Dated melodrama but still a favourite

Jackson Rule - Sharon Sala

Opening Line: “The urge to run was overwhelming. But Andrew Jackson had not survived the last fifteen years in a maximum security prison by running so he walked through the last set of locked gates leading to the outside world.”

Now I know this is a favourite read for many people and I really wanted to love it. Based on reviews I expected to love it and I did fall pretty hard for the hero Jackson but due to the high cheese factor and melodramatics of the heroine I can only give it 3 stars.

The story was good enough, I mean convicted murderer and preachers daughter hooking up, okay you’ve got my attention, sounds intriguing. And the hero was kinda awesome; all emotionally tortured and misunderstood, riding around on his Harley, looking sexy and just wanting to be loved. But the heroine, jeez she drove me crazy with her gasping, feinting, sobbing and over the top tantrums. How do these TSTL women keep getting all the great guys?

Yes the melodramatics were high here which was too bad. Ultimately I could have overlooked those moments but then we also had the stilted and phony dialogue to contend with. I mean who talks like this…

“When she tried the lights she found to her dismay that they didn't work. “Pooh" she said, (really, Pooh?!) but she wasn't afraid of the dark. She knew this place like the back of her hand."

And the love scenes, I actually eye rolled and cringed my way through those because of the clichéd sappiness…

"The room was dark, but they didn't need light to see with their hearts."

“Their dance was timeless and yet for them all too new.”

Part of my problem may have stemmed from the fact that I went into this expecting a somewhat darker read. Where I got that idea I’m not entirely sure (the back blurb?) but this is definitely not dark, some of the themes sure, but not the writing.

Jackson Rule has just been released from prison after serving a fifteen year sentence for manslaughter. Convicted at the age of 15 he lost his youth inside the walls of Angola State Pen. Now at 31 Jackson has a lot of catching up to do, but society doesn’t give many breaks to an ex con and in the first few chapters we watch as he frustratingly tries to reconnect with his sister and build a life for himself. Getting a job proves the hardest, especially without a driver’s license and it’s just dumb luck that sees him filling out an application at Rebecca Hill’s nursery. For some reason she see’s something in him others don’t and is willing to look beyond his past mistakes. After all he’s done his time. Her father the preacher however is another matter entirely.

Of course the sparks fly between our couple, Rebecca knows that Jackson is a good man –probably because he keeps rescuing people (from burning buildings, from would be rapists, from heart attacks) but Jackson is emotionally scarred from the violence in his past and tries to keep his distance, feeling that his reputation would ruin Rebecca. Really though it’s just a matter of time.

Lots of readers love this story so don’t take my word for it, this isn’t a bad book and Jackson is worth putting up with a silly heroine and some corny dialogue for. Cheers.