Title: Come to Me Recklessly (Closer to You #3)
Author: A.L. Jackson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 448 pages
Rating: 3 stars
His heart was turned off…
Until she turned him on…
Christopher Moore gave up on the idea of love years ago. Now, his life is an endless string of parties and an even longer string of girls. Enjoying the physical perks with none of the emotional mess, hes convinced everyone that hes satisfied—everyone but himself.
Samantha Schultz has moved on with her life. Finishing her student teaching and living with her boyfriend, shes deluded herself into believing shes content. But there is one boy she never forgot—her first love—and she keeps the memory of him locked up tight. She will never allow any man to break her the way Christopher did.
When Christopher’s sister and her family move into a new neighborhood, Christopher is completely unprepared to find Samantha living at the end of the street. Memories and unspent desires send them on collision course of sex, lies, and lust. But when guilt and fear send Samantha running, Christopher will have to fight for what has always been his.
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This is a story of second chances, with two people who are made for each other in every way, yet have a number of forces that continue to try and pull them apart.
Having read the first two books in this series, which focused on Aly, Christopher’s sister, and Jared, his best-friend, I always wondered about him and what made him the type of player he became. With this story, I now have the answers.
Back when they were teenagers . ..
Christopher broke Samantha’s heart.
Samantha broke Christopher’s heart.
“He broke me. I never should have acted like it was okay to set foot back into his world.”
I had to wonder though, were they truly both in the wrong all those years ago? Through flashbacks told in dual POVs, you get the story of how they built their relationship, despite Samantha’s parents lack of approval. But you really don’t get the answers to what happened to tear them apart until 60% into the book.
There is good drama – a rival girl trying to take away the heroine’s guy or family stepping to stop a relationship. And there’s bad drama – lying and not having a backbone to stand up to those same parents when one becomes an adult. It’s this second kind of drama that frustrated me to no end in this book.
Both of Christopher and Samantha seem to give up on each other and not fight for what is meant to be. Blame it on their youth and lack of experience. However, years later, they still hold a grudge, blaming the other for the events that destroyed them. When we finally find out what drove them apart, I’ll have to admit, I think most of the blame lands on Christopher. And I’m left scratching my head as to why he had so much anger toward Samantha when he was clearly in the wrong. If he had made an effort to talk with her back then, instead of give up, so much heartache could have been avoided.
“Two very confused, very hurt people. Two people who obviously need to forgive each other. Two people who are trapped somewhere in the past.”
With Samantha now living near Aly and reconnecting with her, Christopher is forced to spend time with her. His hostility was rough, and looking back at why he was so hostile, I honestly wanted to slap him. It turns out all that hostility was just a shield to protect his heart, because from the moment that Samantha reenters his life, he can’t stop thinking of her and can’t stay away.
The switch from jackass to friend seemed to move quickly, although it actually takes place over several months – this was due to the story jumping ahead at points, so to me, it gave the element of being rushed. What I struggled with was why, over those months, Samantha continually lied to her boyfriend on her whereabouts, no matter how innocent everything was at the time. She truly lacked a backbone in standing up to Ben who wanted to control who she could and couldn’t see. And then, I struggled with why she even stayed with him. It was obvious from the beginning of the book that any former passion for Ben had died, particularly when she couldn’t stop thinking about Christopher.
The dance these two play throughout the story dragged for me, and I just wished they would talk it out, discuss what drove them apart years ago, and move on. But when that talk happens, and Christopher lies, I was just about over it. I couldn’t fault Samantha for her reaction.
What does it take to delete the past? A thousand apologies?
A million regrets?
A litany of prayers?
If I should them, would you hear? If I whispered them, would you believe? If I fell at your feet, would you forgive? If I asked, would you start again?
A tragedy of all things, oddly enough seems to heal their wounds, both past and present.
While the story was frustrating at times, one should always expect a heavy dose of angst with this author. Overall, if you like a second chance story, with some boneheaded main characters who take FOR-EVER to get their shit together, then this book is for you.
Side note: It was nice to see that Aly and Jared had their shit together. They were my favorite part of the story.
*An ARC was received for an honest review.