Review Blitz: Stand: A.L. Jackson

Stand (Bleeding Stars #6)
A.L. Jackson
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Release Date May 22, 2017

From NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson comes the next seductive, unforgettable Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel…

Zachary Kennedy has never been known as a fighter, but he’ll never regret fighting for her…

I’m Zee Kennedy.
Quiet. Reserved. Predictable.
When my brother died, everyone thought I was just the good guy who stepped up to take his place in the band.

No one knew what I was hiding. The one thing I’ve been fighting for.

For six years, I’ve never lost focus.

Not until one chance encounter with Alexis Kensington.

Now she’s become my greatest temptation.
I knew better than to touch her, but now that I’ve had a taste, I can’t get enough.
Her kiss becomes my air. Her body my salvation.

She needed a savior and somehow she became mine.

Taking her was a betrayal. But keeping her means risking everything.
One look at Alexis Kensington, and I know she’s worth the fight.
Will my past continue to keep me down or will I finally find the strength to pull myself up and Stand…

One decision can change everything. It did for Zachary "Zee" Kennedy. He lost his brother. He lost his dreams. He buried a secret and his life was never the same. Seven years later, he is the drummer for his brother's former band, Sunder, and they are a huge success. He is loyal and protective of those he cares about. But his personal happiness is gauged by their happiness. He has been living his lives for others, but not himself. He has been the responsible one that keeps everyone together and stays out of trouble. But once again his life will take a turn when dealing with a situation from his past, he comes to the rescue of a beautiful woman. 

Alexis Kensington is determined to save her twin sister from drugs and the streets, but she fights her at every turn. And she puts Alexis in danger. Thankfully Zee was there that night. And they developed some kind of bond that they can't seem to forget or deny. Zee's protective instincts grow again to include his need to protect this brave, impulsive girl. But his life is already in danger of blowing up as his carefully organized pieces are not staying in place. Worrying about Alexis just adds more stress, confusion, and feelings. But he can't seem to stop worrying, caring, or stay away.

There is an awareness, chemistry, and soul deep understanding between them that keeps pulling them closer. She's open, honest, transparent. He's mysterious, closed off, and anxious. She looks toward a better future. He is ruled by past mistakes and loyalty. She chooses to embrace life and hope. His hope and faith disintegrated years ago and he no longer believes in the power of wishes.  She is light to his darkness, hope to his destruction, life to his fear. She is reckless, selfless, and bold. He is broken, hopeless, self sacrificing, and fearful. She sees the good in people, while he is focused on the bad. Together they are lost and found.  They are unyielding, volatile, and intense.

He is also unable to continue to fight his needs and resist moments, scattered sunshine, and the bit of life he feels around her. But he knows anything good for him is temporary and he truly believes he does not deserve more. He holds back and is clear that there is no future. But he cannot deny that she is bringing back music and breathing life to his very core.  Alexis is tenacious, determined, and has her own stubborn mind. She is a selfless giver, and just wants a chance to ease the broken boy's soul and find real happiness together. But in giving her all, she has no self preservation.

Their lives are messy and complicated. His secrets and past are unraveling. Her sister keeps drawing her in to a dark and dangerous world and therefore Zee along with her. Zee is determined to protect those he cares about, but the stress of the secrets and threats is testing Zee's strength in all areas. He is a man conflicted and torn. He lives with regret, guilt, and remorse. He is fearful of taking a risk and making another terrible mistake. But it will come to a point where he has to take a stand one way or another...for himself, and the ones he cares about.

Zee literally broke me. He had such a big, caring heart, but he had beat himself up so much that he really did not believe in his own self worth. He could not see how much his longtime sacrifice and loyalty had already compensated for his past mistakes.

Like the other books in this series, the mysteries and secrets are gradually revealed throughout the story in dual points of view and in flash backs. So you feel all of the tension and feelings, but are left wondering what had really happened in the past and trying to figure out how it all fits together. The story is intricately layered and woven together with twists and surprises. This was intriguing, emotional, passionate, and so intense, but also had the humor and sense of family coming from this close knit group.

I am bittersweet about this being the last book in this incredible series. A.L. Jackson has created these complicated, dynamic characters that have come alive. They have been broken and been rebuilt. They have survived and persevered. They have bonded together. This brings the whole series home. All of the couples are back and we see where they are in their lives. We have watched this group go through so many horrible tragedies, events, and challenges. But they are finally reaping the benefits of not only hard work and musical success, but also of personal happiness, love, and family. This book encompasses all of Sunder...bleeding stars, scarred souls, shattered dreams, needy hearts, answered wishes, unconditional love and loyalty. It pulls you in, holds you captive, and dares you to hope and believe. One decision can change everything. It can be a catalyst for destruction or for redemption. It just depends on how you stand.

No Fear. Just Life.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Zachary “Zee” Kennedy lives in the background. Since stepping in as Sunder’s drummer after his brother’s death, Zee has watched over and taken care of his bandmates. He always remained on the outskirts of the group, never letting the guys in, keeping his own secrets. But the grief and guilt he feels keeps him grounded and focused on what’s important: keeping his brother’s legacy going.

