Monday, January 13, 2014

Blog Tour and Review: Come To Me Quietly, by A.L. Jackson

Title:  Come To Me Quietly (The Closer to You Series, Book 1)
Author:  A.L. Jackson
Release Date:  January 7, 2014
Genre:   New Adult Romance
Blog Tour hosted by: Shh Moms Reading, Literary Mania Reviews, and Brandee’s Book Endings

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?

5 out of 5 stars

In my humble opinion, A.L Jackson is one of those brilliant authors who can weave a story so effortlessly that you are sucked in even before the end of page 1.  Before receiving the ARC of Come To Me Quietly, I had read and instantly fell in love with Take This Regret and If Forever Comes.  Never before had I ever read such an emotionally charged, raw, honest story.  Those 2 books were the kind which aren't easily forgotten.  Filled with love, regret, pain, happiness, sadness, the list could go on and on.  My point is when you read an A.L. Jackson story you might as well block off your entire day because you aren't going to want to stop reading until the end!  I'm more than happy to report the same still holds true in regards to her latest , Come To Me Quietly.

Come To Me Quietly is the story of Aleena (Aly) and Jared.  These two have known each other basically their entire life.  As children, Aly followed her brother Christopher and his best friend Jared around from the time she could walk.  While her brother didn't always want his baby sister tagging along, Jared always made sure to include her and always looked after her.  As the story progresses its obvious something happened when they were all younger, some kind of major event which very suddenly forced Jared to leave Arizona. While Aly and Christopher have neither seen or heard from him since he disappeared they never forgot about him and their lives were never the same after the mysterious incident.  As things unfold we also learn Aly always had a special bond with Jared so she finds herself thrilled yet in uncharted territory upon his return and she wonders if the boy she loved as a child is still inside the man he has become.  

I instantly loved Aly.  She is such a great character, one who loves with her whole heart. In addition, she is also an artist, but not the kind seeking glory. She draws simply because she loves the form of expression and often does it for her own enjoyment.  Aly comes across as the type of person who doesn't doing anything half-ass.  No matter what life throws at her she just picks herself up and keeps on going. Seriously, who doesn't love it when we get a strong female lead character?

Jared is the epitome of a bad boy...never one to be in a relationship, broody, covered in tattoos, mysterious, hot, rides a motorcycle.  It's obvious this guy has numerous demons chasing him, ones he just cannot seem to shake, ones he truly believes he deserves to live with.  Which, to me is a dead giveaway that underneath his rough exterior is a very broken, lost, lonely boy living with more regret and shame than he knows how to deal with.  The mystery of his past, the anguish he clearly feels, his passion to protect Aly even if its from himself, all the emotions and thoughts running through his head you cannot help yourself but to constantly run through theories, desperately hoping you'll be able to figure out what happened in his past that he cannot escape.  I couldn't help myself from constantly trying to figure him out.  A.L. Jackson's brilliant writing provided me with a connection to Jared, I was able to feel everything behind his emotions even if I didn't know where they stemmed from.  The more and more farther I read in the book the harder I fell for his character.  Like Aly, I just wanted to save him, make him feel worthy.

So, what is going to come with this re kindled friendship? Will it crash and burn? Can Jared ever move on from his past and find the happiness he deserves? Or does Aly just expect too much from him? Go on ahead and one-click Come To Me Quietly, then buckle down and prepare for the roller coaster of emotions your're going to experience.  Seriously, read this amazing book! I can without a doubt promise you won't regret spending time with Jared and Aly! 

