Release Launch/Blog Tour and Giveaway: A Stone in the Sea: A.L. Jackson

A Stone in the Sea (Bleeding Stars #1)
A.L. Jackson
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Expected February 23, 2015
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A Stone in the Sea will be 2.99 for the first 72 hours. This introductory price will go up after that time.

He wanted nothing at all…

Until he found she had everything to give…

Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has everything—fans, fame, and fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and a reputation for a short-fused temper. But an outward reputation rarely reveals the true man inside. Facing assault charges after trying to protect his younger brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie low until the dust settles in L.A.

Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very lifestyle Sebastian has always embraced.

When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the bar where she works, Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but she's helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense gray eyes tangle with hers.

They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won’t let them up for air.

Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he’s not the only one who’s hiding them.

Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea’s past that costs them everything?

With a smile, I turned around, then froze when my sight registered the obscured figure leaning against the wall. A strangled gasp caught in my throat, and my heart took off at a sprint, blood pounding hard in my ears. 

Pushing from the wall, he stepped from the shadows, his hands again stuffed deep in his pockets. 

My heart rate only increased, the energy radiating from him almost as strong as the disappointment he’d left me with when he’d gone. 

I pressed my hand to my chest to try to still the panic thundering against my ribs. “You scared me.” 

“I’m sorry.” The words were soft. “That’s the last thing I want to do.” 

But he did. I was scared of what he was capable of doing to me, the way I knew he held the power to trounce all over this hammering heart, to hold it in his hand and crush it into a million unrecognizable pieces. 

“What are you doing here?” I asked on a shaky breath.

He looked to the sky and exhaled heavily, before he leveled his gaze back on me. “The same thing I’m doing every night, Shea. Thinking about you and wondering why the hell I can’t stop.” 

My stomach flipped, and I gulped for air. 

“What do you want from me?” 

He laughed, lifted his elbows out to his sides in a helpless gesture without pulling his hands free. “Dinner?” 

Nonsensical laughter shot from me. “At three in the morning?” 

“Breakfast?” he amended, a coy smile pulling at his full, crooked lips. 

Tingles spread across my skin, and I ran my hands up my bare arms. “I already told you I don’t have time for distractions.” 

“Come on, Shea. It’s just food. Go out with me. Just tonight.”

Somehow I knew it was a lie, even though he wanted to believe it was true. 

Nervously, I glanced to the back door all the while being inexplicably drawn to this man I didn’t even know. I knew I should make a break for it, run for the safety of my little world and give him no opportunity to rip it apart. 

“I am hungry,” I found myself saying. After a long night of work, it was true. But it had nothing to do with the reason I was giving in. 

Because I just wanted to…

I shook my head.

That was it. I just wanted. I wanted to be in his space. I wanted to understand why he had this pull on me. I wanted him.

Even though I’d never allow myself to have him.

Ok. Where to start? I am still in a book hangover a day later. Going to write a spoiler free review (which is easier said than done for a book filled with twists). So bear with me...

From their initial short meeting at Charlie's Bar in Savannah, there is a magnetic pull and connection between rock star Sebastian Stone and waitress Shea Bentley. I swear I could feel the tension, the intensity, and the fear radiating off both of them. And it only built the more they came in contact with each other. It was like I could feel their bodies and even their hearts pulling towards each other, while their minds put up walls.

Sebastian...a damaged man with so many layers. Although he strives to stay in control, he often loses it with significant ramifications. He's dynamic, dark, angry, guilt ridden, and closed off. His past has left scars and a void he can't seem to fill. Everyone seems to want a piece of him for their own personal gain or agendas. And his life has recently spiraled away from him and he was dealing with the fall out. And as he takes some down time in Savannah, his life is about to change again.

Control. Learned a long time ago that it's the only way to survive in this messed-up world. And in five seconds flat, that girl had managed to make me feel like I was losing it. 

Shea...sweet, sassy, and a "good girl" type. She has things in her life that make her happy, but is also missing something she craves. Her life took a path she did not expect, but she is content in her choices and the life she is living, even if she is a bit lonely.

They both have secrets and demons. They both have made mistakes, and they are both scared to death of their strong reaction to each other, Everything about this story is just so intense. I was completely mesmerized and anxious about what was to come for them.

Maybe that's why I was here, because I could feel her own turmoil, something deep and dark, just like me, something hard and tainted that was searching for freedom. I felt my control slip a little further. I knew it then. What I wanted. To lose control. 

