Note: This ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Closing my eyes, I smiled. “I love our story. I love it so much because in every chapter you make me fall in love with you all over again. Let’s never be in love. Let’s fall every day without ever touching the ground.”
“Fuck gravity.” He rested his cheek on my head.
I chuckled. “Exactly, fuck gravity.”
I kinda like this book–a lot. If you've read One, the spin-off standalone romantic comedy novel of author Jewel E. Ann's–and one of my personal all-time favorites--Jack & Jill series, the main characters in this new release should be familiar. Cage Monaghan's father is none other than Aric James Monaghan, Jillian Knight's boyfriend and Lake Jones is the younger sister of Luke Jones, fiancé to Jessica Day. Now, I know that this novel is a standalone and can probably be read on its own but I am seriously encouraging you to read the aforementioned series that spawned this spin-off. There's a lot of back story that comes with those three novels and I do feel that your appreciation for Cage and Lake's love story will be heightened even more if you peruse the Jack & Jill books. And because that series is my favorite one by the author and this latest self-published, full-length novel is now officially my favorite work that she's penned, I honestly don't think you'll regret reading all four. One is further proof of why Ann's on my list of top go-to authors.
One point in time three years ago continues to burn brightest in the memories of Lake Jones. She connected with a boy in a way she's never been able to in the four years since she survived the car accident that cost her another boy she loved and part of her leg. One kiss–one moment–was all it took to make Cage Monaghan the one that got away. Of all the states in the country, Lake never expected to cross paths with him again in Minnesota. That connection is still very much there and they both feel it and acknowledge its existence. This is their chance to finally explore the possibilities of being together for more than a few minutes and sharing more than one kiss. Even with twenty-four-year-old Lake busy with her job testing smart limbs for one of her closest friends who changed her life and Cage living his dream, a twenty-three-year-old quarterback in the NFL, they need each other's presence as much as they need their next breath. They're the other's "the one" but when challenges get to them, will they be left with no one?
I've lost count of how many bookmarks I made in this novel. There were so many moments that made me giggle in delight or grin in some weird conspiratorial way with one of the characters. I teared up at touching moments and both in joy and sadness but always in empathy. The humor isn't forced and feels so damned natural, it was almost as if I could imagine sitting across from these people, listening in as they share their story with me. Their meeting again seems like kismet and there are times where you can't help but feel that things are too easy, too simple for them. But don't be fooled because Cage and Lake have complicated lives as individuals and their being together brings with it even more complex issues. After all, Cage's father and Lake's brother share one person in common: Jillian Knight, also known as Jessica Day. Lake basks in the happiness Jessica and Luke now share as a family, but Cage still nurses the hurt and pain that he's never openly dealt with over the loss of his father AJ, then Jillian leaving and living her own life.
If you take certain parts of this book, i.e. professional athlete, damaged girl (whether emotionally or physically), second chances, and rival families (not entirely so in this case but kinda, sorta), they're familiar ones. But Jewel E. Ann brought them all together and with her patented brand of writing wizardry, has created a simply awesome piece of literary fiction in the romance genre. From the first time I read something written by her, there was something about her storytelling that called to me, always giving her readers more than what's expected in the best ways possible. Cage and Lake's story was moving, and I'm not talking exclusively in a shedding of tears kind of way. My emotions were stirred, both in levity and in gravity. There were numerous quotable quotes that made my heart squeeze and soar, but what stays with me is when one says "Don't forget to love me," the reply is always "Impossible." One is the one novel that I won't forget and I kinda love it–a lot–because any other option would be impossible. Five-plus stars. ♥
Release Date: 28 July 2016
Date Read: 28 July 2016
Learn more about Jewel E. Ann.