Tag Archives: AL Jackson

Book Review: Come to Me Recklessly by A.L. Jackson

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Title: Come to Me Recklessly (Closer to You #3)
Author: A.L. Jackson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 448 pages
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis

His heart was turned off…

Until she turned him on…

Christopher Moore gave up on the idea of love years ago. Now, his life is an endless string of parties and an even longer string of girls. Enjoying the physical perks with none of the emotional mess, hes convinced everyone that hes satisfied—everyone but himself.

Samantha Schultz has moved on with her life. Finishing her student teaching and living with her boyfriend, shes deluded herself into believing shes content. But there is one boy she never forgot—her first love—and she keeps the memory of him locked up tight. She will never allow any man to break her the way Christopher did.

When Christopher’s sister and her family move into a new neighborhood, Christopher is completely unprepared to find Samantha living at the end of the street. Memories and unspent desires send them on collision course of sex, lies, and lust. But when guilt and fear send Samantha running, Christopher will have to fight for what has always been his.

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iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/come-to-me-recklessly/id887984132?mt=11

Grace Review

This is a story of second chances, with two people who are made for each other in every way, yet have a number of forces that continue to try and pull them apart.

Having read the first two books in this series, which focused on Aly, Christopher’s sister, and Jared, his best-friend, I always wondered about him and what made him the type of player he became.  With this story, I now have the answers.

Back when they were teenagers . ..
Christopher broke Samantha’s heart.
Samantha broke Christopher’s heart.

“He broke me.  I never should have acted like it was okay to set foot back into his world.”

I had to wonder though, were they truly both in the wrong all those years ago?  Through flashbacks told in dual POVs, you get the story of how they built their relationship, despite Samantha’s parents lack of approval.  But you really don’t get the answers to what happened to tear them apart until 60% into the book.

There is good drama – a rival girl trying to take away the heroine’s guy or family stepping to stop a relationship.  And there’s bad drama – lying and not having a backbone to stand up to those same parents when one becomes an adult.  It’s this second kind of drama that frustrated me to no end in this book.

Both of Christopher and Samantha seem to give up on each other and not fight for what is meant to be.  Blame it on their youth and lack of experience.  However, years later, they still hold a grudge, blaming the other for the events that destroyed them. When we finally find out what drove them apart, I’ll have to admit, I think most of the blame lands on Christopher.  And I’m left scratching my head as to why he had so much anger toward Samantha when he was clearly in the wrong.  If he had made an effort to talk with her back then, instead of give up, so much heartache could have been avoided.

“Two very confused, very hurt people.  Two people who obviously need to forgive each other.  Two people who are trapped somewhere in the past.”

With Samantha now living near Aly and reconnecting with her, Christopher is forced to spend time with her.  His hostility was rough, and looking back at why he was so hostile, I honestly wanted to slap him.  It turns out all that hostility was just a shield to protect his heart, because from the moment that Samantha reenters his life, he can’t stop thinking of her and can’t stay away.
The switch from jackass to friend seemed to move quickly, although it actually takes place over several months – this was due to the story jumping ahead at points, so to me, it gave the element of being rushed.  What I struggled with was why, over those months, Samantha continually lied to her boyfriend on her whereabouts, no matter how innocent everything was at the time.  She truly lacked a backbone in standing up to Ben who wanted to control who she could and couldn’t see.  And then, I struggled with why she even stayed with him.  It was obvious from the beginning of the book that any former passion for Ben had died, particularly when she couldn’t stop thinking about Christopher.

The dance these two play throughout the story dragged for me, and I just wished they would talk it out, discuss what drove them apart years ago, and move on.  But when that talk happens, and Christopher lies, I was just about over it.  I couldn’t fault Samantha for her reaction.

What does it take to delete the past?  A thousand apologies?
A million regrets?
A litany of prayers?
If I should them, would you hear?  If I whispered them, would you believe?  If I fell at your feet, would you forgive?  If I asked, would you start again?