At times there are poignant, beautiful moments of true connection, chemistry, and confusing yet deep feelings. And other times there is frustration, anger, sadness, and pain, Sebastian has been through so much and is still facing so much. Shea is that elusive light to his perceived darkness that he craves. It is hard to resist despite all of the differences in their lives and reasons to stay away.

She asked me what I wanted from her, The problem as I had no clue. All I knew was it was more. That I wanted more of her dark and her light and her heavy and her soft. 

I was falling farther, being sucked beneath the surface. A stone is his sea. Completely drowning in this man.

I felt everything they did through both of their points of view. My heart broke as past pain was revealed, fears were realized, and difficult situations got in the way. I felt hope, joy, and healing during the better times. And I was blown away with some surprises and twists that left me reeling and wanting more.

They way A.L. Jackson paints pictures with her words is truly beautiful and breathtaking. Every word seems to be used precisely to create such lifelike descriptions of the setting and characters. She brings you right into the story like you have a front row seat and can see and feel every detail and nuance. The characters are so real and have such depth that they come to life and breathe. They have flaws, fears, and insecurities. They hurt, they worry, they feel, they love, and want to protect. But with their imperfections come complications They not only have to deal with their own internal issues getting in the way, but also external ones. And they have plenty of conflicts and situations to deal with.

I loved the side characters. His band members: Zee, Ash, and Lyrik, and his brother Austin. And her support system April, Charlie, Tamar, and Kallie. They all added a network of support, humor,  and love to these two people who really needed it. But they also sometimes brought out protective instincts from the main characters or added to their problems.

This book started with a lot of questions. I will admit that the first few chapters I was trying to figure out what was going on. But then answers were gradually interwoven and  built into the story. Both Shea and Sebastian have secrets and problems, some of them more obvious than others. And even if they decide they can wade through their fears and be brave enough to latch on to each other, the world around them is unpredictable and constantly threatening to take them under.

This is a powerful, turbulent, emotional story with so many layers, secrets, and mysteries swirling below the surface. One thing about being so completely immersed within the story is that it does not end with the words "The End." I can't stop thinking about these characters, their story, and what might be coming next for them. I cannot wait for the next installment Drowning to Breathe to continue with this couple. And I have already put in my request for the band and Austin to get stories as well. I am totally hooked into this new series and I will faithfully read each new installment.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Sebastian “Baz” Stone, lead singer for Sunder, is in Savannah hiding. From the press, from his fans, from his actions.

Shea is a waitress at her uncle’s bar. She has no idea who the dark man in her section is, but as they talk over his drinks, she feels an attraction she hasn’t ever felt before.

As Shea and Baz take a chance on each other, they each hold a part of themselves back. Habit has led each to be protective of their privacy, but for different reasons.

I loved both Baz and Shea. Both are protective of their personal lives, though for vastly different reasons. Shea makes no apologies for her priorities, and until Baz becomes part of her life has no intentions about changing the way she lives. Baz, though hiding, feels like he can be himself without the shadow of his fame hanging over his head and enjoys the normalness that he feels when he’s with Shea.

A Stone in the Sea felt like a slow boil. I was enjoying the story, the tension, and the small moments along the way. But while I was enjoying it, it wasn’t feeling as emotional as I usually expect from an AL Jackson book. But somewhere along the way that changed. I discovered I couldn’t put the book down. I didn’t *mean* to stay up until almost 2 in the morning. I didn’t mean to finish it as quickly as I did. But one more chapter turned into I-have-to-finish-this somewhere around midnight. And I wish I had Baz and Shea’s next book NOW!

I was blown away by the way this story finished. While the first part of this book set up a lot of unanswered questions, it also solidified Baz’s intentions and desires. I cannot wait to find out how the ending events lead into the next book, how Baz reacts to the new revelations, and how they both recover from the chaos that dropped in the final chapters.
Once again, A.L. Jackson has written characters that make you forget they are fictional, situations that pull you fully into the events, and twists that leave you reeling.

I was gifted a copy 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 Come to Me Quietly, Come to Me Softly, Pulled, When We Collide, and If Forever Comes.

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.

To stay up to date with important news on A.L. Jackson, including new releases, sales, and exclusive specials and excerpts, text “jackson” to 96000 to subscribe! 

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