From New York Times bestselling author Emily March comes Jackson, the newest novel in the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series.
Sometimes it takes a new beginning
Caroline Carruthers thinks she buried her dreams along with the love of her life…until a stranger named Celeste dares her to chase a dream all on her own. Moving to Redemption, Texas, is chapter one in Caroline’s new life story. Opening a bookstore is the next. Finding love is the last thing on her mind as she settles into this new place called home. But when she meets a handsome, soulful man who’s also starting over, all bets are off.
to reach a happily-ever-after
Jackson McBride came to Redemption looking only to find himself, not someone to love. Ever since his marriage ended, he’s been bitter. Sure, he used to believe in lovehe even has the old song lyrics to prove itbut the Jackson of today is all business. That is, until a beautiful young widow who’s moved to town inspires a change of heart. Could it be that the myth of Redemption’s healing magic is true…and Jackson and Caroline can find a second chance at a happy ending after all?
“A brilliant writer you’ll love creates a world you’ll never want to leave.”Susan Mallery, New York Times bestselling author
About the Author
Emily March is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the heartwarming Eternity Springs series. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.
Read an Excerpt
Bang. The judge's gavel fell and officially crushed Jackson McBride's heart. He closed his eyes. Bleak despair washed over him. Up until this very moment, he hadn't believed she'd take it this far.
He'd thought she'd come to her senses. He'd thought she would recognize that this proposal was not only nonsense, but truly insane. He'd believed that somewhere deep inside of her, she still had a spark of humanity. That she wouldn't do this to him. To them. He'd been wrong. Damn her. Damn her and the yes-men she surrounded herself with. Damn them all to hell and back.
The enormity of what had just happened washed over him. Oh, God, how will I survive this?
On the heels of his anguish came the rage. It erupted hot as lava, and it fired his blood and blurred his vision with a red haze of fury. He'd never hit a woman in his life. Never come close, despite plenty of provocation from her direction. In that moment had she been within reach, he might have lived up her accusations.
It scared the crap out of him. That's what she's brought me to.
Abruptly, he shoved back his chair so hard that it teetered, almost falling over. He strode toward the courtroom exit. "Jackson? Jackson, wait!" his attorney called, hurrying after him.
Jackson waved her off and didn't stop. There was nothing left to be said. Nothing left to be done. No place left to go.
No little girl waiting at home to hug and cuddle and kiss good night.
The tap on the toes of Jackson's boots clacked against the tile floor of the courthouse as his long-legged strides ate up the hallway. He shunned the elevator for the stairs and descended three flights at a rapid pace, then headed for the building's exit. In a foolish bit of positive thinking, he'd driven his SUV to the courthouse this morning. Now the sight of the safety booster seat in the back seat made him want to kick a rock into next week.
He didn't want to go home to a quiet, empty house. He shouldn't go to a bar. Alcohol on top of his current mood could be a dangerous combination. Somebody probably would get hurt.
He got into the car and started the engine. For a long moment he sat unmoving, staring blindly through the windshield, his hands squeezing the steering wheel so hard that it should have cracked. When his phone rang, he ignored it.
A couple of minutes later, it rang a second time. Again, he ignored it. When it happened a third time, he finally glanced at the display to see who was calling. His cousin. Okay, maybe he would answer it.
"How did the hearing go?"
Jackson couldn't speak past the lump in his throat, so he said nothing.
Following a moment's silence, Boone got the message. He muttered a curse, and then said, "I'm sorry, man. So damn sorry."
"Well, it is what it is."
"You can take another run at it."
"Yeah." In three years. Three years. Might as well be three decades. He cleared his throat and changed the subject. "So, how are things in Eternity Springs?"
"Good. They're good. My friend Celeste Blessing visited my office a few minutes ago and spoke of her granite-headed cousin. Naturally, I thought of you."
"Naturally," Jackson dryly replied. But he felt a little less alone.
"Do you have plans this weekend? I could use your help with something."
Pretty convenient timing. Knowing Boone, he had a spy in the courtroom. But Jackson wasn't in the position to ignore the bone he'd been thrown. "I'm free. Whatcha got?"
"I'd like you to meet me at home."
Jackson straightened in surprise. "You're going back to the ranch?"
"No. Not there. I'm never going back there. However, I am talking about Texas. The Hill Country in particular. A little town west of Austin called Redemption."
"Redemption, Texas?" Jackson repeated. For some weird reason, his heart gave a little skip. "Why there?"
"It's a long story. Too long for a phone call. I'll give you the entire skinny when I see you. When can you get there?"
After today's debacle, Jackson had absolutely no reason to remain in Nashville. "When do you want me there?"
"I'll be in later today. I'm in Austin now. I've been helping a friend with a project. I have a flight back to Colorado Sunday evening. The earlier you can get here the better, but I'll make anything work."
Jackson figured the distance and the drive time. "I'll meet you tomorrow afternoon. Where?"