A tragedy of all things, oddly enough seems to heal their wounds, both past and present.

While the story was frustrating at times, one should always expect a heavy dose of angst with this author.  Overall, if you like a second chance story, with some boneheaded main characters who take FOR-EVER to get their shit together, then this book is for you.

Side note: It was nice to see that Aly and Jared had their shit together.  They were my favorite part of the story.

– Grace

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

Goodreads

Come to me quietly Come to me softly

New Release (Excerpt & Giveaway): A Stone in the Sea by A.L. Jackson

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Synopsis

He wanted nothing at all…

Until he found she had everything to give…

Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has everything—fans, fame, and fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and a reputation for a short-fused temper.
But an outward reputation rarely reveals the true man inside. Facing assault charges after trying to protect his younger brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie low until the dust settles in L.A.

Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very lifestyle Sebastian has always
embraced.

When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the bar where she works, Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but she’s helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense gray eyes tangle with hers.

They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won’t let them up for air.

Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he’s not the only one who’s hiding them.

Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea’s past that costs them everything?

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Excerpt

With a smile, I turned around, then froze when my sight registered the obscured figure leaning against the wall. A strangled gasp caught in my throat, and my heart took off at a sprint, blood pounding hard in my ears.

Pushing from the wall, he stepped from the shadows, his hands again stuffed deep in his pockets.

My heart rate only increased, the energy radiating from him almost as strong as the disappointment he’d left me with when he’d gone.

I pressed my hand to my chest to try to still the panic thundering against my ribs. “You scared me.”

“I’m sorry.” The words were soft. “That’s the last thing I want to do.”

But he did. I was scared of what he was capable of doing to me, the way I knew he held the power to trounce all over this hammering heart, to hold it in his hand and crush it into a million unrecognizable pieces.

“What are you doing here?” I asked on a shaky breath.

He looked to the sky and exhaled heavily, before he leveled his gaze back on me. “The same thing I’m doing every night, Shea. Thinking about you and wondering why the hell I can’t stop.”

My stomach flipped, and I gulped for air.

“What do you want from me?”

He laughed, lifted his elbows out to his sides in a helpless gesture without pulling his hands free.

“Dinner?”

Nonsensical laughter shot from me. “At three in the morning?”

“Breakfast?” he amended, a coy smile pulling at his full, crooked lips.

Tingles spread across my skin, and I ran my hands up my bare arms. “I already told you I don’t have time for distractions.”

“Come on, Shea. It’s just food. Go out with me. Just tonight.”

Somehow I knew it was a lie, even though he wanted to believe it was true.

Nervously, I glanced to the back door all the while being inexplicably drawn to this man I didn’t even know. I knew I should make a break for it, run for the safety of my little world and give him no opportunity to rip it apart.

“I am hungry,” I found myself saying. After a long night of work, it was true. But it had nothing to do with the reason I was giving in.

Because I just wanted to… I shook my head.

That was it. I just wanted. I wanted to be in his space. I wanted to understand why he had this pull on me. I wanted him.

Even though I’d never allow myself to have him.

About

AL Jackson

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as
well as other contemporary romance titles, including Come to Me Quietly, Come to Me Softly,
Pulled, When We Collide, and If Forever Comes.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She
filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the
difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with
their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days
writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite
pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

To stay up to date with important news on A.L. Jackson, including new releases, sales, and
exclusive specials and excerpts, text “jackson” to 96000 to subscribe!

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Cover Reveal (Giveaway): A Stone in the Sea by A.L. Jackson

We are excited to share the cover of this brand new series
by A.L. Jackson
A Stone in the Sea will Release on Feb 23
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Synopsis

He wanted nothing at all…

Until he found she had everything to give…

Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has everything—fans, fame, and
fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and a reputation for a short-fused temper.
But an outward reputation rarely reveals the true man inside. Facing assault charges
after trying to protect his younger brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie
low until the dust settles in L.A.

Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very lifestyle Sebastian has always
embraced.

When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the bar where she works,
Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but she’s helpless to the way her
body lights up every time his intense gray eyes tangle with hers.

They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won’t let
them up for air.

Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he’s not the only one who’s hiding
them.

Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea’s past that costs them
everything?

 Excerpt
Get a first look at A Stone in the Sea with Chapter 1 & 2 revealed on these blogs:
Giveaway text

About

AL Jackson

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as
well as other contemporary romance titles, including Come to Me Quietly, Come to Me Softly,
Pulled, When We Collide, and If Forever Comes.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She
filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the
difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with
their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days
writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite
pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

To stay up to date with important news on A.L. Jackson, including new releases, sales, and
exclusive specials and excerpts, text “jackson” to 96000 to subscribe!

Ink

Blog Tour (Book Review): Pulled by A.L. Jackson

Pulled

Title: Pulled
Author: A.L Jackson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 355 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis
Melanie Winters and Daniel Montgomery shared a love most only dream of, a love they believed bonded them together for life. 

When their world is shattered by the tragic loss of their daughter, overwhelming grief and misguided guilt distorts the truth, and their relationship ends in uncertainty and unanswered questions. 

For nine years, they drift through life, each unable to forget the one who holds the strings to their heart. In an attempt to escape the pain of her past, Melanie finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage, while Daniel loses himself in a career that means nothing without Melanie by his side. 

Now, when their lives again intersect, neither can deny the connection they felt so long ago. But will the power that drew them together be enough to heal the wounds from their past, and will they have the courage to overcome the insecurities and fears that threaten to keep them apart? 

Pulled is a story of attraction and separation, of destiny and duty, of a love so strong it refuses to give up even when all others have. 

Grace Review
Pull: v, verb, to apply force to (something) so as to cause or tend to cause motion toward the source of the force.

Danielle and Melanie are one of those couples that are meant for each other.  They knew it the minute they met.  There is no question their connection is unbreakable.  That is until a tragedy and some misguided family members force them apart.  Bad timing, lies, and misunderstanding keep them apart for nine years, until one night when they reconnect.

I loved how the pull between them is described.  The minute they are in the same room, they can feel it.

My hands started to tingle with the palpable energy that connected Melanie to me, what made us one, and an intense longing filled my chest.

I ran my hands up each arm trying to chase away the feeling, hugging myself across the middle.  Something was wrong.  I’d never felt Daniel like this unless he was actually nearby. 

Coming face to face, the pain and heartache of the nine years separated are fully exposed.  And it is apparent to both, that the love is still there.  It never went away.

But the path to their second chance is not clear.  Two horrible people stand in their way:

* Nicholas (Melanie’s husband): He is a class A prick and that’s being nice.
*Vanessa: Calculating bitch!

Side note: I’m surprised these two didn’t join forces in evildom, but they seem to do enough damage on their own.  Truly the worst people.

What I loved:
The love story between Daniel and Melanie is beautiful and at times sad.  But they never intentionally hurt each other.  They were made for each other.

“It’s like we share the same soul, and when we’re apart, each half is looking for the other.”

What I didn’t love:
The angst in this book is off the charts.  If you like angst, then this book is right up your alley.  I enjoy angst, but my need for medication 10% in made me a bit leery.  I felt that some of the angst was unnecessary but as they both come to realize, their youth and naivety contributed made them to quick to ASSume without taking the time to talk.  They reacted to these misunderstandings in the worst of ways, only damaging things further.

While I was never a fan of Vanessa, I was surprised how Daniel handled her situation.  It was a bit cold.  But Daniel does redeem himself and the two are rewarded for their ability to spread their love.

Overall, this is a beautiful love story.  It will put you thru the ringer.  But you have a sweet HEA that makes up for some of the heartache.

– Grace

*A complimentary copy was provided for an honest review.

