Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Goodreads Summary:

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.

Publication Date: September 2, 2014

If you’ve read my reviews before, you likely know I’m a sucker for romance. If a book doesn’t have a love story in it, that’s normally a deal breaker. Which is why I’m shocked to say I really wish The Jewel had cut out the romance completely. The love story totally undermined the plot and stole away my interest in Violet’s predicament.

The world building was a little vague at first, but I still felt the setup was strong: Violet and other surrogate girls are auctioned off to royalty in order to produce healthy and gifted children. The way Violet was treated by the Duchess was despicable and I really felt for the young teen (I had to put the book down during the part when the Duchess puts a collar and leash on Violet!).

Violet was relatable and I loved the strong bonds she had with her friends. I was intrigued by the political scandals taking place in The Jewel and how Violet was a pawn in the line of succession. I actually really enjoyed the plot until the romance kicked in.

I’m sorry to say I didn’t get the romance at all. Ash and Violet literally have a two-minute meeting and she’s completely infatuated and possessive of him. Her behavior became ridiculous and the way she acted when he came into the picture made me lose respect for her character. I actually thought until she met Ash that she would fall for the Duchess’s son. I thought the potential pairing would be a nice plot twist.

There is a major cliffhanger so although I didn’t love the book I’d probably give the second in the series a shot. The potential was there and I’m curious to see if I find myself once again invested in what will happen to Violet.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!


  1. Hmmm.... I'm not sure about this one and now I'm even more unsure. I like some romance in my books, no matter the genre, but a poor romance always makes me cringe. :/ I guess I'm still undecided, but thanks for your review!

  2. Love the cover, love the blurb, completely torn after reading the review (which I also loved). Eep! I'm not partial to romance, myself. Sounded interesting until you got to there. :( Ah well, such is life. Great review, Heather. As you can probably tell, my internet will now let me navigate to your blog. LOL! Yeah, I'm having issues. So frustrating! :) WRITE ON!