfectly. It explained perfectly the family history that led Chase to the path he was on four years before the bulk of the book is set. It also gave the reader a glimpse into Chase’s mind. I was able to understand his motivation and the poor decisions that led to his incarceration. Chase is trying to move on from the mistakes of his past. He had served his time and is now a contributing member of his community. He wants to prove to everyone that he’s not that guy anymore. He has no one. His mother abandoned him because of his resemblance to his father, his brother wants nothing to do with him since he got out of prison and the grandmother he was living with in Harmony Creek passed away. He may be a tattooed, sexy as hell “bad-boy” on the surface, but deep down he’s vulnerable and looking for something more. “I’m waiting for a man that leaves me breathless, a man who knocks me off my feet right from the beginning. He’s out there, I know it. And when the time is right our paths will cross, probably when I least expect it. I’ve always heard that’s how these things go.” Kay is also dealing with a tragic mistake from her past. She can’t move on from the death of her sister and continues to blame herself. Her whole life is wrapped up in her church and her job. She hasn’t had a relationship – or, ahem, relations – in three years. She doesn’t want to settle. She wants the real thing. Kay is intensely attracted to Chase when they first meet, but she is unwilling to entertain the thought of him because of his past. Until, that is, they begin to truly get to know one another. “I can no longer deny this ‘something’ that’s been building between us for weeks, and it feels bigger than the both of us. It’s like I’m caught up in a current, a current of destiny. And, frankly, I’m losing my will to swim against it.” Don’t go looking for “insta-love” here. Their path is so much more than that. Theirs was my favorite type of relationship – the slow burn. Their chemistry was intense. The sexual tension was crazy-good. But, in the midst of all that, they took the time to get to know one another. They didn’t jump feet-first into a relationship – physical or otherwise. It was the most delightful form of “will they? won’t they?” torture. I loved every minute of it. Oh, and when they finally get down to business? H.O.T. There was some serious steam in this book. “For Chase, I accept dares, I’m learning to take chances. He makes me feel unafraid. I’m willing to let go and live when I am with this man.” Chase and Kay are one of my new favorite book couples. Not only were they easy to relate to, they were easy to care about. I wanted both of them to get their happy ending – together, if at all possible. They had both been through so much in their lives. Each had made a decision years before that impacted their lives in innumerable ways. Together, I hoped they would be able to overcome their pasts and move forward. Their feelings for each other were so real and powerful. It may have all started with desire and chemistry, but it was much deeper than that. Their journey wasn’t easy, but it was real. I love S.R. Grey’s writing style. It’s real and gritty. Her characters were amazing and complex and her storyline was unique. I look forward to reading more from her in the future. ***I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.***
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book! We start out following the main character Chase as he hits his rock bottom and has to fight his way back to the top. Then we meet Kay who after a personal tragedy is just trying to keep it together and get through each day. Their stories are so raw and emotional it's like reading the pages right out of a diary. Even though both characters are completely vulnerable when they meet they still take a chance on each other and something beautiful happens...they give each other Hope. And that little bit of hope ignites a love and passion so tangible that at times you can almost feel it coming off the page. I feel like at its heart this book is about living life and second chances and I look forward to seeing what the author has in store for us because Chase and Kay have found a place in my heart. I absolutely can't wait to see where their journey takes them next! In my opinion this book is HIGHLY recommended. 
SheenaG More than 1 year ago
This is an awe-inspiring storyline that reads well and will give you goose bumps in a few of the chapters. It’s sexy, it dangerous, touching and a brilliantly written novel that flows well. This is not your girl-next-door kind of book. You will be obsessed with Chase and Kay and how similar they are and how right they are for each other although they don’t want to accept it. There’s nothing in this book that will make you feel like putting it down, even for a second. It’s engaging and you will want to continue reading the works of S.R. Grey. I can’t wait to read the next series and I suggest you get a copy of this book to see how the beautiful story unfolds.