"Great. I'll text you the info when we hang up. Bring camping gear."
When a sound behind him had Jackson glancing up into the rearview mirror and the booster seat caught his notice, he made an instant decision. "Can't. I'll be on my bike."
"You're gonna ride your motorcycle all the way from Nashville?"
"Yes, I think I am."
"Okay. I'll bring stuff for both of us." Boone hesitated a moment and added, "Hang in there, Jackson. It'll get better."
No, I don't think it will. "I'll see you tomorrow."
Jackson ended the call and finally put his SUV in gear and backed out of the parking place. With the distraction of the call behind him, fury returned, and by the time he reached home, he felt like a volcano about to explode.
He threw a handful of things into his tail bag, filled his wallet with cash from his stash, and ten minutes after his arrival, he fired up his bike and took his broken heart and headed out of Nashville. He left behind his home, his work, and his one reason for living, his six-year-old daughter, Haley.
As the motorcycle picked up speed, he recalled their last goodbye when he'd dropped her off at her mother's at the end of their regular weekend. The nanny met them at the curb, as usual. Haley had given Jackson a hug, then taken the nanny's hand and walked up the hill toward the mansion's front double doors.
Jackson always waited to leave until she was inside. She always watched until the door completely closed. This time, she'd held the bright pink stuffed rabbit she slept with at his house in her arms. Bunny-Bunny. Ordinarily, she left him at Jackson's, but last Sunday, she wouldn't leave him behind.
He thought he'd probably see that flash of neon pink every time he closed his eyes for the next six months. For the next six months while Haley and Bunny-Bunny traveled the world. Six long interminable months before he'd be allowed to see his sweet baby girl again.
Caroline Carruthers covered her mouth with her hand as she watched her husband of twelve years lean over and tenderly kiss the cheek of another woman. Caroline knew all about the woman. Her name was Gina. She was twelve years older than Robert's forty-eight. She was a widow with two children and five grandchildren. Holding hands and smiling, Robert and Gina walked away from Caroline on their way to the community room.
Caroline blinked back tears. Her beloved husband was in love with another woman. Intellectually, she was okay with that. Emotionally, some days, she couldn't deal. It was too much to see him flirting like a teenager with someone else. Today was one of those days.
Today was her wedding anniversary.
Her husband didn't have a clue who she was.
Caroline turned on her heels and fled the Easterwood Memory Care Center where Robert Carruthers had been living for the past four months. Most days when she visited, she could look beyond her own heartache and be thankful that he was comfortable and happy, but she simply didn't have it in her today.
She missed him so much.
Tears blurred her eyes as she signaled the attendant at the door to release the lock so she could leave the building. It was a blustery spring morning with temperatures in the mid-seventies and thunderstorms forecasted later in the day.
Lost in her own misery, she narrowly avoided bumping into a silver-haired woman who rounded the corner of the sidewalk. "Excuse me," Caroline said, dodging out of the way at the last minute.
The woman looked at her with cloudy blue eyes. "I'm sorry. My fault. I wasn't watching where I was going. I just ... I don't feel well. I ... oh." The woman swayed, and then her eyes rolled up and her knees gave out and she started to collapse at Caroline's feet.
Caroline gave a horrified gasp and lunged for the older woman, managing to catch her below the shoulders and ease her to the ground. "Ma'am? Ma'am?"
Was this a heart attack? A stroke?
Caroline touched the woman's face. She feels warm.
Caroline gazed around quickly. Had anyone noticed? Was help already on the way? She needed her purse ... her phone ... to call 911. She'd dropped it when she'd grabbed for the lady. There. It had fallen just beyond reach. "Ma'am?" she repeated as she reached for her bag.
The woman's eyes opened. Brilliant blue, but cloudy. She blinked rapidly, repeatedly, and struggled to sit up. "Oh, dear," she said, her voice weak. "I'm so sorry. I got a little dizzy."
"Careful. Hold on. Why don't you stay down? Let me get help."
"No, no, no. Not necessary. I know what the problem is." Her smile was wan, but reassuring. "You need not be concerned that I've exposed you to something vile, my dear. I suffer from a recurring fever — Lyme disease — and I suspect I'm having a bit of a flare. I just need to get back on my feet, and then I'll find a shady spot and sit a spell. I could probably use a glass of water. Dehydration can be a problem in the elderly, you know."
Caroline took the older woman's hands and gently levered her up. She gasped in pain.
Immediately, Caroline supported the woman's weight. "You're hurt."
"My ankle, I'm afraid."
"Is it broken? Let's set you back down. I'll call nine-one-one."
"No, no, no. It's not broken. Just a little tender. I fell on it wrong. I think if I get ice on it for a few minutes, I'll be fine."
"Still, let's sit you back down. I'll run inside and get a wheelchair."
