Monday, January 27, 2014

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway
Come To Me Quietly
 (Closer to You Series #1)
A.L. Jackson

Release Date:  January 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…

~ Synopsis ~
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?

~ Excerpt ~
I rubbed a nervous hand across my tense jaw, listening as the shower in Aly’s bathroom sprang to life.
God, the girl was dangerous. A minute ago she had quietly slipped across the hall from her bedroom to the bathroom, shooting me a shy smile as she passed.  Crimson colored her face with a ridiculous blush, and her hair was all a mess because my fingers had been tangled in it all night. She wore the same tank and shorts that had been discarded on her floor.
My knee bounced because I was thinking about Aly peeling them from her body before she climbed under the hot sheets of water in the shower.
Closing my eyes, I fought for restraint.
It was Saturday, which meant no work for me, and I had no idea what I was going to do with my sorry ass all day. Aly had to work.  How pathetic was it that I didn’t want her to go?
The shower shut off, and a few minutes later Aly emerged from the bathroom wrapped in a towel. She rushed to her room and clicked the door shut behind her.
I shot off the couch and sought the isolation of the bathroom. I didn’t think I could handle sitting by Christopher any longer, hanging onto this secret that felt like a million tons on my shoulders. So much of me wanted to shout it, to scream out that I had touched beauty, that for a few minutes I had felt more than the nothingness that was my life. Years of isolation did that to a person, and when emotions were freed, it was hard to keep them contained.
But instinctively I knew to keep my mouth shut.
When I left, I wouldn’t leave Aly ashamed, couldn’t bear to shed light on the sickness I was tainting her with.  This would be our secret, our fantasy, and for just a little while, I was giving in to it.
Steam filled the small space, and the mirror was coated, hiding me in the misty haze. I swept my hand across the surface and looked at my reflection in the foggy mirror.
Hate spun through my insides and throbbed down my limbs.
What the hell did she see?
When I heard her bedroom door open, I quickly opened the bathroom door, wanting to catch a glimpse of her before she left for the day. Feigning apathy, I slowed when I stepped out into the hall. 
She stood at the bar, gathering her things.
“Have to work today, huh?” I asked. As if I didn’t already know.
She dropped her face, looking all shy and innocent and perfect, and then shoved her wallet into her purse. “Yeah. I’m just working the short lunch shift, though, so I’ll be off a little after one.” Gathering up the mass of dark hair from her neck, Aly twisted it into a ponytail. “It shouldn’t be too bad,” she said.
She glanced up at me with awareness in her eyes, as if she knew exactly what I was thinking, that I couldn’t stand to watch her leave. She knew I was going to be counting the hours before she returned and she even knew how much I absolutely hated the fact that I would be. The thing that twisted me all up was Aly looking as if she felt the same, like she was dying to bury those fingers in my skin.
I fisted my hand. It took everything I had not to push her up against the wall and kiss her senseless.
Considering Christopher was sitting on the couch playing video games, I figured that was a really fucking bad idea. I sat back and played it cool.
“I guess I’ll see you later,” Aly said as she heaved her ridiculously huge purse onto her shoulder.
I barely lifted my chin, blithe and indifferent. “Sure. . .drive safe.”
She turned away, stole a glance back at me, then turned to leave. “See you after work, Christopher.”
Furiously he thumbed at his controller. “Bye,” he said as if he couldn’t be disturbed long enough to notice she was there.
Aly walked away, her dark ponytail swishing along her back. She opened the door and bright sunlight burst around her frame as she stepped out into the day. 
I inched forward to the end of the hall. I realized I was standing there like an idiot, watching the space she’d just taken up as she snapped the door shut behind her.
“You better watch yourself, man.” The warning dripped low and slow through Christopher’s lips, hardness coiled tightly in the words.
Taken aback, I blinked hard and turned my attention to where he sat with his focus trained entirely on the TV. I swallowed down the pool of saliva that gathered at the back of my throat. “What are you talking about?”
Incredulous laughter seeped from Christopher, and he slowly shook his head in disbelief. “You think I haven’t noticed the way you’ve been looking at my little sister?” He cut his eyes to me, scrutinizing me in clear disgust, before he tore them back to the TV. “I wasn’t joking when I said her room was off limits. I just didn’t think I’d have to spell it out for you.”
I tried to rein in the panic that jack-hammered in my brain. Guilt hit me hard, but not hard enough to keep me away from Aly. My body still burned with the residual of her touch. Nothing would stop me from going back for more.
Just a little more.
I shook my head and forced a frown that could only speak of my own distaste. “We’re just friends, Christopher. We’ve always been. You know that.” The words pushed out with the force of my faked revulsion, blended with the solemn oath. “She’s like a sister to me.”  My tongue burned with the lie, and this time the guilt was consuming.
I was just going to stand here and lie straight faced to my best friend?
He will hate me before I’m gone.  

~ Links to Buy ~

~ Review ~
I was so excited to have the chance to read this book prior to release!  A.L. Jackson  has a way of drawing you right into the story so you feel every ounce of pain, suffering, flutter of love and emotion that the characters experience.  That being said if you are a fan of unrequited love, second chances, a damaged bad boy and the road to redemption you have found your book!

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this story! I was truly captivated by Jared and Aly’s story. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see what was coming next.  I shed quite a few tears along the way for Jared and Aly as well. 

Jared Holt is damaged.  He wears his pain for all to see.  Driven from the place he once called home he suddenly finds himself drawn to the place where his pain  is most prevalent.   When a chance encounter reunites him with an old friend Christopher Moore, little does he know his life is about to be turned upside down.

Aleena a/k/a Aly lives with her brother Chris and has secrets of her own.  She’s going to college and works but has no love interest.   It’s hard to give yourself to another when your heart has been held captive for years by someone else.  What do you do when that someone appears like a vision in your own home?

“Do you remember Jared Holt?
The name was enough to knock the breath from my lungs. Did I remember him?  When I look back now, I wondered how it was possible for a heart to be broken at fourteen.  But my heart had, because it’d broke for him.   ~Aly

The story flips between the past and present and you can see early on that Jared and Aly had a connection from when they were children.

“Don’t worry, Aly Cat, I won’t leave you behind.” ~ Jared

But their connection is so deep it’s as though they can see right through one another.  You come to see that Aly has loved Jared every day since she was a child.  In spite of himself, Jared cannot help but feel things for Aly that he doesn’t feel he deserves or is entitled to.

"It was always you, Jared.
 I can't remember a day in my life when I didn't love you." ~ Aly 
As the story progresses we watch Jared come to the realization that Aly has saved him in more than one way.  He can no longer deny what he feels but will it be too late?  Will there be any happiness for Jared and Aly?  Can they mend the broken pieces of themselves and finally become whole?

This book is an emotional roller coaster.  It is not a hearts and flowers book.  It is emotional, gut wrenching, painful and beautiful all rolled into one.  I couldn’t put it down and was drawn deeper into the story with the turn of every page.  I will definitely be looking forward to the next installment in this series, Come To Me Softly, releasing July 2014. 

~ Rating ~

~ About the Author ~
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.
~ Connect with A.L. Jackson ~

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

 Available for Pre-Order

~ A Rafflecopter Giveaway ~ 

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!!

Blog Tour hosted by: 
Shh Moms Reading, Literary Mania Reviews, and Brandee’s Book Endings

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