A best friends-to-lovers stand-alone romance from NYT Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson
“My FAVORITE!! The love, the bond, the soul connection…. there will never be a love as destined and powerful and sweet and beautiful as the once in a lifetime love of Evan and Frankie Leigh!!!!!!!!”
~USA Today Bestselling Author Lauren Rowe
Ahhh, my loves!! IT IS HERE! IT IS HERE! I can’t even express to you how freaking overjoyed I am over HOLD ON TO HOPE! This is my favorite book I have ever written, and Evan is absolutely everything – more than I ever could have imagined when I started writing. Evan and Frankie Leigh’s story came to life in a way that absolutely CAPTURED me, heart and soul, and I am so excited and proud to share their story with you!
✓ Best Friends-to-Lovers
✓ Second Chance
✓ Single Dad
✓ All the Feels
TITLE: Hold on to Hope
RELEASE DATE: October 28th, 2019
Evan Bryant wasn’t your typical hero.
But he was mine.
Broken by the worlds’ standards, he was still the strongest boy I would ever know.
My best friend. The boy I’d given everything to. My heart, my body, and the promise of forever.
The day I’d needed him most, he walked away.
He left me shattered and questioning the love I’d thought we’d shared.
Three years later, I wasn’t prepared for him to return to Gingham Lakes.
It wouldn’t have mattered if he wasn’t the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.
My fingers still would have ached to caress his skin.
My body still would have begged to get lost in his touch.
And my heart . . . it would have always sung his name.
But time changes things. With it, secrets that could ruin everything.
Can we find a way to love again, or have the fears of our past stolen the hope of our forever…
Five Years Old
Frankie heard the voices getting louder out on the back patio. She scrambled to her feet, dropping the unicorn toys she was playing with onto her bedroom floor.
“We gots ta go, Milo!” she shouted at her favorite, favorite puppy. Scrambling to his feet, he chased her right down the hall, nipping at her heels, barking his own excitement.
Frankie was grinning so big.
Today was a special day.
Such a good, good day and she couldn’t wait.
Her mama had told her she was gonna get a new special friend and she felt so, so, so excited, and her belly was full of butterflies flappin’ their wings all over the place.
At the end of the hall, she cut to the left, and she raced through the kitchen, rounding around to the back door.
She burst out of it and onto the porch, the screen door smacking behind her. Milo did a circle around her feet.
Her uncle Kale was standing at the top of the porch steps. Her heart nearly burst. She loved him all the way to the moon and all the way back times a million. Without slowing, she wound through the tables set up on the patio, her feet pounding on the wood. Excitement blazed through her whole body, and she threw her arms into the air, shouting, “Uncle Kale! Uncle Kale! You came to see me!”
Then she came to a skidding stop when she saw the boy who was holding her uncle’s hand, his hair almost like the sun, red and orange and white, all mixed together, his eyes so big in his glasses.
Green like the trees.
“Is this mys new friend Evan?” she rushed to ask, looking up at her uncle.
Her new special friend who her Mama told her she had to play all, all day with because he was super, super special because he didn’t have no hearing and he had a special heart that he got when he was just a baby.
Her mama even taught her how to talk to him a little tiny bit.
Her uncle knelt down. “Sure is, Sweet Pea. This is Evan, and he’s really special to me, so I hope you spend the whole day playing with him because he doesn’t know anyone else here.”
Frankie made the sign she and her mama had practiced so much last night, her belly feeling a little worried because she wanted to do it just right. She lifted her hand and put it to the side of her forehead and pulled it away like a little wave.
And then the boy signed it back with a big grin that made Frankie grin even wider. Oh, she did like him, the way his eyes were big and funny and he kinda looked like a froggy.
And then he was moving his hands at his mommy.
His mama said, “Wonder Woman.”
Frankie laughed out in glee. Wonder Woman was what her daddy called her and it was the best name in the whole world and made her feel special, too. She liked it that her new friend called her that.
Her uncle Kale looked at Evan. “Yeah, buddy. This is Wonder Woman.”
Her uncle looked at her and swept his hand toward the boy. “And this is my little Hulk.”
Giggles came floodin’ out of her. “I likes the Hulk . . . but he’s not as strong as my daddy and my uncles! Thor and Cap’in ’merica.”
The boy didn’t look a whole lot like the Hulk, she thought. He wasn’t very strong. But that didn’t matter none. She liked him, anyway.
“Wanna play? I gots my puppy and he’s so fast and he likes to jump and lick and he’s so funny!” she rambled, pushing the curls out of her face when the hot breeze came blowing through, and then she was rememberin’ that her mama told her to talk slow because Evan had a special super power and it was that he could read lips!
And oh man, she thought that was so, so cool because she could barely even read a whole book that had ten pages.
Evan nodded fast, and he dropped her uncle Kale’s hand and chased right after her.
He clamored down the steps, his feet pounding to keep up, and she rushed out onto the lawn. Her puppy raced between them, darting around their ankles, running out ahead and running right back.
Laughed and laughed.
She gave it all she had as she ran across the yard, and Evan chased her, a funny noise rushing up his throat.
It was rough and strange, but when she looked back, she saw that he was laughing, his head tipped toward the sky, those sounds scraping up his throat and riding on the breeze.
Frankie thought she liked that sound, too.
My ARC Review:
Another beautifully written and emotionally charged read from A.L. Jackson, my heart has been stomped on and left in tatters before being carefully stitched back together again with this book!!
Evan and Frankie Leigh are characters we met in her previous books as kids, fast forward a good few years and they are the adults in their own story. Evan is the son of Hope from Follow Me Back, who was born deaf and needed a heart transplant. Frankie Leigh is the daughter of Rex from Show Me The Way, her and Evan were best friends from their first meeting, doing everything together, and that love and complete togetherness has just grown, they promised each other forever as they were growing up, with Frankie doing all the chasing while Evan had his doubts. Evan just wanted to be normal, without everyone having to worry and care about him, he wanted to be the one doing that for Frankie, and he could see he had nothing to offer her, couldn’t have kids and pass on his ‘defectiveness’. So he took off and just left her a note…..
Three years later and Evan is back, he needs help and knows his family will step up. But he was unprepared for the huge amount of pain and guilt that hit him, having walked away from his family in the first place, and completely bowled over by Frankie Leigh, their connection still as strong as every, but littered with pain and grief.
A fantastic read this is, friends-to-lovers / second chance with a huge emotional hit. I felt their pain. They were best friends, soul mates, supposed to be together, bound to each other forever, weren’t they? I laughed, I cried and I was really rooting for these 2 to have their happy ending. It was great to see some of the characters from her other books in this story as well, always a nice twist. Throw in Everett and Milo and these two will leave your heart aching and a smile on your face. Not to be missed.
Don’t miss the awesome giveaway for the Hold on to Hope release!
Enter Here: https://smarturl.it/HOTHReleaseGiveaway
I can’t wait for you to experience HOLD ON TO HOPE! I know you’re going to ABSOLUTELY FALL IN LOVE with these two!!
Read inspired ~
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, BLEEDING STARS, FIGHT FOR ME and CONFESSIONS OF THE HEART novels. Grab A.L. Jackson’s latest novel, HOLD ON TO HOPE, a best friends-to-lovers stand-alone romance.
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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