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Jem by [Abbott, Michelle]
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Jem Kindle Edition

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Product Description

Product Description

Two injured, stubborn souls meet unexpectedly. Will they save each other from their demons or have they been too damaged for too long to see past the pain?

Growing up, all Jem knew was hatred and the pain from his father's fists. Taunted by the kids at school, he was alone, until a girl with carrot coloured hair sat next to him.

She smiled.
She listened.
She cared.

She was his angel, and he knew he’d love her forever. But Jem’s father hurts him in a way he never expected by taking him away from her.

Now eighteen, scarred inside and out, Jem trusts no one and has worked hard to ensure he'll never be helpless again. But then he runs into his angel. The only problem is she doesn’t recognize him. Jem needs her to remember him, to show him that their time together meant to her what it did to him. For once in his life he wants to have mattered to someone, to her.

Devon is attracted to the muscular, tattooed, pierced hottie standing by the pub quiz machine. That is, until he punches a guy clean across the bar for daring to touch him. She’s had her fill of violent men and intends to avoid this one at all costs.

This is a standalone, new adult contemporary romance. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1138 KB
  • Print Length: 168 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00U65KU22
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,331 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Format: Kindle Edition
3.25 stars--JEM is a contemporary, new adult storyline focusing on a second chance for two people whose lives have been destroyed by abuse. Fourteen years earlier Devon, then seven years old, and Jem, three years younger were torn apart when Jem’s father had been reported to children’s services. Jem and his family disappeared and Devon has never stopped loving the little boy who stole her heart. Fast forward to present day wherein Devon is now a single parent, trying to escape the abuse of her ex boyfriend. Meeting the ‘dark and dangerous’ stranger set into motion a series of events that culminates in the realization that the man she has befriended was once the little boy she cannot forget.

Told from alternating first person points of view (Jem and Devon) JEM is a storyline about abuse, neglect, and moving forward. But it is also a story about love between two children whose lives went in different directions but came together at the same intersections of abuse and hate. JEM is a difficult read because of the amount of violence but also because the heroine is unable to and unwilling to protect herself from an abusive ex. The battered spouse syndrome was all too readily apparent in our storyline heroine as she believes escape and retribution are impossible. Refusing to contact law enforcement added to the long list of signs. The lasting affects of the abuse inflicted on Jem was heartbreaking and filled with pain.

I did have some issues with the quality of the writing; the uneven flow of the text and conversations; there were also some issues with exposition and narrative summary-at times I felt I was reading a journal. The ‘telling’ of the story left me disconnected from the characters although their history of abuse was heartbreaking.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to love it 9 March 2015
By Eat Sleep Read Review - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This book was received in exchange for an honest review.

No one wants to be four year old Jem’s friend, they call him names and accuse him of having the lurgy. When those kids look at Jem all they see is a flea ridden skip rat – not seven year old Devon. Devon sees a sweet little boy that only wants to be loved. When Devon discovers bruises and scars all over Jem’s tiny body, she confides in her mother with disasterous consequences. Jem’s family disappears and Devon never see’s him again.

Fourteen years later, Devon is on the run from her abusive boyfriend who is also the father of her three year old son. When she arrives in a small English seaside town, she promptly makes friends with her neighbors who often take her out. On one visit to the pub, Devon watches as an insanely attractive tattooed man beats the crap out of someone—just for touching him.

Jem recognizes Devon the minute he sets eyes on her—she was the only good memory he had of his childhood and her image is forever burned into his brain. As Jem tries to become closer to Devon, he struggles to understand how she could’ve forgotten him. Devon is completely unaware of Jem’s true identity, but when he saves her from her abusive ex one night, she welcomes him into her arms.

When I read the blurb for this book, I got really excited as it sounded just the sort of thing I like. It’s told from first person points of view of both Jem and Devon and I absolutely adore this kind of story telling, especially with the second chance romance aspect.

The premise sounded fantastic; sadly it didn’t live up to my expectations. The backbone of the plot is so good and it could have been wonderful, but jumpy dialogue and monotonous writing held it back. There were blocks of text where every sentence began in ‘I’ which really distracted me. This book could’ve been seeped in emotion and feelings and heartbreaking inner thought. Unfortunately, even though we get first person accounts, we don’t get very much feeling. When I’m reading a book I like to exist within the story, but I felt like an outsider peering in, never getting a true sense of how the characters were feeling physically or emotionally. I couldn’t connect to either characters and I really, really wanted to.

70% of the way in to the book, Devon still hasn’t asked Jem his name—this is despite interacting with him several times, Jem rescuing her from her ex and Devon arranging a date with him, yet when she meets his roommate, she asks her what her name is within minutes.

