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'The Jewel' is the start of a surrogate's story and romance

Posted: September 30, 2014 4:54 p.m.
Updated: September 30, 2014 4:50 p.m.
Provided by HarperCollins/

Amy Ewing, the author of "The Jewel," is one of five authors participating in the "Epic Reads" tour.

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“The Jewel” is the story of Violet Lasting, a young woman who is a surrogate, and whose choices have been stripped away from her.

She’s been bred to bear a royal child, raised in a holding facility and trained to behave properly and beautifully in social situations. She’s also been trained to create things, even living things, with her mind, but they come at great physical cost.

The duchess, who bought Violet at the annual auction for an astonishing amount, wants her to conceive and bear a child in just a few months. The duchess wants a perfect daughter who can marry the next heir to the throne.

Violet doesn’t want this life she’s being forced to live. She wants her family, her new love and freedoms others take for granted. She jumps at an opportunity to escape, but it could cost her a relationship she’s come to cherish.

This dystopian novel takes elements from other similar series like the Hunger Games, the Selection and “Perfected“ and weaves a story that builds on the possibilities that can come with a society using women to carry babies for those who can’t or won’t.

It’s an absorbing story, simple but somewhat horrifying.

The sex is clinical and the attraction between Violet and a young man hired to be a companion to the royalty is deftly described. There is not any swearing or described violence.

There are lots of beautiful dresses and jewelry and a lot of gorgeous balls.

For anyone sorry to see the “Selection” series end or who enjoys a story about romance and social reform, here is a story to take the place of these kind of novels.

The author is promising a second book and there will probably be a third if the pattern holds true.

That’s a good thing, given that this book ends without resolution to the story.

(Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with more than 35 years’ experience, whose personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com. Email: haddoc@deseretnews.com.)

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