The Life You Stole by Jewel E. Ann

Disclaimers: while my blog post itself does not contain any sexual content, this book does. This is a review for a book that is meant for mature audiences, and therefore is unsuitable for minors.

This book was provided to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Thoughts at a glance: ***** (It was amazing!)

Synopsis (provided by publisher):
Sex. Lies. Revenge.

On the heels of a devastating loss, Evelyn fights to put her life back together.

Only … part of her husband belongs to another woman, and the devil owns her soul.

“If you tell her the lie, I will tell her the truth.”

When her best friend goes to great lengths to protect Evelyn from destruction and devastation, mistakes are made, lines are crossed, and all trust is shattered.

“We weren’t unbreakable.

I just needed to believe we weren’t unrepairable.”

Thoughts: I'm glad the release date for this book got bumped up, because if I'd had to wait a full month to read the conclusion of this duet, I might have gone mad.

We were left on quite a cliffhanger, and without spoiling the first book for you (since it came out so recently before this one), let's just say that this book definitely takes it up a notch.

In my review for book 1, I wrote about how much I loved that it made me appreciate how well-written the "small stuff" was. Book 2 is VERY MUCH about the Big Thing. Remember, this is a thriller with some classic JEA twists and suspension-of-disbelief moments. What you will read in this book? Is why I read JEA. And I have always said that such complicated portrayals and plot twists by lesser authors would fall flat, but in JEA's hands, the story ends up compelling and utterly un-put-down-able.

I definitely, however, want to insert my own trigger warnings for this book, and this may be spoiling some things, but if you're sensitive to domestic violence, rape, emotional abuse, and cheating, then you may want to proceed with caution. This book was not an easy read, and I am not someone who has to deal with that sort of trauma on a regular basis, so for some individuals who have, this might require some preparation.

I love that, with one exception, the characters in this book live in a bit of a gray area. They don't always make the right choices, but they also are extremely human, and they are living with a tremendous amount of emotional and even physical pain. It was absolutely heart-wrenching for me to read, and I felt a great amount of sympathy for them. This book really underscores how even the simplest joys sometimes are hard-won, and despite the turmoil that it put me through, I really enjoyed reading it and was glad to be a part of this journey.