GraceDZ More than 1 year ago
4 .5 – 5 Stars. I was smitten with Chase and Kay! How many times have you wanted someone to just be there for you when you fall? How many times have you wanted someone to just get you and not judge you? In S.R. Grey's I Stand Before You, both Chase and Kay have endured tragic events in their pasts, but it's not until they meet and start to lean on each other for support when each begin to heal their broken souls. The first thing that caught my attention was the prologue. It's gritty and just reels you right in! You get a good idea how Chase becomes a tattooed, bad boy. The story is written in both Chase and Kay's POV. When you meet Kay, it is at a sad moment. I felt her pain when she reflected on her past. She blames herself for what happened in her life and can't quite move on. A true friendship is formed when their paths cross. One of the things that I loved about this story is that S.R. Grey takes the time to nurture Chase and Kay's friendship. They tease and laugh. They're playful and so adorable with each other! When they start sharing more and more about their pasts, I could sense that they have great chemistry. I could feel the butterflies fluttering when their friendship turns into something more. When things finally get rolling, they can't get enough of each other...rawr!!! It's “crazy-good!” The heart of this story includes temptation, redemption and forgiveness. It's about giving someone who has fallen another chance. At the end Kay is consistent with who she is and who she wants to be moving forward. When she finally reveals her secret, I can understand why she was afraid to tell someone. For Chase, well he's pretty darn lucky to have someone as supportive as Kay in his life when things turn ugly. This is the third title I've read from S.R. Grey, and I loved it! Yes, some parts are raw and violent, but overall, the writing and romance in I Stand Before You has a timeless and classic feel to it, which I simply adored. This book ends with an HEA even if there's a little cliffhanger at the end. If you're a fan of friends-to-lovers stories, if you're a fan of bad boys trying to be good, or stories of redemption and forgiveness, then you may want to give I Stand Before You a try. I know I was completely smitten with Chase and Kay, terms of endearment and all! Never Doubt Me (Judge Me Not #2) is expected to be published Spring 2014. * A complimentary copy was provided for an honest review *
mybel More than 1 year ago
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 All in all, I really loved this one. Kay and Chase are two broken messes but slowly and together they pick up the pieces of the past and learn to move on. It's not perfect and it's not easy, but one should never underestimate the power of love, acceptance and forgiveness. Everyone loses their way at one point of their lives, but it's what you do with the rest of it that really matters. S.R Grey captures heart and soul characters that will pull on your heart strings and make you believe in second chances. Beautifully and touching.  Wonderfully done!
Thi More than 1 year ago
I love that Chase and Kay got to know each other and slowly build a relationship. They didn’t jump into anything right away but help each other see past their baggage. There were some really slow parts but all in all a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kristas_Dust_Jacket More than 1 year ago
Chase was everything I love in my bookish boyfriends. He's a bit dangerous, misunderstood, tattooed, and a complete softie when it comes to the girl of his dreams. I freaking love that - when this troubled man is brought to his knees by a girl. Chase was an honest-to-goodness bad boy, into partying, drugs and alcohol. Until he got arrested and sent to prison. Four years later, he's trying to make a new life in his small town in Ohio that has very long memories. Then he meets Kay who gives him a real chance. Kay, who has her own skeletons that she's trying to keep buried. Together, they discover that they can fight those skeletons together. I really liked I Stand Before You. The story was an interesting one. I liked how it started in Chase's past so that we got all the back story all at once. Many times, the secrets of the characters' pasts come out so slowly that you don't have the whole picture until the end. Chase's story about his drug use after his dad's death and his mother's downward spiral all came out in the first chapter so that we knew what kind of guy we were dealing with from the beginning. The story of Chase and Kay really started in the second chapter after Chase is out of prison and takes a summer job in the same place as her. He was drawn to her when she didn't judge him like many in the town had before. But, Kay knew better than most that what is on the surface is not the whole picture. The connection between Chase and Kay was so sweet. He was so gentle with her and very protective. I love that protective instinct. It always gets me. And, once Chase decided Kay was it for him, I was done for too. I was interested to discover Kay's secret - the one she protected throughout 75% of the book. And, honestly, once it came out, I was a little surprised is was as mild as it was. Don't get me wrong - it was tragic. Sure. But, Kay's role in the tragedy was less serious than the build-up around it made it out to be. There's a side story going on regarding Chase's relationship with his troubled younger brother Will, and this story comes to a head at the very end of I Stand Before You. Chase and Kay are at a good place, when Will crashes their new life together. This gives a good lead-in to Never Doubt Me, which is the second book in the series.
