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 what it costs…even if he destroys himself in the process.
**spoiler free review**
An extraordinary follow up to Come to Me Quietly, A.L. Jackson captures the essence of real characters in love, committed to each other as they struggle to deal with a past that still haunts them and threatens their future.
AL Jackson has a way of building her prose with a poetic feel to it. Her descriptions are rich, velvety, and sensual the melt your insides. Her novels are descriptive art. Her books are never a wham-bam, hers are tantric with a slow build. When you reach the pinnacle, all the pieces lock into place to create a beautiful mosaic of emotions.
Aly and Jared are perfection. You never lose your connection to these two characters. They invade your heart and never let go. They are so real, with edge and grit, yet the story allows them to occupy an area of hope and faith in what is possible through their commitment. These characters don’t disappoint, providing likeability with realistic insecurities and flaws.
This story is told in alternating points of view, but to me, it really felt like Jared’s story. He had so much internal conflict that needed to be resolved, and it is all handled and concluded perfectly. Aly has a few of her own loose ends to tie up, and Jared supports her unequivocally. All and all, Jared and Aly’s commitment to each other is….sigh.. It makes you believe the good in humanity. This story has all of those characteristics of an uplifting, hopeful love story. Not overly emotional just for the sake of beating up your heart, every feeling and emotion is organic to the characters and their personal struggles and journey.
I’m a bit of a greedy reader and would have liked to see certain scenes played out. Maybe we can beg for some deleted scenes? I can’t get enough of these two, what can I say? I was really surprised at the direction the story took. However as it unfolded, I was like, Ahhh.. Yep, this is the route that it needed to take. Jared wants to give his family everything, including the while picket fence. But what do we know about white picket fences and appearances? They aren’t always all they seem.
This book wraps up their story, however I’m curious and hopeful to see if we get brief glimpses of them in the next book that will be about Aly’s brother, Christopher. Settle in, enjoy, and get the Kleenex ready for some touching dialogue, and introspective thoughts from these characters. This is a love story that battles all and conquers all. Get ready to watch these two fight for their family.
Aleena Moore is content with her life. She has goals and dreams and an easy smile. She also has a secret she holds locked inside. Jared Holt believes he doesn’t deserve to love or be loved. He destroys everything he touches. Haunted by the mistake that shattered his life, he’s fled from the memory of that pain. Jared doesn’t know why he’s compelled to return, but finds himself drawn back to the place where it all began. The exact place where it ended. When he runs into his childhood best friend, Aleena’s older brother Christopher, he agrees to share Christopher and Aleena’s apartment while he looks for a place of his own. Aleena is no longer the little girl Jared remembers from his past and evokes feelings in him he never wanted to feel again. Terrified of destroying her, he fights to keep her away. But her touch is something he can’t resist—the touch that sealed his fate. Their pasts are intertwined and their futures uncertain. The only truths they know are the secrets they whisper in the night.
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, and Come to Me Quietly. 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 and When We Met: Behind Her Eyes coming soon.