March 24, 2016

AL Jackson, Where Lightning Strikes Review

A Bleeding Stars Novel Book 3 
By: AL Jackson 
Release Day March 22 

Do you know what it feels like right before lightning strikes? How you can feel the current running through your veins? The trembles of warning that ripple through the air? It was a thrill Tamar King chased all her life until it became the very thing she had to escape.  

For the last four years, Tamar King has hidden herself in an isolated world she created. She was safe. No one could touch her. Until Lyrik West walked through her door.  
He’s the lead guitarist for Sunder and everything she can never have. The dark and beautiful rock star becomes everything she craves.  
Lyrik’s life has been devoted to his band and that success has cost him. Bitter, hard, and filled with regret, he refuses to lose himself again, but from the moment he sees her, he wants one night with Tamar King.  
The gorgeous bartender is more than he bargained for. Their attraction is consuming. Their desire overpowering. With one touch, they ignite.  
But is it worth the cost of getting burned? 
She’s a gorgeous nightmare and he’s a wicked dream… 
WHERE LIGHTNING STRIKES, a Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel  

For one night, I wanted it. I wanted her secrets. I wanted to sink my fingers in and take for myself. She was the exact kind of contradiction I craved.  
The push and pull.  
But this time the pull was too great to ignore.  
I traced my thumbs along the delicate slope of her neck. Dragged them across the soft, soft skin. Her pulse was racing with a violent beat. I forced her to look at me while my entire body ran hot. 
“Tell me what you want, Red.” It slipped out in a rough murmur.  
In the distance, thunder rolled. Those blue eyes flashed. Flashed with courage and fear.  
Something about it made me shake.  
Almost defiantly, she lifted her chin, and she reached up with her small hands and grasped me around the wrists.  
“I want you to kiss me.”  
Leave it to Red to ask for the thing I didn’t want to give. Memories cut a path of panic through my consciousness. Reminding me of what I’d done. Of why I could never get too close.  
Of where my loyalty truly lay.  
Clenching my jaw, I gripped her tighter. My heart was giving its all to reject this. Screaming at me to wise up and to do it fast. To turn my back and walk away. No doubt, my feet had officially crossed into the forbidden zone. Out of bounds.  
Red was trying to take me places I didn’t want to go.  
On the inside, I struggled like a goddamned madman. Torn between lashing out like I’d done the last time she’d been tempting me with the need to sink inside her, to discover the countless secrets she had lying underneath, and gathering her up and letting her in on all of mine.  
I was at an all-out war with my instincts. The f*cked-up thing was I didn’t even know what those were anymore.  
Not when it came to her.  
Wavering, I rocked forward in indecision then rocked back. Getting closer to those full red lips with each pass.  
Her attention flitted over my face. They jumped from my eyes to my mouth and back again. She fisted my suit jacket. 
“What do you want?” she demanded, turning the question on me. Her voice was a brazen, needy mix of the siren who had no issue with putting me in my place and the soft vulnerability that kept seeping through.  
My tongue darted out and swept across my bottom lip. 
Dying for a taste.  
“F*ck it.” 
Figured she was going to kill me, anyway.  

Where do I even begin with this book?

"Do you know what it feels like right before lightning strikes?"

Right from the very first sentence we get a sense that there is something brewing beneath the surface.  AL’s lyrical writing combined with the proverbial lightning strike on the horizon grips your heart and squeezes your lungs so tight, it hurts to breathe.  Reading this book was an intense feeling.  The imagery that an impending storm was coming puts you in the story and you can’t help but feel the nervous energy that would otherwise be felt during a real life occurrence.

Both the Hero and the Heroine are trapped in defining parts of their pasts that they refuse to let go of.  One is running and hiding from something that they fear, and the other refuses to let go of something that was out of their control.  My heart was shredded for both Lyrik and Tamar.  Both so deserving of a happy future, but with each of them having one hand on their pasts, and barely living in the present, neither of them know how to get to that happy, or realize that they deserve it.

Lyrik.  Oh, my sweet, tortured soul, Lyrik.  He carries so much weight on his shoulders, and burdens that he should have made amends with a long time ago.  The most important thing in his life is loyalty, and he holds on to it even when it’s the wrong kind.  He’s a typical rocker, and women (many of them) are his brand of poison.  He never lets them in close, that is until Tamar.  She is his beautiful contradiction.

“I loved a girl who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind while her body told an entirely different story.  That was the type of contradiction I craved.  The push and pull.  Hate bristling with want.”

Tamar.  She has some hardened edges, and she has had a rough past.  Particularly in the relationship department, and in order to keep everyone at bay, she refuses to let anyone get close.  In fact, she’s holding on to some pretty huge secrets that she refuses to let anyone in on.

“Sometimes fear shouts so loudly it drowns out everything else.”

When these two come together, it’s electric.  Just like lightning, and they have two choices…let that lightning strike burn them to the ground, or create something beautiful from the wreckage.

“Lonely recognized lonely.  And my heart recognized him.”

I don’t know how Amy does it.  Her writing is constantly raising the bar on the books I love to read.  The beautiful imagery she evoked with this novel made me feel as if I was watching a storm roll into the city, just knowing all hell was going to break lose, and the only thing you can do, is wait it out.

If you have never read anything from AL Jackson, I implore you to read this book.  Beautifully written, emotional from start to finish, it is truly a masterpiece, and so much more deserving than any review scale can give it.  There’s no amount of stars that could give it justice.

This book definitely ‘sings my soul’.

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A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary and new adult romance. 
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. 
Connect with A.L. Jackson 
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