From the acclaimed bestselling author of Lost to You and When We Collide comes a new adult novel of one woman’s obsession: a man who’s as passionate as he is elusive—and as tempting as he is trouble.…
Aleena Moore is haunted by Jared Holt. It’s been six years since she’s seen her brother’s best friend, the self-destructive bad boy she secretly loved in high school. As the years pass, she knows it’s time to move on. Time to decide between a practical nursing degree and her true dream as an artist. Time to get over Jared and give another guy a chance… Just when she opens her heart to her friend Gabe, Aly returns home to find Jared sleeping on her couch. The teenage boy she loved has grown into a man she can’t resist. Covered in tattoos and lost in rage, he’s begging to be saved from his demons—the memories of the day he destroyed his family. As the two reconnect, their passion is hot enough to torch Aly’s judgment. But can she risk her future for a man who lives on the edge of destruction?
Aly is a college student sharing an apartment with her older brother Christopher. They're not far from their childhood home where her parents and little brother Augustyn still live. She seems like your average girl that's timid about giving her heart away. What we learn though is that her heart was claimed when she was just a little girl.
She was the typical little sister that always wanted to tag along with her big brother. Christopher and Jared had been best friends before Aly was even born. Jared had always tried to include her and protect her. He was her best friend too. It had been six years since anyone had seen or heard from Jared. When Christopher happens to spot him in a local bar his first instinct is to do anything to keep Jared from running. The circumstances surrounding Jared's leaving are given slowly through out the story as the characters remember back to their childhood. His mother was killed when he was just sixteen and it distroyed him and his family. After two years in juvie and four years of running from his pain, he now returns to his home town inspite of believing it's the last place he should be. But that doesn't keep him from agreeing to stay at Chrisopher and Aly's apartment for a while.
Aly and Christopher have no idea how self destructive Jared is. He is broken to the depth of his soul and plagued by guilt over the death of his mother. He's tattooed his sorrows on his skin and tells himself repeatedly he's unworthy of everything. Aly's presence brought him comfort he thought he could never feel again and that he certainly didn't deserve.
As I read a book I'm always waiting for the moment in the book when the title's meaning is revealed. At first I felt like the title was in reference to the nights that Jared would come quietly to Aly's room and they would hold each other as they reconnected. Aly was patient and sensitive, trying to heal his sadness without pushing him to run. But then as I thought more about Jared's character, he's like a wild animal that you have to approach carefully so you don't scare it away or cause it to attack. Aly does her best to come to him quietly so she doesn't force him to run. She has saved her heart and body for Jared all these years but will he ever overcome his feelings of guilt enough to allow himself to accept the love and joy Aly brings him?
I was wreck as Jared finally tells Aly all the details around his mothers death. There are a few surprises I didn't see coming. I loved that the author added a special spirtual feel to the story as it seems Jared's mother may be influencing their fates from beyond the grave.
Some of my favorite moments are when Jared tenderly calls Aly by her full name, Aleena. The intimate moments between Jared and Aly are perfect. My heart is sad for Christopher. I hope the author will tell his story and how the loss of Jared brought him to the place he is now. I also really loved Aly and Christopher's little brother Augustyn even though he's not a focus in this book. And I truly loved the happy ending though I really wanted to see a little farther into their future together. I enjoyed the story being told from both Jared and Aly's POV. This book sets the bar high for my favorites list this year. It's a must read.
Jared- "Friends don't let friends text dickheads."(Loc 877)
Aly- "I draw and you wish you could erase."
Jared-"You create and I destroy." (Loc 966)
Aly- "I'd glide along the banks of his sadness, dipping my toes to test the water but without ever diving into the torrent where I knew Jared continued to drown." (Loc 1070)
Jared- "She didn't even have to move, and she was already touching me everywhere." (Loc 1728)
Jared- "Maybe her soul burned so bright she couldn't see the blackness in mine." (Loc 1795)
"Loving someone is one of the biggest chances we ever take. Maybe the most unfair part of it is that it's rarely a conscious decision we've made." (Loc 3355)
Author Bio and Links
A.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.