Review: The Naked Fisherman by Jewel E. Ann (Fisherman #1)
Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Valentine PR.
Originally part of Amazon's Kindle Vella program, which allows subscribers to read serialized stories, Jewel E. Ann decided to pull The Naked Fisherman and release it as the first in a duet titled Fisherman. Now, the male main character is actually NOT a fisherman; rather, his name is Fisher Mann, and he happens to own Mann Construction, Inc. The story, however, is told from the sole point-of-view of the female protagonist, Theresa Capshaw, aka Reese, who is eighteen and has led a rather cloistered upbringing over the past five years or so. It's also been five years since she last saw her mother, who was convicted of a marijuana incident and any contact with her was discouraged by her late father and her paternal grandparents who saw her mother as a negative influence.
But now, Reese has decided to spend some time with her estranged mother in Colorado. Only her mother is heading off for job training. For a month. Away from Colorado. But not to worry, because Reese can stay at the place her mother rents and she'll even have a job. With her mother's landlord, who happens to be a decade older and the epitome of lustful temptation. Her Christian academy education certainly didn't prepare her for him.
This book has left me feeling a wee bit at a loss for how to put into words what I think of it. Let me begin by saying one of my absolute favorite things about Jewel E. Ann's writing is the fact that she always manages to be so darn original and creative with her stories and characters. With this first book in her Fisherman duet, it was the story that lured (see what I did there?) me in. The blurb intrigued me, and I seriously wanted to see how much self-discovery there would be alongside some potential age-gap romance as well a reconciliation of sorts between Reese and her mother. Now, here's the part where I may confuse some people: I liked the story for the most part; the female main character? Not so much, and it's not because I'm like her maternal grandparents, i.e. a liberal Catholic. Reese was quite judgmental and somewhat hypocritcal, ironic (or maybe not) considering she was brought up by ultra-conservative Christians. (FYI, Catholics are Christians, too.)
It took me a while to see an inkling of romantic connection between her and Fisher, with the latter being a smidgen immature at times. I also really wish this story was told from both of their perspectives, but hey, maybe this was mostly supposed to be about Reese's naivete and personal growth. The story gets four stars, and the characters three stars, with The Naked Fisherman getting 3.5 stars. Here's hoping the sequel, The Lost Fisherman, due for publication in two weeks, grabs me hook, line, and sinker. Yep, totally went there.
Date Read: 28 September 2021
Release Date: 30 September 2021
Learn more about Jewel E. Ann.
Purchase The Naked Fisherman on Amazon.