LEAD ME HOME New Release Review, Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

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

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TITLE: LEAD ME HOME

SERIES: A Fight for Me Stand-Alone Novel 

RELEASE DATE: MAY 7TH, 2018

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.

 EXCERPT

My heart rose higher in my throat with every pound on the wood. It was as if an accelerant had been poured directly into my blood.
It was close to two in the morning.
Someone showing up at this time of night—in the middle of a downpour, no less—should make me cautious.
If I searched myself, I guessed a little part of me was afraid, but only because I was sure of who was on the other side of the door.
He’d always been dangerous.
Dangerous to my sanity.
Dangerous to my heart.
Obviously, none of that mattered. I was drawn to him anyway.
Tied.
Nothing more than an offering.
I hoisted up on my tiptoes to peer through the peephole, and I sucked in a breath when I saw the tortured face pleading back.
So gorgeous in its hardened, chiseled way. Wind gusted through the longer pieces of his dark-blond hair, his shirt soaked and clinging to his massive body from having to make his way through the deluge that pummeled at the roof.
Quickly, I worked through the lock and yanked open the door.
Chills flashed.
A shockwave.
All brought on by the sight of him.
“Ollie,” I whispered, my spirit in an uproar.
He staggered in with a half-drained bottle of scotch clutched in his hand and kicked the door shut behind him.
He dropped the bottle to the carpeted floor, and there was no time to contemplate the thud before he was stalking my way.
Body massive.
A burly, beautiful, beast of a man.
I took a startled step back, sucking for the air his presence had stolen. Energy streaked through the room. Those big hands darted out and captured my face in the same second his mouth captured mine.
Lips and tongue and searing heat.
Liquor kisses.
My head spun and need blistered across my skin.
He groaned in misery and released the words between the manic scourge of his mouth. “I need you, Nikki. Need you in a way I haven’t needed anything in all my life. Take it away. Fuck . . . please take it away.”

KIM’S REVIEW

“We are three. Forever and ever, you and me.”
If you have not read any of the books in the Fight for Me series yet, each one can be read as a standalone. The series focuses on a group of best friends who have grown up together and experienced the most devastating loss together fourteen years ago. They each have their own secrets and demons related to that experience, and the stories of their journeys to come to terms with those demons to find redemption and the prospect of a happier future have been some of my favorite reads in the last year or so. Lead Me Home features Nikki and Ollie, and I have been eagerly anticipating their turn in the spotlight!
Nikki, Ollie and his sister Sydney became the equivalent of the Three Musketeers from the moment they met at the bus stop on Sydney and Nikki’s first day of school when they were just 5 years old.  Ollie immediately took on the role of protector as the older brother by one whole year, but it was a role he took seriously through the years. By the time they became teenagers, everything changed slightly when hormones and a different sort of awareness of each other kicked in. Nikki fell in love with Ollie from the time she was old enough to know what that meant, and he was definitely drawn to her as well. He was just more reluctant to admit it because he knew it would change everything. On the other hand, he completely missed the fact that Sydney and his best friend Rex were having some moments of their own. Then one fateful night when Sydney was 16 changed everything; feelings were hurt, secrets were kept, and mistakes were made that couldn’t be taken back as Sydney disappeared without a trace. That night left scars on all of them that they carry to this day.
When three became two, Ollie shut down and buried his feelings for Nikki as deep as he could as he blamed himself for Sydney’s disappearance. It hasn’t been an easy task with Nikki constantly in his periphery as part of their circle of friends for the last 14 years though. His love for her has never dissipated, but he doesn’t feel worthy of her love either. He has dedicated his life to trying to solve the mystery of exactly what happened to his sister, but each anniversary of that night gets harder to face for him. When he allows himself to go to Nikki one night in a drunken haze, she thinks that he is finally letting her in only to have her heart broken by him again when she realizes the next morning that he locked down his emotions and retreated again.
Now, one year later, a storm is brewing and he feels that something big is coming. Nikki is in some sort of danger, and when she won’t share with him exactly what is going on, those feelings he tried so hard to bury bubble dangerously close to the surface. She is determined not to let him crush her heart again, but the emotional, torturous dance between them may be too much for either to bear. No matter how many times she tries to get through to him, he just can’t bring himself to believe that he is truly worthy of her love. But he is determined to keep her safe and keeping her close is the only way to do it, even if it brings both of them to their knees.
I have so many quotes highlighted in this story that I am surprised my Kindle isn’t glowing! We learn the details of their past through a series of flashback chapters which flowed smoothly between past and present as we see the young Ollie and Nikki growing up and moving toward the night that changed everything. Present day Nikki is torn between hope that Ollie is finally coming around and the fear that he will rip her heart out of her chest one more time. When they are on the same page, they are blisteringly hot but staying on that same page is the challenge. Ollie alternatively broke my heart, put it back together and melted me over the course of this book. Add in the stress of Nikki finding herself in danger and then learning that her sister suffered a trauma in their youth that she hid from everyone, and the emotional turmoil really ramps up. The truth behind Sydney’s fate is finally revealed in a way that I didn’t anticipate when I started this series, but the closure to the storyline absolutely felt right to me too. The final secrets held within their little group are revealed and dealt with to allow them all to find some peace for the future. I cannot recommend this book or this series enough so go get your 1-click on!

 
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!!

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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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