Review of The Naked Fisherman by Jewel E. Ann
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The Lost Fisherman (#2) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Thank you Valentine PR and Jewel E. Ann for the opportunity to read an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
I’m eighteen and a young woman with endless possibilities on my way to reunite with my mom in Colorado after five years apart—she had a little weed incident in Nebraska.
At the airport, she springs the news on me … she’s leaving for a month of job training. And me? I’m left on my own in the basement she’s renting from the fisherman, aka her landlord who lives upstairs.
He’s ten years older than me. Never wears a shirt. And makes it hard to remember all the things I learned at Christian Academy.
Did I mention he’s also my new boss?
Oh my God. This book was worth 10 stars and it wrecked me in every way that’s good. What am I supposed to do until the next book? How am I supposed to sleep when thoughts of this book are still consuming me?
Seriously, HOT DAMN. My soul.
Age gap, boss-employee, forbidden romance, with a virgin, religiously conservative heroine, and a confident, experienced, dirty talking hero. The angst is off the charts and y’all are going to eat this one right up.
One thing that makes Jewel E. Ann one of my favorite romance authors is how utterly consuming and unpredictable her books are. I should know this by now, especially having read pretty much everything she’s written, yet Jewel still has this magical ability to surprise me every single time. I went into this book expecting some small-town romance vibes (I don’t know, that’s just where my mind was), but instead what I got was a surly Fisher Mann, a willful Reese, and a TOTAL ANGST FEST.
*fans self* The angst in this book is at radioactive levels. It’s been awhile since I have stayed up late to read a book, but there I was at 2am with my heart raging and my eyes glued to the page because I simply could not put this one down. Undeniably You is one of my favorite books by Jewel, and by the 60 percent mark, I was feeling all sorts of similar vibes. My mind was like, “Oh no, oh no, you’re in too deep. Retreat! Retreat! This one is going to mess you up.” Yet, I couldn’t look away. It was worth it.
On another note, this book was so incredibly thought provoking. There is so much raw emotion throughout it, on the part of Reese and Fisher. Reese thinks she has it all figured out when she moves in with her Mom, y yet Fisher challenges her in mind, body, and soul. Reese has recently turned eighteen, and is stuck in that weird place of legally being an adult, yet still feeling like a child, especially when around people several years older than you. She experiences the frustration, exhilaration, jealousy, and newfound independence that tend to be in surplus at this age, and my emotions were all a mess seeing it overwhelm and consume her at times. I remember being this age and feeling much of the same, and I loved how the age-gap aspect of this story only magnified those feelings tenfold.
I also really appreciated seeing her navigate her conservative and religious moral teachings, and what she feels and sees when she doesn’t have it constantly weighing over her. This book asks a lot of timely questions and I’ll be quite honest, it yanked me out of my romance loving comfort zone and made me really examine these aspects of society from a different perspective. I loved it!
And Fisher. Oh Fisher. Y’all. This man. I was right there with Reese and wasn’t too sure about him at first. But he quickly thawed our hearts and I was IN DEEP after just a few chapters. There are definitely some grumpy-sunshine aspects of this book, and Fisher tries his best to stay closed off and sarcastically ill-tempered, but Reese breaks through every barrier he tries to throw up. The pining is mutual, the angst is turned all the way up, but beyond that we see Reese pull Fisher out of the shell he’s concealed himself in. There’s a chapter near the end (you’ll know it when you read it), that had me on the floor in ALL MY FEELS. Chapters where the hero opens up are my weakness.
This is one of those books that left me immediately wishing I had the sequel ready to go and in my hands. The Naked Fisherman is intense and passionate, and consumed me with every angsty, forbidden touch and stimulating question.
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