COVER REVEAL: Where Lightning Strikes by A.L. Jackson

A new Bleeding Stars novel is coming!! Feast your eyes on the stunning cover of Where Lightning Strikes, designed by the one and only Regina Wamba of Mae I Design… ♥

Expected release date: 22 March 2016

Where Lightening Strikes

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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BOOK REVIEW: Drowning to Breathe by A.L. Jackson

DrowningtoBreatheThe 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.

Darker.

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?

review

“I never knew there was happiness like this. And then there was you.”

The stunning love story between a troubled rock star and a single mum trying to escape her painful past that began in A Stone in the Sea gets its grand finale at last in this wondrous work from an author who never stops stealing our breaths away with angsty, emotion-driven romances that are as all-consuming as they are superbly written. We watched them meet, fight their attraction, and eventually succumb to the devastating pull between them, never knowing that their lives were destined to be intertwined from the very beginning. As Sebastian and Shea prepare to face their greatest fears, Ms Jackson takes us on a riveting journey of passion, love, selflessness, and friendship, where every dazzling word serves to bewitch us, and its every emotion becomes our own.

“… we can run as hard and as fast as we want, and until we put our pasts to rest, they will always catch up to us.”

Sebastian Stone might have found the love of his life in a quiet bar in Savannah, Georgia, her selfless heart quieting his demons and abating the raging inferno that has consumed his soul for so long, but Shea Bentley’s past has come back to haunt them, promising to rob them of all they’ve fought to build between them and all they cherish the most in life. But even as their greatest weaknesses are used against them, Sebastian and Shea’s connection never wavers, becoming closer and closer each day, and giving each other the strength and courage to fight back. And nothing, not even time or distance, can diminish their love for one another or their constant craving for each other.

“I loved Shea Bentley and she loved me. It’s where it started and where it ended. Nothing before or after or in between mattered.”

Once a perennially angry young man whose devotion and loyalty to his brother and band mates used to define him, their safety his only purpose in life, Sebastian never thought he would ever find or deserve a love like Shea’s, a love that would fill all that was missing in his life rather than steal away from it, and in that love he finds the acceptance he never dared to hope for. Her compassion, kindness and willingness to love him even at the risk of breaking her own heart heals him, redefines him, and eventually shows him the person he wants to be. And in her arms he finds the family he always dreamed of.

“When I look at you, I see a future I never thought existed, Shea.”

Now facing a powerful enemy who is capable and willing to destroy them both, while forced to be apart as his band goes on tour, Sebastian and Shea’s love remains vibrant and strong, never tested and never dimmed, both of them trusting one another implicitly. But when past and present suddenly collide and painful secrets are revealed, the young lovers must find a way of holding onto each other even as storms starts closing in.

“I’d do anything, give it all, make any sacrifices to keep them safe. To keep them happy. To keep them together. No matter the cost.”

There is something so beautiful in the way Ms Jackson brings these characters to life, in the way their passion pulsates off the pages, almost visceral in its intensity, their every emotion given a quasi-lyrical dimension as her masterful prose weaves the story before our eyes. The dramatic, rhythmic pace of the sentences remains one of the key characteristics of this story, mimicking our own heartbeats at times with the thump-thump thump-thump of their tempo and amplifying our emotions with the sheer poetic quality of those verses. I felt hypnotised by this story, by its characters, by their powerful connection, and only wished for some of that intensity to be carried over to other aspects of the storyline as well, especially moments of aching angst. My heart only kept expanding as the story progressed, and I wouldn’t have minded it shattering a few times too, trusting this author to make the pain as exquisitely addictive as its more enjoyable counterpart.

“I was doing my best to rein it in. But those urges were there. The need to fight and defend. Fists and fury and unrelenting rage. To stand up for my family. To make it right.”

Another unforgettable romance by a much loved author, another must-read story to tug at our heartstrings—I loved its every word, and would recommend it unreservedly.

“Do you see me, Shea?”
Never had I seen anyone so clearly. “I will never look away.”

4halfstars

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BOOK REVIEW: A Stone in the Sea by A.L. Jackson

AStoneintheSea

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?

review

“I never needed anyone to love me until I needed you.”