The cover also has me a little confused. In the book, Jem is covered in tattoos, some of which are described in detail. There’s even a conversation about how he wouldn’t be able to fit more tattoos on his arms, yet one glance at the cover completely contradicts this.

Such a damn shame. As much as I wanted to love this book, I couldn’t and it saddens me. 2/5
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jem - sweet but heartbreaking 14 March 2015
By Justirishgirl - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I could not help but like Jem. It was both sweet and heartbreaking to get a glimpse of his childhood. I wish the author had shown more of it when he was with the heroine. He was really devoted to her and never forgot her. I liked the scenes where he shows his possessive and jealous side. At times Jem came off as childish but he had an abusive childhood and was only 18 years old and so I ok with it. Jem sometimes uses incorrect grammar but it fit with his character as he was not allowed to attend school past a certain grade.

The writing could do with more editing. It was choppy in places, not flowing well. I could have done without the sex scene with Jem & the OW but at least it happened before he had sex with the heroine. I would have felt differently about him if that was not the case. I liked the ending but would have loved it if the epilogue was in 5 or 10 or even 20 years in the future, showing that they stayed together. They were young at the end of the book and their relationship as adults very new and so it would have been nice to have the reassurance. I am wiling to read more books by this author, especially if the characters are like Jem.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JEM - should be titled 'GEM'! 18 May 2015
By T. Sanders - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
JEM was the second novel I've enjoyed by this author, and she never disappoints. Her stories are character-driven and compelling. The language is a bit colorful, but she is very forthcoming about that element in the description. The plot is steady in some areas (which gives the reader a chance to breathe), but fast-paced in others (which keeps the reader turning pages). One thing that was particularly refreshing was the fact that she didn't use too many flashbacks or try to repeat the same back-stories multiple times to try to 'catch the reader up', or worse, fluff up the book content.

There is no need for me to go into detail about the story line or characters' woes. All of those elements are revealed within the first few pages and the story unfolds and gets better with each chapter.

This was an emotional, sexy, enthralling read. I will be checking out other books in this author's collection!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The writing is good, the story well thought out 14 June 2015
By Diane Munier - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ms. Abbott does her job here. The writing is good, the story well thought out. Jem is bad and under his ink there is a sensitive heart. Devon is a victim much of the time and Jem her savior. Like it or not that combo works. I wanted to read one of the no-shirt-guy books that fill romance these days. What drew me to this in particular was the premise. Jem answers his difficult life by becoming a tough guy. He underachieves but he's neat and frugal. And he carries a torch for Devon that hasn't grown heavy over the years. This is a good escapist read. Michelle Abbott is a careful writer. She knows her craft.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romance Fans will find this delicious! 14 September 2015
By Michael Lynes - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
"Jem" by Michelle Abbott is a very well written story. It is a novella length romance with an interesting twist on the 'star crossed lovers' plot that is quite common in this genre. What sets it apart from most is Ms. Abbott's intelligent plotting, good pacing and well executed story-craft.
In the interest of full disclosure, I did not purchase this book, I won a free copy as a prize for participating in an online event, and frankly when I did win I was not terribly excited. I am not a big romance fan, (being a 54 year old man with tastes more inclined to SF, Fantasy, Classics and basically anything labeled 'not-romance' - :-D ). All that said I decided to, (as I would with any book of any genre), give it a chance - and I am happy to say it did not disappoint.
From the very first the prose and the story engage the reader. We are drawn immediately into sympathy for skinny four-year-old Jem as our heroine Devon first befriends him out of sympathy and then futilely tries to protect him from his abusive father. Despite her best efforts they are separated and fourteen difficult years pass in each of their young lives.
Our story re-opens with Devon having escaped from an abusive relationship with the father of her young son Luke, and taking refuge from him in a small seaside town. Unbeknownst to her, Jem now works as an assistant manager in the penny arcade on the boardwalk. Their paths cross and Jem recognizes her as his 'Angel' instantly. Devon only remembers the skinny abused boy she tried to protect, and does not connect the tall, heavily muscled and visibly scarred man to her cherished memories. Upon this happenstance the rest of the story turns as we have the classic confusions associated with unrequited love, misidentified communications and torturous love triangles that fans of this genre adore.
I gave this story a rating of four stars. It is very well written and excellently realized by Ms. Abbott. My only quibbles would be regarding the somewhat formulaic middle plot and also the middling high requirement for suspension of disbelief necessary for the coincidental plot turns.
Fans of romance will find this book delicious! Be forewarned however that there are explicit descriptions of sexual encounters so decidedly NC-17 on the heat scale.