Review: For Lucy by Jewel E. Ann
Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Valentine PR.
It's taken me a few days to wrap my head and heart around Jewel E. Ann's newest standalone. To be perfectly honest, I've been sitting in front of my computer, staring at my screen, with my fingers poised over the keyboard for far longer than usual because I didn't know how to properly put my thoughts into words. So, I'm going to wing it and then run through it once before clicking publish, just to make sure my grammar is okay.
Jewel E. Ann is an author whose work I've mostly fallen madly in love with. Yes, there have been a couple that have fallen through the proverbial cracks, but hey, you win some, you lose some, right? In the case of her latest novel, For Lucy, I went into it expecting one thing and getting something I wasn't quite prepared for. And that isn't necessarily a negative since I'm good with going in blind. However, I DID read the blurb.
Here are the basics: Tatum Bradshaw mistakenly thinks Emmett Riley is her blind date. He knows he isn't the guy she's supposed to meet, but hey, they go on to fall in love and have a family. However, life becomes complicated, as it often tends to be, and happily-ever-afters aren't always guaranteed. (Unless it's a romance novel. And well, I wouldn't necessarily classify this as one, but I'll get to that later.) One moment shatters everything.
Okay, is this a romance novel? Kinda-sorta-maybe? Yes, it has a happy ending, which has been mentioned as a requirement by many an individual in Romancelandia. However, the story doesn't read quite like a romance novel. I can't call it women's fiction either, because of one main reason: it's told from the point of view of male main character, Emmett, with only one chapter told from that of his daughter and titular character, Lucy.
Labels and categories aside, Jewel E. Ann's writing per se is noteworthy as always, and I once again appreciate her originality and creativity. Unfortunately, this book just didn't affect me the way that I wish it did. With Emmett's "voice" the only one we're mostly privy to, it's almost as if Tatum is set up to be the one who receives the ire of readers like me. I had no sympathy nor empathy for her. Zero. Her life went on, Emmett's, well, didn't.
Speaking of Emmett, I think he said it best in the beginning of the book: he was no longer a thief; he was a martyr. And I'm all for a guy who loves above and beyond, but when your ex is in a new committed relationship, welp, it's a sign to move on. He was a great father, but he deserved to be a good husband with someone else. (Side note: The whole celibacy thing that some readers insist upon when a couple is NOT together is ridiculous.)
So yeah, let me wrap this long-winded review by saying that Jewel E. Ann remains one of my favorite authors. I love that majority of her characters have stayed with me long after I've "met" them. No, For Lucy isn't my favorite book from her, but that's more of a "me" thing than a "you/her" thing. I have no doubt that many readers will love this book. It just didn't click with me. I'll still eagerly await whatever her next release may be. Three stars.
Release Date: 23 May 2021
Date Read: 20 May 2021
Learn more about Jewel E. Ann.
Purchase For Lucy on Amazon.