Not What I Expected by Jewel E Ann
Genres: Contemporary Romance
5+ Wonderfully unexpected CROWNS
Not What I Expected is a different kind of book than we’re used to from this author and I absolutely loved it. In fact, I didn’t just love it, didn’t merely read the words and enjoy the story, I felt it deep inside. I related so much to Elsie that parts of her story took my breath away. I needed this book and when I realised just how much, I teared up. I don’t think I have ever felt so deeply about a story, on a personal level, as I did with this one, or highlighted as many passages or sentences, simply because they resonated with me. I felt as though this author climbed inside my mind and read my thoughts. I felt both exposed and understood. It was almost like therapy!
Here we follow Elsie’s journey through many changes and adaptations in her life and Jewel’s insight into those challenges and choices is remarkable. It’s quite an emotional and poignant story at times, with Elsie realising that her marriage has come to an end. As a result, she needs to redefine herself and I was so pleased that this author gave Elsie the courage and determination to reach for that new life.
Not everything is easy of course and Elsie makes mistakes, but I love the way the story is so well balanced as a whole. It acknowledges individuality and offers a suggestion, an alternative to the normal response if you like, that if something in your life doesn’t last forever it doesn’t have to mean that it’s a failure. Elsie isn’t closing one book and opening a new one, she’s finishing one chapter and starting another in the continuing book of her life. Kael, the free spirit, the old soul in a young body, was just the right person to come into her life when he did. He was there, giving her a little nudge in the right direction, persistent but not forceful or overbearing. The complete opposite to Elsie in almost every way, he brought some fun and sexiness into her life.
Jewel has a great sense of humor, so of course it’s witty too, hilarious at times, but when you also ask your readers to give you their pet peeves when it comes to their husband’s irritating behaviours, you can bet there’ll be some true to life laugh out loud moments.
Not What I Expected may have been exactly that as far as the story is concerned, unexpected, and I adored it. I really should’ve known to expect the unexpected when it comes to this author. Her versatility and ability to shock and surprise are a couple of the many things I love about her. I also admire her philosophy on life that, (and I’m paraphrasing here), “We should strive to make the world a better place, with less judgment and blame, more understanding, acceptance and love, of ourselves and others”. And with this book she goes some way to showing how that’s possible if we’re open and want it enough. Thought provoking and filled with humor, emotion, love and hope, this is women’s fiction at its absolute best. This wonderful story, and especially how it made me feel, will stay with me forever.
Are humans meant to mate for life?
After four kids and an unfortunate but fateful end to her twenty-two-year marriage, Elsie Smith meets the new guy in town.
Kael Hendricks is … a little younger, a lot sexy, and too confident for his own good. He also doesn’t believe in marriage and all that goes with it.
He’s just opened a new business that threatens the livelihood of Elsie’s family’s store–just in time for the holidays.
There’s an undeniable attraction that leads to out of control situations, a loss of inhibitions, and a lot of small town gossip.
As Elsie tries to redefine herself and convince her family she isn’t having a midlife crisis, she’s forced to answer the biggest question of all …
Can she love an enemy who will never surrender?
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About Jewel E. Ann
Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor.
With 10 years of flossing lectures under her belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.
After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the Contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.
When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree at a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course…heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.