I should have known. I should have known she would wreck me. I should have known she would give us another gut-wrenching story, and then leave only heartbreak in its wake, because this book owned me, cover to cover, every single sentence in it reminding me once again why I love this author’s writing style so dearly, and why her words affect me every single time without fail. An intense, passionate love story that had all the components I am drawn to in a romance of this kind, but coupled with a few personal ‘triggers’ of my own—I was mesmerized from the very first page, and my fascination with these characters only grew as the story unravelled. Two people scarred by life, desperate to put their dark pasts behind them, and viscerally drawn to each other from the moment they meet—this is the story of finding the missing piece to one’s life, of finding the courage to take a chance, to throw all caution aside and risk one’s heart for nothing more than the hope of a happiness like no other. There are so many crucial facets to this story which I will not even mention to you, wishing for you to discover them on your own and thus allow this story to overwhelm you slowly, as intended, because there are so many complex layers to this tale, so many puzzle pieces, and the pace at which we uncover them is as important as the story itself. If you are looking for a phenomenally written, captivating read that you will not be able to put down, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

“I’d never felt anything was missing from my life. Not until the day I met Sebastian Stone.”

Sebastian Stone is a rock star, a man whose life has been under the magnifying glass ever since he found fame, but his road to success has not been an easy one, marred by great loss and bitter mistakes, making him the disillusioned and hot-tempered young man he is now. When faced with the disastrous consequences of his temper’s latest outburst, he finds himself cooped up with his band mates in a small town in Savannah, Georgia, forced to re-evaluate his life altogether. But while seeking anonymity and peace, nothing prepares him for his body’s unexpected reaction to a kind-eyed waitress at a local bar, whose inexplicable pull leaves him baffled and starving for more.

“I knew it then. What I wanted.
To lose control.
Just for a few hours.
And I wanted to lose it with her.”

Shea Bentley is a young woman whose deceivingly simple life hides a painful past full of secrets, a past she hides fiercely from all those around her. Kind, unpretentious, modest—Shea is unlike any other woman Sebastian has ever met, her eyes hiding a darkness he immediately recognises, while her inner light draws him to her like a beacon through a storm. And as much as he tries to stay away from her and not be an unwanted distraction in her life, her siren call keeps pulling him to her night after night.

“What are you doing here?”
“The same thing I’m doing every night, Shea. Thinking about you and wondering why the hell I can’t stop.”

They both fight their attraction, try to find reasons for avoiding an emotional connection of any kind, but when they inevitably succumb to the unwavering spark between them, it is one of the most devastating, explosive, uninhibited, heart-breakingly passionate sights to be seen. Ms Jackson uses every weapon in her writing arsenal to express emotions of such magnitude that we are left quivering messes, totally entranced by her prose and hopelessly addicted to the intensity of the scenes she is weaving before our eyes.

“I fell.
Plunged into his abyss.
Heart first.
Through waves of ecstasy. Deeper. Deeper. To where I touched a sea of stars that blinded my eyes, where I floated in that place that belonged only to us, a place that didn’t belong to this world. Where darkness and light reigned and wrong or right had no bearing.
A brutal ecstasy.”

The connection between these characters takes on a life of its own and it soon becomes a palpable force driving the story forward. Sebastian is a man who never sought anything more than a temporary escape from his life, a chance to forget, until he meets a woman who gives herself to him selflessly and bravely, who takes a risk with her heart by loving a man who would never love her back the same way…or stay. But their greatest battle might end up being one they never even imagined fighting alongside one another.

“I’m going to break you, Shea.”
I knew it.
Felt it in my gut.
“You already have.”

Ms Jackson is a master storyteller, a skilled ‘sadist’ when it comes to affecting her readers’ emotions and making our hearts ache, but her brand of ‘torture’ is quite possibly one of my favourite ‘afflictions’. In this book, her powerful writing style has the added element of an almost lyrical pace to the prose itself, with heightened imagery and emotional associations present in every rhythmic beat of the words themselves. It deepened my connection to the story, to these characters and their emotional journey, leaving me breathless on more than one occasion.

