Review: The Tragedy of Felix and Jake by J. Daniels


I have a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad confession to make: The Tragedy of Felix and Jake is my very first read by J. Daniels. I know, I know. I'm a sad excuse for a romance reader. Sigh. That doesn't mean that I'd never heard of her either. I've actually had her Sweet Addiction trilogy since 2014 and 2015 and her Alabama Summer series starter, Where I Belong, since 2017, all four of which have been languishing in my Kindle library. I swear, I have more books than I know what to do with, but all it took was a nudge courtesy of seeing J. Daniels's name and two of her titles in a Facebook group for me to realize that I need to get my act together and actually read her books! Now, I'm making up for so much lost time and catching up on everything I've missed, and I'm starting with her most recent release, which is a standalone that shares loose ties with her Alabama Summer series. And yes, I followed The Tragedy of Felix and Jake with Where I Belong, and I may or may not (TOTALLY DID) have followed that up with the second Alabama Summer book.

So, who are Felix and Jake and why was so tragic about their story? Felix Fields is twenty-three and a tattoo artist; Jake Tully is twenty-eight and a dishonorably discharged Marine now working construction. Both are recovering addicts, and Felix offers himself up as Jake's sponsor when the latter attends an addiction meeting. Felix is friendly AND flirty, and he becomes a source of light and positivity for Jake, especially since he's just re-started his sobriety journey. It goes without saying, however, that becoming romantically involved was a no-no, particularly between a recovering addict and their sponsor, but there's only so much resistance that Felix and Jake can adhere to. Maybe rules were meant to be broken, but there was also a very real risk of their own fragile hearts breaking as well. And what if they were merely exchanging one addiction for another, because the way things are progressing between them, what they're feeling isn't just lust. However, when everything has been said and done, will their love be a tragedy and what will it cost them?

From the moment Felix approached Jake in hopes of being his sponsor, it was clear these two were going to be one hot mess. There are reasons why an intimate relationship between addicts is considered a terrible idea, and goodness, it was obvious that these main characters were going to have more struggles than most other people entering couplehood. But I couldn't help myself--I was cheering Felix and Jake on. I mean, come on, how could I not?! These were two innately good individuals who had their share of mistakes and stumbles, but they kept trying to get back up and do and be better. My emotions were on this roller coaster ride that I hoped would end up with smiling in satisfaction--as is usually case when I get on an actual roller coaster--but by the time I finished, it felt like more. The journey Felix and Jake took on when they decided to become more--both as a couple and as individuals--was by no means easy, but seeing them come out on the other side, battle scars and all, was just so darn gratifying. And yes, my curiosity was piqued when it came to other couples in this book, which is why I am now in the middle of reading the Alabama Summer series, rectifying a years-long oversight on my part. The Tragedy of Felix and Jake was a triumph of a five-starred read.

Date Read: 04 March 2023

Learn more about J. Daniels.

Purchase The Tragedy of Felix and Jake on Amazon.

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