“It was always you, Jared. Always. I can’t remember a day of my life when I didn’t love you.”
I can’t even tell you how excited I was when I first heard about this book. AL Jackson is one of my most favorite authors. Her writing is beautiful and evocative and her way of conveying powerful, heart wrenching emotion through her words is an absolute gift. I will read anything she writes!
Second chance love stories have always been my favorite and this is the story of Aleena Moore who has always secretly loved Jared Holt and it’s been six years since she’s seen him. But now her tortured bad boy is back and he’s hurting, haunted by guilt and the memories of his past…
“Do you remember Jared Holt?”
The name was enough to knock the breath from my lungs.
Did I remember him?
When I looked back now, I wondered how it was possible for a heart to be broken at fourteen. But my heart had, because it’d broken for him.
Told in alternating POV, the story gave us both Aleena and Jared’s sides of the story along with several flashbacks to their childhood together and to the event that led to them being separated. I loved the way the story unfolded, slowly revealing little pieces of their past and tying those pieces in with their present.
Jared Hold was exactly the kind of hero that I love. A tortured, tattooed bad boy hiding a world of pain and a heart of gold. He just broke my heart — his pain, guilt, anger, and hurt was raw, guteral and haunted.
“I stifled a gasp when I saw his bloodied hands. Gashes were opened on each knuckle, the torn skin filled with rocks and rimmed with dirt.
His hands were a complete mess.
I squeezed my eyes shut as realization hit me hard.
It wasn’t just his hands. It was Jared Holt who was the mess.
“Come here,” I whispered….
At the start of the book, their romantic feelings for each other were still hidden because they’d never been acknowledged in their past but there were so many unspoken emotions that you could really just feel.
“I see beauty and pain. Joy and sorry. I see the good and I see the bad… and I love it all.”
Aly was a wonderful heroine. Strong and kind but also sweet and gentle. She was the good girl to his bad boy and you could always feel how well they were matched. I loved though that despite her softer side, she had no problems standing up for herself and didn’t hesitate to call him out when necessary.
I think that the thing I love most about second chance romance is the added meaning and depth that the characters’ shared history brings to the story when you think about their lives as a whole.
“Memories swirled through my mind like the whirlwind she was, the little girl who’d barely had to look at me and I already know what she wanted or needed. Mom once told me Aly had me wrapped around her little finger. She’d been wrong. Aly had held me in the palm of her hand.”
The relationship was slow building but that made perfect sense for this story. Aly and Jared shared a past but their present was shrouded by so many unanswered questions and unspoken feelings that they had a lot to work through and learn about each other. And Jared had many demons to face before he could accept his love for her…
“I cared about her. But I couldn’t care about her the way she’d want me to. Couldn’t love her the way she deserved to be. I refused to ever love anyone again.”
I loved that Aly just seemed to “get” Jared and that she knew not to push him away but my heart still ached for how worthless and undeserving of love he felt.
“I knew I should push her away because this girl who’d managed to sink her fingers into my spirit was going to end up as just another one of them – a fucking perfect memory to torture me through the rest of my life.
Instead I clung to her, crushed her to me because I couldn’t stop myself from taking from her until the moment she was taken from me.”
I’d say the general feeling of the book was very ‘quiet’. But that’s not a complaint, just more of an observation. It seemed to reflect the feeling of the story being told. And I was happy and grateful that this book didn’t have any moments that made me frustrated or disappointed in the characters. There was no drama for drama’s sake. Instead it was a very character focused story that drew me right in. I felt for their troubles, understood their mistakes, and hoped for their healing.
I will also say that while I really do love me a tortured bad boy, if you add in “possessive Alpha” to the mix, you pretty much have perfection in my eyes. And that was Jared Holt.
“Did you tell him that you’re mine? … Did you tell him that you belong to me?”
As the story got closer to the end, it built in intensity and the ending itself was just beautiful. Now, bear in mind that this book is the first of a two-part series so it’s not the end of Jared and Aly’s story but I am happy to say that there is no relationship cliffhanger. Instead the ending gave more of a “happy for now” feeling that left me contented but eager to read the next book. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me when authors end their books like this. Truly. As a reader, it leaves me with a happy heart and a feeling of having read a completed section of these character’s story.
With this book, AL Jackson has shown once again why she is one of my favorite authors. Come To Me Quietly was a beautiful, touching story about how one girl’s love of a beautifully broken boy could end up saving him. It was my first book of the year, and it was a wonderful start!!
“If I believed in soul mates or any of that shit, I knew she was mine. I could feel it, this connection with her I couldn’t possibly share with anyone else.”
I just wanted to say thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy of this book to review. Please note that all the sections I quoted were taken from an ARC and are still subject to chance before publication.
*** SERIES READING ORDER ***
Book #3 — COME TO ME RECKLESSLY
Buy in Kindle — different couple