Review: Drowning to Breathe (#2, Bleeding Stars) by A.L. Jackson

Intensely sexy and heartfelt.
A great conclusion to Shea and Baz’s tumultuous romance.
4halfstars

Synopsis

The danger in pretending is it becoming real…

Sebastian Stone, Sunder front man and guitarist with a rap sheet about ten miles long, escaped to Savannah, Georgia, to get away from the trouble he’d caused.

Not find more of it.

The moment he saw Shea Bentley, he saw beneath all her sweet and innocence to something that went deeper.

Darker.

Their relationship was built on secrets; their love built on lies.

Sebastian never imagined how deep her secrets went.

When the past and present collide, Sebastian and Shea find themselves fighting for a future neither believed they deserved. Their passion is consuming and their need unending.

Now, holding the truth in his hands, Sebastian is faced with sacrificing everything he’s come to love to protect Shea and his family.

Two pasts intertwined.

Two lives bound.

Will their demons drown them or will Shea and Sebastian finally learn to breathe?

My Review

A.L. Jackson is one of my favorite authors. I love the way her words bleed emotion, the way her stories make your heart ache. This latest release proves it once again. She delivers the conclusion of Baz and Shea’s story with intensity, as hearts are bared open and betrayal runs deep.

“Do you really think you don’t know me, Sebastian? Do you really think you don’t know every single thing that counts?”

Sebastian feels his relationship with Shea has been a lie. But without her, he’s a shell—desolate and heartbroken, needing her despite it all.

Shea, too, is broken. With her daughter and Sebastian gone, her world blurs in chaos, complication and pain.

Baz finally reacts, however, and helps Shea fight Martin to win Kallie back.

“… they were worth everything. I’d give up anything and everything to protect them.”

Drowning to Breathe centers around Baz and Shea opening up completely to each other… past and present. Much of the plot revolves around their fight to get Kallie, with suspenseful notes woven in when it comes to Martin and his shady actions. We see their lives twine even tighter and tension escalates on every level.

All in all, sexiness, suspense and emotion blend together to deliver a conclusion that is satisfying and well-earned. Lots of moments of tenderness with a wonderful epilogue that will have you feeling even happier.

“And here I stood, covered in all Shea’s light, cloaked in her darkness, lost beneath the surface where she became the air. Drowning to Breathe.”

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Reading Order

 drowning to breathe bleeding stars

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Release Day Hop + Giveaway: A Stone In The Sea by A.L. Jackson

stone in the sea

A Stone In The Sea, the first in a new series entitled Bleeding Stars is out today!!! Written by one of my most favorite authors, A.L. Jackson, this is a story that is emotional, heart wrenching and super sexy. I’m thrilled to be able to take part in a fun release day hop today, to celebrate all of you meeting rock star, Sebastian Stone!

Grab It Now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble ✦

Between 20 authors & bloggers, you have the chance to win 20 gifts from A.L. Jackson! That’s not including the GIANT giveaway on her page, so be sure to end your hop over with her!  The catch is that the gift is a surprise…It’s easy to win, but you won’t know what you’ve won immediately! But do not doubt, it will be special!

Follow along on A.L. Jackson’s Facebook page, or see the list below:

Synopsis

Feb-23He wanted nothing at all…

Until he found she had everything to give…

Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has everything—fans, fame, and fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and a reputation for a short-fused temper. But an outward reputation rarely reveals the true man inside. Facing assault charges after trying to protect his younger brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie low until the dust settles in L.A.

Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very lifestyle Sebastian has always embraced.

When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the bar where she works, Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but she’s helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense gray eyes tangle with hers.

They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won’t let them up for air.

Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he’s not the only one who’s hiding them.

Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea’s past that costs them everything?

a stone in the sea

✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦

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About A.L. Jackson

IMG_0618TUA.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Pulled and When We Collide.

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. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Giveaway

A.L. Jackson has a top-secret prize for each stop of this release day hop! It’s special, but you won’t know until you win! Make sure to like Vilma’s Book Blog page on Facebook and enter using the Rafflecopter below. Open Internationally!

Make sure you also visit A.L. Jackson’s page for the tour-wide, extra big giveaway too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Review: A Stone In The Sea (#1, Bleeding Stars) by A.L. Jackson

My Thoughts

All the feels you’ve come to expect from A.L. Jackson, but with edgier, unexpected plot turns to deepen the experience.
It’s sexy, heart wrenching and a must-read.

5stars

Synopsis

Feb-23

He wanted nothing at all…

Until he found she had everything to give…

Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has everything—fans, fame, and fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and a reputation for a short-fused temper. But an outward reputation rarely reveals the true man inside. Facing assault charges after trying to protect his younger brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie low until the dust settles in L.A.

Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very lifestyle Sebastian has always embraced.

When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the bar where she works, Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but she’s helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense gray eyes tangle with hers.

They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won’t let them up for air.

Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he’s not the only one who’s hiding them.

Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea’s past that costs them everything?

