Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

You First by Stephanie Fournet (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Jen Halligan PR, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the book tour event for You First by author Stephanie Fournet!

Book Review

You First by Stephanie Fournet
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing
Publication Date: December 13, 2016
Format: eBook - 356 pages
               Kindle - 1982 KB
               Nook - 2MB
ISBN: 978-1946061034
BNID: 2940153893051
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Jen Halligan PR. 

Book Description:

Driven. Private. Insanely talented. 

Gray Blakewood is the most successful crime writer under the age of thirty—and he has a secret that could cost him his life. 

He just wants to finish his latest novel before his world unravels, and the last thing he needs is a beautiful distraction. 

Meredith Ryan, his new personal assistant, has seen more than her fair share of hard knocks. And, still, she’s the sweetest person he’s ever met. 

She deserves a lifetime of happiness—which he can’t offer. 

But he can’t seem to stay away.

Book Excerpt:

Her pink blush turned scarlet. If he could place his palm against her cheek, he knew it would burn like a fever.

Did she know he burned like a fever?

He crossed the kitchen and stopped at the island, far enough away so he couldn’t reach out and touch her if his willpower slipped. He nodded toward the mop.

“Now you. Why on earth are you mopping my floor?”

She gave a flustered roll of her eyes. “Smoothies.”

“Smoothies?” At his mystified expression, her mouth twitched, but her blush didn’t wane.

Don’t be embarrassed in front of me, he wanted to tell her. You make me laugh, but I’d never laugh at you.

“Tropical Smoothies is next door to Dr. Wexler’s office. I picked up some smoothies for us,” she said, looking chagrined. “I thought I could manage to walk in with them and the dogs, but I was wrong.”

“Uh-oh,” he said, beginning to feel bad for his teasing. She’d brought him a smoothie?

“Yeah, uh-oh. Yours survived intact,” she said and then grimaced. “About a third of mine ended up on the floor.”

“Well, you can have mine. How much were they? I’ll cover the—”

“Oh, no,” she said, shaking her head. Meredith set the mop in the bucket and walked to the sink. “It’s totally my treat.”

“That’s not necessary,” he said, following her.

She turned on the water and set about washing her hands, but she looked back over her shoulder and met his eyes. “You always say that. I wanted to do it. You were having a lousy day.”

He watched her dry her hands, not liking the feeling that settled in his stomach.

“Not a pity smoothie, I hope.”

He saw her glare before the corner of the towel sailed out and snapped him in the gut. “No, not a pity smoothie.”

Gray blinked at her in wonder. So, there was a little salty in Meredith’s sweet. This discovery made his mouth go dry and his thighs tingle. He wondered — not for the first time — what she tasted like.

Before he could step closer to her, she swiveled on her heel and stalked to the fridge. Meredith pulled open the door and emerged from behind it with two hefty Styrofoam cups. She shoved one in his face.

“Here. A completely pity-free smoothie,” she said, an angry edge clear in her voice.

He took it from her slowly. Gray wasn’t exactly sure what was happening, but he knew it was his fault. He’d upset her. By accusing her of pitying him? By disparaging her gift? He realized he’d done both, but Gray sensed something else. He felt instinctively that all could be resolved with an embrace — something he could not do.

Gray held her with his eyes instead and took a sip.

“It’s heavenly,” he said. And it was. He tasted strawberry, banana, and chocolate. Of course, Meredith would bring him something sweet. “Thank you.”

A little of the fight left her eyes. “You’re welcome… It’s a Beach Bum.” The corners of her mouth might have turned up just a little.

“What’s yours?” he asked softly, never letting his gaze leave hers. He wanted her to smile again. He wanted her to know from now on he’d take whatever she wanted to give him, and he’d be grateful, whether that was a cold compress, or a smoothie, or a song in his kitchen.

“It’s a Bahama Mama,” she said, taking her own sip. He wondered if she did it to keep that growing smile in check. “Strawberries, pineapple, coconut, and white chocolate.”

“That sounds good.” She was farther away from him now than when she’d sat beside him on his couch, but the energy between them had completely changed. Was it all in his head? Or did she feel it, too? Gray had no doubt he carried enough desire to charge the air for both of them, so it was possible he was fooling himself.

But what if he wasn’t?

“Want to try it?” She offered him her cup, making his heartbeat quicken. “I swear, I don’t have cooties.”

He took it from her. “I never would have thought you had cooties.” And he won the smile.

Feeling a little dizzy, he put her straw between his lips and sucked. Honeyed tropical flavors flooded his mouth.

Book Teaser: 

My Book Review:

You First is an emotional contemporary romance story that will tug at the heartstrings and stir the soul.

Gray Blakewood is a successful crime writer who has a brain tumor and is in need of a lifesaving surgery. 

Meredith Ryan is a single mom and nursing student who is hired by Gray's brother to serve as Gray's personal assistant.

From the day that Meredith and Gray meet, there is a strong connection and mutual attraction between them. As their working relationship develops into a slow blossoming romance, both learn to lean on each other through tough situations, and bring each other happiness that had eluded them in their lives. 

Author Stephanie Fournet weaves a beautifully written tale full of pain, angst, drama, humor, and tender romantic moments that easily draws the reader into Gray and Meredith's story. The slow building development of their relationship makes this compelling story worth the read, as their connection and is put to the test by the serious personal issues in their lives. You can't help but feel for Gray as he struggles with his life threatening health issue, as well for Meredith as she deals with her own emotional baggage, but together they can help each other conquer their issues, heal, and find love and happiness. The author does a wonderful job of interweaving the serious issues that plagued Gray and Meredith with the blossoming of their sweet relationship. 

You First has an intriguing cast of characters who are realistic, flawed, and easy to relate to; witty dialogue and engaging interactions; and a breathtakingly compelling and powerful storyline that will take you on a hauntingly beautiful journey where you will experience the full gamut of emotions.

If you are looking for a hopeful and heartwarming love story that follows the journey of two broken people who learn to let go of their dark pasts, and open themselves up to a healing and loving relationship, then You First is the story for you!


About The Author

Stephanie Fournet, author of Fall SemesterLegacyButterfly 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

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Contest Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

Monday, Dec 5th – Love in a Time of Feminism (Interview)

Tuesday, Dec 6th – Babbling About Books and More (Spotlight)

Wednesday, Dec 7th – Books, Dreams, Life (Guest Post)

Monday, Dec 12th – A Chick Who Reads (Review)

Tuesday, Dec 13th – With Love for Books (Review)

Wednesday, Dec 14th – It’s All About the Romance (Interview)

Thursday, Dec 15th – Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! (Excerpt)

Friday, Dec 16th – Kendra Loves Books (Review)

Monday, Jan 9th – Kindle and Me (Review)

Tuesday, Jan 10th – Thoughts in Progress (Excerpt)

Wednesday, Jan 11th – Jersey Girl Book Reviews (Review)

Thursday, Jan 12th – vvb32 reads (Review)

Friday, Jan 13th – Crazies R Us (Review)

Monday, Jan 16th – Reese’s Reviews (Spotlight)

Wednesday, Jan 18th – Jeri’s Book Attic (Review)

Friday, Jan 20th – 2 Book Lovers Reviews (Review)


  1. Thank you so much for the amazing review, and thanks for being part of the tour!

    1. Hi Stephanie! Thank you for the opportunity to feature You First and host your tour on my blog. You First is a wonderful story that I really enjoyed reading. :)

  2. So happy you loved it. Thank you for your thoughtful review!

    1. Hi Jen! Thank you for the opportunity to feature You First on my blog. :)