Title: Come To Me Quietly (Closer to You Series, #1)
Author: A.L. Jackson
Expected Release Date: Jan 7 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance
From the acclaimed bestselling author of Lost to You and When We Collide comes a new adult novel of one woman’s obsession: a man who’s as passionate as he is elusive—and as tempting as he is trouble…
Aleena Moore is haunted by Jared Holt. It’s been six years since she’s seen her brother’s best friend, the self-destructive bad boy she secretly loved in high school. As the years pass, she knows it’s time to move on. Time to decide between a practical nursing degree and her true dream as an artist. Time to get over Jared and give another guy a chance…
Just when she opens her heart to her friend Gabe, Aly returns home to find Jared sleeping on her couch. The teenage boy she loved has grown into a man she can’t resist. Covered in tattoos and lost in rage, he’s begging to be saved from his demons—the memories of the day he destroyed his family. As the two reconnect, their passion is hot enough to torch Aly’s judgment. But can she risk her future for a man who lives on the edge of destruction?
Hearts have a way of finding their way home.
This is my first book from A.L. Jackson. Last year her Regret series caused a huge splash in the Blogosphere and I had a nagging feeling that I was missing out so, when I was offered the chance to review a new book from her, and a first in a new series at that, I jumped at the chance and I’m so glad I did. This may be my first book from A.L. Jackson but it definitely won’t be my last.
If you like a whole lot of angst and emotional pain with your new adult romance, then Come To Me Quietly definitely ticks all the right boxes. We have three main characters – Aleena, known as Aly, her older brother Christopher who she is rooming with while they are going through college and Jared, Christopher’s childhood best friend. The book starts with Jared roaring back into town on his motorbike. He’s been gone six years and it’s immediately apparent that something very bad happened when he was last here causing him to go completely off the rails and do a stint in juvie. Now, after having worked away for a few years, Jared is back and bumps into Christopher in a bar who invites him to stay with him and Aly.
The story is told with alternating POV’s from Aly and Jared and the back story is also slowly revealed, bit by bit, in flashbacks. Jared is a broken man. What happened in the past has cast a lengthy shadow over his life and he can’t get beyond it. He’s besieged by an overwhelming lack of self-worth, he can’t get over his guilt at what happened and, although he can acknowledge his growing feelings for Aly, he doesn’t believe himself worthy of her. He thinks he destroys everything he touches and my heart broke for him. He’s completely ruled by the depth of his heartache and scarred both physically and emotionally by tragedy and regret.
Maybe I just wanted to torture myself, to make myself pay a little more, although no amends could ever be made. I already tried to pay the price, but fate wouldn’t even allow me that.
Despite Jared initially appearing to be the archetypal bad boy on his motorbike, there’s a sensitive and beautiful soul hidden deep down beneath all that sadness. He’s paid a terrible price for the mistakes of the past and he is quite simply broken. He had always had a real fondness for Aly in the past even though to him she’s just been a little kid but now he finds that she’s blossomed into a beautiful young woman and he can’t help the instant attraction and deep affection he feels for her. He doesn’t think he deserves her but it’s a real tough battle for him to ignore that incendiary connection they share.
“I’ve wanted to kiss you every single second of every single day since the moment I opened my eyes to find you standing over me, Aly. But you know we can’t do this.” My voicecracked. “I don’t get to have this. I already told you . . . you deserve someone who can love you, someone who will be good for you, and you know that’s not me.”
Aly was such a sweetheart. She has harboured a starry-eyed crush on Jared for many years and time and distance hasn’t dimmed this in any way and the minute she sees him again, those feelings come rushing back. She wants nothing more than to help him heal and just love him and soothe away all the pain but Jared is building up huge emotional walls and is reluctant to let her in.
I so enjoyed this – it’s an emotionally intense second chance love story with a tortured soul of a bad boy right at the centre. The writing style is sumptuous as AL Jackson just takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster of a ride and when Jared’s back story is finally revealed, it’s a real tearjerker. What this poor boy has suffered – my heart cracked in two for him. It’s hard to see how anyone could ever come back from this but, slowly, Aly’s love and affection begin to let him FEEL and LIVE again but will it be enough? Will Jared ever be able to let go of the past and embrace the future that Aly’s love promises. Come To Me Quietly packs a powerful emotional punch that will leave you breathless – it’s at once heartbreakingly sad and incredibly uplifting.
There were a few loose ends that I felt needed more closure but there is to be a sequel and, although there’s no cliffhanger here, I definitely felt that their story is not yet complete. Come To Me Softly continues their story and is due for release July 1st 2014
4.5 heartbreaking stars
Series Reading Order
Grand Prize: A.L. Jackson Complete Signed Paperback Collection (all six titles) + Come To Me Quietly Poster and swag
Second Prize: Come To Me Quietly Collection, which includes a signed copy of Come To Me Quietly, a Come To Me Quietly poster, keychain, and custom bookmark
Third Prize: A.L. Jackson Fun Pack stuffed full of A.L. Jackson book swag
Fourth Prize: Audiobook Gift Set from Audible.com of The Regret Series (Lost To You, Take This Regret & If Forever Comes)
And don’t miss the DAILY blog tour giveaways on A.L. Jackson’s Facebook accounts! All kinds of fun stuff will be given away ~ ebooks, gift cards, and much more! EVERY DAY from January 7th – February 7th!!
About The Author
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.
Look for Come to Me Softly, book two in the Closer To You Series, coming July 1, 2014