"Oh, no. No, no, no. A wheelchair isn't necessary. I can walk. I see a bench over there beneath that lovely magnolia tree. Perhaps you can help me over there?"
"But ma'am —"
"Celeste. I'm Celeste. Celeste Blessing." She patted Caroline's hand and asked, "What's your name, dear?"
"Caroline, have you noticed how life has a way of knocking one's feet out from underneath one?"
What? She couldn't help but give a little laugh as the vision of her husband and his new love flashed in her mind. "Oh, yes. Yes I have."
"Well, if you'll indulge a bit of advice from someone who has, shall we say, extended experience in the area of life, sometimes getting mobile again does require a wheelchair. Sometimes climbing in and letting someone else take charge is exactly the proper response. You just have to sit back and roll with it."
"Okay." Caroline wanted to insist that now must surely be one of those moments. What do I know? I must be forty years younger than her.
Celeste leaned heavily on Caroline and hobbled forward toward the bench she'd pointed out. "Now, other times, it's possible you can lean on someone and limp along. That's okay. Sometimes that's the way it's gotta be. Life throws injuries at you that flat-out hurt, and the support of family and friends is exactly what you need to enable you to take those necessary steps forward."
"Lean on me as much as you need, Ms. Blessing."
"Call me Celeste, dear. Please. And before we go any farther, may I trouble you to pick up my bag for me?"
Now Caroline finally noticed the tote on the ground and the small bottles and bars of soap that had spilled from it. "I'll come back for it."
"No, no, no. I can stand by myself. I practice diligently." She gave Caroline's arm a little squeeze that summoned her attention. The blue eyes that had been hazy moments before now appeared clear and crisp as a winter morning as she directly met Caroline's gaze and said, "You see, dear, sometimes wheelchairs and leaning on others aren't the right solutions. Sometimes when life knocks you down, the best thing you can do for yourself is to stand on your own."
Caroline flinched and drew back.
"Because, when you stand on your own, you stand tallest. When you're standing tall with your chin up, you see your future, and your future sees you." Celeste gave Caroline's arm a second squeeze, then released it, encouraged her with a warm, friendly smile, and then made a shooing motion with her hand toward the spilled tote.
Oh, jeez. The way my luck is running today, she'll tumble again the moment I'm out of arms reach. Caroline dashed for the bag, bent and scooped the contents back into it, then rushed back to Celeste. She didn't relax until she'd once again taken hold of the older woman's elbow. "That soap smells wonderful."
"Isn't it fabulous? It's handmade by a friend of mine. Heavenscents Soaps. We were exhibiting her products at the trade show of the innkeepers' conference at the hotel down the street. It ended at noon. We like to donate our leftover samples to nursing homes at the end of the event. I saw this memory care facility and thought it would be a good choice."
"That's a lovely thought. I'm sure they'll appreciate them." Caroline looked closely at the woman. Her cheeks were rosy and her eyes had gone hazy again. Bet she is feverish.
"I'm so sorry to cause all this trouble."
"Sure, I'm trouble. But don't worry, Caroline. When I'm involved, everything always turns out fine in the end. Oh, my. I am hot. Distract me, dear. Tell me about yourself. You live in Austin?"
"It's a lovely city. I live in Colorado now, and I make regular visits to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but this is my first visit to Austin in years and years. I've enjoyed my stay so much. People have been so kind."
"I'm glad we gave a good impression." Having finally reached the bench, Caroline settled Celeste and helped her prop her ankle up. "I'm going to run inside and get you some ice for your ankle."
"Bless your heart. You're so kind, Caroline. By the way, I do love your pearls. Such a classic look."
"Thank you." Caroline swallowed hard. "They were a gift from my husband." For their first anniversary. She hurried up the front steps, buzzed the intercom, and once inside, made her way to the onsite medical office where she explained the situation to the nurse.
A few minutes later, while the nurse went outside, Caroline ducked into the community room to get Celeste something to drink. Robert was sitting on a sofa with his Gina, watching TV and holding hands. Caroline filled a paper cup with sweet tea and thought longingly of a gin martini.
It was her anniversary, after all.
She wiped new tears off her cheeks as she returned to the bench outside to find the nurse wrapping Celeste's ankle with an ace bandage and saying, " ... bring down the fever. I suggest you spend the rest of today in bed. Resting your ankle and keeping it elevated will make it happy, too."
"Oh, dear." Celeste sighed heavily. "I'm supposed to drive over to the Hill Country this afternoon."
"That's out of the question," the nurse replied.
Celeste worriedly clicked her tongue. "This is frightfully inconvenient. I promised to help an industry colleague out of a bind and now I'm in one! We have appointments set up for tonight and tomorrow in Redemption — it's a lovely little tourist town a couple hours west of here — to research an article for an industry publication that is due Monday morning. My colleague's daughter went into early labor this morning, and I told her I'd take the meetings and write the article. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. What to do, what to do, what to do? This is going to inconvenience a lot of people." Celeste looked hopefully from the nurse to Caroline. "Have either of you ever been to Redemption, Texas?"
