Show Me the Way
The first stand-alone novel in A.L. Jackson’s brand-new Fight for Me series…
“This book is absolutely perfect.” – Corinne Michaels, New York Times Bestselling Author
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The first sexy, captivating, stand-alone novel in the brand-new FIGHT FOR ME series from NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson . . .
Rex Gunner. As bitter as he is beautiful.
The owner of the largest construction company in Gingham Lakes has been burned one too many times. His wife leaving him to raise their daughter was the last blow this single dad could take. The only woman he’ll let into his heart is his little girl.
Rynna Dayne. As vulnerable as she is tempting.
She ran from Gingham Lakes when she was seventeen. She swore to herself she would never return. Then her grandmother passed away and left her the deed to the diner that she once loved.
When Rex meets his new neighbor, he knows he’s in trouble.
She’s gorgeous and sweet and everything he can’t trust.
Until she becomes the one thing he can’t resist.
One kiss sends them tumbling toward ecstasy.
But in a town this size, pasts are bound to collide. Caught in a web of lies, betrayal, and disloyalty, Rex must make a choice.
Will he hide behind his walls or will he take the chance . . .
Life for Rynna Dayne and Rex Gunner in Gingham Lakes, Alabama, has been filled with both good and bad memories as well as people who mean the world to them and people who seem to live to destroy even a modicum of their happiness, and even though Rynna hasn’t been back to her hometown since she ran away 11 years ago, it seems like she and Rex both need someone to show them the way to a clean slate…to a second chance…to a life filled with way more laughter than tears. And, it seems like that person may have been Rynna’s gramma, perhaps proving once and for all that even though Rynna never returned to Gingham Lakes while gram was alive, her gran would always be there to show Rynna, not only the way home, but the way to live her life without her insecurities and her past getting in the way because if there’s one lesson to be learned it’s that despite the fact that ‘life is rough’…’joy is a choice’ and Rynna as well as Rex deserve every bit of happiness that they willingly allow into their life and heart.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned through A.L. Jackson’s previous stories, it’s that she creates incredibly flawed dynamic characters who desperately need to prove to themselves and others that they are capable…that they are worthy…that they are more than their pasts, but most importantly, they need to learn to let down their walls and give themselves a chance at something worthwhile and extraordinary…something that allows them to do more than merely exist or live for those around them instead of for themselves as well.
Rex Gunner is definitely a man whose past controls his present and due to a series of horrific and life altering events, he’s on guard at all times, driven to protect his daughter and to protect his heart against anyone or anything that could rip another person away from him or make him feel even more unworthy and even more of a mess than he already is.
But then one little thief returns to her hometown, not only stealing the heart of a certain precious little girl but also owning every part of Rex that’s laid dormant ever since his world was turned upside down again.
Rynna Dayne is not the girl she was when she left all those years ago, but that doesn’t mean that past bad memories and restrained insecurities don’t have a way of breaking through when life throws a series of curveballs at her, putting her directly in the path of a one man maelstrom and tormenting her with what just might be the only person who can show her what true love and devotion are all about.
A.L. Jackson, once again, shows how amazing she is at creating an emotional and complicated plot alongside complex main and supporting characters – ones who hold each other together in times of great difficulty, hoping to see one another through the trying moments in order to get to the much happier ones.
Show Me the Way is one fantastic start to A.L. Jackson’s new Fight for Me series, and while it took me some time to warm up to Rex Gunner and his broodiness, I knew I would get there because Rynna saw beneath his hardened exterior and she would make it possible for everyone else to see what she does in this single father who has every reason to keep himself and his daughter away from any other person who would have the power to destroy what he’s built by himself and what he is unwilling to sacrifice.
I can’t wait to see if Kale or Ollie’s story is up next…they both have demons to purge and I’m ready to see the woman who has the right amount of love to help him conquer his past once and for all.
4.5 Poison Apples
Exclusive Deleted Scene
Preface: I’m excited to offer another scene in Rex & Rynna’s love story. It was really difficult to cut this scene, but during editing, I knew I had to as I was taking a different direction as we headed into the climax of the story. I hope you enjoy this exclusive cut scene!
Rex stood in the foggy pour of the moon, the striking raw beauty of him bathed in an ethereal glow. His hair whipped in the wind where he stood on the other side of the road that separated our houses. His hands were balled into fists, jaw clenched, eyes hard.
Dominant and dangerous and somehow chained by all his doubt.
Warned you being with me wouldn’t be easy. Tell me you’ll fight for me. Tell me you’ll fight for us. That you won’t give up when things get rough. Tell me you’ll stay. Tell me I should take this chance.
