Book Review – Jahleel by S. Ann Cole

by Maryse on April 27, 2014 · 14 comments

in My Book Reviews

Jahleel (Love All Wrong)
Hey!!! I really liked this one. I mean really liked it. And depending on how much I continue thinking about these characters over the next few hours… days? Maybe even loved it. Total guilty pleasure.

This is the one that gave me a *blurb-jolt* a few weeks ago when it described an extreme “unrequited love” angle. She sees him, goes pretty crazy for him and he… completely ignores her. FUN! And then a few of our fellow readers gave it a go, and I started getting feedback that had me moving it to the top of my TBR list.

Laura: Maryse just finished jahleel!! I loved it! It’s sort of a mix feeling of Beautiful Disaster and The Opportunist/Dirty Red.  Although the author gives the warning about the crazy obsession it’s not as crazy as opportunist/dirty red but still up there but I loved it!!! Put it on the tbr!!

side note from Maryse: Laura, I now get exactly where you are coming from with your book comparison. Also a bit of that whole “Avoiding Series” vibe.

Lisa: Maryse, I just finished Jahleel by S. Anne Cole and I don’t think I’ve ever been more conflicted. I loved it but I was so angry at Kia at times and of course JK too that i actually started yelling at my tablet :-) You need to add this to the tbr list!

Maryse: I’m so excited to start this! I love a book that makes me mad. LOL!!!

Laura: Maryse remember how I was raving about how I loved the book jahleel? I cannot get the book out of my head!! It’s been maybe 2weeks since I read it? Ohhhh I never told u either that ur song the ‘can’t not cry’ song is mentioned in it! Anyways so I’m searching for one like it with the jealousy and obsession any recommendations? Oh there should be a list!!!

Ann: drop everything and read now!!!!! This one, this one, this one! It is just sooooo good Maryse!. The story follows the sometimes obsessive love of British singer Saskia … and the sexy and unattainable lead dancer Jahleel Kingston (JK). It is love and LUST (he is HOT) at first sight for her but he doesn’t give her the time of day…. *Ann continues on with lots of exciting earlier storyline info here that isn’t too spoiler-y but for those that like to experience it all blindly, I blanked this part out*… OMG, the author certainly knows how to ramp up the sexual tension!! ( and the sex scenes are hot as hell ) There is lots of angst and heaps of heartbreak – put this near the top of your TBR list Maryse, you won’t be disappointed!

sidenote from Maryse: OMG Ann!!! That description is exactly right, especially on the steamy. I love a good platonic (or friends-only) situation. Makes the stomach butterflies that much more intense!

Maryse: Okay!! I’m in the delightful throes of “Jahleel” right now! I’ve been eyeing it for a couple of weeks now, and couldn’t resist it any longer. I’m just finishing the first quarter and so far? It is exactly what I wanted to read… I’m having fun living her distress.

Darla: I don’t know what it was about this book…but I absolutely loved it.

Nicole: I loved that one! Loved. It.

Kerri: I finished this book last night and want to re-read it already. I do wish the ending would have had a more in depth explanation.

sidenote from Maryse: Agreed, Kerri on that ending. It could have been lengthier and slowed down a bit…

Laura: Oh thank god ur finally reading it! I still can’t stop thinking about it x

Angela: Great pick! Loved this book!

Yep this one was FUN!!

Sure, it was a little self-indulgent, a few eye rolls to be had, and sure, it was a bit over-the-top at times a la “rich-and-famous soap-ish” (some twists, reactions and consequences made me go “whaaaaaa!!???“) but at the same time, I was really into it. Full of angst and drama, but well done in it’s “crazy”.

And even though I did put it down (just a couple of times and once was to sleep), I was always excited to get back to it. Come to think of it, I started it yesterday afternoon (reading it in the car for hours as my husband drove us around and did his “husband shopping”) and it held my attention so well that I didn’t get bored once. Yep… pretty much devoured it.

And what I liked the most? Despite the fact that I couldn’t relate personally to their rich-and-famous lifestyle, while I was in her head, she was so very human. Normal. Insecure. Disillusioned with the “fakeness” of the industry, and yet insisted upon to act a certain way. But best yet? She’s obsessed with one gorgeous male that appeared not to have any interest in her, whatsoever. She’d practically “stalk” him every chance she got. She’d strive for nonchalance in his presence, with frequent cringeworthy results. And at times, her reactions had me giggling. And often, his reactions had me fuming!! (<— YAY ME!!)

