Release Day Blitz + Review: Lead Me Home, A. L. Jackson

Lead Me Home

A second-chance, friends-to-lovers, stand-alone romance in A.L. Jackson's Fight for Me series...

"A TOP 2018 & LIFETIME ROMANCE!" ~Karen, Bookalicious Babes Blog

SERIES: A Fight for Me Stand-Alone Novel 
Fourteen years ago, my life changed forever.
My sister disappeared. That day I was selfish. That day I chose myself over her. And that day, I lost everything.
Including Nikki Walters.
She's the girl I’ve loved my whole life. She’s gorgeous. Caring. Every single thing I’ve ever wanted but denied myself. She was my sister’s best friend, and I destroyed any chance of keeping her.
When her safety is threatened, I have a second chance to do the right thing. But as soon as she moves in, I want her in all the wrong ways.
All it takes is a brush of her hand, and I’m losing all control.
The fire between us is only burning hotter.
But neither of us saw what was coming.
And it just might be Nikki Walters who destroys me in the end.
The highly anticipated sexy, suspenseful stand-alone second-chance romance from NYT Bestselling Author, A.L. Jackson.

The scariest part was the way my heart sang with the hope of it. Because I had always belonged to Oliver Preston. The problem was, he’d never fully belonged to me. I owned his gazes. His protection. His regret. But he’d never allow me to possess his broken spirit.

My goodness I feel like I had been waiting for this book for forever. When I got the email that I was chosen for an arc and it had been sent, I was so overjoyed, I squealed. Squealed, guys. Ollie was finally here and I couldn't have been happier. Well, turns out that was a lie because reading this book made me the happiest, even when it hurt, even when it brought tears to my eyes, even when it made me feel like my heart would be ripped out of my chest. Because that's how it felt sometimes to read about these two loving each other so so much and not being together.

“Well, aren’t you just the savage savior?” He smiled over at me, and I smiled back. “Saving you was always my job.” My insides shook. 

Ollie was still so full of guilt for not protecting Sydney, he closed himself off completely to love, to his sunshine, Nikki. Nikki was so in love with Ollie and it was heartbreaking watching these two tip toe around each other and seeing how just being in the same room both appeased and hurt them so much. It was so heartbreaking. I had to pause my reading at times because it really got deep. Especially the way Ollie thought about her. He loved her so much and he didn't let himself have her, he didn't let himself be happy with her, because they would/will be the happiest together, there was never any doubt about that. I had to take mental breaks or my heart wouldn't make it. Maybe it won't happen to you but this book just really touched me and hit me hard. I'm thinking my love for Ollie is the cause but honestly I don't really know anything, just that this book had to be read at a slow pace, which is unusual for me but I actually loved it, I savored it more and I got to spend more time with my babies.

I wanted him so badly, but sometimes it was the things we wanted the most that would destroy us in the end. “Nikki,” he rumbled again. A guttural groan of pleasure all mixed up with agony. So dark and needy. “Ollie.” It was a whimper. Hope and love and everything I’d ever wanted.

Loosing Sydney 14 years ago changed them both, loosing the third member of their trio completely broke them and they, in a way, lost each other too and lost what they had and could have been. Ollie broke Nikki's heart at 16 and he's been stomping on it ever since but he couldn't help it. He couldn't let himself be with her because he didn't trust himself but he also couldn't not be in her life and look after her. He just couldn't lose her too. He needed her. They needed each other.

“You were always more than a fantasy to me. You were everything that was real.” God damn it. She was going to wreck me.

Step by step, Ollie starts letting Nikki break down the walls he erected around his heart. Forced into the same walls, fighting the soul deep connection they always shared becomes harder and harder with every second until it becomes impossible. And with all the chaos and hurt they were facing again, they found a haven in each other. They found their way back home.

“You’ve always been right for me. You just need to accept that you are. That none of us are perfect. That the world is cruel, but it’s also given us the greatest gift.”

Most of this book was very bittersweet. With every word, every moment, every interaction you feel their pain over the past and over not being together. But it was also so damn sweet to read about their love, how much they each yearned for each other, how much they needed the other to just feel better and work through the hard stuff in their lives. 
And it really sucked that none of their friends knew their history besides the fact that they'd been friends since they were kids. They kept that secret locked tight. It would have been nice if they could talk it out with friends. At least for Nikki, I feel like that would have helped a little, to have someone to talk to about what had happened and what was happening between them. 
But it wasn't even just Ollie and Nikki's story that was heartbreaking, it was everything, Nikki's sister's past, learning about how much Rex was affected by Sydney's disappearance too. Every little detail of this story was damn heartbreaking and that ending holy shit, what a revelation. It all came together in the end, in one final blow to the heart but finally knowing the whole truth about everything allowed them to mourn Sydney properly and to move on with their lives, without the guilt holding them back.

“Everything’s a big deal when it comes to you, Nikki. I’m sorry if I ever made it seem like it wasn’t. Like I didn’t care.” I forced a grin onto my mouth. “Oh, I knew you cared. No mistaking it when a big, overbearing brute constantly puts his nose in your business.” He grunted like he was exactly that.

While this book might have been truly heart-wrenching, it was so damn beautiful, it was worth every bit of pain it inflicted. I loved this book with all the pieces of my heart. These characters will be marked on me forever. I am so happy Ollie got everything he needed to let himself move on and be happy. He deserved everything good in the world. I love him so much. Okay, I'm just rambling now, I'll stop. 

Just one more thing... pick up this book and read it, seriously. Read this book!

Rate: 10 / 5 stars

Don't miss our amazing giveaway going on to celebrate the LEAD ME HOME Release!! Grand prize includes signed SHOW ME THE WAY and FOLLOW ME BACK and the entire BLEEDING STARS SERIES Paperbacks!! 

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.
Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, and BLEEDING STARS novels. Grab A.L. Jackson’s latest novel, LEAD ME HOME, the third stand-alone novel in her brand-new FIGHT FOR ME SERIES.
If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.
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