by A.L. Jackson
Series: Closer to You #1
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Aleena Moore is content with her life. She has goals and dreams and an easy smile. She also has a secret she holds locked inside. Jared Holt believes he doesn’t deserve to love or be loved. He destroys everything he touches. Haunted by the mistake that shattered his life, he’s fled from the memory of that pain. Jared doesn’t know why he’s compelled to return, but finds himself drawn back to the place where it all began. The exact place where it ended. When he runs into his childhood best friend, Aleena’s older brother Christopher, he agrees to share Christopher and Aleena’s apartment while he looks for a place of his own. Aleena is no longer the little girl Jared remembers from his past and evokes feelings in him he never wanted to feel again. Terrified of destroying her, he fights to keep her away. But her touch is something he can’t resist—the touch that sealed his fate. Their pasts are intertwined and their futures uncertain. The only truths they know are the secrets they whisper in the night.
Come to Me Quietly is the first book in the new adult series Closer to You and my first read by author A.L. Jackson. I can assure you it will not be my last. Breathtaking beautiful I became swept up in this sweet, emotional read. Told from dual perspectives I fell in love with Jared and Aleena. Mini review: beautiful and touching this friendship to lover’s romance held me spellbound.
Jared Holt is damaged by events that destroyed his family. He fled from his family and friends..but something calls him back to where it all began. When he arrives in town, his best friend Christopher and his little sister Aleena invite him to sleep on their couch. The three of them were neighbors and grew up together. Aleena is all grown up, and there are sparks but Jared is broken and vows to keep away from her so that he doesn’t destroy her..but fate has other plans.
Told from dual perspectives along with flashbacks we gain insight and become swept up in these beautiful, complicated characters. Jared wears his scars in the form of tattoos. As Jackson peeled back his layers, we see his vulnerability and experience his pain. He is filled with rage and guilt and each day is a challenge. Aleena is strong and sweet. She can still see the boy beneath the cold hard exterior, and she slowly and carefully rebuilds their friendship while holding tight to the feelings in her heart along with her secret. The waltz they danced was sweet, painful, soft and passionate. Christopher seems like your average college boy, but I think there is more to his story. I loved that Aleena had a close relationship to her parents and sought her mother out for advice. From keywords, Jared used it is clear he had some professional help, but I wish yet again that the characters recommended it…even if Aleena was able to get Jared to open up. Since this story will continue, it is my hope Jared gets additional help.
Come to Me Quietly was beautifully written, and the characters came to life allowing me to feel their emotions and become swept up in their relationship. I loved how Jackson wrote this, from the dual perspectives to the flashbacks. She slowly revealed the tragic event and the fallout that resulted in Jared leaving town. While this was an emotional read, it was relatively low on angst and unnecessary drama. I love the friendship to lover’s trope, and it added to the depth of their relationship. Through her powerful writing I became connected to these characters, cheered their growth, mourned set-backs and desperately sought my HEA. The tale ended well, with a few reveals and developments that I am anxious to see unfold. A beautiful start to a powerful romance.
Come to Me Quietly will appeal to those who enjoyed Pushing the Limit, Beautiful Disaster and Sea of Tranquility. While this is New Adult, it is relativity low on heat but contains adult content. Come to Me Softly continues Aleena and Jared’s story and releases in July of 2014. I for one cannot wait to read it.
Four and half cups of coffee out of five
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