My Review

I love getting lost in A.L. Jackson’s impeccable, lyrical writing. Her stories are rife with love and heartache, bleeding emotion in a way that you can’t help but connect with. This novel, the first in a new series, marks Jackson’s return to self-publishing and is her first foray into rock star romance territory. Despite being one of my very favorite all-time authors, I was curious to how she would breathe new life into a story whose protagonist lived under the the spotlight, behind the always-snapping clicks of camera lenses. And boy, did she did deliver. A Stone in the Sea truly centered on the love story between two individuals with secrets that had torn them down, with pasts that delivered brutal heartache.

“It’s time you stood up for yourself and took some time to deal with what’s going on inside of you. Because if you don’t? You’re going to end up losing everything that’s important to you and there won’t be a damned thing in this world I can do to stop it.”

Sebastian Stone’s life was falling apart… again. His life had been marked by loss and heartbreak, his days filled with the worry of responsibility. The stage was the only place he felt alive and free, and now, that freedom was being threatened. Sebastian was fiercely loyal, and his protectiveness over his younger brother had brought him to blows with a man determined to tear him down. With an impending lawsuit, he was at risk to lose it all. So he and the band are sent to Savannah, Georgia, to hide away and decompress. To have some time for Sebastian (Baz) to figure out his life.

For Shea Bentley, she had come back to Savannah to escape her past, to start over and build a life rich with happiness and love. She didn’t have time for distractions. She didn’t have time to date. Working at her Uncle Charlie’s bar gave her plenty of opportunity, but she needed to keep focused. When she met a stranger, Baz, sitting in a dark corner of the bar, a odd and unlikely connection flared to life, a trepidation for what this stranger could unsettle.

Baz and Shea are both selfless, but tortured souls, wrestling with secrets and past mistakes that keep them from living their lives to the fullest. For Baz, he was quickly taken with this girl, but he knew he would be leaving… returning to an ugly reality defined by problems and lies and constant scrutiny. For Shea, she didn’t need to feel desire for a man like Baz, who would surely prove to be the most dangerous of distractions.

“Maybe that’s why I was here, because I could feel her own turmoil, something deep and dark, just like me, something hard and tainted that was searching for freedom.”

Their coming together is reluctant, but intense. These two people would gradually break down barriers, learning kernels of truth about who they were. It was bad news from the beginning, but it was also something neither could push away.

“I was falling farther, sucked beneath the surface. A stone in the sea. Completely drowning in this man.”

For Baz, she was a reprieve from the agony of his own life. From the problems that consumed him. From the guilt. From the pain.

“… she made me feel different when I was with her, like maybe not every single thing in this world was bad.”

For Shea, Sebastian was the promise of everything she had dared to dream, but knew she couldn’t have.

“I was wanting things I couldn’t have, simple dreams crushed before they ever had the chance to take flight, even though they’d somehow taken root, burrowed deep where the dark, forbidden things in my world were stored like a burden, a closet full of dressed up skeletons that would forever grieve what was never meant to be.”

This is a story twisted by secrets. Secrets that could destroy them both, destroy the love they found in each other, the hope they wanted to nourish. Jackson’s lyrical writing sweeps you into the story, evoking so much feeling as I connected with and felt for our two protagonists. There were happy moments, super sexy moments, heart wrenching moments that all mixed together beautifully to give us a great story that kept me engaged from beginning to end. And speaking of endings, Jackson concludes this first book with plot twists (plural!) I never saw coming! I love it when a book surprises in a way that can shift the direction of the story in such an unexpected way. Now, I can only hope June comes quickly!

✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦

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About A.L. Jackson

IMG_0618TUA.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Pulled and When We Collide.

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. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

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Cover Reveal + Giveaway: A Stone in the Sea by A.L. Jackson

A Stone in the Sea cover

Ahh!!!! The whole cover is here! Feast your eyes on the sexiness that is Sebastian Stone!!! A Stone in the Sea is a new contemporary romance novel from one of my favorite authors, A.L. Jackson! Coming February 23rd!

✦ Pre-order exclusively on iTunes ✦

Synopsis

He wanted nothing at all…

Until he found she had everything to give…

Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has everything—fans, fame, and fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and a reputation for a short-fused temper. But an outward reputation rarely reveals the true man inside. Facing assault charges after trying to protect his younger brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie low until the dust settles in L.A.

Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very lifestyle Sebastian has always embraced.

When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the bar where she works, Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but she’s helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense gray eyes tangle with hers.

They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won’t let them up for air.

Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he’s not the only one who’s hiding them.

Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea’s past that costs them everything?

addtogoodreads

Check out these blogs to read exclusive excerpts from Chapters 1 and 2!

Jan 12: Vilma’s Book Blog
Jan 13: Give Me Books 
Jan 14: Shh Mom’s Reading
Jan 15: Nose Stuck in A Book

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About A.L. Jackson

IMG_0618TUA.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Pulled and When We Collide.

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. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

 

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