The Jewel (The Lone City #1)
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.
Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.
Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence… and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.
I purchased this book because I was given book 2 in this series as I gift and I cannot read books out of order. Even though I try not to, I am horrible at judging books by their covers and when I saw the covers for books one and two of this series I didn’t have very high hopes. I pressed on despite my indifference to the covers and was expecting a bit of a childish story.
To my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was quite fond of the unique concept and storyline. The book pulled me in from the beginning and I could not put it down. I found it very interesting the entire time with no slow parts at all, even the world building and smaller info parts were fascinating.
Violet Lasting, the main protagonist, was very intriguing and I easily connected to her. The thing I did not love about her is that there seemed to be a total character shift when the story involved her love interest. Violet went from being mature and relatable to being very childish and naive/awkward whenever this other character was involved. I realise that most people/characters act a bit different when they are in love, but in this story it felt like a totally different character.
I also felt the romance in this story was very rushed, it seemed to go from 1 to 100 very quickly leaving the reader trying to catch up. Having said that, I didn’t hate the relationship that was formed, I just think it could have been done in a much better way. On the other hand, I really enjoyed reading about the friendships that violet formed and felt that this story portrayed the importance of strong friendships and loyalty very well.
I enjoyed the way this book built up to the ending, I was constantly left guessing what would happen next and anxious to read on. I was completely blindsided by the cliffhanger, I cannot wait to read the next book.
In summary, I loved everything about this book except for the instalove and I highly recommend this book.
Rating: 4/5 stars