Title: When We Collide
Author: A.L. Jackson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
William has spent six years running from his past and the last eight months trying to rid his mind of the dreams that increasingly haunt his nights. Trapped in a world of false ambitions and feigned affections, William knows he’s reached a breaking point and something’s going to give.
Maggie had lived her entire life without hope until one man showed her what it meant to be loved. He’d been her light in a lifetime of darkness. Six years ago, that darkness stole him away. Without him, she’s surrendered herself to an existence she doesn’t know how to escape.
When the family William left behind is struck by tragedy, he is called back to the one place he’s sworn to never return to again.
In a moment that will change his life forever, William comes face to face with the girl who, with one look, captured his heart. He is unable to ignore the buried desires and the hope for the future they’d once believed they’d have.
Now William is ready to fight to take back what had been stolen from him six years before.
But he never imagined what that fight might cost him.
Another amazing book by the amazing A.L. Jackson, indeed.
This is not my first book by Jackson, so I think it’s safe to say that I know her writing style, and I knew before I went head first into this book, that it was going to be an emotional rollercoaster, as her books tend to be. Guess what? I wasn’t wrong.
Once again A.L. Jackson has boarded a very difficult subject to write about, as is abuse, and turned it mind-blowing, and heartbreaking book.
It is incredibly difficult not to feel when reading this book. Actually, I would go as far as saying it’s impossible. The horrors Maggie goes through and just utterly heartbreaking, and to think this happens every day to someone out there leaves me in tears.
If I had to describe When We Collide in a few words I would say: intense, dark, and a complete tearjerker. My god! How I cried!
When We Collide is a story of how love can save you from the horrors you lived through, it’s a story of how love can heal even the deepest scars. It’s a story of hope and second chances.
“Because it shouldn’t hurt to be touched.”
Just before ten, I slipped out the back door. Impatience quickened my steps—quickened my pulse. I couldn’t wait to see her.
Mom and Lara had cornered me a couple of hours before, ambushed me with questions about my eye, demanding answers there was no way in hell I was going to give. I’d made up some convoluted story that was barely believable about some guys I’d never seen before at the next town jumping me when Blake and I had stopped for gas. Only after I’d convinced my mom and Lara that I was fine and I’d spent the next two hours listening to them chat over hot tea was I able to escape. I imagined the late hour was my only salvation.
Besides, I figured this town had enough gossips that either of them could have just asked and they’d find the answers to their questions. As it was, I was wondering why they hadn’t already heard. I guessed since the only ones who had been there last night were Blake and his small group of friends and that fucking coward Troy, no one had uttered a word. A part of me wanted the whole damned town to know what Troy had done, even if it meant I would bear the consequences of it, while the other part of me wanted to protect Maggie from any more shame.
I tried to push those thoughts aside, told myself, it’s over…it doesn’t matter. Maggie was mine. Now I just had to figure out how to get her out of that house so she’d be completely safe.
Maggie was already there when I emerged at the outskirts of our refuge. Her head snapped up when she heard me approach, that smile lighting her face when our eyes met. There was no hesitation as I rushed to her. I sank to the ground and pulled her into my arms.
“Hi,” I mumbled between our frantic kisses.
Maggie gasped then giggled against my mouth when I spun her and pressed her into the cool grasses.
“Hi,” she said, grinning when I finally pulled away to let her up for air. The moonlight seeped through the ceiling of leaves and illuminated the joy on her face. That joy faded when she focused on the mark above my eye. She reached out and ran her fingers over it.
I grabbed her hand and brought her fingers to my lips before she could say anything.
“It was worth it, Maggie…you’re worth it. I need you to believe that.” I’d do it a million times over if what happened last night had set her free.
I watched as disbelief and uncertainty twisted her face, and she closed her eyes and seemed to struggle against her past before she nodded her head as if maybe she understood.
Her eyes fluttered open. “I love you, William.”
“Do you know how long I have been dying to hear you say that?” I almost teased as I settled myself between her legs and hugged her closer. I felt the heavy breath ease itself from her lungs and her spirit sink into mine as she relaxed beneath me. She smiled at me, her eyes wide and awakened. I loved the way she looked right then, like the girl I’d fallen in love with over the last three months, although now exposed and without the barriers she’d erected between us.
“I think I’ve known it for a long time,” she finally said, her fingers playing with the hair at the nape of my neck. “I don’t really know why I felt like I couldn’t admit it.” Maggie wet her lips, glanced into the distance before bringing her attention back to me. “I’m scared of this, of finally having something I’ve wanted so badly, but I’m more scared of losing it.”
I squeezed her, a gentle encouragement. She was never going to lose me.
“I’m not a normal girl, William.” When she said it, her eyes burned into mine, as if warning me, giving me an out.
I brushed the bangs from her face. “You think I don’t know you, Maggie?”
Yeah, I knew she was broken, knew no matter where she ended up in life, her past would always be there to haunt her, knew she had so much to overcome. But I also knew, underneath it all, she was strong. I saw it in her eyes and felt it in her spirit. I knew she was kind and good, knew she was beautiful. And I knew I was never going to stop loving her.
“I fell in love with you.”
A tremor of a smile tugged at one side of her mouth. “I guess that’s the part I really don’t understand.”
“Maggie,” I said as a whisper as I leaned down to kiss her. I pulled back. “You deserve to be happy.” And I’d do whatever it took to be sure she was.
Cupping my cheek, she ran her thumb beneath my eye. “You make me happy.”
I didn’t even try to contain the smile that spread over my face.
About the Author:
A.L. Jackson 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 beautiful children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.
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