I really like Christina Lee's Between Breath series (especially Promise Me This), and There You Stand being the fifth book about Cory and Jude York. We briefly met Cory in the previous books, as the tattoo artist who works with Jessie and Bennett, and new British skateboarder in town named Jude York. This book is Christina Lee's introduction to M/M romance, and I thought she did well with Cory and Jude.
So, Cory and Jude both have their own struggles to deal with that kind of effects them forming any kind of friendship or relationship throughout the book. Cory is dealing with the loss of his love, his partner, due to not being honest about their relationship that ended tragically. It's something that causes Cory to need to always stay busy, not drowning in silence or his thoughts, and also to evaluate the sort of people he gives his heart to.
And Jude. He's just this silent-type British dude that mysteriously rolls into town, that starts some talk around town. He's the silent-type who keeps to himself and with reason. This boy has got trouble written all over him. Some people say he's affiliated in something dangerous and probably illegal, which may or may not involve the towns motorcycle gang. When they finally cross each others paths for a tattoo appointment begins a rocky start with their differences and current struggles, but Cory finds himself attracted to Jude. He thinks he knows that Jude isn't into guys, so he tries to keep his attraction to himself every time Jude is on his tattoo table or at the skate park. Learning from his past, Cory knows better than to get involved in another closeted relationship. But the more time they find themselves near each other, and alone together, both of their attraction toward each other ignite. And hell yeah are they fucking hot together!
Over bonding with the dogs, hours and days on Cory's tattoo table, motorcycling, and skinny dipping *wink wink* together, their friendship forms and turns into much more than that. Remember how I mentioned before, about how Jude may be in some kind of trouble? Well, he is all thanks to his past. Let's just say that his safety is in jeopardy, so it's difficult for him and Cory to be together. And Jude is scared that the same thing that happened to his sister will happen to Cory, and he can't live like that. This is why he moved into town. To get away from his old life and start new.
As much as they heat up the couch in the back room or the bed that just makes readers need to fan themselves, what I really enjoyed the most is how they bond over the dogs and how they let each other in, in a way they never did with anyone else. I think that was the heart of this story. Those, and being true to yourself, to the ones you love and not being afraid to go after what your heart truly wants.