"Not me," said the nurse.
"I'm afraid not," Caroline said.
"I'm told it's a lovely little town." Celeste folded her hands prayerfully. "I feel so terrible. They were counting on me. How can this problem be solved?" She lifted her gaze, met Caroline's, and held it.
Caroline heard herself say, "I'll do it."
Celeste's brows arched innocently. "Oh?"
"I'm a writer. It's what I do for my job. I write travel articles. I could do this for you if you'd like."
Celeste beamed and clapped her hands. "Oh, Caroline. That would be fabulous. Simply fabulous. Although, like I said, these meetings are today and tomorrow. Could you clear your schedule?"
Caroline thought of Robert and their wedding day and how he held Gina's hand. "Celeste, this project could not come at a better time for me."
The angel wing earrings dangling from Celeste's ears sparkled in the dappled sunshine beneath the magnolia tree as she said, "In that case, what a fortuitous fever this is. God truly does work in mysterious ways. You just never know when leaning on a friend can change the course of one's life, do you? And isn't there such power in climbing back up onto your feet and standing tall and strong?"
Caroline didn't know why a shiver ran down her spine at that moment, but it did. Fifteen minutes later when she left Easterwood Memory Care Center for a second time that day with a mission and a notepad filled with details, her spirit was lighter than it had been in months. As she climbed into her car, she blew a kiss toward the center. "Happy Anniversary, Robert. My love."
Then Caroline drove home, packed a bag and headed west, leaving half of her heart behind.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Jackson"
Copyright © 2019 Geralyn Dawson Williams.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is part of a series based on two families, the McBrides and the Callahans. There are so many of them, I can't even remember which ones I've read, lol. This story is about Jackson McBride and I really enjoyed it. He is recently divorced, and lost custody of his daughter. As a songwriter, he feels like he's lost the ability to write songs. He finds out that a distant relative has left some property to him and his two cousins, Boone and Tucker in Redemption, Texas. While in Redemption, he meets Caroline, who starts to inspire his music again. They both are not looking to get involved in a serious relationship, and develop a close friendship. This is a sweet story, that I really liked. I enjoyed all the characters and am looking forward to reading more of the previous stories. I think all the books can be read as stand alones, but it's helpful if you know who all the other characters are.
Whenever I come across a romance novel set in Texas, especially in the areas I'm familiar with, I jump at the chance to review it. Emily March's Redemption seems to me inspired by Fredericksburg from the description of the German establishments, the distance to Austin, and the beautiful land around it. For me, the setting played a big part in making me enjoy this book as much as the development of the relationship between Jackson and Caroline. I very much liked the flow of this story. From their first meeting, which was somehow orchestrated by Celeste, to a year later when their second chance at love started to bloom. There wasn't much back story to trudge through as the reader is a witness to the events as they unfold. I also appreciate the characterization of Jackson and Caroline. There's a realism to their thoughts, actions, and words that makes one relate to them somehow. Jackson's despondency at the prolonged separation with his daughter and Caroline's grief over her husband's illness and subsequent death rang true for me, as well as their friendship turning into love as they got to know each other better. It took them a while, but when they fell, they only had the utmost support of one another. I absolutely love that both of them build something from scratch in their new hometown. Caroline's bookstore The Next Chapter is the realization of my dream, I completely felt her emotions when she opened it. There's a lot of named characters. It got unwieldy at times, particularly when the horde from Eternity Springs came for the opening of the B&B Jackson and his cousins own. I also resented the scenes in the book that happened outside of Redemption. Apart from those things, I really enjoyed Jackson and I'm looking forward to reading the next installment in the series.
Title: Jackson Series: The McBrides Texas #1 Author: Emily March Genre: romance Pages: 320 Pub Date:June 25th 2019 St.Martin's Press Sometimes it takes a new beginning Caroline Carruthers married young to a much-older man. Now that he's gone, she's lost...until she dares to chase a dream all on her own. Moving to Redemption, Texas, is chapter one in Caroline's new life story. Opening a bookstore is the next. Finding love is the last thing on her mind as she settles into this new place called home. But when she meets a handsome, soulful man who's also starting over, all bets are off. to reach a happily-ever-after Jackson McBride came to Redemption looking only to find himself, not someone to love. Ever since his marriage ended, he's been bitter. Sure, he used to believe in love--he even has the old song lyrics to prove it--but the Jackson of today is all business. That is, until a beautiful young widow who's moved to town inspires a change of heart. Could it be that the myth of Redemption's healing magic is true...and Jackson and Caroline can find a second chance at a happy ending after all My thought: Rating:4 Would I recommend it? yes Would I read anything else by this author? maybe Will I go on with this series?yes This is my first book by this author and I can see why a lot of people like her work ,because this one was a slow burning romance , while they both felt the heat towards each other , they was both scared to make a move , and scared to trust their feelings once more, I liked how they took their time been friends before moving towards a relationship. With that said I would like to thank Netgalley and the Publisher for letting me read and review it exchange for my honest opinion.