Aly took my hand again. “Come on, let’s find a good spot to watch the fireworks.” 
With her voice, I shoved off the images, turned and gently smiled at her, ignoring the guy whose gaze burned into the back of my head with outright hate. 
Instead I focused on her words that sounded so damned cute, like they used to when we’d run ahead of ourselves to find the best spot at the park. We used to get so close that we’d feel the fireworks rumble through our bodies, and we had to dodge the little pieces of paper ashes that flitted down from the sky. 
She led me to a lounger that sat out in the open on the grass. She pushed at my side and grinned. “Take a seat.” 
Quirking a brow, I smirked at her, but did as I was told. I sat sideways on it with my feet on the ground. Aly settled to the grass, and instinctively my knees parted to make room for her. Nestling between my legs, she shifted a bit to rest her head on the inside of my thigh.  Then she released a breathy sigh as if this was the only place she wanted to be, murmuring, “I’m so glad you’re here, Jared.”  
Desire coursed over every inch of my skin and pooled in my stomach. There was nothing I could do to stop it, the way I hardened at her slightest touch, at the soft sound that fell from her mouth, at the smell of her hair that had become permanently ingrained in my mind. 
Night fell further, collected across the sky, and the darkness deepened the silence of the cocoon Aly and I found ourselves in. The heat had ebbed the slightest bit, the warmth of the day beginning to dissipate into the inky dome overhead. 
Most in the yard had quieted and taken their spots to watch the sky, anticipating the show that was about to begin. Everyone else bled into obscurity, and in that instant, it was just the two of us. 
Aly jumped with the first boom. It rumbled along the surface of the ground, vibrating below us, and a long whistle cracked before color exploded in the sky just in the distance.  
Quietly she gasped, the way she’d done what seemed like a million times before. A perfect memory of her as a child suddenly overtook my mind.  The tips of her delicate fingers fluttered up to her mouth as she watched in awe. 
I was powerless to do anything but thread my fingers through her hair, to anchor myself to her, even if it was only for this moment. Even though I’d been the one to cut myself from her, right then it felt impossible to let go. 
Reds and blues and whites streamed from the sky, lit up the darkness above, increased in intensity, then fell before the next wave erupted in an electrifying thrill.
Blood thundered through my veins. It’d been so long since I’d felt this close to someone. Part of me fought it, knew I should push her away. The dominate part of me just wanted to stay, even if it was for a little while. I’d been alone for so long.  Was it wrong to take away these memories, something to hold onto when I seeped back into nothingness? 
Shifting her weight, Aly sank deeper into me. Her body burned into mine, her head pressed into my thigh. She tilted her head back and looked up at me with wistful eyes, watched me with kindness, with a yearning for the way things had been in the past, with ideas of what could never be.
I stared down at her. 
And I knew it was wrong, that I was only making things worse, prolonging the inevitable, but right then I just didn’t care. 
A pensive smile kissed her mouth, before she turned back to the show above. She snuggled closer, her shoulder dipping down under my leg so her neck was nestled against my thigh. Her hand skimmed over my knee and down my leg before she firmly wrapped her arm around my calf. Her hand tightened there, and my fingers found their way to the nape of her neck, twisting in the fine hairs and tickling her skin. A small whimper escaped her mouth as I massaged my fingers over the base of her scalp, ran them up to the back of her ears and down again. 
As if this wasn’t agonizing, having what I wanted most in my hands and knowing she was completely out of reach. 
But right then she was mine. So I gave in, took a little more, leaned forward and buried my nose in the fucking delicious coconut in her hair. Breathed in the life and the goodness and everything that was Aly. 
I wanted to remember. 
Her fingers curled into my leg, begging just as desperately as my body begged for hers, and I felt strung up, strung out. I ached and needed and felt as if I was going to lose my mind. 
Fireworks filled the sky, this constant barrage that illuminated the night. I felt them more than saw them as they knit with the shocking intensity radiating from Aly, a feeling that sped through my veins faster than any high I’d ever experienced. Overhead the finale came to life, pounded through my system, set my skin on fire. 
I tightened my hold on her, my nose behind her ear, wanted to take it all. 

“Aly,” whispered from my mouth. 

Be sure to enter the COME TO ME QUIETLY Blog Tour Giveaway!!

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 of The Regret Series (Lost To You, Take This Regret & If Forever Comes)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 Author A.L. 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 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. 

Look for Come to Me Softly, book two in the Closer To You Series, coming July 1, 2014 

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