When Life Happened, an all-new standalone romance from
Jewel E. Ann is available now!
When Life Happened by Jewel E. Ann
Publication Date: June 5th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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.
★ ★ ★ ★
Reviewed for KFF by Klaire Sutherland
“Not all truths set you free, not all lies are deceptions.”
Fair warning before picking up When Life Happened – this books core theme is infidelity, if this is a subject that you cannot and won’t read then please, this book isn’t for you. The blurb says it all really. The sister cheated, the friend cheated, the boyfriend cheated, the husband is cheating…hell, even the dog is cheating. What the author has written is an extremely multifaceted view on adultery. The how’s and whys, the excuses, the fallouts, the consequences. Go in blind, that’s the best way to read When Life Happened.
This book is a little unusual in the fact that there’s three main characters and it very much feels like a story of two halves, there’s a very definite cut off where one ends and the other begins. When Life Happened is not predictable and I think that’s the beauty about most of Jewel E Ann’s books. She has this unique way of writing outside the box and bringing to life quirky yet loveable characters no matter what they are engaged in. Gus, Parker and Levi will worm their way under your skin from the moment you read them.
“If Amazon Prime offered a life, she would have one-clicked the hell out of it and selected recurring monthly delivery.”
Parker’s life is not what she wanted it to be, she’s an organiser, a planner but she finds herself moving in to the old grandparents place when her twin sister does the unthinkable and her perfect life is derailed. It seems for much of the time Parker floats through her life until temptation arises right on her doorstep. From there a pitiful game ensues that simply cannot end well. As much as I liked Gus’s character I disliked the games he played. Whether he realised he was doing it or not, he didn’t half mess with poor Parker’s head. His charm and sharp wit come across extremely well and there are some moments where you can’t help but snort at his one liner innuendos. Yeah, he’d have me all confused too. I think he serves as a great lesson to Parker, defines things for her, to the point where she could let go of some things she struggled with previously.
“You’re the ballad of my life.”
By the time Levi walks into Parker’s life, the poor woman is about as low as she can get. He becomes her saving grace and she becomes his. Their spark is instant and her snap decision ends up being the best thing she has ever done. In all honesty I found Levi and Parker’s relationship more developed than Gus and Parker’s. I always felt like there wasn’t enough foundation to Gus and Parker, like it was a tad under developed. And the ending kind of felt a little aimless for me, it fitted the story for sure however I wanted more purpose and I didn’t feel I got that.
There are so many different relationship dynamics within this story, it’s really beautiful to read and to unravel the characters. I’m finding it difficult to write this review, for me this was a solid 4 star read, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone. When Life Happened is a journey that readers will love with a passion. It has all the feels; you’ll come out smiling in the end, I promise.
“Don’t think. Just dive in! You can’t prepare for greatness—it just has to happen.”
“You … you tried to seduce me.” Anger fueled her fight, overriding how terrified she felt being feet from naked Gus.
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.
Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor.
With 10 years of flossing lectures under her belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.
After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the Contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.
When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree at a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course…heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.