Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Blog Tour: Take This Regret by A.L. Jackson


Buy the book: Amazon US

Title: Take This Regret
Author: A.L. Jackson
Publisher: The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House
Target Audience: Adult
Genre: Contemporary romance / chick lit
Length: 242 pages

Story: There are some mistakes we make that we will regret for the rest of our lives.  For Christian, it was the day he betrayed Elizabeth.

Christian Davison has a plan for his life.  He is determined to become an attorney and to one day take his place as partner in his father’s law firm.  Nothing will stand in his way, not even Elizabeth Ayers and their unborn child.

After Christian cuts her from his life, Elizabeth spends the next five years struggling to provide for her daughter and willing to sacrifice anything to give her child a safe, comfortable life. 

For five years, Christian has regretted the day he walked away from his family and will do anything to win them back just as Elizabeth will do anything to protect her daughter from the certain heartache she believes Christian will bring upon them.

When Christian wrestles his way into their lives, Elizabeth is faced with asking herself if it is possible to forgive someone when they’ve committed the unforgivable and if it is possible to find a love after it has been buried in years of hate.  Or are there some wounds that go so deep they can never heal?

They say everyone deserves a second chance.

Thoughts and impressions: The decision to read this book was one of those spur of the moment things. It’s a very different sort of story to what I normally read but of course reading is all about expanding your horizons. I’m not the sort of person who really keeps to a limited reading sphere, so I figured I’d take a chance on the book!

When Elizabeth falls pregnant, Christian gives her an ultimatum: him or their unborn child. She chooses the child and walks out of his life. Six long years later, a chance meeting between Christian and a young girl draws him into the life that he’d turned his back on, the life that includes fatherhood. A small taste of what he had up until that moment never known is enough to make him crave it and he muscles his way into his daughter’s life, despite knowing that Elizabeth is less than comfortable with this change.

The story mostly focuses on the excursions that the three of them make as a family, showing the reader just how Christian is growing as a person in order to embrace the new role that he has taken on. He’s actually a very interesting character and I enjoyed observing his evolution from spoilt rich kid to doting father, even if I did often find the interactions between Christian and Lizzy (his daughter, not to be confused with Elizabeth, the mother). I suppose this reflects on my relationship with my parents. It’s a healthy relationship, but we tend to show our love through actions rather than endless direct proclamations.

Elizabeth was another matter entirely. She started off as a woman willing to make a difficult choice and ready to face the consequences of it. Unfortunately, while Christian evolved, I felt that Elizabeth devolved. Christian hurt her and she never got over the pain of his betrayal. I get it. Considering his actions, her reticence around him was taken too far and just ended up as a lot of repetition about how he’ll just hurt her again so she should keep her distance – but it’s so hard! I lose all respect for her when she held Christian accountable for her actions and made him responsible for them not having sex. When she then takes out all her fears on her daughter while claiming to be protecting her, she became a weak-willed character that was a shadow of the strong woman she’d been; a character I could not stand.

I understand why this is in the story but it just didn’t work for me personally. What’s more, once Elizabeth lost my respect, she failed to regain it before the story ended so I parted ways with her feeling dissatisfied with her character, and because of this ultimately with the story as a whole.

My copy of the book also had some formatting issues and I’d come across sentences like:

“He could wanted, but it would never change what he discarded us and he had no right in our likes. apologize all he did. He had”

Sometimes I could reconstruct these broken sentences but others I had no idea where the fragments were supposed to fit in. I couldn’t say for sure whether I missed anything important because of this.

Style: The style in the story was actually very heavily on the tell side. Both characters would often tell us the low down of their actions rather than show us the events.

The author also had a habit of using some weird syntax with constructions such as:

“He’d just disappeared in the middle of the night from our lives forever.”

Final verdict: As mentioned in the review, I found myself rather on the fence about this one. It was one that I enjoyed but at the end of the day I didn’t enjoy it as much as other readers, with different tastes to me, will do. It had certain shortcomings, Elizabeth’s character in particular, that I couldn’t get over.3.5 stars

Extra notes: Both bad language and sex are present.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Get to know the author:

1. Describe your book in ten words or fewer.

What one man would do for a second chance.

2. With such a large number of books out there, what do you feel sets your apart from all others?

Even though I write in the contemporary romance and paranormal romance genres, my books tend to be very emotional. My hope is that a reader will get so into my characters that they feel what the character feels.

3. Tell us a bit about your influences and just how / why these authors and / or their work inspire(s) you.

Even though I write in a very different genre, the author who has inspired me the most is Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander. Her writing style helped me see that I didn’t have to write in a box.

4. How did the seeds of this story come to you?

I had a vague sense of Christian when he first popped in my head. I saw a man who was living a life he didn’t want to be living. I began thinking about him and his situation, and finally the plot of the story clicked into place.

5. Which five books would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
  1. Bible. This one was easy.
  2. Survival guide. Knowing me, I’d eat something I wasn’t supposed to on the first day. 
  3. Shakespeare anthology.  I’ve always wanted to spend more time studying Shakespeare. Guess there’d be no better place than on a deserted island.
  4.  Shadowbound by Erin Kellison. Total guilty pleasure, but one of my favorite books.
  5.  Twilight. Another guilty pleasure. I could probably read it a thousand times and never get bored.

6. Who was your first book crush? (Or if you’ve never had a book crush then who is your favourite character to read about?)

My first crush had to have been Ashley Wilkes. Gone with the Wind was one of the first romances I read in elementary school. I was hooked.

7. Let’s imagine that your book’s getting turned into a movie / tv series. Woo! Which actors can you envision playing the lead roles?

Ooo…this is an easy one. Christian would be a black-haired Chris Pine and the perfect Elizabeth would be a blonde Scarlett Johansson.

8. What do you like to do in your free time (when you’re not reading or writing)?

Most all of my free time is spent with my family. I spend a ton of time watching my boys (and holding my breath) at the skate park, going to the movies, or going out to dinner.  And of course I LOVE a night out with the girls.

9. If you could visit your destination of choice, which plane would you be on in the morning?

Anywhere on the Mediterranean Sea.

10. What’s your least favourite chore to do around the house?

Ugh, folding laundry!

11. Does bacon make everything taste better?

The only place Bacon belongs is on a BLT.

12. Anything else you’d like to share with us all? Extra points if you make us giggle!

Just want to say thank you to Rea for having me on!

Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. I wish you the best of luck with your future career as a published writer and look forward to seeing the book you churn out next!

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. 


Post a Comment

Hi - thank you for commenting. I love comments. What's more, I'm a big believer in comment karma! :) If you leave a comment, I will do my best to get back to you and leave a comment on your blog in turn (please keep in mind that this may take a few days!).