Monday, April 20, 2015

There You Stand by Christina Lee

Title: There You Stand
Author: Christina Lee
My Rating: A-

Genre: New Adult (m/m)
Series: Between Breaths #5
Main Characters: Jude and Cory
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: Intermix
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
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…

My Review:
This story was so completely different than anything I've read before and I'm not sure exactly why. I think it's the characters that make it feel so different. 

Jude is a mystery, but he's one that fascinates Cory. Jude is British, very, very rarely talks, and Cory is completely infatuated with him, although he's pretty sure that the guy is straight. Jude is a skater dude. Always on his board or working in the skate shop. But Cory can't make heads or tails of the guy. There are moments when it's like they have a connection and then the next time they meet, Jude barely acknowledges Cory. There are also some crazy scary rumors going around the community about him. He obviously is somehow tied to the local MC and Cory isn't sure if he's completely in the legal zone for his activities. 

Cory's a tattoo artist who started over completely three years ago after a motorcycle accident wrecked his back and his life. He hasn't really been the same since, although he tries to fake it a lot. He's lonely and the older he gets, the more he wants to find a true connection with someone, not just a quick hook-up. He really just doesn't know how to interpret Jude, but he's trying.

I liked it. This is my first time reading a Christina Lee book. I think what made this book feel so different is the very slow unveiling of Jude's character. He hardly talks or interacts so it's really hard to know what's going on with him. The book is told entirely from Cory's 1st person point of view and that worked. 

The set-up is good. Both the main characters had interesting back histories. I liked the coastal setting, the motorcycle club intrigue, the motorcycles, the dogs, and the friends who interact with both characters. It was a fun book and I have to admit I was surprised when all of Jude's secrets were revealed. I also never expected the climax to go down the way it did. I definitely recommend this one. I haven't read any of the others in the series and that worked perfectly fine. I couldn't even tell from this book who the other books might even feature. So it definitely works as a stand-alone. Very good...I'll be keeping my eye on this author in the future.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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