“She was mine.
She’d always been.
And I was going to make sure she always was.”
- Buy IF FOREVER COMES (Kindle) – see reading order below
If Forever Comes tells the conclusion to one of the most beautifully written and emotionally charged romances I’ve ever read!! AL Jackson writing is simply exquisite! Please note: this is not a standalone and should only be read after Take This Regret.
I will admit though that I started this book with a mix of excitement, anticipation and fear. These characters were so dear to my heart and I’d seen them get through years of hardship and together build their second chance that I wasn’t sure I could handle anything coming between them. But AL. Jackson had never steered me wrong before so I trusted she would give them the ending they deserved… and I dove in.
The first chapter gutted me. Everything that Christian and Elizabeth had built together seemed to have fallen apart and I had no idea why. It started off ten months after the ending of Take This Regret and clearly something devastating had happened that was big enough to have driven them away from each other. As Christian said though, “this wasn’t about betrayal, not something she or I had caused. This was something that neither of us could control. This was unfair, unjust. This was torture.” So I flipped the pages as fast as I could trying to find out what could possibly have come between them.
As with the first book, this one is told in both a mixture of flashbacks and present day story lines, as well as alternating POVs between Christian and Elizabeth, weaving together all the pieces of the story.
Seeing how blissfully happy they were together in the earlier flashbacks made me wonder how they could have ever been torn apart. There was never any doubt that Christian and Elizabeth were soul mates. They were completely and utterly in love with each other and even when things got rough and when it was too hard for them to admit it, deep down they were always connected. In this book, they were faced with a gut-wrenching tragedy they had no power to stop and it put the true strength of their love to the ultimate test.
“Anger and regret…
Pain, prominent and suffocating.
Underneath it all was the love that would never let us go.”
While I was reading, the anticipation, the dread, the heart break, the sheer longing for things between them to be fixed consumed me. I was furious with Elizabeth because I largely blamed her for how far things had broken between them (not for what had happened of course, but for how she reacted afterwards) and while I was also upset a little upset with Christian, I did feel like I understood where he was coming from in this book a lot more. The thing is that trauma affects us all differently and, in times of extreme pain, few people are rational. Pain blinds us and sometimes we lay blame where it isn’t deserved as a way of coping.
But what it all came down to, what it had always come down to with Christian and Elizabeth was that they both loved each other with all their hearts. There may have been dark spots in their past, months or years stolen away by extreme pain but they had a soul deep connection that nothing could break.
Life isn’t perfect. Love isn’t perfect. But the beauty of Christian and Elizabeth’s story was that in the end their love withstood everything and got them through even the darkest of times.
At the end of the book, we are treated to two beautifully detailed and very long epilogues that took the time to literally show us their happily-ever-after. After everything they’d been through, this was like an affirmation of their love, proving to us that what they’d held onto, what we as the readers had held onto, was real and forever.
“You belong to me just like I belong to you.”
AL Jackson’s stories are filled with heartbreaking intensity and beautiful passion. Her words speak straight to your heart. I love this series, I love these characters, and I love the writing.
** SERIES READING ORDER **
Note: Take This Regret can be read as a standalone.
Lost To You is a prequel but should be read after TTR.
If Forever Comes is the conclusion to the story.