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Review by Suze
Meredith's life is far from ideal. She's not even twenty years old yet and she has a little boy, she works and she's going to school. She has no place to go, so she's forced to live with her ex-boyfriend and his parents. When she loses her job she's determined to find something new as soon as she can. She wants to move out and have a place of her own. When she sees on a flyer that someone's trying to find an assistant for a writer who needs a bit of extra help she calls immediately and she's being asked to come to his house for an informal interview only minutes later. She's hired on the spot and has to start straight away.
Gray has written several best sellers and he's working on a new book. He is ill and needs surgery, but he has no idea if he will still be able to work the same way he does now afterward, so he's determined to finish the book before he checks himself into the hospital. He is no longer allowed to drive and he needs help with daily chores and basic care when he's feeling bad. Meredith is a nurse in training and while Gray has no say in the matter his brother hires her straight after meeting her. Will they get along and what will happen when his symptoms are becoming worse? Meredith and Gray feel an instant connection, but Meredith's living arrangements and Gray's health situation make it far from ideal for them to fall in love with anyone. Will they find the happiness they deserve or are their circumstances too difficult?
You First is a beautiful story. I immediately loved both Meredith and Gray. They're kindhearted, sensitive, caring and loving people. Meredith is capable and resilient. Even though she lives with people who don't treat her right she never despairs, she works hard to make her life better instead. Her son is a sweetheart and I loved the way he talks. He immediately bonds with Gray's dogs and feels at home with them, which was adorable. I kept hoping they'd find a way to escape their awful living situation and that life would have something better in store for them. I flew through the pages because I couldn't wait to find out what would happen to them.
Gray's health situation is complex and Stephanie Fournet writes about it in an honest and heartfelt way. She understands very well what it's like to be so passionate about something that stopping is simply not an option, even not when the body demands it. I loved the way she describes Gray's situation. She never makes it too heavy, while she keeps it realistic at the same time and her story is filled with empathy. Fortunately she doesn't pity her main characters, which made her story incredibly strong. I sometimes had tears in my eyes, but the determination of both Gray and Meredith turned my sadness into admiration time and time again.
Stephanie Fournet has a wonderful warm writing style. It's easy to read and because of her openness it's possible to get to know her characters through and through. The connection between Gray and Meredith is special. They meet under unusual circumstances and every day they have together is surprising. Their easy conversations put a smile on my face. I constantly sympathized with them and the shocking moments in their story elevated my heart rate. I love it when I go through so many different emotions when I'm reading a novel. You First is a brilliant multilayered story and I think it's an absolute must-read.
If you like reading fantastic strong emotional stories about beautiful people you will love You First.
About Stephanie Fournet
Stephanie Fournet, author of Fall Semester, Legacy, Butterfly Ginger, and Leave a Mark lives in Lafayette, Louisiana—not far from the Saint Streets where her novels are set. She shares her home with her husband John and her daughter Hannah, their needy dogs Gladys and Mabel, and an immortal blue finch named Baby Blue. When she isn’t writing romance novels, she is usually helping students get into college or running. She loves hearing from fans, so look for her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and stephaniefournet.com.
One winner will receive a $100 Amazon OR Book Depository Gift Card (International). Three winners will win a signed copy of YOU FIRST (US only).