I will not lie to you, there is a nasty cliffhanger at the end of this book, one that was needed given the many puzzle pieces yet to be revealed. It left me a raging mess, but glad that the story had not been cheapened by forcing it into one book. So, if you are not allergic to anticipation and get a kick out of reading phenomenally written, angst-ridden stories that overload your senses start to finish, I urge you to give this beautiful tale a chance.

Sebastian and Shea’s story concludes in Drowning to Breathe.

“I was falling further, being sucked beneath the surface.
A stone in his sea.
Completely drowning in this man.”

5stars

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: A Stone in the Sea by A.L. Jackson

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For the third year in a row, I am celebrating my birthday by sharing with my fellow book junkies the books I am most anxious to get my hands on in the next few months or so, and today, it only seems fitting to start this beloved Blog event with one of my favourite authors in the whole wide world…the one and only A.L. Jackson. With a keen penchant for writing books that never fail to leave me an emotional mess. Ms Jackson has gifted us with gems like The Regret series, When We Collide, the Closer to You series, and now her upcoming Bleeding Hearts series. I am so honoured to be able to share with you a never seen before excerpt from the first book in this new series, A Stone in the Sea, expected on 23 February 2015 (my actual birthday!)… ♥

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAiBooks

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?

excerpt

Baz followed me into my shadowy room. The door to the bathroom rested partially ajar and the bright overhead lights bled a dim hue of light in a wedge across the floor. It was messy, clothes strewn across the floor, tossed onto the large chair sitting under the window, the bed unmade.

I stopped in the middle of it, trying to still the thunder pounding through my veins while I listened to the soft click of my bedroom door being closed.

Slowly I turned around. The air just leaving my lungs hitched when I took him in, the captivating force of this man magnified, grey eyes turned to pitch, the most brilliant kind of black.

Savage.

Feral.

I all-out shook beneath the severity of it all, knowing after tonight, I was never going to be the same.

He was going to mark me.

Scar me.

“You see me, Shea?” The gruff question threw me, and he lifted his chin in a challenge I wanted to meet. I knew what he was offering. One last chance to back out. A warning that came with all that fierce beauty because we both knew he had the power to lay me to waste.

But where there’s beauty there’s also pain.

And I wanted to share in his, because I felt it every time he looked at me. I wanted to immerse myself it, in him. To be set adrift in all he kept hidden, to slip under, to see and feel and experience what he shored up tight inside.

Slowly, I lifted my own chin. But not in challenge. In surrender. “Show me.”

He watched me closely as he pulled a strip of six condoms out of his front pocket.

Correction.

Five.

One was missing.

Jealousy curled through me like a sickness, and I attempted to swallow around it, knowing this wasn’t going to end well. My heart was never going to make it.

But in this moment, I didn’t care.

Because I was falling.

Falling.

Falling.

Falling.

He tossed them onto the center of my rumpled bed. “Glove box,” he said as if he felt the need to explain.

Awareness swelled, that perception that belonged only to us, lifting in an arc, barbs of energy prickling at my fevered skin.

Never releasing me from the grip of his gaze, he reached for the collar of his tee at his nape and tugged it over his head. Almost defiantly, he stood up straight and stared back at me.

All that insane, confusing attraction I’d somehow managed to keep under semi-control, hidden inside, burst, a slide that wasn’t so slow pushing heat through my veins. Gathering fast.

My mouth went dry and I shifted on unsteady feet.

He knelt down and unlaced his boots, rose and toed them off, ticked through the buttons on his fly. Shoving his jeans down his legs, he shrugged out of them, kicked the pile of clothing aside.

Oh. God.

He stood there in nothing but a pair of tight, tight short boxer briefs, his thick erection straining against the fabric, pushing at the elastic band in a play to break free.

Just like the first time he lifted his face to me, I was again confronted with more beauty than I could fathom. Again imperfect. And again I was sure that was part of the problem, because my heart lurched in a bid to meet with his, and my stomach clenched with the flood of desire that sailed straight through me.

In the dim light, my eyes soaked him in.

Dragging across wide, wide shoulders. Tracing collarbones and exploring all the coarse, rigid muscle that defined his chest. I sucked in a broken breath when I let them wander, down to take in how those wide shoulders and chest tapered into the flat planes of his abdomen. Hipbones jutted out from his narrow waist, a deep cut of muscles on his lower stomach that disappeared beneath the waistband of his underwear.

