Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
At the end of The Lost Fisherman, it’s clear that time is the unifying spirit of Jewel E. Ann’s The Naked Fisherman and The Lost Fisherman. In the first book, the age gap between Fisher and Reese works to complicate their relationship. As a reader, you find yourself wanting to force a potential relationship on them because, as romance readers, everyone loves a happy ending at the end of a book. However, Ann builds the tension around “perfect timing” with the naivete of Reese in contrast to Fisher’s vast experience. I mentioned in my review of The Naked Fisherman that that book was really more about Reese’s growth than Fisher’s experience.
In The Lost Fisherman, the tables have been turned. The timing is seemingly “right” except this being a Jewel E. Ann story it isn’t. And the tension of Fisher and Reese falling in love feels both decadent and frustrating in equal measure. The Lost Fisherman explores Fisher’s journey to finding himself again, and the tension that Ann builds in this story overwhelms you as you fall deeply into their story. Thankfully, the promise of a happy ending allows for your survival of the story. Couple that with the easy banter between Reese and Fisher (my favorite aspect of this duet of stories), and as you turn the pages, you remember, once again, how much Jewel E. Ann is a master storyteller.
The crux of The Lost Fisherman is the idea of timing, of living in the moment. In The Naked Fisherman, Fisher had the upper hand, and a potential relationship would have always been “uneven” had they continued on together. After five years, Reese has had the opportunity to “live” life, to grow and become more of herself. Now, their possibilities are endless, although Ann plays with it in this story even more. I personally loved the complications of this book, the tether between Fisher and Reese that grows taut and loose throughout the progression of their story. And through it all, I love the Reese of The Lost Fisherman more than the Fisher of The Naked Fisherman, both of them wizened guides of a particular book. In this story, the playing field feels level yet studded with landmines.
Each turn of the page of The Lost Fisherman reminds you to live for the “good enough day”: to love hard, laugh often, and choose happiness. To not read this duet is to miss out on an opportunity to laugh and cry and challenge yourself to live life with courage in the face of adversity. These are the apt lessons learned from Jewel E. Ann’s newest book, and it’s glorious.
In love and romance,