Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pulled by A.L. Jackson

5 Stars

Wow. I think my heart can finally beat on its own again. What an emotionally intense and addictive story....and I loved every minute of it! THIS is what I look for in a romance book and yet it's so hard for me to find.

Nine years earlier, Melanie relocated to a new town with her father. She met Erin who introduced her to her brother, Daniel. They started dating immediately. They were inseparable and fell madly and wholly in love.  Their love instantly captivated me.
It was a love so strong, it not only enveloped everyone around them, but me as a reader. I swear I could feel the love…a love that seemed to be too good to be true. Even an unexpected pregnancy, which I thought would change everything, did not distract the two from their initial feelings. It was all going as planned until one tragic agonizing night when the force that kept them together was torn away. 

Fast forward nine years later and Melanie is now in a loveless marriage to a man named Nicolas. Melanie finds herself playing the role of a trophy wife to a man who only cares about himself. Nicolas is too caught up in a battle with his ego to notice how distant his wife has become. He's abusive and demanding and expects Melanie to be a pawn in his game of success. Oh how the unexpected can change our lives like an unpredictable tornado can violently rip through a town in minutes, leaving that town as serine as it found it, yet with a new identity.

Meanwhile, Daniel did not have the bitter-sweet luxury of finding a new mate after the unthinkable tragedy. When Melanie and Daniel parted ways, Daniel became an empty shell floating through life. He did what he was supposed to but never fully recovered from losing his one and only love. Even with them being separated for nine long years, he was never able to give his heart to anyone else. Right before an important dinner meeting, Daniel finds out about some unexpected and unwanted news that will change his life once again. To top it off, he runs into Melanie at the dinner with her husband, who he hasn't seen in nine years. What a way to twist the knife that was placed in his heart nine years earlier.

Joining Nicolas and Melanie at the dinner meeting is also Shawn and his wife Katie. Shawn and Katie are wonderful supportive friends that came as a surprise. At the dinner, you can feel the electricity developing between Daniel and Melanie once again. Nicolas knows something is up with Melanie, so she'll have to pay for it later. But when Melanie and Daniel are finally brought together after all those long and hard years, it was one of the most beautiful passionate moments I've ever read.

Nicholas is just what I love in a character. Yes, he was abusive and demeaning, but he brought more drama and tension to the story line. I also loved that Katie was there through thick and thin for Melanie no matter what. Melanie and Daniel have almost a love at first site relationship, which is not my normal thing. I usually tend to stay away from those kind of reads, but the author made it work so well weaving their past and present story together. Right before Melanie and Daniel were about announce her pregnancy to her father, something traumatic happens that nearly brought me to my knees. The pain and agony they were both experiencing was so strong I could taste it. Life at times can be hard and unfair....and it was so unfair in this moment. That's what I love about this author. She has a way of bringing the emotions and surroundings of the characters and story to the surface, as if you're really there going through it yourself. Her books are so deeply moving, you'll feel it down to the marrow in your bones.

I think there's something captivating about this author’s writing. I truly loved every minute of this book. My heart was pulled and torn in opposite directions the entire time. I wanted so much for these two characters yet they both lost so much in the blink of an eye. It was agony to read- but in a good way, if that makes sense. I love heart-wrenching, emotionally engaging, angst-filled romance stories with characters I can understand and relate to on some level. And that's exactly what I got. Pulled is such a vastly different story then Take the Regret, which is also by this author. I can't even begin to say which one is my favorite except that I loved them both in different ways. But I think Pulled may have won by a few inches. I can't wait to see what she has in store for us in the future. 

Favorite lines of mine:

He stood above me, his body trembling. "This is forever."

When I look back now, though, I would never change it. There had always been a reason, and I would never regret where the path had led. Here, loved by this man, his body burning into mine, our spirits consumed by a fire that could never be quelled. Here, where out son slept peacefully in the room across the hall. Here, where we were home. Here, where we were pulled.

I woke every morning with my heart laid bare, wounds torn open, fresh pain oozing from every pore in my body.

I squeezed my eyes, willing them shut a moment longer, unable to tell what was worse-reliving the nightmare every night or waking to the life I didn't want to live.

The energy that bound our souls together was suffocating, her fire roaring through my veins.
"Melanie, you feel so good."


Maria D. said...

Sounds like a very intense book. Good review!

Tina B said...

This sounds like a very good read. I will be adding it to my TBR. Thank you for your review!


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