Series: Closer To You, #1
Author: AL Jackson
Published: January 7, 2013 NAL Trade
Format: EGalley, Penguin, Berkley, NAL - Thank you!
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.
Come To Me Quietly by AL Jackson blew me the hell away. I read this book in one day, I couldn’t – no, I wouldn’t put it down. This story was high impact, and every minute of it had me sitting with rapt attention.
Aly is a 20 year old young woman who lives with her older brother. It’s the summer before college starts back up, and life is pretty alright. It’s not spectacular, but it’s not horrible. Something is definitely missing though. She has friends, and she dates – but none of the guys really seem to set her on fire. I liked Aly. She was artistic and friendly. She was intelligent and sweet. Aly seemed like someone I would want to be friends with, and I felt like the younger-me would have been able to relate to her.
Jared – oh my god. Jared. He is magnificent in all facets of him and his personality. Suddenly Jared is back in town, and Christopher (Aly’s brother) has insisted he stay with them. Jared is seriously having some issues. His perfect life suddenly ended as a teenager, and ever since then he's simply existed, and a lot of the time it was torture. He’s been in trouble with the law, he’s had trouble with drugs, and he’s been avoiding his hometown like the plague. I found Jared to be extremely intense. His emotions were raw and without trying, he wore his heart on his sleeve. I mean, it doesn’t hurt that he is sexy and tattooed, and rides a bike. But the tortured soul on top of it all really tops it off.
I offered him an easy smile, one that promised I still would take whatever it was that he would give. And I would. I could be his friend. I could shove all these feelings aside, lock them in that place that had always been reserved for him. Could pretend that I didn’t crave his touch on my face, pretend he hadn’t spoken things that I knew he’d only ever spoken to me, pretend this bond we shared was just an invention of my imagination. I’d been successful at hiding my feelings for so many years. What had changed?
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes at myself.
Jared and Aly had a special bond from the time they were children. He always looked out for her, and she tagged along with him and Christopher constantly. Having had an older brother who didn’t want me tagging along with his friends, I could identify with Aly in this regard. As an adult I found Christopher to be a good older brother, but also a typical young man. He was about partying and getting laid, and having fun. But Jared and Aly as adults were just… beautiful. When I think of my favorite couples in books, Jared and Aly are now completely in the top of the list.
I just wasn’t prepared for the intense emotion of this book. It burned me on every page. The pain, the need, the desire, it was a lot to take in. Jared is one of those beaten souls who just doesn’t believe he deserves anything good, especially love - and even more so, the love of Aly. To put it lightly, his and Aly’s love story isn’t one of those easy stories where they meet and fall head over heels. It’s a struggle to come to terms with the past, the present, and the future. Come To Me Quietly was consuming. Joy, lust, fear, pain, sorrow, grief, hope, tears – it seriously had it all. AL Jackson created this symphony of emotion, and it was all too easy to get lost in it. When Jared and Aly give in to their emotions and admit their feelings for each other, it is more than just two young adults getting it on, it’s a lifetime of love built into a moment, a flame that they keep fanning. And like a fire is apt to do, it burns them. When their hearts break, they shatter, and mine shattered right with them.
As I’ve said, it’s emotional, consuming, and intense. I’ve also said Jared was tortured – and he’s punished himself in the worst of ways. I don’t know what I can say to you without giving away all of the secrets of this book. If you like books like Beautiful Disaster and Devoured, you will definitely love this book. There are moments that are so touching, and others that will rip your heart out. It’s got mixed POV’s with flashbacks to their childhood that really helps to complete the picture. The storyline moves fast, and the book was, unfortunately, over before I knew it. This is my first book by this author, and I’m super excited to read more from her. Especially Come To Me Softly, which comes out this summer! I think this might be the longest six months of my life, waiting for the sequel!