From the New York Times bestselling author of Come to Me Softly comes another irresistible new adult romance in the Closer to You series.
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, he’s convinced everyone that he’s satisfied—everyone but himself.
Samantha Schultz has moved on with her life. Finishing her student teaching and living with her boyfriend, she’s deluded herself into believing she’s 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.
“No one tells a story about “The One” with as much beauty and tragedy as AL Jackson does. You can’t read her words without having them sink deep inside of you and sticking around like a favorite memory.” ~ New York Times bestselling author Jay Crownover
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
A.L. Jackson is without a doubt one of my all-time favourite authors. On every page, you can feel the love she has to her characters, but she is also kind of an evil author due to all the things she makes them suffer. But that is alright, you know: it simply means that her stories are realistic. Nothing comes easy in life, so why should we expect that in books?
Samantha and Christopher’s love story, however, is perhaps particularly cruel, and I sometimes found it difficult to keep reading this book. But I have to confess that I do love my angsty romance novels, and this one definitely fits into that category.
Samantha has settled in life. It is not easy going after one’s dreams, and she has, quite frankly, given up on many things. Is she content in life? On many levels, yes. But where is the passion? The zest for life she used to possess? Well, it disappeared when Christopher did – and I do not consider this reveal to be a spoiler, everyone: if you read the blurb, you will know that this is a book about second chances and how to overcome past hurts.
Christopher is equally merely drifting through life, leading one that consists of plenty of parties and hook-ups, but there is more to him than just a player, of course. But he hides his pain from the outside world, and he is very good at it. (Deceiving people from your real emotions is easy to do, after all.)
One day, Samantha runts into Ally, Christopher’s younger sister, and her husband, Jared, and this chance encounter sets a ball in motion that leads to Samantha and Christopher meeting again. Will they both have the courage to face up to their pasts? Or will they run away from the heartache that is bound to be reopened? Will they find it in their hearts to trust again?
You will have to read the book in order to get the answers to these questions, of course? 😉
One of the things that mesmerised me in CTMR is the fact that the story is told from dual POVs, AND the chapters change from past and present as well. Miss Jackson never made me feel lost or confused, and I want to applaud her for her clever writing. More importantly, though, it gave me the sense that I was there, inside the book, acting as a spectator, as if I was standing on the sidelines in every scene, to Samantha and Christopher’s romance, and that shows true talent: when an author manages to make me experience the story unfolding, thereby making me forget the real world for hours on end.
There were times I wanted to slap Christopher for his cruel words to Samantha – in turn, I wanted to shake some sense into her as well every now and then. But I also believe that their personalities fit the overall conflict very well, and I would not change them in any way. Also, Miss Jackson’s poetic and passionate storytelling skills made me forgive her characters and their sometimes unnecessary indecisiveness about certain matters.
I do really love this book. It is filled with angst, as per usual in this author’s stories, and there is plenty of pain and heartache – yet also hope and laughter. Not forgetting romance, of course, and steaminess.
Miss Jackson, thank you for giving us Samantha and Christopher tumultuous love story. I have been waiting for it for a long time, and my romantic heart applauds you for having written, yet again, a book where the characters are flawed and real and where you, on every page, feel all the emotions – the good and the bad – I am sure you want us, your readers, to experience. ❤
Enjoy the excerpt!
By the waist, he lifted me, pinning me to the wall with the hard planes of his body. I could do nothing but wrap my legs around his hips. He rocked against me, the friction of his jeans igniting that fire, the threat of Ben fueling those flames. He buried his face in my neck as if he didn’t want to see, his bite aggressive as he turned to nip at my jaw, at my chin, moving to my lips. “Told you I wouldn’t let you go. Not ever again.”
His frenzied voice ached with regret.
“Never,” I told him, grinding myself on his erection that was pressed tight between my thighs. I felt desperate to erase the distance Ben had tried to wedge between us.
Christopher seemed even more fractured over it, unable to fathom the idea of what Ben had tried to force on me.
“I just got you back and he’s trying to take you away.”
“I’m here…I’m here.”
“Here,” he said as if a demand, tearing at my clothes, overwrought as he rushed to palm every inch of exposed skin. My shoulders were pressed to the wall, my chest heaving with harsh breaths. He pushed up my shirt and dragged off the cups of my bra. My breasts felt heavy and full as he looked on them with a stuttered groan. He splayed his hands across my back, dragging me forward, and his mouth was there, drawing my nipple into his hot mouth, sucking hard before he turned to the other.
I bucked, my hands fists in his hair.
He wrapped an arm low around my waist, his body leaving mine for a fraction of a second, and without setting me down, he dragged my shorts and panties from my legs. Fumbling, he pushed his jeans and underwear down around his thighs.
Without warning, he thrust into me.
I cried out from the perfect invasion.
Christopher took me completely.
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, If Forever Comes, Come to Me Quietly, and Come to Me Softly.
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.
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