The strength of him was overbearing. Foreboding.

And I was sure I’d never seen a more brutally beautiful man.

But just like his face, scars were etched into his skin, lanced across his chest, one slashed in a long gash across his side. Some deep. Others shallow.

All significant.

Both of his arms were completely covered in ink, colors and swirls and more beauty that spoke of pain, bleeding crosses and indecipherable words and hidden innuendo, one arm covered in the depiction of a darkened sky, the night infinite. Eternal.

My attention was drawn to the mermaid on his opposite upper arm. Her face was fierce and evil and somehow angelic, sitting on a rock next to a raging sea swishing her tail. A pocket watch was held gingerly in the scoop of her hands. The watch appeared to be disintegrating, slipping through her fingers, like sands of an hourglass falling through the cracks.

But his torso was bare, all except for one tattoo than ran down his side. It was a monkey. A green monkey that clearly was supposed to be some sort of stuffed animal. The artwork was crafted to appear fluffy, the arms and legs long and lanky. The face was white with plain black dots for the eyes and nose, the smiling mouth a black seam.

But it was turned upside down, bent backward, the arms and legs flailing, as if it were tumbling in a free fall.

It left no illusion of a chance to be saved.

The childlike simplicity of it was gut-wrenching.

And I knew. And I knew. And I knew.

“You see me, Shea?” he asked again, hands in fists at his sides, his voice tight. There was no missing the sharp edge of vulnerability that bled into it.

“Yes,” I whispered, stepping closer, letting my fingertips trail across his collarbones, down the strength of his chest that jumped beneath my touch, the to the monkey falling at his side.

When there’s beauty, there’s also pain.

A big callused hand out came up to cup the side of my neck, to steal my breath, because it was sweet and completely unexpected. He tilted my chin back with his thumb, his fingernail scratching up and down the hollow of my neck as he stared at me, the brush of it stirring me up more.

Falling.

Falling.

Falling.

“Tried to stay away from you,” he murmured, the song of that velvety voice wrapping around me like a full body embrace. “Tried. But there wasn’t one goddamned thing I could do to get you out of my head.”

Remorse flashed through his eyes. “Don’t wanna hurt you.”

We both knew it was already too late.

My face was turned up to his, and he leaned in, slowly, his full, full lips parting just enough to catch my bottom lip between them, tugging soft, letting go.

“Shea,” he whispered.

The skin tingled, and a rash of chills skated down my spine. Keeping hold of my neck, Baz followed them with his opposite hand, his palm running flat as it pressed firm into the small of my back, all the way down to my ass where he gripped me tightly, pulled me up close against his cock where it urged against my belly.

A short gasp escaped me.

Like the sound was fuel, heavy hands found my hips, and he spun me fast and slammed me up against the wall next to my door. I hit it with a grunt, and I clung to his shoulders as my knees went weak.

He captured my mouth with a blinding assault of lips and tongue and teeth. His tongue was wet and warm. Demanding. Just as demanding as his fingers that kneaded into my hips, palms sliding down the back of my thighs, trailing back up. As he did, he dragged one of my legs up and then the other until I was tacked against the wall beneath his weight, my legs begging around his waist.

And God, I begged.

He smiled against my mouth as he threaded his fingers with mine and pinned my hands above my head. Rocking against me, he leveled me with darkened eyes. “Say it again.”

“Please,” I whispered madly, my back arching from the wall, all coherent thoughts slipping away and every kind of irrational, foolish idea rushing in to take their place—all supplied by the euphoric feel of his cock rubbing at the denim between my thighs.

It’d been too too long. Yet somehow just the right amount of time. This moment for him. This moment for me. For us.

Even though it would crush me, I knew it had to be.

A groan rumbled deep in his chest, and he lifted me from the wall, hiking me farther up his chest. He began to carry me across the room. One hand was tangled in the mass of my hair, bunching it up, the other an iron band around my waist.

He laid me in the center of my bed. My chest took a stuttered heave when he stepped back and looked down at me, my knees rocking with unsettled nerves, my booted feet propped flat on the bed.