Amazon

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Ink

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Pulled by A.L. Jackson

Pulled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis

Melanie Winters and Daniel Montgomery shared a love most only dream of, a love they believed bonded them together for life. 

When their world is shattered by the tragic loss of their daughter, overwhelming grief and misguided guilt distorts the truth, and their relationship ends in uncertainty and unanswered questions. 

For nine years, they drift through life, each unable to forget the one who holds the strings to their heart. In an attempt to escape the pain of her past, Melanie finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage, while Daniel loses himself in a career that means nothing without Melanie by his side. 

Now, when their lives again intersect, neither can deny the connection they felt so long ago. But will the power that drew them together be enough to heal the wounds from their past, and will they have the courage to overcome the insecurities and fears that threaten to keep them apart? 

Pulled is a story of attraction and separation, of destiny and duty, of a love so strong it refuses to give up even when all others have. 

“Okay, this one did it for me in a big way. I’m an angst-lover. And by that I mean, I’m a Thoughtless, Beautiful Disaster, Love Unscripted, Slammed, Fifty Shades of Everything, kind of reader. But there’s gotta be an HEA. And not a half-done HEA but a real yeah-this-story-has-been-agonizing-but-look-it-was-all-worth-it HEA. So, that said, I earnestly recommend this book. If you’re like me, you’ll like this. Enjoy!” LitJunkie

 Pulled teaser

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Win a signed paperback set from AL Jackson or a $25 Amazon gift card.

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About

AL Jackson

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, aswell as other contemporary romance titles, including If Forever Comes, Pulled and When We Collide, as well as the New Adult Romance Come To Me Quietly due out January 7, 2014. 

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves. 

 Connect with the Author:

 

Book Review Double Header: Come to Me Quietly/Come to Me Softly by AL Jackson

Come to me quietly

Title: Come to me Quietly (Closer to You #1)
Author: A.L. Jackson
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary
Length: 385 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis
Aleena Moore is content with her life.  She has goals and dreams and an easy smile.  She also has a secret she holds locked inside.

Jared Holt believes he doesn’t deserve to love or be loved.  He destroys everything he touches.  Haunted by the mistake that shattered his life, he’s fled from the memory of that pain.

Jared doesn’t know why he’s compelled to return, but finds himself drawn back to the place where it all began.  The exact place where it ended.  When he runs into his childhood best friend, Aleena’s older brother Christopher, he agrees to share Christopher and Aleena’s apartment while he looks for a place of his own.

Aleena is no longer the little girl Jared remembers from his past and evokes feelings in him he never wanted to feel again.  Terrified of destroying her, he fights to keep her away.  But her touch is something he can’t resist—the touch that sealed his fate.

Their pasts are intertwined and their futures uncertain.  The only truths they know are the secrets they whisper in the night.

My Review
This is a beautifully written story about a man with zero self-worth.

He isn’t looking for redemption.
He isn’t worthy.
He isn’t looking to remember.
He isn’t looking for happiness.

Sounds brutal, right?  It is, brutally heartbreaking.  But one woman changes it all and you get that light, a hope for something better. When Aleena (Aly) Moore reenters Jared Holt’s life, all the plans to build up a wall around his heart are destroyed.  His “Motherfucking trigger” as he calls her, unleashes feelings he hasn’t felt for four years, feelings he doesn’t feel like he deserves.

The title of this book comes from Jared’s visits to Aly at night.  While crashing at the apartment she shares with her brother, Christopher, Jared promises Christopher that he would stay away from Aly.  She’s not the floozies he has come to know in his past.  But temptation tests him, day by day.  As the story progresses, you get the feeling that Jared and Aly are meant for each other.  The bond of their childhood and current physical attraction draw them together.

Individually, their emotions for one another are expressed through other less physical outlets, for Jared through poetic words, for Aly through her drawings.

sketch pad

While neither is brave enough to expose those feelings for fear that they might show too much, Jared occasionally leaves a note on her pillow.