A great start to a spin off of Eternity Springs with the McBrides. The story is told in two parts. The first part is where you a chance meeting of Caroline and Jackson where they become friends. The second part takes place in Redemption Texas, where their relationship develops into so much more. Caroline is initially dealing with a lot, her husband is in a nursing home with dementia and most of the time he doesn't even recognize Caroline. Jackson is singer songwriter how has lose his desire after a divorce and being denies visitation with his daughter. He has arrived in Redemption to find himself. After the death of her husband, Caroline takes a dare to move to Redemption to open up a bookstore when she meets Jackson. Will they both get a second chance of love? This is a heartfelt story that will pull you in and won't let you go. Loved how strong Caroline was and wouldn't give up. The same with Jackson, so broken after his divorce even though he knew it was the right thing, but the love that he had for his daughter, Haley. I'm so looking forward to reading the next book in this spinoff. I Highly recommend!
I love the people of Eternity Springs and this new series of the McBrides of Texas is fantastic. I love Jackson, Caroline and Haley. Both Jackson and. Caroline had some bad relationships and are just learning to trust again. I love how everything is settled. I also love the twists and turns that pop up along the way. I received a copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Starting over in Redemption. Caroline Carruthers is a young widow, just starting over with a move to Redemption and running a book store. Jackson McBride is holding on to his hurt and bitterness like it was a life raft after his divorce. He's starting over, too. Can these two start over in Redemption? What I liked? Caroline and Jackson both knew loss and lived through hopes and dreams and those hopes and dreams ending. I really loved that they were writing new chapters and moving on with their lives and shaking things up with change. Recommend.
3 1/2 stars Jackson by Emily March is the start of a new series, The McBrides of Texas but it's also part of the Eternity Springs series. I read one Eternity Springs novel before, which I enjoyed. Frankly, Jackson felt like a much longer novel than 312 pages and it wasn't helped by the fact that the "romance" began while Caroline was still married to Robert, whom she loved. That raised a few flags for me as well as making me wonder why March decided to begin her novel there rather than, as the blurb suggests, after Caroline becomes a widow. My other issue with Jackson is the fact that at one point the reader is inundated with family members and names. One of the cousins says that there are just so many of them, which I thought rather ironic at the time. This is one of my pet peeves regarding novels that are part of a series: the parade of past characters. I realize, as I've mentioned before, that readers of the series might enjoy it (Publishers Weekly insists you will) but it's a major turn-off for new readers, especially since this is the first novel in an spin-off series. That said, a lot of Jackson works. I liked the blossoming romance between Jackson and Caroline, although I can't say that they had much chemistry. I liked that even from the beginning, when he first saw her, that she made music, his lifeblood, come alive within him again. The writing and the description of nature were very good. You felt like you were there in the scene, experiencing it with them. However, there was quite a bit of extraneous dialogue that had nothing to do with furthering the plot and which, I believe, you really have to be in the mood for to read. As for the characters, I liked all of them, even Jackson's ex-wife, Coco. I think you can gauge the talent of a writer by how well they bring characters to life on a page; more so if they can bring ones who behave badly and make you like them. Cousins Celeste and Angelica are a hoot, bringing a touch of otherworldly magic to the book, as well as demonstrating completely different styles of offering guidance. Likewise, you can the tell emotional maturity of a writer when they have a character being self-aware and not throwing jealous tantrums at the drop of a hat. While I found the beginning to be problematic as well as other parts throughout, I'm glad that I stuck with Jackson. The parts that work, work ever so well, and I found myself rooting for Jackson and Caroline. The ending is heart-warming and leads the way happily to more McBride stories. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Jackson and Caroline came to Redemption, Texas to heal both in their own way. Jackson had lost access to his beautiful daughter in a bitter divorce. Caroline is recovering from her beloved husband’s early death. How these two people learn to move on in the special atmosphere of Redemption with other unusual characters shows how the wait can be worth it. I was given an ARC of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Can never go wrong reading a book by Emily March. This season the Texas authors are winners and especially this book. The book is part of a long series but can be read as a stand alone. I love that I learn Texas history, new sights to visit with a fun story.
