Jackson by Emily March
St. Martin’s Press (June 25, 2019)
Contemporary Romance/Women’s Fiction
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 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?
The two main characters are rebuilding their lives. They both end up starting over in the same small town. It’s a second chance at love for both as they first become friends and after a time that friendship turns into more. Very descriptive writing especially of the magical canyon property in Texas. A mixture of entertaining characters who bring the town of Redemption to life for the reader.
Reviewed by Comfy Chair Books/Lisa Reigel (May 25, 2019)
ARC received from St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley
Chapter One 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
“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.
“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.
From Jackson. Copyright © 2019 by Emily March and reprinted with permission from St.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emily March is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series. Publishers Weekly calls March a “master of delightful banter,” and her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories have been named to Best of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romance Writers of America.
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.