Published by Self-Published on June 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Amazon B&N iBooks
Parker Cruse despises cheaters. It might have something to do with her boyfriend sleeping with her twin sister.
After a wedding day prank involving a strong laxative, that ends the already severed relationship between the twins, Parker decides to grow up and act twenty-six.
Step One: Move out of her parents’ house.
Step Two: Find a job.
Opportunity strikes when she meets her new neighbor, Gus Westman. He’s an electrician with Iowa farm-boy values and a gift for saying her name like it’s a dirty word.
He also has a wife.
Sabrina Westman, head of a successful engineering firm, hires Parker as her personal assistant. Driven to be the best assistant ever, Parker vows to stay focused, walk the dog, go to the dry cleaners, and not kiss Gus—again.
Step Three: Don’t judge.
Step Four: Remember— when life happens, it does it in a heartbeat.
When Life Happened is one of Jewel E. Ann’s strongest novels to date, and that’s really saying something. I’ve been a huge fan of her masterful storytelling, so it should not come as a surprise that this addictive book left me conflicted and entirely enthralled.
Don’t let the super cute cover fool you into thinking this is a lighthearted read. There are quite a few comedic elements interwoven, but this is first and foremost an angst-filled contemporary romance about self-discovery and forgiveness. The plot is uncomfortable at times and deals with controversial situations that may be hard limits for some readers. It’s an extremely unique and thought-provoking story, though—one that unfolds with such deft care that it is difficult to put down.
I loved Parker’s exuberance, and I connected with her every step of the way as she struggles with her sense of purpose, independence, insecurities, and values. Every single character is perfectly flawed and complicated. I was awed by their resilience.
Nothing is as cut and dried as it appears to be. In the debate over wrong versus right, or playing it safe versus taking chances, it’s the grey lines and uncertainty that make life messy and fascinating.
I have learned to anticipate the unexpected in this author’s stories, and When Life Happened definitely delivers some shockers. I loved every inch of this story and can honestly say that the compassionate journey is well worth the emotional rollercoaster. Bravo to Jewel E. Ann on a compelling and poignant tour de force.
Recommended for fans of:
Second chance romance
**ARC received in exchange for an honest review.**
He laughed. That fed her anger even more.
“I wasn’t seducing you. I was making a point.” He slipped on a white T-shirt.
“Bullshit. I was there.”
“Precisely. Then you should know that I wasn’t seducing you.” He grabbed her shoulders and steered her away from the entrance to his closet.
She turned, relieved to find him dressed. “I felt you.” Her eyes narrowed.
He smirked. “You did, did you?”
Heat spread up her neck and burned her cheeks. Discussing Gus’s erection in his bedroom with Sabrina out of town qualified as the most inappropriate conversation she had ever had. “You’re such an ass. Just tell me why?”
Twisting his lips to the side, he narrowed his eyes. “You’re young. You think the world is so black and white. In your fairy-tale world, love is a magic wand spreading trails of glitter and granting happily ever afters.”
Parker stepped closer, knowing the lion could pull her into his den. “I don’t believe in fairytales.”
“No?” He shrugged. “Then I guess I made my point.”
“I don’t get your stupid point!” Her fingernails dug into her hands as she clenched them.
Gus leaned forward, putting them at eye level. She held her ground, even though his proximity made her body tremble.
“Someone cheated on you. And you’re so fucking mad about it because you can’t understand it. But love is an emotion that resides in your head and your proverbial heart. It has to be nurtured to grow or it dies. But … desire … it’s instinctual. Physical. Carnal. And when it wants its way, your brain shuts down and the only heart you hear is that blood-pumping organ in your chest. A slave to your desire, readying your body to do one thing and one thing only …” He leaned into her ear and whispered, “Get. Off.”
August Westman proved he was the devil. Parker became the worst possible version of herself in his presence. He drugged her with his words, pulled her under with his confidence, and stole her innocence with a whisper.