Release Day Review: The Watcher by Bella Jewel


Seven years ago, Marlie Jacobson was kidnapped by a serial killer and lived to tell about it. But it was actually her mother who told the story, in a bestselling book that made Marlie famous. Today, she s known as the girl who slayed a killer. The one who got away. Now, there s just one thing Marlie wants to get away from: her past. But when her little sister disappears, her worst fears comes rushing back with a vengeance

Kenai Michelson is a world-renowned investigator. Dark, brooding, and dangerously good-looking, he s the kind of man Marlie would normally avoid at all costs. But Kenai is her only hope in finding her missing sister. Together, Kenai and Marlie follow a trail of clues that leads them toward the truth and into each other s arms. As her trust in Kenai grows, so does their fierce connection. But will their desire turn deadly as they close in on a ruthless enemy who s watching their every move?




Seven Years Later

Chirp chirp.

Groaning, I throw my hand over my face. Morning already? Another day? Really. It seems I only went to bed five minutes ago, how could it possibly be time to wake up? The dramatic sing- ing of the birds outside indicate that it is, in fact, morning, and that means I’ve made it to see the light of another day. Another lonely, dragging day of misery.

Okay, that’s slightly dramatic, but what can I say? It’s my life now.

More loud chirping makes me throw my arm from my face and slap it down on the bed be- side me. “All right, I’m up,” I grumble, attempt- ing to sit.

My body aches and my head is pounding. It seems I wake up this way more often than not these days. The doctor tells me it’s all in my head, that there is nothing physically wrong with me anymore. He didn’t get his entire body beaten with a bat, so what the hell would he know? I feel it every time I move. My legs mostly. An ache that seems like it’ll never leave, a soreness in my mus- cles that I’m constantly trying to stretch out.

I shove myself up to a sitting position, and stare out the window. I see nothing but trees. Just a vast expanse of skinny, yet lush, trees. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be, and that’s the honest truth. I bought this tiny, one-bedroom cabin just outside of Colorado Springs for a bargain three years ago. The owner gave me a great deal because he had an emergency with his family and needed to sell it urgently. It was a dream come true for me.

I left my home in Denver just before that, around the time I went from being a nobody to a famous serial killer survivor. I don’t say this lightly. Fame didn’t come as a relief; it came as my own personal hell. I was suffering serious mental instability, but my mother figured, Hey, why not put my daughter in the spotlight by writing a novel about her hor­ rible ordeal with a deranged psychopath? I’ll never forget the hours she sat, talking to reporters, the police, and me about what happened. She managed to piece together enough information to make a bestseller.
Seemed like a solid plan.

The book took off, became massive overnight. So did I.

Then came the time I couldn’t walk down the street without being noticed by someone. If it wasn’t insane requests for autographs—Really, who does that?—it was people staring at me like I was a zoo animal. They were either too afraid to talk to me, scared no doubt that I might have a giant breakdown, or wanted to ask me a million non- sensical questions about my kidnapping. As if they were casually discussing a movie and not a human life.

I played along for a while, for the sake of my family—mostly for my widowed mother, who was smiling for the first time since my father died only a year before my kidnapping. But later, I struggled with knowing that her happiness came from ex- ploiting my pain. After all, her daughter nearly lost her life, but then, she was making millions from my story, so what the hell, right?

I was suddenly a survivor. The girl who got away. The brave one. The one who got a second chance at life.

I didn’t want any of that.

I don’t know why I didn’t pack up and run ear- lier, but the truth is I didn’t even know my name most days. Intense therapy and people screaming for my story on the street made my already trau- matized mind shut down. I lived most days like a zombie, moving through life purely because I had to, not because I wanted to. Instead of supporting me, my mother made my ordeal about her. Resent- ment lives deep in my chest daily because of that.

Because she wasn’t there for me when she needed to be. Because she didn’t help me when I was suffering. Because she didn’t comfort me when I’d wake up screaming from the nightmares.

The god-awful nightmares.

Even now, I see his face every time I close my eyes. My therapist assures me it won’t be this way forever. I think she’s wrong. I think it’ll be this way for the rest of my life. I just don’t see how talking to someone about it is going to take away the fact that he’s in my head, and I’m damned sure he’ll never leave.

But I’m surviving, now that I’m out here, on my own; I’m making it through. Some days I don’t know how, but I think the solitude helps. No re- porters. No family members. No walking down the street with judgment. No fear. It’s just me. I feel safe, which is something I haven’t felt in such a long time.

I throw myself out of bed and my knees protest angrily, but I push on. I don’t need any more re- minders about what he did. My knees like to keep my mind in the past. Part of the reminder is my fault, I guess. After all, I picked the worst job there is for weak knees—waitressing. In my defense, liv- ing this far out of Denver, it was really the only option for me.

My boss is understanding. Mostly.

Except for days like today, when I sleep in.

I don’t need to work. In fact, I probably won’t need to work for the rest of my life, but I refuse to touch money that has come from a monster and the story he created for me. I gave most of it to my mom, but in my own account there’s a good few million that I don’t touch. It just keeps growing and growing as the book continues to sell. I don’t want it. I don’t think I’ll ever want it.

I half walk, half flail, to my closet and pull out my work clothes, which consist of a short black miniskirt and a tight tank top. The diner is a little run-down, so my boss insists on making it more attractive by making us look more attractive. I wear leggings under my skirt, because the scar- ring on my knees is far too hideous. My boss is fine with it. I think he knew he didn’t really get a choice.

Without time for a shower, I drop my nightie and pull the clothes on, before throwing my hair up into a ponytail and jerking on some shoes. There, I’m ready. I groan my way out into the tiny kitchen and head straight to my coffee machine, praying I remembered to set it for this morning.

When it roars to life, I sigh happily. Thank the heavens.

I take my coffee and pour it into my travel mug. And then I grab my keys and rush out the door. I really need to set an alarm, but that would mean committing to something, and this year I’ve prom- ised myself I’ll just let life take me where it wishes. Yeah right, who am I kidding? I just find comfort in my bed, and most nights it takes me so long to

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**ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review**

I love romantic suspense books. My love for reading started with Thrillers, and I already read over a hundred books in the suspense genre. So I have high expectations. I enjoyed 72 Hours, so I was looking forward to this book. This book has the typical romantic suspense plot: woman is kidnapped by a crazy killer, escaped, but her life is still consumed by those horrific events. It is not easy to make this plot very original, so I was curious to see how Bella would give it a twist. 

For me the story needs to be somewhat unpredictable. If I already know who the bad guy is pretty early on in the story, then I won't enjoy the story as much as I would've if it was a mystery. However the author did try to put me on the wrong foot a couple of times, but I didn't fall for it. Kenai is suppose to be the best in the business, but that was debatable in my opinion. I didn't like his cold and rude attitude towards Marlie, thankfully it got better when he and Marlie had a good talk. As for their relationship, it didn't pull me in that much. I liked that their was a lot of action and things going on. There was also great character development. I also liked Bella's writing. Overall it was an okay romantic suspense read for me. For me this plot has been done so many times, and I have read it so many times that it is really hard to impress me. I think new to the genre readers will probably enjoy it more.

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About The Author

Bella is a fun loving Australian and a multiple USA Today bestseller. She spends her days in sunny north QLD with her husband and two adorable daughters. She's been writing since she was fifteen, and after her success with her debut novel, Hell's Knights, she has been head down, bum up creating new stories. She is the author of the MC Sinners series, Number Thirteen, Enslaved by the ocean, Where Darkness lies, Life after Taylah, Angel's in Leather, The Jokers' Wrath series and 'Til Death. 

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