Staring down over me, he just stood there, an impenetrable expression hardening his face. Unreadable, yet anything but blank. Like he were processing a million thoughts, while I didn’t know much of anything except how I was aching, how each second he wasn’t touching me he was driving me closer to going mad.

How it was only one more second I didn’t get to be with him. One second lost. One second closer to when he would leave.

He kissed the inside crease of my knee and fire rocketed straight to my core.

I exhaled toward the ceiling, hands twisting in my sheets, hips jerking in anticipation. “Please,” I said again, because I wasn’t sure how much more of this I could take.

He placed another midway at the inside of my thigh, letting a hand glide down the opposite leg, all the way down to brush his fingers along the seam of my shorts.

A little show of fireworks. The promise of more.

His movements were slow and sure when he pulled back to tug the boots from my feet, one by one, peeling off the cushy socks I wore with them. I stretched my toes and dug them into the bed, and he smiled all soft as if he liked it, just as he was pressing my knees apart and setting a single knee on the bed. He leaned in far enough to jerk at the button of my shorts, and a trembled breath escaped me when he angled back and dragged them down my legs.

“Goddamn.” Baz wet his lips, and he shot me an unfettered glance before looking back at me lying there in my panties and tee. “Got the best legs, baby.”

Hot hands splayed wide, riding up the outside of my thighs, scraping over my hips and sides, gathering up the material of my shirt as he went. He ripped it over my head and tossed it to the floor.

My hair fell around me and my heart beat so hard I could feel it in my ears.

His yanked me closer to him, close enough to the edge that he could snake his hands under my back and unclasp my bra. He slid it off, leaning back to take me in with all that hunger he’d been watching me with for weeks. Beneath his severe gaze, my breasts got all heavy and tingly. God, I couldn’t breathe. His voice dropped low as he reached up to cup them both. The brush of his thumbs were like flames as he swept them back and forth across my nipples. “Best tits.”

On my hell.

He was unraveling me.

He touched the tip of his index finger to the center of my chest.

A palpitation.

He traced it down my belly where he dipped it into my navel, before he inched it low low low to snag in the front of the band of my lacy boy-cut underwear. He pealed those off too, leaving me a naked, quivering mess atop my bed, waiting for him, wondering just how deep those scars he’d leave me with were going to go.

“Got the best everything.”

Then he seemed to snap and let loose of whatever thread of control he’d been holding onto.

He dragged the tips of his fingers through my wet center.

I jerked. Oh, that felt good.

He hissed a groaned, “F*ck.”

He climbed over me, nudging me farther up into the middle of the bed and twisting out of his underwear all at the same time.

Hit with an overload of sensation, I was suddenly drowning beneath the stunning bulk of this magnificent man.

Because all at once he was everywhere, kissing me on the mouth, the neck, delving down to my chest, soft sucks across the buds of my breasts, harsh lashes at my tongue. Fingers plunged deep inside of me, and I panted a strangled, “Yes,” because I hadn’t been touched in so so long, and never in a way that made me feel quite like this.

Fingers coated with all my wet went sliding back to swirl around the sensitive skin of my ass, and a shocked gasp shot from my mouth and I jumped, before he slipped his fingers back through my sex, dragging up to circle my clit.

Pleasure wound up fast, my head pressed back into the bed and my mouth gaped open, unable to process that he would touch me this way. Everywhere all at once. In places no one else ever had.

Terror nicked at my belly when I realized I was ready to submit every last one of those places to him.

Baz licked a path up under my jaw, before he edged up onto his knees. All his attention was focused on his fingers that were still sliding deep in my pussy while he grabbed the pack of condoms with the other hand. He ripped one free with his teeth.

My entire body was alive with energy. With this energy, with whatever it was that connected me to this man, whatever it was that made me feel tied to him in an essential way, like nothing in heaven or hell could have stopped this moment from coming to pass.

Staring up at him, he stared down at me. Those eyes brimmed dark and bold. Because maybe we’d been purposed this way.

That for tonight I got to touch on heaven before he left me in hell.

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Bleeding Stars – Reading Order and Purchase Links
AStoneintheSea DrowningtoBreathe

A Stone in the SeaMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback
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EXCERPT & SALE ALERT: When We Collide by A.L. Jackson

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“You know him?” Amber asked. 

