Take This Regret by A.L. Jackson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
God dammit this book tore my heart out....broke me to pieces and yet I still loved every minute of ut. I seem to be reading the best books lately....the ones that leave me numb and in tears of sadness, joy, and despair. This book was amazing but it opened old wounds so deep I felt like I was reliving a part of my past I try to forget. I can't think straight to for coherent thoughts long enough for a review right now.
~Full review coming soon~
Okay, since I read this book a couple of days ago it's time to post my review before I forget anything. It seems lately I have been reading nothing but contemporary romances that tear your heart out and make you wish you were dead. Well, maybe not that drastic but close enough. This book not only rip my heart out, it made me relive some of my past experiences which only made me more emotional. I gotta say, I love this cover! So pretty and the little girl is just adorable. It goes well with the story.
Take This Regret is about a young college couple in New York who are finishing Law school and have their future looking bright and sunny, at some point wanting to settle down and get married and whatnot once their careers are in place. But everything changes the day Elizabeth tells Christian she's pregnant. And he's not ready. He gives her an ultimatum...."Me or the baby", selfish right?
Well, she leaves him. And he's left to wallow in his regret and self pity because even though he wasn't ready to be a father, he never thought the day would come when he had to move on without the love of his life. He loved Elizabeth with all his heart, but somewhere along the way, he loses sight of what is more important....money or love. But he is finishing school to one day manage his father's law firm in New York. And that begins the day of his regret and a life of emptiness and grief.
Elizabeth is left alone to deal with her pregnancy and the grief and pain she goes through from the loss of her one and only Christian is so raw and unbearable, it puts her in the hospital. Thank goodness her long time friend Matthew is there to help her and take care of her, something that Christian should have done in the first place. But as you read more, you understand as well. So as she has her beautiful baby girl, she prepares for a life on her own.
About 5 years later, Christian is finished with college and is the head of his father's law firm in San Diego. Although it's what he's always worked toward, but something is missing. He's not as happy as he thought he would be. He has lived his years without Elizabeth in a fog, just working and sleeping and going through life not caring about anything.....until the day he sees his little girl at the grocery store and his whole life is altered....
Elizabeth eventually moves back to her hometown of San Diego, California and works as a banker, to provide for Lizzy. She's unhappy, but there's nothing she can do. She has to do what is best for her sweet little girl. Christian left and is never coming back. He took a piece of her heart and crushed it and now she's left trying to pick up the pieces. She soon builds a wall where her emotions are closed off and no one can enter. As far as she's concerned, Christian is dead to her. And all men are scum. Thankfully she has her cousin and best friend Matthew to help her through it. But one day, out of the blue...Christian is on her doorstep and back in their lives. He is determined to win her back and become the father and man he should have been all along.
But can she just forget that he just pushed her away at the moment she needed him most?
Ahhhh, I gotta say I knew this book was going to be a sob fest but damn, I wasn't expecting to be crying my eyes out every chapter. First of all, I loved this story. It was captivating from the first page. Amy did so well developing the plot and making it flow throughout the whole book. It was a fast paced read and I was turning the pages so quickly. It never bored me or made me want to put it down. I seriously wanted to be inside this book and live and a part of me felt like I was. I could feel everything they felt. I laughed, I cried, I cursed, I smiled and of course every scene with little Lizzy was absolutely wonderful! She was an adorable little girl and she reminded me of my daughters, very bright and inquisitive. One part that totally broke my heart was when Lizzy asked about her dad and why she doesn't have one but everyone else does. Oh my God, I lost it at that moment. I know what Elizabeth must have felt because I am in a similar situation. Its so hard to explain to your kids why their dad is not with them and especially when its the father's fault and when they're the assholes. Although Christian deals with his wrong doings and you really feel heartbroken for him. He is determined to do whatever it takes to prove to Elizabeth that he's a changed man.
I loved this book so much! I really felt connected to both Christian and Elizabeth and I loved the fact that it was in alternating perspectives. I was able to experience how both of them were feeling during every scene and some parts I was ecstatic and jumping for joy and then some I was in full on sobs. I loved both of them and rooted for their love to mend and for them to heal as they rehash the past and go through so many obstacles and put their family back together. It was beautiful, captivating, heartbreaking, powerful and so many other things. This book moved me and made me feel that love can conquer all. It gave me hope and broke my heart at the same time. Christian went through alot of grief with other things as well. He faced a family death and it was so heartwrenching, even though that person was one I despised and was the reason Christian had betrayed his family. But the pain and turmoil that he faced is what made me cry for him. I ached when he ached. I cried when he cried. It was as if I was there with him, going through the same thing. Because in reality, I did go through the same thing. I can relate to him in alot of ways. He deals with guilt, regret, despair and I went through all of those things in my life as well. I think that's why I connected with him so well on a personal level. I loved the man he became.
One of my favorite things I loved was the relationship between Christian and Lizzy. It was on instinct that when they met, they were in love. He knew she was his daughter without saying a word to her, even from afar. And she knew he was her daddy. They were instantly drawn to each other, it was mesmerizing. I couldn't help but grin. Their relationship was so sweet and enchanting and I couldn't get enough of it. Christian was absolutely the most wonderful father to her. He cherished her and spent as much time with her as he could. He always called her at the same time every night to ask about her day. They had picnics, date nights, walks on the beach or at the park. His time with her was never anything more than important to him. He was the ultimate daddy and it made him more appealing in Elizabeth's eyes. Eventually she saw how much he cared for her and she couldn't help but fall in love with him all over again. But with the protective wall that she built made it hard for her to trust him again with her heart. It made her more weary of his intentions and even though the readers knew they were always good and he was sincere about his feelings and actions, she had to protect herself from the man that broke her to pieces.
God, I can go on and on about how much I loved this book. And clearly, it's obvious how much it effected me. I loved Amy's writing. Its so poetic and flowed smoothly. I wanted more by the end. I wasn't ready to say goodbye to these characters. I spent my nights crying and laughing and wishing they were real and I wasn't ready to let go of them. Amy did an amazing job on the resolutions. I loved Christian's mother and my heart broke for her and all she went through. She was a wonderful woman and it showed how great her relationship and the closeness that she and Christian shared. I loved it!
Also, I loved Natalie and Matthew. They were such a big support for Elizabeth and a great influence too. And Natalie's feelings toward Christian early on in the story made me feel like not everyone will be against him. She gave him hope and the mutual respect between them was great! I loved that Amy had everything resolved toward the end and not early on. It really showed the trials and hardships they had to face and deal with before they could begin to repair what was broken. BUT I have to say THANK YOU AMY FOR THE HOT HOT HOT scenes in there. My oh my, it was wonderful!! It made me love Christian that much more cause he was YUMMY!! I wanted him to myself. LOL
All in all, this was a fantastic story with alot of twists but an unforgettable ending! I can't wait to read more and more from this terrific, awesome author!!! I recommend this book to everyone that has ever lost hope, faith or that just wants to believe in second chances and love. It will make you happy, sad, excited, angry, surprised and just totally in love.
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