Blog Tour and Giveaway: Come to Me Quietly: A.L Jackson

Come To Me Quietly

A.L. Jackson
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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 Book Trailer

Come to Me Softly (book 2): Goodreads/Amazon Pre-order

Expected July 1, 2014

Come to Me Quietly

Aly took my hand again. “Come on, let’s find a good spot to watch the fireworks.” 

With her voice, I shoved off the images, turned and gently smiled at her, ignoring the guy whose gaze burned into the back of my head with outright hate. 

Instead I focused on her words that sounded so damned cute, like they used to when we’d run ahead of ourselves to find the best spot at the park. We used to get so close that we’d feel the fireworks rumble through our bodies, and we had to dodge the little pieces of paper ashes that flitted down from the sky. 

She led me to a lounger that sat out in the open on the grass. She pushed at my side and grinned. “Take a seat.” 

Quirking a brow, I smirked at her, but did as I was told. I sat sideways on it with my feet on the ground. Aly settled to the grass, and instinctively my knees parted to make room for her. Nestling between my legs, she shifted a bit to rest her head on the inside of my thigh. Then she released a breathy sigh as if this was the only place she wanted to be, murmuring, “I’m so glad you’re here, Jared.” 

Desire coursed over every inch of my skin and pooled in my stomach. There was nothing I could do to stop it, the way I hardened at her slightest touch, at the soft sound that fell from her mouth, at the smell of her hair that had become permanently ingrained in my mind. 

Night fell further, collected across the sky, and the darkness deepened the silence of the cocoon Aly and I found ourselves in. The heat had ebbed the slightest bit, the warmth of the day beginning to dissipate into the inky dome overhead. 

Most in the yard had quieted and taken their spots to watch the sky, anticipating the show that was about to begin. Everyone else bled into obscurity, and in that instant, it was just the two of us. 

Aly jumped with the first boom. It rumbled along the surface of the ground, vibrating below us, and a long whistle cracked before color exploded in the sky just in the distance. 

Quietly she gasped, the way she’d done what seemed like a million times before. A perfect memory of her as a child suddenly overtook my mind. The tips of her delicate fingers fluttered up to her mouth as she watched in awe. 

I was powerless to do anything but thread my fingers through her hair, to anchor myself to her, even if it was only for this moment. Even though I’d been the one to cut myself from her, right then it felt impossible to let go. 

Reds and blues and whites streamed from the sky, lit up the darkness above, increased in intensity, then fell before the next wave erupted in an electrifying thrill.

Blood thundered through my veins. It’d been so long since I’d felt this close to someone. Part of me fought it, knew I should push her away. The dominate part of me just wanted to stay, even if it was for a little while. I’d been alone for so long. Was it wrong to take away these memories, something to hold onto when I seeped back into nothingness? 

Shifting her weight, Aly sank deeper into me. Her body burned into mine, her head pressed into my thigh. She tilted her head back and looked up at me with wistful eyes, watched me with kindness, with a yearning for the way things had been in the past, with ideas of what could never be.

I stared down at her. 

And I knew it was wrong, that I was only making things worse, prolonging the inevitable, but right then I just didn’t care. 

A pensive smile kissed her mouth, before she turned back to the show above. She snuggled closer, her shoulder dipping down under my leg so her neck was nestled against my thigh. Her hand skimmed over my knee and down my leg before she firmly wrapped her arm around my calf. Her hand tightened there, and my fingers found their way to the nape of her neck, twisting in the fine hairs and tickling her skin. A small whimper escaped her mouth as I massaged my fingers over the base of her scalp, ran them up to the back of her ears and down again. 

As if this wasn't agonizing, having what I wanted most in my hands and knowing she was completely out of reach. 


But right then she was mine. So I gave in, took a little more, leaned forward and buried my nose in the fucking delicious coconut in her hair. Breathed in the life and the goodness and everything that was Aly. 

I wanted to remember. 

Her fingers curled into my leg, begging just as desperately as my body begged for hers, and I felt strung up, strung out. I ached and needed and felt as if I was going to lose my mind. 

Fireworks filled the sky, this constant barrage that illuminated the night. I felt them more than saw them as they knit with the shocking intensity radiating from Aly, a feeling that sped through my veins faster than any high I’d ever experienced. Overhead the finale came to life, pounded through my system, set my skin on fire. 

I tightened my hold on her, my nose behind her ear, wanted to take it all. 

“Aly,” whispered from my mouth.

Uncontrolled chaos. That's exactly how they described me...What am I doing? There is nothing here for me. I know it. I’ve already destroyed it all. I destroy everything I touch. Still, I can do nothing but press on. 

Jared Holt has returned to his home town after six painful years away. He is haunted by his actions in the past that ruined his family and life. He is lost, alone, and not even sure what drew him back to the place where his world was shattered.

A chance meeting with his childhood best friend, Christopher gives him a place to stay. And Christopher's younger sister Aly gives him reason to want to stay. They grew up together and were best friends until his world came crashing down. And she is the girl whose heart he inadvertently broke when she was fourteen and it has affected her ever since. So now these much older friends who have been separated for years are all living under one roof. 

