…life was nothing but a moment, and no one was guaranteed more than one. We were real, even if we weren’t forever.
Never was there a more appropriate title for a book than this one! This book certainly was not what I expected, then again Jewel E Ann’s books rarely are. I thought this was going to be a light, holiday, romantic comedy but it actually was a really great story about starting over, finding yourself, and oh yeah, there may be a bit of a love story in there too! Elsie Smith finds herself suddenly single after 22 years of marriage and having raised 4 children. Her entire identity to that point had been as a wife and mother. Now, at age 42, she’s determined to consider her own needs for once and figure out what her future is going to look like. She never expected someone like Kael Hendricks to come in and complicate things. He’s 12 years younger than her, too hot for his own good, and opened up a shop right across the green that very well may put her family’s specialty food shop out of business. His views on marriage and children also differ wildly from Elsie’s and his feelings on monogamy are questionable but despite all that he’s set his sights on Elsie. Does falling for a younger man fit into Elsie 2.0’s new life?
This book did have a lot of fun moments as we see the fierce rivalry between Elsie and Kael as competing business owners. There were plenty of shenanigans to be had as Elsie tried to take down her new competition while enjoying some sexy times with her new boy toy. But beneath all that, this was a really great story of healing and finding yourself. It was told entirely from Elsie’s POV and I really enjoyed that because we could really put ourselves in her shoes and it kept Kael kind of a mystery throughout. I loved how real and honest this book was. It was messy and complicated, just like real life and I think A LOT of women will be able to relate to Elsie’s story, regardless of how they feel about the current state of their marriage. The little snippets at the start of each chapter that Jewel E Ann had actually collected from her readers about things that women’s husbands did that drove them crazy were such a good touch, especially because they were then woven into the actual story. It just added another layer that the reader can relate to.
As I mentioned, Kael was kind of a mystery, even now I feel like there’s so much I don’t know about him. But what I do know, I really love. He had a unique view of life and his confidence and carefreeness were enviable. He could be cocky at times but he truly had a heart of gold. His relationship with Elsie was beyond complicated and the exact status of their relationship was questionable for most of the story. If you’re looking for a conventional love story, this isn’t it. But it is a love story and it’s a darn good one!
Not What I Expected by Jewel E. Ann is now live!
Are humans meant to mate for life?
After four kids and an unfortunate but fateful end to her twenty-two-year marriage, Elsie Smith meets the new guy in town.
Kael Hendricks is … a little younger, a lot sexy, and too confident for his own good. He also doesn’t believe in marriage and all that goes with it.
He’s just opened a new business that threatens the livelihood of Elsie’s family’s store–just in time for the holidays.
There’s an undeniable attraction that leads to out of control situations, a loss of inhibitions, and a lot of small town gossip.
As Elsie tries to redefine herself and convince her family she isn’t having a midlife crisis, she’s forced to answer the biggest question of all …
Can she love an enemy who will never surrender?
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Meet Jewel E. Ann
Jewel is a Wall Street Journal & USA Today best selling author a with a quirky sense of humor. When she’s not saving the planet one tree at a time, you can find her role modeling questionable behavior to her three boys, binge-watching Netflix with her husband, and writing mind-bending romance.
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