Alexis Kensington just wants to help her sister, but her sister keeps falling deeper and deeper into dangerous situations. Alexis runs each time her sister calls, and one night things take a physically dangerous turn for Alexis, as her sister leaves her alone knowing the danger. Luckily, Zee is in the right place at the right time to save Alexis.

From that moment, a bond forms between them. Zee has a protective instinct to keep Alexis safe from the unknown threat and from her sister’s troubles. His need to keep her same has him taking chances he hasn’t taken since his brother died, making changes that his friends notice.

This story ripped me to pieces. In some ways I was expecting certain events and situations, but others completely tore me apart. Zee is such a tortured soul. His wounds are deep and emotionally cutting. Alexis just wanted to keep her twin safe, and the pain she felt when confronted with her sister’s problems was palpable.

Though Zee and Alexis were a bit opposite, their differences made them a good balance for each other. Zee’s aloof tendencies were tempered by Alexis’s warmth. Alexis’s impulsive actions towards her sister were offset by Zee’s need to keep Alexis protected. Each action had an opposite that made them a great match.

Zee’s secrets were a surprise to the band and Alexis, though by the time the band learns of them, readers have a pretty good grasp on what has been going on. But the twists that continue throughout this story make Zee and Stand one of my favorites from this series.

I’m a little sad that this is the last Bleeding Stars book, but at the same time, this is the perfect story to end with. I imagine the series was constructed this way on purpose, but the series title finally makes sense to me in a way I hadn’t expected. I loved watching each of these broken men patch themselves up and shift their priorities towards something other than fame, even as they found ways to keep the fame of the band in perspective.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

A Stone in the Sea (Bleeding Stars #1) 
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Our 5 star reviews

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?

Drowning to Breathe (Bleeding Stars #2)
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Kim and Rachel's 5 star reviews and Tammy's 6 star review

The danger in pretending is it becoming real...

Sebastian Stone, Sunder front man and guitarist with a rap sheet about ten miles long, escaped to Savannah, Georgia, to get away from the trouble he’d caused.

Not find more of it.

The moment he saw Shea Bentley, he saw beneath all her sweet and innocence to something that went deeper.


Their relationship was built on secrets; their love built on lies.

Sebastian never imagined how deep her secrets went.

When the past and present collide, Sebastian and Shea find themselves fighting for a future neither believed they deserved. Their passion is consuming and their need unending.

Now, holding the truth in his hands, Sebastian is faced with sacrificing everything he’s come to love to protect Shea and his family.

Two pasts intertwined.

Two lives bound.

Will their demons drown them or will Shea and Sebastian finally learn to breathe?

Where Lightning Strikes (Bleeding Stars #3)
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Do you know what it feels like right before lightning strikes?

How you can feel the current running through your veins? The trembles of warning that ripple through the air? It was a thrill Tamar King chased all her life until it became the very thing she had to escape.

For the last four years, Tamar King has hidden herself in an isolated world she created. She was safe. No one could touch her. Until Lyrik West walked through her door.

He’s the lead guitarist for Sunder and everything she can never have. The dark and beautiful rock star becomes everything she craves. 

Lyrik’s life has been devoted to his band and that success has cost him. Bitter, hard, and filled with regret, he refuses to lose himself again, but from the moment he sees her, he wants one night with Tamar King. 

The gorgeous bartender is more than he bargained for. Their attraction is consuming. Their desire overpowering. With one touch, they ignite. 

But is it worth the cost of getting burned? 

She’s a gorgeous nightmare and he’s a wicked dream… 

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She is his strength and he is her weakness. And this time he won’t let her go.

Edie Evans is gorgeous.
She’s also the definition of off-limits.
But that didn’t stop me from sneaking into her room to comfort her at night.
But guys like me? We destroy everything, so it should have been no surprise when I destroyed us, too.
The night I sent her running, I thought I’d never see her again.
Until I saw her standing like a vision in the crowd.

Austin Stone is dangerous.
He broke my heart and I refused to give him the chance to do it again.
It’s been years since I’ve seen him, and now I can’t do anything but stare at the gorgeous, tattooed man playing onstage. I should run. I know I should. But like a fool, I run straight back to him.
Our desire is overpowering.
Our need unrelenting.

She is my hope.
He is my weakness.

We should have known a passion this intense would burn us right into the ground.

From NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson comes the next sexy, gripping Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel…

I’m Ash Evans. The life of the party. Hot. Rich. Charismatic. A tattooed rock star with the world at my feet. I burn through women faster than the strike of a match. 

I’ve embraced my lifestyle and live it to the fullest. Until the day my lifestyle caught up to me. 

Willow Langston found me at my lowest. Literally. Facedown in a puddle of my own blood. 

I owe her my life and I have three months to repay that debt. What I never should have done was touch her. Kiss her. Take her to my bed. 

Love wasn’t supposed to be a part of the equation. I gave up that nasty complication a long damned time ago. Now I want her more than my next breath. But she doesn’t know what I know. 

Do I leave to protect her? Or can I face my demons and ask her to Stay?
 A.L. Jackson

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.
Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, as well as the newest BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for the next installment STAND, coming Spring 2017.
If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.

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