Monday, September 1, 2014

The Jewel (The Lone City, #1) by Amy Ewing

 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.

"Today is my last day as Violet Lasting."

The Jewel is anything but, the jewel is where the surrogates go. Young teenaged girls like, Violet, who go there to live a life of servitude, treated as a pet, and bred as one. Violet has one job and that is to produce the offspring of royalty. She has been trained since puberty to do so. 
She's auctioned off to the Duchess of Lake where's she greeted with a slap along with ugly painful truths, very unlike the glamorous life she expected.

The Jewel was an enjoyable read.  Aside from the romance, which I have to admit was pretty bad the story is fairly solid. The characters are as I expected and the plot is pretty intriguing. 

Violet's characters is strong even if a bit naive, and foolish. Lucien, our Cinna like character was an interesting addition if not vital. The Duchess was as expected, cruel with an interesting back story. You don't get much of her back story but you're told enough to know there's more to her than her sort of chilly exterior.

I think the story was pretty decently put together and I was surprised by the way it ended. It was expected but kind of surprising. It's sort of cliffhanger-y so expect to be curious but not dying for the next book...

Before I conclude this review I have to touch on the romance which for many all in out ruined the book.

The romance--le sigh. I'm not sure that I can call it romance at all because quite frankly it wasn't all that romantic. The two characters Violet, and her romantic interest just felt forced although the idea that they would fall for each is not completely unbelievable--but it doesn't come off very believable.

I'm not sure that I would call it insta-love because I feel like the only one instantly in love was Violet but she's been sheltered for most of her life so maybe that explains it. BUT, it just wasn't all that heartwarming. It was kind of like OH, they're together. That's sort of interesting. 

Their time together was brief as was the stage between like and love between them which is usually a turn off. I won't lie I rolled my eyes a few times but it didn't ruin the story, at least not for me. 

It's one of those you'll either hate it or love it scenarios. You'll either despise their romance and curse the book or you'll endure and enjoy it. 

I'm not marking it down as a favorite but I'd read the rest of the series.


  1. Aw, shame on the romance but it does sound like a good book. The cover is stunning, makes me want to stare at it all day *stares....* and thus, have it. I'll add it to my tbr pile! Thanks for the review, glad you still liked it even without what was supposed to be a big thing. :)

  2. I'm really torn on this one. No one has liked the romance, everyone has complained about it, and usually if I don't like the romance, I don't like the book. But I'm so intrigued by the synopsis and the story. I'll probably just end up reading it and maybe knowing the romance is so bad, maybe it won't bother me as much. Glad you liked it! ~Pam