I glimpsed the confusion on her face. 

William. 

My secret, my heart. 

The beautiful man I’d lain with for hours under the stars, our lives poured out in a torrent of stories and words. The way he held me while I shared the ones that hurt me the most. How he touched me, the way he made me feel incredibly safe. How that hold had escalated from safety to ecstasy as the soft pads of his fingers would dance across my lips when he locked himself to me, the perfect weight of his body, the expression on his face when he came. 

The heartbreak in his eyes when I told him goodbye. 

I knew it all. 

“Yeah.” My voice was soft. “I know him.”

There are some love stories that will take you on such intensely emotional journeys, shake you to the very core of your being, make you scream, cry, curse, throw things against walls, but also fill you with more hope than you ever thought possible…and this is exactly one of those books. A story of second chances, but also about seizing life when it matters the most so that every waking moment is not spent in regret and what-ifs. A story I could never forget. And it happens to be on sale at $0.99 for the next seven days!!! ♥

My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

William has spent six years running from his past and the last eight months trying to rid his mind of the dreams that increasingly haunt his nights. Trapped in a world of false ambitions and feigned affections, William knows he’s reached a breaking point and something’s going to give.

Maggie had lived her entire life without hope until one man showed her what it meant to be loved. He’d been her light in a lifetime of darkness. Six years ago, that darkness stole him away. Without him, she’s surrendered herself to an existence she doesn’t know how to escape.

When the family William left behind is struck by tragedy, he is called back to the one place he’s sworn to never return to again. In a moment that will change his life forever, William comes face to face with the girl who, with one look, captured his heart. He is unable to ignore the buried desires and the hope for the future they’d once believed they’d have.

Now William is ready to fight to take back what had been stolen from him six years before. But he never imagined what that fight might cost him.

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GIVEAWAY: Come to Me Quietly by A.L. Jackson

A.L. Jackson is a mind ninja. OK, she might not be a mind ninja as such, but she is definitely a master at making our hearts clench by consistently delivering stories that are so exquisitely moving, that each story is an unforgettable journey that makes us feel a million different emotions. Her Closer to You series and its first book in particular, Come to Me Quietly, is as stellar as all her other works and it is definitely one of My Favourite Books ever. 

✦  Read my 5-star review ✦
Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Connect with Amy: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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And today, Ms Jackson has generously offered three signed copies of this beautiful book to three lucky winners!

You have 7 DAYS to play…

CTMQ_GWY

* 3 SIGNED PAPERBACKS OF COME TO ME QUIETLY *
* 3 WINNERS *
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By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

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Closer To You – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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Come to Me Quietly: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Come to Me Softly: Amazon US | B&N (1 Jul 2014)
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Other books in the series or related posts:

BIRTHDAY TEASERS: Come to Me Softly by A.L. Jackson

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There are some authors who never fail to deliver stories that are so exquisitely moving, that each story is an unforgettable journey that makes you feel a million different emotions, and A.L. Jackson is a master at making our hearts clench. I can proudly say that I have read every single book by this brilliant author, and yet I am surprised each time by the way her stories manage to captivate and overwhelm me. Ms Jackson’s new Closer to You series and its first book in particular, Come to Me Quietly, is as stellar as her other works and I cannot recommend it enough. Today, I am sharing with you a very sexy excerpt from the next book in the series, Come to Me Softly, due to be released on 1 July 2014… and while I am so in love with this excerpt, the greedy part of me can’t wait to read the previous scene!!! Read on and you’ll know what I mean… And don’t forget to enter to win a signed copy of the first book in the 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.

excerpt

Aleena

A couple seconds later, the door swung open. A halo of light silhouetted Jared’s frame, his presence thick, overwhelming.

He stood there, gazing at me from across the room.

Under his stare, I squirmed, fisted the sheets at my sides.

Slowly he came into view as he stepped forward. He towered over me. As he approached, my eyes caressed the sharp angles of his face. My attention jumped along the deformed, warped story played out on his chest and down the deep lines cut into his rugged stomach. His hips jutted out above his tight underwear, something so tempting in the way he moved. Sinewy muscle bunched and flexed beneath the color of his strong arms, bristled in the corded strength of his powerful legs.

