Title: Stand By You
Author: A.M. Arthur
Publisher: Carina Press
Pages/Word Count: 189 pages
At a Glance: solid, well-written storyline with flawed but redeemable characters
Blurb: Three months after his rescue from an abusive boyfriend, twenty-two-year-old Romy Myers has landed his first legitimate job, bussing tables at his friend’s new coffee shop. The job has brought him some stability after years of abuse have left him feeling damaged and broken. He’s working hard on his panic and social anxiety, and those things are often tempered by the big, burly presence of Brendan Walker.
From the moment ex-football player Brendan helped rescue Romy from his ex’s abuse, he’s wanted to protect him. And he does, from a distance, with joking text messages, a new gym routine to toughen him up and a genuine friendship. So far it’s been easy, but Brendan’s feelings aren’t just friendly anymore…
When an argument spirals out of control, a hot and heavy make-out session causes Romy’s friendship with supposedly straight Brendan to reach a new level. The last thing Romy wants is to fall for another guy who could potentially shatter him, but Brendan also wakes up a part of him he thought had been destroyed by violence, his heart.
We met Remy briefly in the first book in the series, and saw his rescue from his ex’s traumatic abuse in the next book, Maybe This Time. Remy was lucky that he has friends who were brave enough to come help him escape from his ex and give him that second chance to find his way. That doesn’t mean Remy isn’t affected by what happened, though. In fact, he feels more lost than ever. Remy is suffering from serious anxiety, and even PTSD, but he’s determined to power through it. Starting work in the café helps him at first, but his friendship with Brendan is really what helps Remy.
Brendan is one of my favorite characters in this series, even though at first we really don’t know much about him other than he helps with Street Feed. He’s a solid, good guy, though, and that shows on the day they rescue Remy. His strength and even-tempered nature help Remy and eventually, they develop a solid friendship. Remy turns to Brendan and is able to talk to him more than any of his other friends. Brendan, in turn, is the only person who is able to calm Remy down when his anxiety or PTSD flares. Eventually their strong feelings develop into more than just friendship, and it causes them to examine themselves for what they really want next.
I have always liked Remy, even at the brief views of him in the first book, No Such Thing. He was snarky and hiding how alone he was, but he made you want to just wrap him up, take him home and cuddle with him. Brendan, though, was the one I was excited to see as one of the leads in this book. His solid strength and compassion really came through in the last book, even though he wasn’t on-scene much of the time. I was seriously cheering these two on by the time things got hot and heavy, because they both deserve to be happy and have someone that’s there for them.
Now, this isn’t necessarily an easy book to read because of the trauma and issues that Remy ends up going through, but to see the end result when you hit that final page is well worth it. This book fits well with the other two in the series, and I have to say is just as addictive as the other books. That makes these books very easy to pick up and read over and over again.
A.M. Arthur has quickly become one of my go-to authors for that solid, well-written storyline with flawed but redeemable characters. Her characters really are the backbone of all of her stories. Their ability to overcome what life throws at them and find that happiness at the end of the storm is what keeps me coming back for more.
I recommend this book for those that love a good story with flawed characters who can pull through what life throws at them.
You can buy Stand By You here: