Title: Come to Me Quietly
Author: A.L. Jackson
Series: Closer to You #1
Genre: New Adult Romance
Summary (from Goodreads)
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.
Oh, this was going so well. A really strong start of the book had me quickly hooked into the troubled relationship between Jared and Aleena. Jared’s self-destructive ways, although a bit extreme with the drug taking and stuff, were classic fodder for a ‘bad boy turned good’ story. And I love those. Really, really love them.
Aleena and Jared’s tentative steps towards a relationship were gripping, and I felt every emotional swing on their journey, desperate to keep turning the pages towards the happy ending I assumed was coming.
And come it did, as it always does in this sort of novel, but it came via a plot twist that I wasn’t expecting. And one that really didn’t do anything for me.
You see, Jared, like all these bad boys, has a tragic past. An event he blames himself for, the blame causing his downward spiral into self-destruction.
SPOILERS START HERE STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK
The hints and clues that had built up throughout the narrative had me guessing at some kind of car accident. I imagined a young, inexperienced driver Jared hitting a patch of ice and spinning off the road, or something similar, inadvertently causing the death of a family member.
Only it wasn’t like that at all. Jared drove his car too fast and pulled out in front of a truck. Which I could have forgiven, I think, except for the fact that his mother was shouting at him to slow down the whole time. So he was just a dick.
Which made me think that he deserved everything he got, and I lost any sympathy for him.
SPOILERS END HERE
This event spoiled the end of the book for me. I’ve no doubt of A.L. Jackson’s talent for writing – the book was very romantic and absorbing up to that point. But after it, I was just a bit miffed.
I’m not dismissing the author for good – I’d read another book of hers. This one just left me a little disappointed.