by Jewel E. Ann
Series: Jack & Jill #1
Pub. Date: Aug. 17, 2015
Source: NetGalley (and Kindle Unlimited)
Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life.
Four caskets. Two bodies.
Four caskets. Two bodies.
Jessica and Jude Day witness their funeral and that of their parents a few yards away from mourning family and friends. Stripped of the only life they’ve ever known, the Days say goodbye to San Francisco forever.
Six months later, two thirty-year-old misfits with elite self-defense skills and penchants for alcohol, sex, and trouble arrive like an earthquake to Peaceful Woods, a retirement community in Omaha, Nebraska, that thrives on rules and gossip. Welcome home, Jackson and Jillian Knight.
Jackson celebrates his new beginning by embracing his job and wiping his cavalier past clean with a temporary oath of celibacy. But Jillian’s past is branded into her soul—the deaths, the insanity, Dr. Luke Jones, and the need to make her lovers bleed. Her chance for redemption comes in the form of a next door neighbor, one Senior Master Sergeant Monaghan. He’s sexy, dangerously alluring, and riddled with emotional issues from years of service. He’s also … So. Damn. Grumpy.
Their mission is simple: Let go, start over, don't kill anyone, and pray that nobody wakes the dead.
**THIS BOOK CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE AND SEXUAL CONTENT 18+
I honestly cannot say whether I liked this book or not. I didn't dislike it. But I'm sitting here struggling to put into words what the book was actually about. I don't know. I'm confused. I'm conflicted. I kept waiting for the plot to climax or break or something, and it just didn't happen. I don't know why Jillian and Jackson are basically in hiding. I don't know anything. I'm assuming this all comes out eventually in the series... but I'm a little disappointed that I'm 424 pages in and I feel like I haven't scratched the surface. I would have liked to get thrown a bone somewhere in there.
Then there is this whole dichotomy of relationships. Everyone in this story is vulnerable, but Luke's vulnerability was much more appealing. I absolutely love Luke. I worshipped him and lived for his moments of the story, and it was apparent that Jillian/Jessica did too. The Luke/Jessica relationship had depth and meaning and emotion. I was connected to his character. I think Jessica/Jillian is just too messed up for me to connect to her. She's fascinating, but I can't put myself in her place.
So to be following the Luke/Jessica relationship in a sort of flashback/memory fashion at the same time you were experiencing the dysfunctional Jillian/AJ pairing was, well, strange! I mean, I liked AJ, who is a master sergeant in the AF suffering PTSD. But he and Jillian were just SO messed up, it was kinda like watching a trainwreck. I found it that I was constantly comparing Jess and Luke with Jill and AJ. And it frustrated me. (Jessica and Jillian are the same person if you haven't figured that out.)
The relationship between Jillian and AJ really devolved into desperate sexual encounters more than anything else. I think a number of those scenes could have been sacrificed to move the plot forward. I was jonesing for more action, rather than the way that tiny details were slowly trickled out. But then when I wanted more of something, it either happens off page (Jessica' rescue) or it happens so fast (Matthew Green situation), that I was left wanting.
Then the ending just made me say... huh? That's it? Luckily I got this boxed set off Kindle Unlimited so I can continue reading once I get caught up in my reading calendar. But I also got a free copy of this first book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.