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 don’t know what to think of this book honestly. Overall it was a good book. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. I read it one sitting, the cliffhanger was so great, when it happened I sat up in bed and said out loud, ” I KNEW IT!” And this book was entertaining, I did want to know what happens next I just didn’t love it.
This is a story about a society where the royals can’t have children and in order to save their blood they guy girls with certain special qualities or talents to have their children for them. These surrogates are bought and sold like sheep or cattle, brought up and reared for the sole purpose of helping maintain the royal blood of this society doesn’t die out. After that? What use are these girls?
Violet refuses to succumb to being just a number once she comes of age. She refuses to just do whatever she is told and succumb to the will of another. Although she is talented, she is also human, talented, kind, not so smart, but knows her limits. After being auctioned off she is pampered and well taken care of. As long as she stays within the limits of the person that bought her and does all that she is told she will be rewarded if not she is severely punished.
The world building was interesting as the author did a good job of creating and explaining what she wants the reader to understand about his society and it’s hierarchy. I enjoyed the bit of magical twist on this story it and how it’s involvement in the surrogates and their lives.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the relationship between Violet and Ash. It was insta-love and I couldn’t feel the chemistry between them. It was all too fast There wasn’t enough character development for Ash, I didn’t really get to know his character before they were thrown together as characters. I was really disappointed in that. There wasn’t much conflict between them before they started making out!
Overall, that was that. I liked it but didn’t love it. I am interested to see more from this author and what she has to offer.
Sexual Content: moderate (some kissing, knowledge that characters had sex, talk of pregnancy)
Drugs/Alcohol: mild (social drinking, a character constantly drunk)
Violence: mild (understanding that characters or people are treated badly, some hitting)