Series: Closer To You #2
Genres: New Adult, Romance
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.
One word to describe this book:
This is Jared’s story. It’s his story of grief, guilt, and forgiveness. A.L. Jackson has written an intensely emotional story that’s left me blissfully empty from the release.
I usually prefer standalones to series, and believe the story should all fit in one book, but Come to Me Softly had to be written. The characters were introduced in Come to Me Quietly, and their backstory was laid out. In that book, Jared and Aleena suffered through a few painful situations, and overcame major hurdles, but the ending they were given was superficial. This book delved deeper and showed the true intensity of Jared’s struggles, and how even his devotion to Aleena couldn’t free him from his past. Ms. Jackson beautifully conveyed how grueling it is to let go of your guilt and to forgive yourself when you’ve made a devastating mistake. I felt like I was trapped inside of Jared’s ribcage, suffocating from the chaos and pressure building within him. The way she wrote his anguish, and conveyed his pain, left me bruised. Aly could see that Jared was coming undone, and tried to be patient, hoping her love would help him heal. Watching these two struggles to hold on to their love was devastating, heartbreaking, and beautiful. Ms. Jackson has a way of showing the humanity in her characters, making you feel a deep empathy for them, a compassion that leaves you wholly affected by their struggles and triumphs.
On a technical note, the style of this book was consistent with the author’s previous work. Her writing style is heavy with interior monologue. The POV alternated between Jared and Aleena, and there were a few flashback scenes from their childhood, which were very sweet and poignant. I love books with multiple POVs and appreciate the stream of consciousness narration. But for those who prefer lighter, fast-paced reads, be warned, this book, and Come To Me Quietly might take a while to get into. Don’t let that stop you from reading this series though, it’s wonderfully written, deeply compelling, touching love story that will affect you and leave a mark.
Turned out she’d always been mine. I’d just been too much of a fool to see us for what we really were.