The foul spoils the beauty.

While his written words are few and far between, they speak volumes about his emotional state, which is sad.  If you like angst in books, Jared will give it to you in spades.  This guy is so consumed with guilt, he constantly tries to destroy the good things around him.

For a large part of the book, it is unclear as to what happened to cause him this pain.  Through alternating POVs from Aly and Jared, along with flashbacks to their childhood, you start to put the pieces of the puzzle together as to what happened.

Both Jared, Aly and Christopher seem to be avoiding the big white elephant in the room.  It is clear that Jared is in a bad place.  But for some reason, no one pushes him to do anything about it.  Their lack of action to help him, ultimately causes everyone pain.

This is the first book that I’ve read from this author.  While the book has all the character turmoil to give one chest pains, it is so skillfully written, I had a hard time putting it down.  The authors words are poetic and yet haunting.

sunlight

The connection between Jaren and Aly felt very real, and true.  Not forced.  Your heart will hurt for them for a good portion of this book, but there is hope.

“I see beauty and pain. Joy and sorrow. I see the good and I see the bad . . . and I love it all.”

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Warning: It is recommended that you don’t read the following synopsis and review until you have finished reading book 1, as it will contain spoilers. If you’ve already read book 1, then carry on.

Come to me softly

Title: Come to Me Softly (Closer to You #2)
Author: A.L. Jackson
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary
Length: 411 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis
A second chance at life…
A second chance at love…

Jared Holt never thought he deserved either—until he found both in the arms of Aly Moore. Aly has loved Jared for as long as she can remember, and she’s more than ready for the future they’re making together. But Jared can’t help remembering his own family. And he’ll never forgive himself for what happened to them.  How can he allow himself the very happiness he once destroyed?

To live a life worthy of Aly, Jared knows he has to stop running and finally put his past to rest.  But when he decides to face his demons head on, he encounters more than he bargained for: a dangerous mix of jealousy, lies, and dishonest intentions.  When those intentions threaten Aly, Jared loses all control, giving into the rage that earned him his bad boy reputation years before.  And he’ll fight to protect her no matter what it costs…even if he destroys himself in the process.

My Review
This book was a lot more uplifting than the first book.  Jared has a lot to prove to himself and Aly that he can make things work.  And he delivers.  Giving her everything a girl could dream for in a relationship. Using his hard work, determination, and blooming talents, he provides a safe haven for them to grow.

SexyHotJeansCouple

That doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and roses.  No longer hiding, their relationship is exposed, challenged and second guessed.  Some people around the couple still feel that Jared has a lot to prove, that he won’t leave again.  To others, they fear the guilt still buried inside him will come out full force one day, and cause the destruction he continually predicts.

Once again, I’m wondering why those around Jared didn’t push for him to get help and work through his demons.  Aly pushes him a bit, but it’s a little too late and only does more harm than good.  The brewing storm within Jared is a lot like a tornado.  Eerily quiet, the calm before the storm.  As that storm grows, the smart ones run for cover.  The not-so-smart ones *ahem* try to chase it, only causing them more harm.

The author’s words, like the first book, paint a haunting tale of a man who is unable to escape the guilt from his past.

Aly had always been a treasure I’d placed on the highest pedestal.  The girl was my perfection.  But maybe that foundation had its own fissures, cracks that could widen, cause her to crumple.

While I loved the commitment the two had to one another, I was surprised what eventually cause the cracks to form.  One blow up seems to destroy so much and I was disappointed they didn’t fight harder to fix it.  Do we get a HEA?  Yes, and what glues everything back together will warm your heart, and if you are a sap like me, may cause a few tears.

This book marks the end of Aly and Jared’s story, although I’m sure we will see them in the next installment.  I’m thrilled that book 3 in the series is about Christopher, Come to Me Recklessly.  I am dying to know more about his story, he definitely seems to be hiding something.

Amazon

Goodreads