Once upon a time, I was a strong young woman, but that ‘me’ died a brutal death the second I laid eyes on the biggest American arsehole ever, who became the bane of my existence, but at the same time, the love of my life and holder of my happiness.

One glance at him, and he didn’t even have to acknowledge me to rob me of my senses, my thoughts, my integrity, my virtue, my pride, my heart and, most of all, my love. Both a blessing and a curse, he took it all, all of me, just by existing. Just by breathing.

Jahleel Kingston stole me, claimed me, owned me, just by ignoring me.

What else did I like? The fact that we (the reader) were kept guessing when it came to him. We weren’t privy to his private thoughts or feelings. The only way we got to “know” him, was by way of the heroine, which means I was feeling her pain, big time. This angsty romance was through her POV only, so what she felt, we felt. What she thought, we thought. What she perceived, we perceived (well… mostly). Sometimes I thought she was being pretty oblivious, but then again… wow, he could be an ass! And when he was an ass to her, he was an ass to us. And that, my friends… keeps me on my emotional toes.

So what’s it about?

Before she became a famous, Saskia (British, blonde and gorgeous, tattooed and a bit wild, and an incredible singer) was offered the chance to open up for a famous rap artist. Backstage after her performance, Saskia met his dance crew, including his main (and most coveted) dancer, Jahleel. Gorgeous, with blonde shoulder length hair and the face of an angel…

Every ounce of air left me. I was immediately desperate for that water. Breath robbed, my world stopped. Heart thudding, I watched him as he watched her bum.

He was… hot. Ridiculously hot. No-words-to-describe hot.

Jesus Christ.

Along with his thick, sandy brown hair, he had eyes so astoundingly gold, the almost seemed paranormal. The sharpest, most conspicuous jawline I’d ever seen on a man. A nose probably to small for a man, and lips probably too full. But everything just worked together. Made him perfect. Flawless. Made him, him.

And made me breathless. Never had I seen a man that alluring. Beautiful. Physically without a fault.

…but with the attitude of a devil. Full of himself (and notorious for it), he was so obviously uninterested in her obvious interest.

Lion whispered, “That’s Jahleel. Also known as JK… my best dancer.”

As I began wagging my head, about to lie through my teeth that I wash;t gawking/ogling, he called aloud, “JK!”

When he glanced up and pulled the plugs from his ear, Lion told him, “Saskia here wanna say ‘hi’.”

Oh hell.

Jahleel slid his gaze over me for a brief, bored second, muttered, “Hey Sastia,” then made to put his earplugs back in.

“Saskia,” I corrected.

“Yeah,” he mumbled, without sparing me another glance.

I felt like nothing. No one.

Yep. UGH!!! Ignoring her, he plucked a gorgeous female out of his adoring crowd and headed off to do his thing.

The stricken and highly embarrassed Saskia was assured by her handlers… this is how he is, and he’s not worth it. Career first! Become someone, then you’ll have your pick and you’ll forget all about this. Him.

And so the story goes. Saskia works her butt off to become the huge super-star she is, but even as the years pass, she can’t forget. There’s just something about him. And somewhere along the lines from the original “Saskia”, to the “Jahleel-stricken” Saskia, she lost herself. And at times, we were lost with her.

He stole something from me, a huge chunk, and I would never again feel whole, until I saw him again, even if it’s just once, so I could recover that piece of me back from his grasp.

And I’ll let you read on from there.

Let’s just say that there are plenty of sweeeeeeeeet moments (some of my all-time favorite “get-to-know-you-and-maybe-finally?… opportunities), and some OH NO HE DIDN’T moments. A TON of each, with some very confusing reactions to boot. He’s Mr. Mixed Signals, but Saskia’s obsession perseveres.

“JK’s mine, he just doesn’t know it yet. He’s my destiny.”

Yet… there were a few worthy contenders vying for her attention, which kept me guessing. While I suspected (or hoped for) a certain outcome, the author definitely threw in a few “extras” that had me wondering if I was in for a romantic twist. HEA? And what kind of HEA? Ya know? And was my hope for a “certain” HEA evolving?

But my lips are sealed. ;)

Now I did have a few “I wish there was…” issues. For example, as much as I loved the ride this one took me on, I would have definitely wanted more by way of her rise to stardom, more pining and more disheartening early run-ins with Mr. Uninterested. I wanted  a few more early punches-to-the-gut. I would have wanted to experience more of that whole period. More of that time before this story really kicked into high gear.