Another wonderful book by Emily March that touches the heart and keeps the magic of a happy ever after alive. I just loved how Jackson and Caroline’s story played out. These two both are dealing with pain from their past relationships – Jackson has been through a divorce which has left him with very few visitations with his daughter and Caroline is newly widowed – but they both are looking to begin the next chapter of their lives. I loved the connection that was made between Jackson and Caroline when they first met and how that was built upon once Caroline moves to Redemption. Their relationship progressed with such ease throughout the story, from wanting/thinking they were being casual to discovering just how important they had become to one another. And I loved watching Jackson get his music back…it was such a wonderful visual representation of Jackson beginning to heal from the pain that his past relationship caused him, especially when he had all but convinced himself that even hoping for his creative spark to ignite again was too much to ask for. One of my favorite aspects of this story was seeing how the author bridged her Eternity Springs world with this one. We still have Celeste and her magic, but also get to meet Angelica, Celeste’s cousin, and are treated to a fun cousin-rivalry and perhaps a bit of magic that Angelica brings to the table. We are also treated to catching up with some of the couples from the Eternity Springs world making an appearance. This book can be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone, but there is a lot of crossover from the author’s Eternity Springs series and I thought that added to the experience. Knowing who some of the characters were, especially Celeste and everything that comes with her character, definitely had me immediately drawn in to Jackson’s story. Again, I do think this can be read as a standalone, so keeping up is not a problem since the author always gives enough information and back story when needed. Emily March has such a wonderful style of writing that is easy to read and conveys emotion without feeling too heavy. I love her use of symbolism in things like Caroline’s store being named “The Next Chapter”, the story taking place in a town named Redemption…which also has a road to Ruin (an old ghost town). And I loved how Enchanted Canyon truly became a place where “troubled souls come to find peace.” I’ve yet to find an Emily March book that didn’t leave me happy at the end – another must read for everyone who loves a happy ever after! I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book I received from the Publisher via NetGalley.
Jackson isn't the first Emily March book I've read and not even the first in the Eternity Springs world, but it's definitely near the bottom of my list for contemporary romances. I think there were some issues that were more universal but a lot of it came down to my personal preferences. The book is split into 2 parts. The first acts mostly as backstory with how our protagonists, Caroline and Jackson, initially meet in the small town of Redemption. There's some chemistry but nothing really happens beyond laying the groundwork for the second half of the book, which featured the actual romance and most of the plot (the story didn't move forward very far for the first 50%). The whole setup wasn't working for me because I wondered why we even needed 150ish pages of build up and then several time jumps and rushed scenes in the later part. The pacing was all over the place and I nearly DNFed once the story jumped ahead one year into the second half. The Jackson cast wasn't super memorable as far as contemporary romances go. Both protagonists have been hurt in their past and are looking for comfort, and they fall in love. I wasn't terribly interested in their romance, and this book was pretty clean where that was concerned, nothing graphic, just fade to black type stuff. Which, okay, that's fine, but it just kind of sealed the deal on this one as not being my kind of story. I couldn't connect to either character and I wasn't really behind the romance, nor did we even get any really steamy scenes so it was all just a bust. And while it didn't impact the story, this book had a lot of technical issues (extra or missing words, grammar problems, etc). I'd understand these if I read an early copy but this was the finished product and I don't think I've seen that many in a book in quite a while. I think Jackson was just not a good book for me from the start but it also had some issues that might be more general turn-offs to keep in mind. I'm pretty sure I know which couples will be in the next 2 books (I'm assuming there will be 2 because of how this one went). Not really sure if I'll pick them up or not but I can't say I'm super excited.
Jackson by Emily March Eternity Springs (16): The Brides of Texas #1 Cousins Jackson, Boone and Tucker inherit land in Texas that they will eventually turn into a B&B, Saloon, Music Hall and more. All three will no doubt star in a separate book in this series. This book is Jackson’s story. Although this is a spin off from the Eternity Springs series it is not necessary to read that series to enjoy this standalone book. Jackson McBride is a songwriter that lost his muse when he lost custody of his young daughter at the end of his acrimonious less than polite marriage’s end. When he sees Caroline Carruthers in Redemption his muse tingles but doesn’t do much more than that and as Caroline is soon dealing with the loss of her husband it is a good thing they have a span of time between that first meeting and their second. In Redemption the two meet up again while he works on getting the inherited property ready for guests while she works to open the bookshop she purchased in Redemption. Neither Jackson nor Caroline claimt o be ready to tangle with love again but the two do become friends...then friends with benefits...and eventually more. Their story is fairly easy to read without big bumps in the road. I enjoyed Jackson and Caroline together and felt they were a good match. Both trusted and cared and had their priorities straight. Even when Jackson had to deal with issues from his past the two weathered the situation well and were supporting of one another. I loved Haley, Jackson’s daughter, though there was little of her in the book. I enjoyed this easy read and look forward to reading Tucker’s and Boone’s stories as I wonder if perhaps Jackson’s ex-wife will get it together and find true love, too. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4-5 Stars
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I hadn’t read any of the Eternity Springs series by this author, so all the characters were new to me, but that didn’t matter in the bigger scheme of things. There were times that it was apparent that there was backstory somewhere, but I never felt lost in the plot or like I was missing anything. I got caught up in the descriptions of Enchanted Canyon and its surrounding area. They were so vivid that I found myself wishing that I could go there on vacation. I love it when an author brings a region and its inhabitants to life like that. I liked Jackson’s description of his music as well (I could relate), and the romance part of the plot was charming. It was a soothing read, and I look forward to more from this author. Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and the author for a complimentary pre-release digital ARC of this book.
