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.
Violet never wanted to become a surrogate. She would rather have stayed in the Marsh with her family. Since she has a gift she was taken away and raised in a school until it was time for her to be sent to the auction to be purchased by a royal and made to carry their child. She is purchased by the Duchess of the Lake and while she is given a lot of stuff she never had before living in the Jewel is not what she wants. From the beginning she is slapped to show her what could happen of she thinks of disobeying and told she is to be called by her auction number 197. She is told they have big plans for her and she must not fail. Her life is to carry a child for the Duchess and that is all. She has to work on growing her powers and stay in line. That becomes hard to do when she meets Ash and falls for him. It is forbidden and they both could die if they are caught. The Jewel is a dangerous place where the surrogates have to follow orders. Everyone wants to have the next greatest child and Violet has to be careful. While everyone thinks they want into the Jewel Violet just wants out with Her life and Ash.
Violet is a special girl who is smart but at the same time she can be very stupid. She rushes into things and should use her head to think them through first. She has a powerful magic and it is only growing stronger. She is beautiful even if she doesn't know it at first. You have to read to see why. She does care about her friends and tries to help them when she can. She tries her best to help her best friend survive. Ash I have to say I didn't care for at all. He is handsome yes but he is also selfish. He knows more than Violet what could happen if they are together but he goes ahead and falls for her. He is charming but he can also be a jerk. Or at least he seemed so to me.
First off I love this cover. It is very fitting to the book and just beautiful. Ok I like Violet I didn't love her but did like her. She never asked for this life and just wanted a normal one. The Jewel is what all hope to live in some day. these girls don't realize how dangerous a place it is. They are only to be used as a brood mare and that is it. they have no life and everything is told to them on how to speak, act and really they are just told everything to do. The other royals aren't above murder to get what they want and if a surrogate gets killed oh well it seems. There are some who try to help the girls but they have to be careful. I liked the plot a lot in this book. I didn't care for the Violet/Ash relationship. I would have liked to know more about how all the powers/sectors and such where started and set up but hopefully there will maybe be a prequel or more explained in the next book. This book has lots of danger and is fascinating to read. The ending did shock me as it has a twist I didn't see coming. I look forward to the next book to see what happens next.
4 out of 5 Stars