Alas, we do get a few nice jolts from that period, and have a good enough idea to be plenty invested in them when the story really begins, so I’m not too phased. Oh and er… let’s just say that a specific twist along the way definitely has a more taboo cringe-worthy quality to it. And, another issue… or let’s just say the solution of it boggled my mind. Took this from over-the-top but still somewhat realistic game-playing to WHAT WHAT WHAT!?! unbelievable. Still though… I went with it. Eh. Why not? ;) LOL!

4 stars! <— ’cause I had fun reading this one. A good, entertaining, and unnerving read if you’re into semi-outrageous romance angst. While this story’s circumstances may be a bit “out there” (especially considering some of the reveals), she still had a real feel. At least… emotionally. And as long as I can connect with my heart and my churning stomach, then I’m happy to tell my brain to sit this one out for a while. ;)

P.S. I hear that there is an entire backstory to Jahleel and even the POV of a few of the character’s in this one (plus a POV from the timeline of the first half of this book) in a book that she released before this one (I Choose You (The Billionaire Brothers Series). Some say to read it first.

Jing: Jahleel is a great book but I think you need to read “I Choose You” before Jahleel. While both books are stand alones, it will give you better insight on JK’s childhood and his *spoiler*. Both stories are in parallel but the previous book will give you more background information. I enjoyed reading the books and if I had to choose between the two, I would lean towards “I Choose You”.

Great advice, Jing! Thank you!! :D However, I will admit that I was toooooo impatient for this unrequited love story and so I just jumped right in (without reading I Choose You). And luckily all went well for me in terms of understanding what was going on (mind you, because of your note, with certain reveals, I started getting very excited to backtrack). But! I still enjoyed this one immensely, ’cause I had NO idea what was going on in his head, or who he was, so everything was a first to me, as it was a “first” to Saskia. Which I liked.

However that said, I must read that other book, ’cause now that I “know stuff” I’m dying to see what it all looks like from that other angle.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

marina April 27, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Loving reading this! I’m exactly halfway and Jahleel is making me crazy!!! But in a good way too :) Definitely reminds me of the Avoiding Series. The whole in love with him even though he’s a player and playing with her aspect… Oh the mind games…. I hope that it ends well!!

Maryse April 27, 2014 at 8:41 PM

Oh the mind games is right!!! :D I can’t wait to hear what you think.

Celeste April 27, 2014 at 10:57 PM

HEE! Buying RIGHT now.

Anne Lynch April 28, 2014 at 3:45 AM

Sooo glad you enjoyed the book Maryse! I actually read I Choose You straight after Jahleel because I was interested in that one particular devastating scene (you probably know what I’m talking about!) just to see if he actually went there. It was just as heartbraking from the other characters POV, let me tell you! Worth a look, I would say.

Laura April 28, 2014 at 6:23 AM

Thank god u read it finally I’m still thinkin about it lol!! What’s next on the tbr?

Laura April 28, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Oh ment to ask maryse did u listen to THE song when she did lol

Maryse April 28, 2014 at 9:17 AM

HECK NO!!! GAH! My favorite song that I cannot ever listen to. Ahhhhh but it didn’t matter. As soon as I saw it written it started to play in my head on repeat. ;)

Maryse April 28, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Thanks Anne!! Yah THAT scene was CRAZY and now I’m dying to now what… happened. Thanks for the hint. ;) I will be reading it.

Laura April 28, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Lol it was so good on song choices the jack black version of love is blindness is actually my favorite song! Although it kind of reminds me of BDB when I listen to it dunno why :/

Cheryl April 29, 2014 at 7:01 AM

Just finished reading Jahleel. What a ride!! I really enjoyed it!!! Maryse- did you read I Choose You yet? I think I’ll read it. And yeh, that song…sigh!

marina April 29, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Finished. Wow, umm, wow, umm this book is just one big roller coaster! I think I went through a range of so many emotions with regards to both characters every few pages. The shockers and turns and “what the?”s. I loved reading it!!! So there is a story about Krissy and the billionaire?
Is the song being discussed Love Is Blindness by Jack White? It is killer. I’ve been addicted to that song for weeks. So good and in my opinion it is better than the original!

Laura April 29, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Oh marina I love the song to but no maryses song that cannot be named ( but we will so u know what it is lol) because she can’t listen without crying is a great big work ft Christina aguileria say something and it is really really sad :(

marina April 29, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Ahhh ok, thanks for clearing it up for me!
I’ve never heard the song, it’s beautiful and so sad.

marina April 29, 2014 at 7:01 PM

“Talk Show Host” by Radiohead is perfection for this book. Came across it and it made me think of Jahleel and Saskia. Swoon.

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