A tremor rolled through me.

He was indescribable. Devastating.

So hard, every inch of him, callused from the wounds that had marred his life, this terrifying beauty that held me captive, tying me somewhere to the darkest places of his soul.

But his eyes… they were soft. Bright. Filled my own darkness with light.

“Hey,” he murmured quietly as he drew near.

“Hey,” I whispered back.

He knelt at the side of my bed and leaned in to brush back the matted hair stuck to my dampened forehead. “Are you okay?” Concern tightened his brow as he searched my face. “Was I too rough?”

Softly, I shook my head, unable to look away from this gorgeous man. “No, not at all.” I trailed my trembling fingers down his face. “You don’t need to worry about me so much.”

“How can I not? I just want to take care of you.”

I jumped when he placed the warm, damp cloth between my thighs, then hummed when he gently massaged it over me, deliberate, soft, because taking care of me was exactly what he was doing.

Complete acceptance nodded my head. “I know that.”

He finished cleaning me and tossed the washcloth into the hamper. Slowly, he crawled into bed. Rolling onto his side, he pulled me to him. “Come here.”

I snuggled into the security of his chest, and he drew the covers over us, wrapping me in the safety of his arms.

Warmth spread over me, contenting every fiber in my being. I buried my face in his chest, brushed my lips across the rose, breathed him in.

Jared exhaled as he pulled me closer. And I could feel the shift. Tension clotted the already heavy air. He gathered my hand and wove our fingers together. He held it tight between us. In the dim light, his blue eyes met mine, wholly tender, yet fierce and severe.

“I need you to understand something, Aly. You don’t ever have to worry about me stepping out on you.” He squeezed my hand tighter. “I can promise you that.”

For a flash, he averted his gaze, before he leveled the force of it back on me. Vestiges of shame swam in the depths. “But I think you already know I left a whole mess of that behind me in Jersey.”

Jealousy bit at my consciousness, and I squeezed my eyes shut as if I could block it out. I didn’t want to be that girl, the one who let things that could not be controlled affect her life. The one who allowed bygones rule. The one who let insecurities invade, fester, and destroy. But I had to be honest and admit it hurt. Thinking of him with other girls the way he’d been with me left something inside me uncovered, abraded and raw.

Tonight had only proven that.

It had revealed a weakness in me.

Because I’d only ever belonged to him.

I knew it was foolish. Wrong. But I couldn’t help the way I felt.

He jerked at my hand, demanding my attention. My eyes flashed open. “Four years were spent that way. There were a lot of them, and I can’t promise you something like happened tonight won’t ever happen again.” He blinked like it caused him physical pain. “Seeing your face tonight, how much it hurt you to see me with her…God, that killed me, Aly. I don’t ever want to see you hurting that way. If I could go back and change it, you know I would, but I can’t.  But you need to know none of them ever meant anything.”

He edged back, released my fingers, and pressed my palm to his chest right over my eyes marking his skin. “You did this, Aly. You made me feel…really feel. None of them did that. Not one. I told you once I used girls just as shamelessly as Christopher did. But I’m not using you. You have to know that.”

Discomfort needled through my senses and embarrassment rushed to my face. But I refused to look away from him. I chewed at the inside of my cheek, searching for the courage to speak. “I do know that, but the thought of you with someone else, touching them the way you touch me…” My voice dropped. “I only want you to belong to me.”

Like a testimony, my naked body burned against his, the way I’d given myself to him.

Only him.

Jared pulled back so he could see my face better. Knowing laughter seeped quietly from his mouth, and he softly ran his fingers through my hair. “I’ve only belonged to one person, Aly, and that’s you.” His mouth was suddenly at my ear. “And believe me, I’ve never touched anyone the way I touch you.”

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Pre-order book: Amazon US | B&N
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Closer To You – Reading Order and Purchase Links
cometomequietly_HR
cometomesoftly_HR
Come to Me Quietly: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Come to Me Softly: Amazon US | B&N (1 Jul 2014)
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The Author

AL Jackson_pic_croppedA.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.

Connect with Amy: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
The Giveaway

To win a signed copy of Come To Me Quietly, please enter below. By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

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