Jackson is the first book in a spin-off trilogy called Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas. This is a series surrounding the McBride cousins and their difficult romantic situations. In this story, Jackson has hit rock bottom emotionally as his ex-wife has done the unimaginable and he is reeling from the vacuum that she had just created in his life. To say that he is both angry and bitter would be an understatement. When his cousin, Boone McBride, called him and asked him to meet him in Texas, Jackson jumped at the opportunity to get away from the constant reminders of what was no longer available to him. Little did Jackson know that on the way to Redemption, Texas, he would find someone worth letting all the bitterness and misery go. Caroline Carruthers’s life was also in a downward spiral in a way that she never anticipated. Her life was rather complicated at the start of this story and I truly felt for her character! Her situation was not one that I ever considered but it was something that many people deal with and, now, I have a greater empathy for people in her position. It was a tough situation to be in and it was not made any better by the people surrounding her. After a chance opportunity brought her to Redemption, Texas, when she needed a refuge it was there that her heart leaned towards. With a new start, Caroline was hoping that she would be able to heal but a friendship with a man who made her feel things was never on her agenda. Both Caroline and Jackson would find that redemption was something that they both needed and never knew they wanted. There was a bit of drama which I am never a big fan of in Jackson. If I could have, I would have shaken Jackson a few times over in this book but his heart was always in the right place. He was placed into a few tough and challenging situations during which I think Caroline was exceedingly patient. She really couldn’t protest but I definitely protested on her behalf. What I really appreciated in this story was that there was one character who really did not deserve grace but she received it and I liked that a positive female relationship sort of developed from it. It is never easy when a family blends but I liked that the adults in this story did what was best for all involved, eventually. Jackson is a heartwarming story about struggling with loss, new beginnings, and love blooming from unexpected places. I enjoyed reading this book and I am absolutely looking forward to reading the next McBride story. I am hoping it will be Boone’s story! This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.
Jackson McBride is at a low point in his life. He's being kept away from his little girl. He needs help. He finds it in Redemption. He and his two cousins are trustees of a large track of land in the Hill country. This change may help him get his music back. Caroline Carruthers is suffering. She's a recent widow. Her husband had suffered from Alzheimer's. She was charmed by this friendly town and decided to start the next chapter in her life here. Jackson knows she's his muse. I loved how these two formed such a close connection. It healed their broken heart. Jackson is sweet and caring. His love for his little girl touched my heart and the way he treated Caroline was so romantic. Seeing them fall in love May me sigh. She's so caring and empathetic. I was glad that she opened her book shop in Redemption. It's such a friendly place. I enjoyed all the characters. They were charming and I cared about them. Enchanted Canyon and the ghost town added so much to the story. I was shocked when Jackson's ex was struck by tragedy which pulled Jackson back into her drama. I couldn't put down this book. It was an emotional story. Emily March wrote a wonderful romance that left me with a smile on my face. Jackson is a great start to her new series. I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. My comments are my honest opinion.
I received an ARC from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. These are my own thoughts and reactions to this book This book can be read as a stand alone, but I would encourage readers to read the earlier books in the Eternity Springs series also. Many characters from previous books appear in this book. Redemption, Texas...a place where hearts come to heal. Redemption is a close knit community where neighbors support each other during difficult times. It is populated by some quirky characters who, in spite of their eccentricities, have hearts as big as Texas. Caroline is beginning a new chapter in her life after losing her husband to the terrible disease of Alzheimer’s. Jackson is reeling from a nasty divorce in which his ex-wife gained sole custody of their six year old daughter and does everything possible to make it difficult for him to exercise his visitation rights. Ms. March has written another engaging story of new beginnings, set in a small town with characters that find their way into the reader’s heart. I recommend Jackson and all of the Eternity Springs books to anyone who enjoys a clean romance with a compelling story.
Jackson is Emily March's latest book in the Eternity Springs series. I’m new to this series, but definitely hooked. I enjoyed the story of Jackson and Carolyn. There is humor, heartache and romance. She describes the setting so it comes to life as you read the story. Recommended! I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novel.
It was a sweet romance. The passion was tame, so if you prefer romance without the steamy sex scenes, then Emily March is for you. Her romances are sweet, wholesome, romantic, and could be set in real life. I enjoyed the story, but I would have liked more steam, if you know what I mean. The characters were strong and well developed. The plot moved steadily and wasn’t rushed, again could have been real life and/or Halmark. I did enjoy it a lot, just needed more steamy scenes.