I inched forward. Energy lashed. Whipping and inciting.
And God, I wanted to fight. Fight him for leaving me. Fight for him because it was the last thing I’d wanted him to do. Fight for what was right. The problem was, I wasn’t certain of exactly what that was.
Rex’s nostrils flared, and he was moving across the street, his big body eating up the ground in his long, purposed strides. His hulking form climbed the steps, his shoulders wide and his presence bigger as he mounted to the last step onto my deck.
In a flash, he was on me. My back was pressed against the wall of my house, the heat of his strong body lighting me up like a furnace. He wound a big hand in my hair, tugging, forcing me to look up at him.
The accusation was gravel, and I sucked in a staggered breath. It only drew him deeper, his presence sinking in, taking hold. Everything swelled just as the pain of his rejection went rushing through my veins. A raging river that threatened to drown.
“You can’t do this to me,” I whimpered. For a beat, I struggled, fighting him, attempting to push him away as my attention darted across the street to his sleeping house.
Jealousy boiled beneath the surface of my skin. Wicked, spiteful flames. A pool of sickness churned in my belly, all mixed up with the need he instantly incited in my body. “You can’t do this to me,” I begged this time, feeling everything crack.
“You already did it,” he grated. His nose brushed mine when he said it, his hot hand on my cheek, his eyes so terrifyingly sincere. “Told you, you were gonna ruin me. You ruined me, Rynna. Can’t fucking close my eyes without seeing you. Can’t sleep without dreaming of you. Can’t take a fucking step without wanting to run right back to you.”
I squeezed my eyes closed. As if that might stand the chance of putting a barrier between us. I only felt him more, the wild beat of his heart and the flush of his skin and the maddening gaze of the scruff on his chin.
He was everywhere.
“I’m in love with you,” he said.
I’m in love with you.
Those words spun around me like a tease. Prodding and pulling.
My eyes fluttered open.
“Rex.” I grasped him by the wrists, clinging to him. A tear streaked free. He wiped it away with his thumb.
“Don’t cry, baby. Fuck, please don’t cry.”
My lip trembled. “I missed you.”
He pulled me closer. “Didn’t know I could miss someone the way I’ve been missing you. Didn’t know how bad I could hurt inside until you weren’t there anymore.”
And then he was kissing me. It was a frenzy. That desperation when finding something that’d been lost. The promise that you’d never again let it go.
His mouth consumed mine.
Taking what was his.
It was dizzying.
The severity of him. It was all spurred by the significance of finally finding what was right. The moment when you finally scaled the obstacles standing in your way, and you found the perfection waiting on the other side.
He kept muttering, “Little Thief, Little Thief,” as he spun us, pinning me against my door. I fumbled to get to the knob. It knocked open and we stumbled into the welcoming dimness of the living room.
We were frantic as we tore at each other’s clothes.
Lips parting, chests heaving, slamming right back together as we shed the barriers between us.
“Where’s Frankie?” I managed to mumble, fingers in his shoulders as he was peeling off my underwear.
He smiled. I could feel it. The smiled he smiled as he was still kissing me. This awe that pierced me through. A perfect, painless stake that embedded itself in my spirit. “Spending the night at my mom’s. She hasn’t stopped talking about you. Asking for you.”
“I miss her.” It was a confession of my soul. And I was suddenly clinging to him, my arms around his neck, my face pressed to his pulse point that thrummed beneath his jaw. “I missed you both so much. I didn’t know a love like this existed until I met the two of you.”
He swept me off my feet, carried me to my couch, and laid me across it. He crawled over me, hovering, caging me in. His face in shadows, his gorgeous body rimmed in light. “Never even knew a love like this existed. You stole all my rationale and gave me a reason. I love you, Rynna. Love you in a way that terrifies me. But still, I’m not scared anymore. Not of us. Not of this.”
I smiled up at him, my fingertips tracking down the side of his cheek and brushing across his full, full lips. He nipped at my fingers, and I bit back a smile, my eyes full of wonder as I gazed up at the man who’d changed everything. “Take me.”
Rex climbed between my thighs, only to freeze when his phone buzzed from the pocket of his jeans he’d discarded on the floor.
Apologetically, he shot me a grin. “I’d better get that.”
“Yeah,” I said with a soft smile.
He dug it out and answered.
My heart fell straight to the floor when I heard the screaming on the other side.
About the Author
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, and BLEEDING STARS novels. Be sure to check out her newest series, Fight for Me. The first novel, SHOW ME THE WAY, is out now.
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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