Top positive review
A love story like no other...it will wreck you in the very best way!
Reviewed in the United States on February 3, 2018
Follow Me Back is A.L. Jackson's tour de force. An emotional triumph that is beyond exceptional. The one of a kind story that the author has so meticulously created brought me to my knees. It's not just simply the story of two troubled souls who try to find a way to be happy. It is much more than that. It is the hesitant journey to redemption and forgiveness and the promise and power of hope.
In Kale Bryant and Harley Hope Masterson, the author has produced a couple filled with trepidation at the thought of putting both their hearts and their feelings on the line. These two have lived through tragedy and rejection and loss, in completely different ways, yet they somehow fit together as if their souls are one. Even in their hesitation to want to feel again at the risk of losing both themselves and everything they hold dear, there is pull between them that is undeniable.
I felt as if I had to walk on eggshells right along with Kale and Hope as they navigate the often treacherous paths to even the thought of finding happiness again. But with Kale's persistence that they give any kind of relationship a go, Hope was helpless to resist. And quite frankly who could blame her. Not only is Kale 'sex on a stick', as Hope's bestie proclaims more than once, he has the biggest heart I have witnessed in a very long time. Whether it is uncle to Rex and Rynna's children (from Show Me the Way) or when he is the sympathetic and compassionate doctor to the patients he cares for, Kale Bryant IS flawed excellence. The imperfect super hero to so many and at the same time, the reticent man who can't believe he deserves to feel joy. Not after a past that just won't let go. I felt the frustration right along with Rex and Ollie, in particular, as a life so vibrant as Kale's could be held back with guilt.
There is more than one almost cruel twist of fate that the author has masterfully inserted into this book. I am being purposefully vague about the majority of this story because you need to be just as taken aback as I was. I want you to gasp and to sigh and to say, OMG as this tale takes flight. Hope and Kale each have secrets and demons that continue to force them keep their guard up and at times it was like waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. But to get to watch as their walls so hesitantly crumble brick by brick makes all the pain they have endured worth it.
What I will say about Follow Me Back is that there is an abundance of love whether it is for the friends and family that have Kale and Hope's best interests at heart or for each other and believe me, they may not want to admit it but there is decidedly a most beautiful love between them. Whether or not they are brave enough to allow it to take root is what you'll have to discover for yourself. It's not an insta-lust that is evident here. But rather a strong spark that can only turn into a spectacular flame. It just takes the right amount of care to allow it to burn.
More than once, I shed tears during my read of Follow Me Back. But know this: they were true tears of joy. And I found that the youngest members of this Gingham Lakes crew were often the ones who gave me pause reading through my tears as their innocent wisdom halted me in my tracks.
Follow Me Back is superb. In Hope and Kale, the author has taken the word selfless and has propelled it to the highest of levels. Yet never is that emotion gratuitous nor is it taken for granted. Instead it encompasses all that this couple is and will continue to be, no matter the consequence. My admiration for them is endless. And my awe at the masterful way A.L. Jackson continues to up her game with each new book published is unlimited.
I happily give Follow Me Back 5 magnificent stars!