Jared's demons consume him. He feels unworthy, undeserving, unwavering guilt, and profound loss. His pain is marked on his body and his actions as he tries to keep people out. He thinks he destroys everything important to him. His self loathing and inner rage is palpable. He wants to be strong and not to care, but underneath it all lies a vulnerable, damaged man who feels like he has no home and does not deserve one.

Aly really sees below his armor and makes him feel something. She frightens him and threatens his resistance like no one else has. Aly knows he is broken. But she wants to reach him and find the remnants of the boy who was always there for her. She has a need to save him because she has always had a place for him in her heart and never really got over the loss of him in her life.

But underneath his anger, I recognized the boy I'd known so long ago. I was pretty sure it was Jared who didn't know himself. 

Their childhood friendship, his protectiveness, and her crush morphs into an intense connection as they are adults. Their chemistry is undeniable(and boy did he try to deny it). And she is only one that makes him feel any sliver of goodness or hope. But he does not want to upset her brother and he lives in fear of ruining her like he ruins everyone. He feels like he should never deserve any happiness.

If I believed in soul mates or any of that shit, I knew she was mine. I could feel it, this connection with her I couldn't possibly share with anyone else. Like we fit, this f***ed-up puzzle that made no sense until we aligned the pieces. But it wasn't possible. I didn't get the happy ending, and even if I could, I'd only ruin it. 

But the quiet times they share alone in her room, unguarded make it impossible for them not to get closer and truly share and feel. He realizes it is selfish, but he cannot resist the much needed comfort that he has been missing. But as emotions heat up, so does Jared's anxiety, protectiveness, and need to run. 

Will she be enough to make him forgive himself and stay? And if their secret is exposed, will it tear them and their world apart?

This is a painful journey of friendship, love, loss, guilt, and pain. There were secrets and unraveling plot twists that were slowly revealed. My heart broke for Jared, the sweet boy that had been shaped into a desperately unhappy, lost, and  lonely man. And Aly had such a good heart and strong feelings that she was determined not to give up on him. But the problem was that he frequently gave up on himself. This story was heartbreaking, painfully beautiful, dramatic, and poignant.  Their connection and journey was challenging, emotional, and heartfelt.  I was tense, nervous, and raw while reading their struggles and Jared's inability to allow himself happiness. I felt like I really got into the psyche and emotions of these two characters from their points of views and childhood flashbacks. They burrowed into my heart, moved me, and had me totally invested in them. 

A.L. Jackson never fails to impress me with her impeccable writing skills. She writes these complex characters that have  flaws and serious demons,  but she makes you like them them and long for them to find peace, healing, and love. She pulls at your emotions and makes you feel every bit of it. She breaks your heart and then mends it and then sometimes breaks it all over again. But each of her books involves such a journey of self discovery, forgiveness, and redemption. These journeys are not always easy or resolved quickly, but they are real, powerful, emotional, and moving. This book was no exception. I was a little nervous with this being a series and new characters since I am so strongly attached to her previous series. But these characters were so well written and the story line so well crafted that I felt like I was immediately immersed into their world. She provides so much rich detail and depth but it is never boring. I felt every emotion and literally could not put it down. I cannot wait for the completion of their story in Come to Me Softly. But don't be afraid to read this one now. It has a fairly resolved ending. It is just that these characters still have more to face and more healing and living to do. I would also like to see more with her brother Christopher. He seems to have his own set of issues. 

Thank you, AL Jackson, PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW, and NetGalley, for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.

I've had two weeks to process and write this review and I’m still sitting here tossing words and thoughts around inside my head. It seems no matter how hard I try, I can’t find just the right ones; you know those perfectly chosen words that’ll persuade you to read this emotionally charged yet challenging and touching story of Jared and Aly. In the end, I've come to the conclusion that no matter the words I choose they’ll never be perfect or come close to doing this book justice. Its. Just. That. Damn. Good.

Are you a fan of fractured, guilt-ridden souls? Dark, questionable pasts? Second chance romances involving childhood friends? Looking for something real? Something not so neat and tidy? Come to Me Quietly offers this and so much more. It’s a story engulfed with layers and layers of secrets that scream at you to unravel and reveal them. It’s a quiet story of two souls that have etched their way into mine with their raw and heart stopping embracement towards salvation. It's a breathtaking and aching love story that every reader should experience for themselves.

There are just some boys who are so broken they can never be tamed, and in the end, they just end up breaking you.

This boy was painted in pain.

Jared and Aly are piercing and intense; there is nothing light or fluffy about the characters you’re about to encounter. If you’re the type of reader that’s looking for happy-go-lucky, you definitely won’t find that in any A.L. Jackson book. It might be time to step back and find another book, however, if you’re looking for engaging and commanding characters that will snatch your breath away between their depth and intoxicating chemistry then you've come to the right author. With Ms. Jackson’s books, you’ll find characters that are beyond shattered from their realism. Her characters are always so beautifully BROKEN that you’ll physically feel every bit of their emotional turmoil as well as the downward spirals they face toward seeking solace, love, and atonement. She’s perfected those painful yet heartfelt stories of life as well as the tragedies that touch and shape each and every one of us. Jared is no exception, in fact, I think she broke the mold when she wrote his story; he is by far my favorite A.L. Jackson hero. He's definitely set the bar for my 2014 book boyfriends.

