Release Blitz and Giveaway: Come to Me Softly: A.L. Jackson

Come To Me Softly
(The Closer to You Series, Book 2)
A.L. Jackson
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Expected june 24, 2014

From the New York Times bestselling author of Come to Me Quietly comes
a scorching new adult romance in the Closer to You series.
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 what it costs…even if he destroys himself in the process.    
View the Trailer by Becca The Bibliophile

This begins right after the emotional ending of Come to Me Quietly. I admit that I went back and refreshed by reading the last few chapters of the first book, but it really was not necessary as she gently reminded us of the events that transpired in the first book.

After taking off for three months and sliding back into his personal pain and darkness, Jared has returned to Aly to get her back and make amends.

Days without Aly were darkness and I was done surrendering to it. The seedy s**t I always found myself in. The self-destruction. That f***ed-up kind of life was over because I had finally come to accept Ally was my life. 

But despite his new found determination and realization that he loves and needs Aly, he is still that broken boy underneath who does not feel worthy. And their lives are taking on even more challenges. He has to face her family as well as his own fears and self doubt. His demons still haunt him no matter how much he tries to cover them up with the good things in his life. My heart broke with every struggle and bit of his self doubt, but also sighed with contentment with each little piece of happiness he found. I loved his fierce protectiveness of Aly, his strong desire to make her happy, and his determination to be a better man for her and to try to build them a future. 

All of me belonged to her because before her, I'd been nothing. Nonexistent. Worthless. Now I meant something to someone. Someone was relying on me, and that reality f***ing terrified me. 

He is such a tortured hero with his armor of pain tattoed on his body, demons in his soul, and very little self forgiveness. He feels so unworthy, but knows he cannot live without Aly. But then feels guilty for needing her so much. He just wants to move forward, but is still consumed by guilt and pain that he tries to keep buried. He just wants to focus on Aly and their future, but his pain, anger, and loss from the past is still buried deep and eats away at him. He can't avoid the past forever or truly be free until he faces the past and lets it go. But he is not sure he will ever be ready. It is difficult, challenging, painful, and gut wrenching. I could feel it every time a piece of his heart broke as he thought of what he did and it kept sneaking up on him to affect his present happiness. 

I thought maybe...maybe I could change. That I could shove it all down. Hide from it. But it always just came looking for me. Didn't matter what I did, I ended up on destruction's path. I always ruined the good. 

But Aly is strong and a fighter and she knows him better than he knows himself. She has committed herself to this damaged man and is willing to push him past his comfort zones. But sometimes it backfires on her as he cannot face all that he has been through. I liked that she understood him and did not expect perfection, but she just wanted him to be whole and as happy as he could be. She was the perfect match for him: tough, intuitive, loving, nurturing, accepting, and devoted.

Even as damaged as I knew he was, this gorgeous man was my perfection.

Their second chance (or maybe even third chance by now) love story is poignant, intense, deep, and beautiful. In their little bubble they are happy and content, but when the outside influences or the past infiltrates it then they struggle. Their lives are unpredictable and full of challenges that they do their best to navigate, but sometimes find themselves spiraling into unchartered territory.

One day the burdened weight Jared carried on his shoulders would cause it to snap and both of us would fall. I just didn't know where we would land. Secure and whole and in each other's arms. Or shattered. I knew in my heart the impact would crush us both and neither of us would survive. 

This is Jared's continuing journey towards hope, love, forgiveness, self worth, and redemption...the repairing of a broken boy piece by piece. It is definitely not easy and is full of set backs. It is heart breaking and heart warming at the same time. It kept me enthralled and in anticipation the entire book. I could feel the tension building and knew that my heart was going to be shattered.  But I also knew that somehow, someway, this couple just had to find a way to make it work since it was obvious that they were soul mates despite all of the tragedy they had been through. 

When beauty breathes life into the broken.

These characters are so full of depth and emotion that they feel real. Their lives are so interwoven in history, love, loss, and pain that they have a connection that cannot be broken. It was told in both Jared and Aly's points of view allowing us a window into their fears, insecurities, worries, and pain. Even though this book was emotional, it also had moments of happiness and comfort. It hit up all of my emotions and made me feel. It made me smile and laugh, sometimes frustrated me, then made me cry and feel pain, and also swoon. It had me invested from the first page and did not let me go til the very end. And even then I was not ready to let these characters go and  I am highly anticipating the next book about her brother and his best friend, Christopher titled Come to Me Recklessly. I loved his close relationship with both Aly and Jared. He is also a character that puts on a facade and holds himself back from true connections. I want to know why and am looking forward to his story. This series has become one of my favorites of the year. It should not surprise me because A. L. Jackson is always an amazing, heart felt storyteller, but these characters have just burrowed into my heart and have proven it to me once again.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. Quotes are from Advanced copy and subject to change. 

A.L. Jackson has done it again. Come to Me Softly is so much more than the continuation of Jared and Aleena’s story. It is a journey of healing and letting go of the past in the only way that’s truly possible: by remembering, forgiving, and healing. 

For the past seven years, Jared has been running. Even as Come to Me Quietly wrapped up, he was no in a place where he felt comfortable in his own skin. Aly was his balm, but it was like slapping a band-aid on a gash that really should have stitches. He was a powder keg, ready to blow. 

This was as much Jared’s story as it was the both of theirs. It hurt reading about the triggers of his pain. While we knew bits and pieces of what happened, it wasn’t until this book that it all comes out. But all that pain was so worth the end of this book. Though I was reduced to tears on several occasions, the smile on my face at the end was worth it. 

Aly has such faith in Jared. Even when he's made choices that hurt her, she sees beyond his reactions, past her own hurt, to find the man she knows he is. Her confidence in him is something that he relies on often throughout this book to help him on his journey. 

I love Jared’s habit of wrapping a lock of Aly’s hair around his finger when he’s stressed. What it means when he does it, the effect is has on him, and her reaction to it made me sigh every time it happened. And even though in those moments I knew the struggles weren’t over, I wished that she could always be close enough for him to hold when he felt overwhelmed. 

Again, Christopher has some great insightful moments dealing with Jared. His ability to read Jared and know what needed to be said or done, even when Jared didn’t want to face it, was remarkable. I cannot wait for more of Christopher’s story, because there is so much more under the surface of this great friend and brother and I can’t wait to see inside his head.

When I finished reading CTMS I had so many notes written and quotes highlighted that even weeks later, it is obvious how much this book spoke me to. It was by turns sweet, painful, sexy, and comforting. 
Come to ME Quietly
Come to Me Quietly (Book 1)
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Our 5 to 5.5 star reviews
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 Facebook † Goodreads † Website
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.  

Be sure to join us for the Come to Me Softly Read Along Party! We’re kicking off the celebration on June 24th with a ton of prizes, then the read along begins. Daily prizes all the way up to grand prize on July 2nd!

Come to Me Softly Read Along Party

Come to Me Softly Release Celebration Giveaway!
Grand Prize: Coach Bag, Kindle Paperwhite, and A.L. Jackson Swag
Second Prize: Come to Me Quietly Custom Charm Necklace
Third Prize: A.L. Jackson Swag Pack

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to review and feature Come to Me Softly on the blog <3


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