"Sharon Sala is a consummate storyteller. Her skills shine in her Blessings, Georgia series. If you can stop reading then you're a better woman than me." —DEBBIE MACOMBER, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
Welcome to Blessings, Georgia, the best small town in the South!
No one is alone as long as there is love to give
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.
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…
Blessings, Georgia Series:
You and Only You (Book 1)
I'll Stand by You (Book 2)
Saving Jake (Book 3)
A Piece of My Heart (Book 4)
The Color of Love (Book 5)
Come Back to Me (Book 6)
Forever My Hero (Book 7)
A Rainbow Above Us (Book 8)
Praise for I’ll Stand By You:
“An amazing story by a true storyteller…Sala once again shows why she is a master of the romance genre.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ stars
“Small-town romance with humor and heart and a heaping pinch of reality.” —The Romance Dish
"A heartfelt and emotional love story…incredibly uplifting and gratifying.” —Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Bestselling author Sala returns to Blessings, Ga. (Curl Up and Dye), in this touching contemporary romance of underdogs working toward respectability. Orphan Dori Grant, an unwed mother at 17, refuses to tell her grandfather who fathered her baby. Her grandfather takes care of the six-month-old while she works as a dishwasher at the local cafe. A few blocks away on the wrong side of the tracks, 20-year-old Johnny Pine, head of his household now that his mom is dead of an overdose and his dad is in prison for life, gets his two young brothers ready for school and goes to work. When Dori loses her grandfather and her home in one terrible blow, her neighbors shun her, but Johnny steps in and invites her and her baby to live with him and his brothers. Neighbors and townsfolk are both devious and kind, showing the small town at its worst and its best. When the baby's father returns, complications compound. Characterization is one of Sala's strengths, but the repetitions and minutiae slow the pace.
I'll Stand By You
The best book I have read in a very long time. I am anxious to read another book by Sharon Sala. Buy it, you won't be sorry!
Love it. Simple but addicting read
This is a couple you want to root for,
Return to the small Georgia town of Blessings, where Sharon Sala brings us a story of hope and love for two young people just trying to survive and thrive after life has handed them some blows.
Dori is just seventeen with a 6 month old baby: living with her grandfather, she’s just trying to make a life and do the right thing. When she and her son are left with nothing, the residents of town don’t dive in to help, but judge, point fingers and gossip. Unlike the more ‘established’ families, Johnny can’t believe the lack of concern and empathy for Dori, and he, despite his struggles to raise his own younger brothers, steps up to offer help.
Johnny and Dori are adorable together: neither is particularly open or immune to the whispers and sidelong glances they get: both are truly struggling against massive odds to do the right things and make a life for themselves and the children they are responsible for. Not afraid of hard work, and doing their best to ignore the hurt from the gossips in town, their relationship moves from supportive friendship to love as the story progresses.
This is a couple you want to root for, and you’ll be throwing shade on those who judge the two: they do everything to the best of their ability, and persevere, even when things go horridly pear-shaped. There’s a curious dynamic in a small town, and Sala managed to capture the nuances: the secrets, shames, judgment and snobbery that comprise the ‘established leader’s’ personas, and their utter inability to deal with the sort of dismissive attitudes they so freely hand out in Dori and Johnny’s direction. While not a huge ‘yeah, they got theirs’ moment that leaves readers feeling that the balance of karma has been fully restored, enough hardship affects their lives, giving them a small comeuppance where our couple is concerned.
A lovely story of the power of support and the power of a helping hand, Sala uses an apparent bucolic setting and pulls back the lace curtains to give us a view of the dynamics and relationships behind them. While the romance moves forward quickly, the pacing feels plausible and real when you consider the history and age of Johnny and Dori.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.