Title: I’ll Stand By You by Sharon Sala
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sharon Sala brings new meaning to family in her small-town Southern romance
No one is alone
Dori Grant is no stranger to hardship. As a young single mother in the gossip-fueled town of Blessings, Georgia, she’s weathered the storm of small-town disapproval most of her life. But when Dori loses everything within the span of an evening, she realizes she has no choice but to turn to her neighbors.
As long as there is love to give
Everyone says the Pine boys are no good, but Johnny Pine has been proving the gossips wrong ever since his mother died and he took over raising his brothers. His heart goes out to the young mother and child abandoned by the good people of Blessings. Maybe he can be the one to change all that…
Fans of small town contemporary romances are going to fall in love with I’ll Stand By You. Sharon Sala heads back to Blessings, GA where single mom Dori Grant and Johnny Pine, who is the guardian of his two young brothers, fall in love in the midst of hardship.
While she is from the “right” side of the tracks, Dori has weathered more than her fair share of gossip and innuendo after becoming an unwed, teenage mom. With the help of her granddaddy, she has managed to pass her GED and enroll in on-line college classes while also working at a local diner and raising her six month old son, Luther Joe. But one horrible night, Dori loses everything but Luther Joe, and she is shocked when NONE of her neighbors offers to help her out.
Johnny is no stranger to adversity and he is absolutely stunned when Dori’s neighbors abandon her and Luther after her tragic loss. He knows what it is like to be all alone in the world and he does not hesitate to bring them home to stay with him and his brothers Brooks aka Beep and Marshall. Johnny fought hard to keep his brothers after his mother’s death, and although they don’t have much money, he is doing an exemplary job of raising them.
Johnny and Dori are pretty much strangers but they settle into their living arrangements with ease. As word quickly spreads through town about Dori’s plight, most of the townspeople pull together to help her out while others immediately begin spreading vicious rumors about her and Johnny. Fortunately, Dori has a few good people in her corner who are more than willing to stand up for them. And when someone from Dori’s past tries to cash in her good fortune, let’s just say, this person gets EXACTLY what is coming to ’em.
I’ll Stand by You is a charming romance that is a little poignant but very heartwarming. The relationship between Johnny and Dori is soo sweet and even though they fall in love quickly, their feelings for one another ring true. Sharon Sala fully captures both the good and bad of small town life and although there are a few truly despicable townspeople, there are also plenty of kindhearted and generous ones who more than make up for their mean spirited actions. A heartfelt and emotional love story that is incredibly uplifting and gratifying despite the sometimes somber (but always realistic) storyline.