Never Look Back by A. L. Jackson Book Review
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From NYT and USA Today bestselling author A.L. Jackson comes an enemies-to-lovers, close-proximity, second-chance romance…
Logan Lawson won me in a bet.
The second I saw him sitting at the illegal card table, I knew I was in trouble.
Years ago, he sealed my fate and condemned me to a life I didn’t want to lead.
Yet he’s filled with untamed fury and thirsting for vengeance against the husband I hate.
Aster Costa is everything I never should have wanted.
The second she showed with her pompous, prick of a husband, I should have gotten up and walked.
But there’s no looking away from the woman who wrecked me.
Worse, I can’t stop myself from plotting to get her back.
I want nothing more than to be free of my husband.
I’m afraid Logan Lawson is the only one who can make that happen.
He might hate me for our past, but now it’s me on my knees begging for help.
Finding each other in the middle of it wasn’t supposed to be part of the bargain.
But once Logan touches me, I’m gone.
A torch is rekindled. A fire is lit.
Aster Costa has always been mine.
And this time, no matter the cost, I won’t give her back…
Jackson always has a trigger warning list on her website but it was not in my e-book. I’ve listed the triggers that I observed, which weren’t necessarily included in her list on her website. Though she does let you know about the nature of her book before the book begins and from the blurb, some of these situations can be deduced, others definitely would not have been.
- Abusive Relationship (not between main characters)
- Attempted Murder
- Gun Violence / Guns
- Sexually Explicit Scenes
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There are possible **SPOILERS** beyond this point!
My goodness! No one does a second chance romance like A.L. Jackson! I love how she does flashbacks and it’s always so effective! Every time I see there is a jump back in time, I know I’m about to find out something juicy! 😂 This book takes place over 30 days but it goes by so fast! It’s very fast-paced and I felt like I was flying through these pages!
I have been looking forward to Logan’s story ever since we met him in Trent kitchen in Give Me A Reason. Those green eyes had me hooked! I knew there would be someone special for Logan. I never expected the heart break I actually got! My heart hurt for Logan and Astor Rose’s story because it was doomed from the start! They had so much working against them and what they were able to find was so beautiful! I like that they met as young adults (18/19) because this definitely was not puppy love! 🥵
I think this couple works so well because Astor Rose is the swirl to Logan’s straight line. She makes him see color and detail and light. He grounds her and keeps her realistic and settles her. For all the poetry Astor has for him, Logan connects it to something concrete or vice versa. It was so pleasant to read them be so perfectly in-sync with each other. Their love its own language. (in Jackson’s cadence ☺️)
Getting swept up in Jackson’s stories is always a good time for me. Never Look Back was no exception! Her writing really brings you front and center with these characters as if you are sitting in the room watching these events transpire with your own two eyes! It’s beautiful and tragic but the HEA in this story was so perfect for this couple! I can’t wait to read it again. Hopefully, it won’t hurt as much!
Something that I really respected in this story was how their intimacy really fit their storyline. They met when they were younger and were used to these sort of cautious, stolen moments between each other. When they reunited as adults, I feel like they were falling into old patterns. Logan doesn’t “dog” her like you would expect from him because of how he is described by his brothers and their (now) wives. It’s the ongoing joke that Logan is very promiscuous and he, himself, admits to also being the same. Yet, the way he is with Aster is tender and sweet… well… until it isn’t! 🤣 This book is definitely still spicy but I like that it is not the only good part of this book, and frankly, this series.
Female Main Character
She is petite and pear shaped. Chocolate hair and warm light brown eyes. She is the daughter of a mafia boss who was arranged to be married to someone her dad works with. She is often seen writing and she’s very poetic! I love how she speaks and how she views the world! It’s so vivid and beautiful! Her scent is described as Hyacinth and Magnolia leaves so I’m assigning Love Deluxe by Derek Lam 10 Crosby as her fragrance.
Astor is described as very sweet and reserved. We do see her be fierce when her back is against the wall, though! Don’t be confused, she is very strong. This woman has been through nearly 7 years of torment and isolation. Her love for Logan is evident in her choice to save his life by agreeing to the arranged marriage her father wants for her. She endured so much and I had real tears when we finally uncover all the details of her tragic past. She sacrificed so much and you know that she did it wholeheartedly because she cares so deeply for the people she loves. Every new piece of information broke my heart that much more. I felt so protective over her and was ready to tell Jackson that she couldn’t hurt her anymore! But, I was happy to see her learn to be happy again with the help of Logan and his family. I think Astor will fit perfectly with Salem, Eden and, Tessa. I want more of them all hanging out, please!
Male Main Character
He is tall and lean-muscled. Black hair and green eyes. Bearded and Beautiful. He’s usually seen in a suit and is very well put together. He works as a financial analyst but is an investor in Absolution, Trent’s club and, Iron Ride, Judd’s auto shop. He’s always joking and making scenes while pointing out how good-looking he is. His banter with his niece and nephew is sweet and some of my favorite parts of this book. His scent is described as Clove and Cinnamon so I’m assigning Gentleman by Givenchy as his fragrance.
Of all the brothers, he is usually described as the smart one. He is set apart from the violence of their past by Trent’s orders but he ends up working with Astor’s father in a “financial” capacity. Logan is morally grey but he is not usually seen resorting to violence like his brothers. He is very, very protective of Astor! He’s possessive and growly about her and I love it! His love for Astor is sweet and cherishing underneath all that. Even as a young person, he recognizes that Astor was important and valuable. When we see him start to lose sight of that and he loses Astor and the life he knew. We see that Logan was haunted by his loss and he never really recovers emotionally. When Astor comes back into his life, he spends all the time he can showing her the compassion and love he can give her if they are able to stay together. It’s lucky for him that it’s holiday time and he can use his amazing family to help woo her.
Setting / World / Universe
It’s kinda Christmas-y! It’s December in the Mountains of Redemption Hills. Honestly, the prettiest time of year to be in the mountains! There were so many beautiful descriptions of what the winter weather was like! I really felt cozy by the fire or cold walking to the car with them! I had to include one of my favorites in the quotes.
We spend a lot of time in Logan’s apartment or Eden’s house for the present and often just outside Astor’s dad’s compound in the flash backs. Otherwise, there are several other locations we see them in and I was pleased with the amount of detail given. I have read the previous two books so some details I know I remember from before though I still felt the world building is plenty in this book.
Genre & Tropes
- Second Chance Romance
- Forbidden Love
- Close Proximity
Check out Never Look Back on Amazon here!