If you’ve read any of Emily March’s novels taking place in Eternity Springs novels, you’re ready for this new series that takes place in the town or Redemption, Texas. Celeste and quite a few of March’s Eternity Springs characters show up in this novel. The premise revolves around Jackson, a songwriter who has been devastated by his celebrity wife’s denying him shared custody of their daughter. He comes to Redemption where he and his two cousins have inherited property that includes a ghost town and some historic buildings. They decide to build a resort and it seems to get built pretty quickly. Jackson is totally heartsick until he meets Caroline whose husband had tragically died after suffering from early-onset dementia. She’s also heartsick and ready, like Jackson, to start over in Redemption. So we get a typical March novel with angels, a bit of spookiness, romance, and camaraderie among a collection of people all ready to be the subject of future romance novels. If you enjoyed her other novels, you’ll enjoy this. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book that I received from Netgalley; however, the opinions are my own and I did not receive any compensation for my review.
This was my first time reading this author, and despite being confused at the beginning of the story, I found myself enjoying this book a lot. The plot was a little slow in the first chapters, but little by little it was developing a steady rhythm I liked a lot. The author didn't extend in the erotic side of the romance, and I appreciated that. The romantic plot was sweet and well managed, with conflicts you can relate with. The characters were lovely, a little broken some of them, with an inner fire that surprised me, enamored me, and made me admire them. The book was titled Jackson, but he wasn't the only McBride I met while reading, now I'm looking forward for Boone and Tucker's book.
I love this new series with many of the characters from the Eternity Springs series. This one is set in Texas Hill Country, between the town of Redemption and the ghost town of Ruin. The McBride cousins inherit a canyon that's claimed to be enchanted that lies about halfway in between. Caroline and Jackson meet in Redemption and sparks fly, but neither is ready for a relationship. Their story is poignant and powerful, and such a great read! I really enjoyed the tie-ins to Eternity Springs as well as the new characters in this Texas based series. Looking forward to reading more about the Redemption/Enchanted Canyon crew.
Eternity Springs is the best series. Emily March is a fantastic story teller !
This being the first book by Emily March that I have read was sort of interesting, because, while each of the characters were new to me it felt as if I was reunited with old familiar friends. I swear it was the strangest feeling that I actually had to go back and check to be sure that this was in fact the first book of hers I had read. This story takes place in Colorado as well as Texas and in both places we have parts of the McBride Family, Boone, Jackson, and Tucker are the three cousins this trilogy will focus on but you will see the old familiar faces from Eternity Springs that you have read about before, if you aren't new to the series that is. For me while everyone was new they felt as if I had already known them. Some good and some bad ;) like every family there are angels and maybe one or two fallen angels. Jackson has gone through a bitter divorce and it just keeps getting worse for this poor guy so when his cousin calls and asks him to meet him in Texas it couldn't have come at a better time. There is a road that can lead you to Redemption or to Ruin, it just depends on which way you choose to travel. Well, Jackson finds himself in Redemption Texas meeting his two cousins when he learns about their road to Ruin. I know, I know, I am being evasive but that's because I wouldn't want to spoil anything for you. Caroline is going through a lot at the moment, her husband is in a long term memory care facility due to his Alzheimer's when she is asked to go to Redemption to write about. Caroline although a bit hesitant goes and the trip definitely changes her life. This is a CLEAN romance, which I seem to be reading less and less of these days, especially when they can fall under the Women's Fiction umbrella which this one definitely can. I am glad I gave the book and the author a chance. I did enjoy the writing although I must admit it did take me longer to read this than it normally takes me and I can't pinpoint why that was. I do plan on reading Boone and Tucker's stories when they are available, both men are interesting and so are the women I believe they are going to be paired up with. I would definitely recommend this book if you enjoy Women's Fiction, or Clean Romances. Happy Reading!!! **I have voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book for my Blog, Nadine's Obsessed with Books**
Favorite Quotes: While she was girly enough to appreciate being called “ pretty,” she didn’t like “little lady” under any circumstance. Consequently, she had starch in her spine and scissors on her tongue as she lifted her face. Boone was a flirt, but he was an honest flirt. And being a lawyer and a man with baggage, he hardly kissed a woman without getting a permission slip beforehand, signed in triplicate and notarized, prior to lips touching lips. She was terrible. Stiff and awkward. She froze up the same way she did like when she needed to do math in public. She got the choreography of the dance step down, but it wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t dance. It was more Frankenstein stumbling out of the castle. She’s a piece of work, Caroline. I know she’s been through a trauma, but she’s a Southern girl. Where’s her grit? Where’s the steel in her magnolia? My Review: Jackson was an easy, sweet, and pleasant read cast with endearing and interesting characters, and was an excellent introduction to bridge an established series and begin a new one. As with the previous books of hers I’ve read, Ms. March’s writing was lushly detailed with periodic hits of wry humor and amusing observations. I was stunned to noticed she currently has thirty-nine books listed on Goodreads, thirty-nine! Of which I’ve only read three, I need to rectify the error of my ways and get to crackin’.