Overall Rating: More than ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
In her book fan group, the Jonesies, we talk about the JEA moment, the JEA Effect. It’s that moment in a Jewel E. Ann book, when something so egregious occurs that it changes the complete nature of the story. It’s generally gut-wrenching, heart-stopping, and sometimes, causes the reader to stop reading, needing a break from the soul-changing moment. This moment transpires in. EVERY. ONE. OF. HER. BOOKS. There is no break from this. It’s as natural to Jewel as her writing style. And it’s the reason that she is my top author. She has an imagination that continues to baffle me. If I have ever thought of writing my own books (and I have), she casts a shadow over my interest in writing that (and it isn’t her fault that she’s such a d@mn genius) keeps me from actually doing it because she is my measure.
And her latest offering, Jersey Six, illustrates her genius clearly.
I had the pleasure of proofreading this book. It’s a privilege to sit with her words and story that, when offered, I seize wholeheartedly. Like her other books, Jewel has a pacing to her words that drives the reader forward in the story. The words are melodious with a cadence that keeps you engaged. My head and heart seek out her measured words, I think. It’s why I have trouble with putting her books down, especially this one.
In other reviews, I offer a general synopsis of the main parts of the story. For this review, I am not going to provide any summary. This book is a romantic suspense with several twists that I don’t want to go anywhere near them. It’s part of her imaginative genius because she can see and create these moments in the story that cause her readers to gasp and pause at the unexpected turn of events. Jersey Six is evidence of this.
This book is an emotional roller coaster ride with some very broken riders. While Jewel has forgone a trigger warning for this book, one should be warned that Jersey, the main heroine of this book, has a past that is quite horrific. In the space of the book, we learn her story, and it will make you cry, or at least, humble your heart. She is my most favorite part of this book because she embodies this story’s truth.
The tagline, found on the cover of the book, is “[t]here’s nothing more intimate than revenge.” And many would think that this book is about avenging a past wrong. To a certain extent, it is. Jersey is emblematic of revenge. She has grown up in a system that hasn’t protected her heart and soul. Instead, she’s borne so much abuse onto herself that her heart has become steel, a necessary protection from seeming “unloveable.” For anyone in Jersey’s situation, revenge would be an appropriate response. And Jersey is out to prove this. But this book is about love. It is about the way in which true love re-trains our heart to be more than broken shards.
I looked up the antonyms to the word, revenge. They are compassion, forgiveness, grace, mercy, pardon, and reconciliation. These are the opposite of Jersey because very few people have shown her how to live these words. Jewel’s romance, Jersey Six’s, genius and JEA Effect lies in Jersey learning these words by finally being loved simply for herself. It is so hard to put words to this understanding. This book overwhelms you with this truth. If we really want to help people change and evolve, we have to love them in good moments and bad ones. We have to love them simply for who they are. And when we do, we speak love into their souls. This is the profound essence of Jersey Six: to pour love on the unloveable to see them bloom into the very best versions of themselves.
I left Jewel a comment as I finished her manuscript that I believe Ian, the hero of this story, and Jersey are her most f’ed up couple. They are broken people, raised in a broken world. Jersey and Ian warn Jewel’s readers that “we are terrible people.” And in the traditional rules of a perfect society, that might be the case. However, in the world of Jersey Six, they are the most loveable and my most favorite couple to date in the Jewel E. Ann world of books.
Read this book. It’s important.
In love and romance,