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?
ARC received by the author through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
I have just finished reading this book and I am experiencing one of the worst book hangovers ever! This has to be one of the most heart-aching, beautiful stories I have ever read and my thoughts are all jumbled around. I honestly do not think that I will be able to express just how much I love the story of Jared and Aly, but I will do my best.
Love. Loss. Life. These are, in my opinion, the three words that describes what this story is about the best. I will not go into detail about the exact storyline because I want you all to pick up the book and experience it for yourself. And yes, this is an experience you will want to have.
Jared is probably one of the most tortured book heroes I have ever come across. Having gone through the worst kind of heartbreak – losing one of his parents – and letting himself spiral completely out of control due to self-hatred and lack of support from his father is extremely sad to read about. And even though 8 years have passed, he is not letting himself try to heal. Instead, he is more tormented than ever and you can really FEEL his anguish while reading the chapters written in his POV.
But he has not counted on reconnecting with his childhood friends, Christopher and Aly. Especially not Aly. Her kind heart, her ability to make him feel glimpses of true joy, and her completely understanding him when no one else does are close to making him come undone.
Jared does not believe that he is allowed true happiness in his life, but he cannot deny the immense connection he has with Aly right from the beginning.
‘I groaned. “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 voice cracked. “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.”’ (Jared)
Aly has had a crush on Jared since they were children, and she has missed him tremendously in the years he has been away. She has never wanted another man than him, but seeing him again is bittersweet: she is thrilled that he is back, but he is definitely not the same as he once was. Aly has to get to know this new Jared and she has to work really hard at not pushing him too far in case he decides to leave her again.
Reading Jared and Aly’s story – both past and present – brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion, and my heart and soul were breaking as I got to know Jared more and more. The fact that he cannot – or, rather, will not – acknowledge that he has a beautiful soul is gut-wrenching. And when Aly keeps pleading with him to stay after all hell has broken loose…Well, I was sobbing and it felt as if my entire being was being torn apart. Yes, my friends, this author is THAT good! To be able to evoke these kinds of feelings in a reader…well, I can only come up with one word to sufficiently describe it: sublime!
I absolutely adore friends-to-lovers stories, and this is by far one of the best I have ever read. The bond Jared & Aly share is simply beautiful, and I was hoping and praying that Jared would finally realise that allowing himself to love Aly is more than acceptable – that it is inevitable.
His feelings of conflict and torment are palpable, and you just want to reach into the book and take care of him.
As far as Aly goes: what a wonderful person she is. Strong, sensitive, and stubborn, she sees beneath Jared’s mask, and she is not afraid to stand by him no matter what.
“Even if I had been given the choice, I would always choose to love him. Even if he’d produced my greatest pain, he’d also given me my greatest joy.” (Aly)
This is the first book I have read by this author and I am very close to bashing myself on the head for not having picked up her books much sooner. Miss Jackson’s storytelling is extraordinary, breathtaking and so heartfelt, and I must say that she has now become a favourite of mine. While i was reading CTMQ, I was completely lost to the outside world, and there really is not one single page of the book where I have not highlighted certain passages. I do believe that that is the highest praise I can give an author. (That, and tears, which I have mentioned before.)
I really wish I did not live in Denmark because I want to give A. L. Jackson the biggest hug ever for making me both cry, laugh, and swoon while reading CTMQ. And trust me, ladies & gents, you will wish the same once you have read it.
To those of you who wonder: yes, there are some sex scenes in the book, but I choose to call them sensual instead of steamy. The focus is primarily on the emotional connection between the characters instead of the actual sex, and I truly love the way these scenes are written.
A final note: this book does not end on a cliffhanger as such, but there are plenty of questions left unresolved. I really cannot wait to continue the journey of Jared and Aly in book two, “Come To Me Softly”, which is set to release 1st July2014.
To conclude my review, I choose to quote Aly’s mother because truer words have rarely been written.
“Hearts have a way of finding their way home.”
Enjoy the excerpt, everyone!
I didn’t knock, just turned the knob and let myself into the muted light of Aly’s room. Tonight, the blinds were shut. Thin lines of moonlight bled through the slats, and a small lamp sent a golden glow crawling up the wall behind her dressing table. It cast the rest of her room in shadows.
With her back to me, Aly stood as a silhouette in front of her bed. Her work clothes had been discarded at her feet, and she’d pulled on those same pink sleep shorts she always wore, giving cover to that glorious ass. She was in the middle of pulling a tank over her head. Waves of chunky hair fell down her back, all mussed and sexy. My fingers twitched, because damn it, I really wanted to touch, but I stayed rooted because I figured I was in no frame of mind to give into it.
Over her shoulder, she peeked at me as she adjusted the hem of her shirt. Discomfort lined her face, the green of her eyes subdued. “I was just coming to find you,” she whispered.
Swallowing hard, I stared at her from across the room, not sure what to do with the hostility still boiling in my veins. I felt on edge. Unhinged. But this felt completely different than the sickness that would forever darken my soul. It felt a little too much like the night I’d lost it at the bar at the mention of her name.
I reached back to lock her door before I turned to look at her, rushing an agitated hand through my hair, trying to quell the fucking insanity she spurred in me. “What are you trying to do me?” My tongue felt thick as I struggled through the admission. “I don’t. . .fuck, I don’t even recognize myself around you, Aly. I thought I was going to lose my mind out there, thinking about you in here with him.”
Aly slowly turned around and took one step forward. With her head angled low and tipped to the side, she squinted, like maybe I’d just pissed her off.
That was okay because I was a little bit pissed off, too.
Lines deepened between her eyes, disbelief laced in the words that spilled from her mouth. “Do you think for one second I’d choose him over you, Jared? He came here to tell me he missed me. That he wanted to be with me and he’d do anything to fix whatever had gone wrong between us. But the entire time, the only thing I could think about was you in the other room. How the only thing in this world I want is you. Don’t you understand that?”
All that fucking aggression snapped, like a band that had been stretched too tight, colliding with the need she had so tightly spun up in me. I crossed the room in two long strides. One second later, I had her in my arms, lifting her feet off the floor as my mouth seized hers. I was kissing her, my tongue demanding as I dragged her to her bed.
Her covers were piled in a heaped mess from where we’d slept curled in them last night, where we’d kissed and tempted and left ourselves panting and still in need. Our scent still lingered in them, thick and strong. Unwilling to break our frenzied kiss, I shoved the covers out of the way with one arm, the other supporting her back as I laid her on the bed.
Aly arched up as if she ached.
I grasped her perfect face between firm hands, my hold just as commanding as my mouth. Consumed, I pressed the length of my body into hers, blanketing her as my forearms fell to the bed to support my weight.
I wanted to possess her. Take her.
I wanted it all.
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ADD TO GOODREADS
Watch the book trailer!
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.
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 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!!
Also, check out the synopsis of “Come To Me Softly”, the continuation of Jared & Aly’s story, below.
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.