Review: Come to Me Quietly by A. L. Jackson


Title: Come to Me Quietly (Closer to You #1)
Author: A. L. Jackson
Date of publication: 7 Jan 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Author's links:
Website / Facebook / TwitterGoodreads

My rating: 3 stars

Goodreads Blurb

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.

My Review

This story was a fairly typical New adult romance following all the cliches of the genre. As a fan of romance I don't mind certain tropes even though they are predictable. I enjoy them when they are well done. Here we have the sister falling for her big brother's best friend combined it with the virgin heroine trying to save the bad boy (tattooed and riding a bike) with a tragic past. It is bound to angst-filled and engaging but it didn't work very well for me. 

What I liked was the writing style of Ms Jackson - emotional and intense, very powerful at conveying the deep and conflicting emotions of the characters, Jared in particular. He was the best thing in this story. His guilt, his inner torment, his feelings for Aleena and his reluctance to give in to them, they all felt real and convincing. I could related to him the most from all the characters. He made me angry off with his hesitance to act and his self-loathing was too much, yet there was development in his character, he came to realize and accept certain things and this made him even more realistic as a character. 

I didn't particular like or dislike Aleena. She was just bland, unremarkable. She had loved Jared since they were children and she was ready to stand by him and help him cope with his past when they met again as adults. She was defined solely through her love of Jared and I didn't get much of her personality. Everything in her past and present was related to him in one way or another. 

I am not a big fan of contemporary stories where the romance part takes paranormal dimensions - one look and they are soulmates for life. I felt that the feelings Jared and Aleena had for each went into the direction of the supernatural, meant-to-be reality which was somewhat annoying. 

I found the whole book too long. The middle section was focused entirely on the character's inner monologues and became repetitive. Nothing really happened, just Jared and Aleena going on in circles about their feelings.

I was mostly disappointed with the secondary characters and the lack of depth in their portrayal. Christopher, Aleena's brother and Jared's best friend was instrumental to the story development (he brought Jared back int their lives and he was the one who made him leave) but felt more like a plot device than a real person. There was no story with him - he embodied very cliches of the college guy in NA books - a player, going for easy girls, no job or real studying going on. He was oblivious to anything besides his own life which consisted pretty much of girls and parties. 

The story doesn't end with a cliffhanger which I greatly appreciate. There are lot of things to clear out for Jared and Aleena  and their story will be continued in book 2 which comes in July 2014.

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