I am a HUGE fan of A.L. Jackson. After reading “Pulled”, I knew I found an author that I liked and have been a loyal fan every since. After reading her books, you will see that she has a running theme throughout her stories. They are very different, but yet have a commonality – regret – that weaves them together to make them books uniquely A.L. Jackson books. These are great books for everyone that has something in their life they look back on and regret. What if you had a chance to make a wrong right again?
Rating: 3.5 stars
This was the first book of Ms. Jackson’s that I read and have been hooked ever since. It is written in alternating first person POV between Melanie and Daniel, who at the start, are living completely different lives.
When we meet Melanie, we can instantly tell how unhappy and miserable she is in the life she settled for when everything crumbled nine years ago. Married to a man she has grown to hate and a prisoner in this thing she calls life. All she has to hold onto are the memories of Daniel, the love of her life. When we meet Daniel, we find that he is in no better shape than Melanie. Although he has moved on in his life professionally, he has yet to move on from the girl he met when he was seventeen. By coincidence, or fate, their paths cross one another and their lives are thrown into catastrophe as they find themselves being pulled once again to one another.
To me this story is about taking control of your life and not letting things that are out of your control rule your decisions. This is not an easy love story. Melanie and Daniel have a ton of obstacles thrown into their way, but if they fight for it, they may finally get their happiness finally.
The way the story was told you really don’t know what happened to cause Melanie and Daniel’s separation until later in the book and in this case, I liked that. It wasn’t necessary to know why they were separated, just that they were and they both knew it was mistake to let it happen. The writing was suburb and the story was so well done. You were rooting for these two the entire time.
Take This Regret
Rating: 4 stars
This one is by far my favorite book so far by Ms. Jackson. Unlike the other two books, you find out the reason why Elizabeth and Christian have separated in the Prologue. Elizabeth and Christian had a fantastic relationship while studying at Columbia (Ms. Jackson is going to be writing a prequel book about their relationship) and that all comes crashing down when Christian betrays her and leaves her alone to deal with the fallout.
Fast forward 5 years. Christian finds himself living in San Diego, opening a branch of his father’s law firm, which happens to be where Elizabeth grew up. They haven’t spoken since the day he gave her an ultimatum that had her walking out on him. And once again coincidence, or fate, steps in and gives him a look at what exactly he’s been missing out on all these years.
Told in alternating first person POV, the story follows Christian’s fight to get back the family that he let walk away from him. As you read it you completely understand why Elizabeth is so hesitant to forgive him after all these years, yet at the same time you root for Christian because you know how miserable he has been.
I loved the man Christian turned out to be. He knew he made a huge mistake and he was prepared to do whatever it took to make it right. And then there is Elizabeth. Whether you agreed with her decisions or not, you understood them and felt them. Ms. Jackson did such a fabulous job depicting realistic emotions that someone in Elizabeth’s situation would go through. That was what made this book great – as a reader you were able to connect and relate to the characters. You really felt for them.
When We Collide
Rating: 3.5 stars
This is the most recent of Ms. Jackson’s books and it actually had the feel of “Pulled” and “Take This Regret”. The two main characters, William and Maggie, are miserable in their current lives and have to endure the pain of memories of something that happened one summer six years ago. As a result, William ran away to California, never returning to see his family who he adores, until he is forced back to his hometown due to an unexpected tradegy. After that one summer, Maggie got married and six years later, finds herself married to someone who quite frankly scares the beejeesus out of her (and me too).
This book felt like a perfect marriage of Ms. Jackson’s previous two books. Like “Pulled”, you didn’t really know what happened between Maggie and William all those years ago until the end of the book. This made the story interesting because you understood that something happened and you wanted to keep reading to see what it was and how everything would turn out.
Maggie was propably one of the most tragic characters I have ever read about. Her entire life was…heartbreakingly sad. It seemed that the only good part of her life was William. This girl never seemed to catch a break and as the reader, you were hoping that something would eventually turn out in her favor.
If you want to read a book that is well written and makes you really feel the emotions the characters are going through, then these are the books for you. I haven’t really read many books that are like these, which makes them stand out as something more than a romance novel.