Destruction. I'd never out run it. It followed me wherever I went.

Uncontrolled chaos. That's exactly how they described me.

Growing up Jared wasn’t just Aly’s best friend, he was the one she pined for, the boy she pictured herself falling in love with. That is until tragedy strikes and the Jared she knew ceased to exist. They have both grown up now and even though Aly’s past with Jared still troubles her, it's not in that broken and damaged sort of way. Whereas Jared has become a tattooed bad boy, consumed by the guilt of his past. He is seriously fucked up. A beast with mega inner demons. I don't think I could ever define this man as "simply damaged,” this is one hero who takes the meaning of damaged to a whole new level. His soul is so restless, so tortured, and so destructive that it has caused his path to self acceptance to be one of beauty and pain.

Aly: “I draw and you wish you could erase.”

Jared: “You create and I destroy.”

Aly was the polar opposite of Jared; she had that quiet kind of personality to his loud one. She faced her own demons overcoming them on a much healthier level, where Jared’s deterioration was just so in your face. His own struggles were so far from healthy that it gripped you with the sheer magnitude of his guilt and inner punishment. Aly understood this about him and with this understanding she balanced him. She was the healing balm Jared needed.

Come to Me Quietly held me immersed with so many emotionally and thought provoking moments. Moments that left me with butterflies in my stomach, a few left me frustrated as hell, and others not only broke me but mended me. And while I loved everything about this couple, the relationship between these two was a mixture of heartache, trepidation, and hope. And at times it was somewhat overwhelming amidst the heart wrenching angst and the all consuming tension. Oh my gosh, the tension... it kept me on the edge of my seat while sending my anxiety into overdrive. If you thought Christian and Liz’s story was intense, you haven't seen anything yet, Jared and Aly’s compelling and emotional explorations just about broke me. Nevertheless, I came to adore and love them so very much.

A.L. Jackson is a master when it comes to writing a soul-searing story! She’s one of those rare authors I've come across that I don’t even need the synopsis to know that I will be sucked straight into an unforgettable journey. Aly and Jared have found themselves a well deserved spot on my top faves of 2014 shelf; which is a huge feat since there is still 351 more days to go. Imagine the amount of books a person could read in that time period... so, yeah, I'm going to use all kinds of shouty caps to tell you to ONE CLICK THIS BABY NOW!

Thank you, AL Jackson, PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW, and NetGalley, for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.

Come To Me Quietly hooked me early on and just wouldn't let go. This is a story of pain, love, and twisted paths. Jared and Aleena have known each other all their lives, at least until Jared left town and didn't return for 6 years. A chance meeting at a bar gives Jared the opportunity to stay with Christopher, his childhood best friend, while he searches for his own place. Finding that Aleena, Christopher's little sister, also lives there only gives Jared a reason not to leave town so easily this time.

"Uncontrolled chaos. That's exactly how they described me. … I destroy everything I touch."

Tatted, tortured, so full of anger, fear, and hurt, Jared has been avoiding his hometown for the past 6 years, avoiding the memories and pain he blames himself for causing. He believes he doesn't deserve any happiness in his life and that he destroys everyone he loves. As a result he has cut himself off from everyone close to him and keeps everyone at arms length. There are hints when we meet him of how he hurt her, and destroyed everything about his family, but we don't learn what happened to set Jared's path until later in the story. The glimpses we get of him as a child are very different from the man he became, and only served to set those differences apart further. 

"She'd been the only one who managed to move me, a touch of joy in the unbearable dark."

Aleena, or Aly as she's known to those close to her, has been in a holding pattern of sorts. She has refrained from being in relationships because something was always missing, and though she knew what (or who) was missing, there was nothing she could do to change that. 

These two have known each other all their lives. Jared was best friends with Aly's older brother and she tagged along after them as children. Now that they're no longer children, and haven't had any contact in 6 years, they all have to redefine their relationships. As children, Jared constantly looked out for Aly, almost more than her brother did. But as an adult, Jared has a hard time figuring out where he fits because he feels like he has to protect her from himself. 

"Hearts have a way of finding their way home."

This was such an emotional story. It didn't draw tears until near the three quarters mark, but every time I had to put it down to attend to real life I left with a heavy heart. As more of Jared's past comes out, those events that led to him leaving six years previously, that darkness that gives over the story became clear and it only made me hurt more for him. There's a conversation between Aly and Jared where the truth comes out that gutted me, and then later on a conversation between Aly and her mother that left me with tears streaming yet again. Once the waterworks began for me, it seemed the wouldn't stop. 

Beautifully wrought. So well written. AL Jackson is a master of the beyond broken love story, somehow finding the thread of hope in all that darkness and winding a truly beautiful story around it. Already this is one of my favorite books this year. 

Thank you, AL Jackson, PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW, and NetGalley, for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.

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 and When We Collide.

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. 

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)

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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!!



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