slz52 More than 1 year ago
I love this story, I can't wait to read the sequels, but to be honest there is one issue I have with it and it is a big issue to me. Here goes, I love Chase's inner monologue's where he calls Kay "my girl, my shy girl, my beautiful girl, my reckless girl" etc. About midway through the book Kay starts, "my boy, my concerned boy, my blue eyed boy, my observing boy" etc. in her inner monologue, at that point I remember someone is only making this story up. I'm not sure I explained that right, it's like Kay is copying Chase's inner monologue, and that's not possible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
xxBianca More than 1 year ago
I just finished and I am still reeling over it. This book? THIS is why I read. Books where I can not only read, but live through. I Stand Before You is THAT book. The emotions. The FEELS. Everything. Chase Gartner spent four years of his young life in prison because of a very stupid mistake. He was into partying, girls, and drugs. Fast forward four years later and he is released. As he lives in the small town where everyone knows what happened, he tries to turn things around by living life and proving everyone wrong-he will not go down the same road again. He vows to work on being close to his mom and rebuilding a relationship with his younger brother, Will. Kay Stanton has an unthinkable tragic past that haunts her with guilt daily. Kay finds friendship in Chase. They connect on such a deep level. The moment they meet, they sense the sadness in the other. While Kay knows about bad boy Chase. Chase has no idea the guilt she carries. While both swear to just friendship, they both find that life is never the same. Chase's past comes back to haunt him. While it hurts Kat, she does not judge. She loves him, hard. Beyond reason. While Kay knows everything about Chase. He is left in the dark about Kay's secret. She is scared that she will lose the only person that means the most to her-Chase. When he does find out? It. Is. Powerful. Even in the most painful moments, you feel Chase's love for Kay and vice versa. She laid her soul bare to him. And instead of running away from her he ran towards her loving her with every fiber in his being. He is the epitome of a soulmate. Chase's love is the kind that someone is destined for. And that someone without a doubt is Kay. The author took the two most damaged souls and turned it into something beautiful. Watching them fall in love with my favorite part of the book. Every word uttered. Every touch. I FELT it. These characters love with such a passion that you rarely experience in books. Their love was consuming and deeply rooted. They faced their inner demons, pushed through pain and guilt. Through each other they learned how to love. That they were worthy of love. That love belongs in their hearts, no matter how broken they are. Their love prevailed. It never faltered. They put love above all things. Always. I loved the effortless and flawless writing style. The story is told from both the POVs of Chase and Kay. It is told in a inner dialogue manner. We truly get to see and experience everything from both sides. Their love. Their pain. Their triumph. As I said before, you will not read this book. You will live it. You will savor it. You will love it. "You're in my soul, Kay" Do you hear that? That's my heart still beating over this story. Not sure words can truly begin to describe how much I truly loved this story. Love is the most powerful thing that exists. It forgives. It heals. I Stand Before You attests to that. Love finds the person that puts your shattered pieces back together. Chase and Kay are one of my favorite couples ever and I am so glad their story is far from over. The story doesn't end on a cliffy. You just know there's so much more to come. I can go on and on about this story. If you are looking for a story that is full of raw and genuine emotion, look no further than I Stand Before You. It will consume you. Your thoughts about love and life are challenged. This beautiful, emotional, thought provoking story is one of my favorite reads this year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exceptional story of love and redemption. I fell in love with the main characters, Chase and Kay, right from their introductions. I found myself rooting for them to make it as a couple. The story felt so realistic. I loved every page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book a while ago, but only just read it recently, and now I wish I had done so sooner! The story follows Chase, an arrogant heartthrob as he deals with his troubled past and slowly allows his kinder, gentler side to show. And the blossoming love between him and the heroine Kay is so realistic that the some of the scenes had my own heart pounding. I love stories that feature male protagonists breaking through their macho, stoic walls to get in touch with their feelings, and this story delivered just that. I'm also really glad it's only one part of a longer series, because I grew really attached to the two main characters. The story is also paced very well, doesn’t drag at all, and is exceptionally well written. The scenes and characters literally came to life in front of my eyes. I highly recommended this book to all fans of the coming of age romance genre!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and I cannot wait until the 2nd book comes out. Chase and Kay are both broken and find a way to come out of it on top together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A story of hope and redemption through love. Raw and gritty in some parts, but sweet and touching in others. Not to be missed!