Review Tour: Number Thirteen, Review + Teasers & Giveaway!

Released On: March 19, 2014
Number Thirteen
by Bella Jewel

3.5 stars

I was honestly surprised that NUMBER THIRTEEN was released this year. It seemed like only a short time had passed since Bella Jewel first posted about an interesting story line that popped into her head one night. She shared a snippet of the synopsis on her Facebook page, and I was immediately intrigued. Just take a moment right now and scroll down to the synopsis of this book and you'll know what I mean.

Did you read it? Yeah, you should know what I'm talking about, right? :) It's an excellent blurb, and if you enjoy dark romances, this book would immediately grab your attention.

The beginning is exactly what I expected in a dark romance. The opening scenes in Chapter 1 were genuinely scary. I seriously wondered how on earth Thirteen and the other girls with her could survive (yes, the heroine is known as Thirteen, and twelve other girls were known by their assigned numbers). Turns out the answer is something--or someone--I did not expect at the beginning.

The story definitely took a lot of twists and turns.. and I'm not just talking about plot twists. So many things about it is really twisted. From start to finish, it was twisted. I understood why things had to happen they way they did, but half of me still went kind of, "what??"

This isn't my first dark romance (although I wouldn't really consider this as black romance.. possibly grey romance, like what Pepper Winters called Destroyed, which is another story I really loved) so I kind of understand how and why the "victim", Thirteen, is thinking and behaving the way she does.

One word: Stockholm.

Bella Jewel takes a slightly different turn with the dark romance-Stockholm syndrome though. The "captor" is William. He is... a complicated man (of course, lol!). His past was just....! :( He is introduced at the prologue of the book, and just like with Chapter 1, goose bumps erupted all over my arms and I had to put down my Kindle for a moment. He isn't the ideal hero, nor will I really gush over him, but he did earn my sympathy. As well as my irritation.. anger... disbelief... On the other hand, at the back of my head I also know that there is a purpose for his actions. They are definitely not justifiable for the majority of the readers, but they do work in helping him achieve his goals. 

Just one itty bitty SPOILER: [ Plus I also keep thinking that if it weren't for William, Thirteen and the rest of the girls will be in far worse situations. ]

I didn't easily see the attraction between the two main characters, though. Also, that level of excitement and intensity I described at the beginning of the story did not prevail throughout the rest of the book. I get that it's because of the natural progression of the story, that after that extremely horrifying beginning, the girls are delivered to a new place and a new master. The way the story progressed also opened up the possibility of a romance. Unfortunately, there was an opportunity cost. In my opinion that was diminishing excitement and grittiness. That bar was raised high by this same book, at the Prologue and Chapter 1, that's why the downward trend in terms of intensity was very obvious to me.

Bella Jewel's writing is still just as great as her previous books. The MC Sinners books are still my favorite, though I haven't read her Criminals of the Ocean #1 yet. I think NUMBER THIRTEEN is a good foray into darker, more twisted plotlines. At the moment though I think her strength is in writing a series. She can cram a lot of subplots in just one book that by the end of it you'll end up thinking about what will happen to a secondary character, or what's the resolution for this subplot, and so forth. The same thing happened with me after reading NUMBER THIRTEEN. It is a standalone, but it is also kind of open-ended. There is still room for a follow-up about Thirteen, William, and even some of the other girls. There are angles left unresolved (although to be honest they didn't have to be in this story) that could probably lay the path for another book. Who knows, right? :)


We're thirteen girls, captive, slave to our master. 
A master we've never seen.
Obedience will become all we know in our shallow existence. It is the only emotion we're permitted to feel.
When we're bad, we're punished. When we're good, we're rewarded. 
Our scars run deep. Yet we survive, because we have to... 
because HE teaches us to.
All of us are special, we feel it with everything we are.
He has us for a reason, but it's a reason we don't know.
We've never seen his face, but we know that something deeply broken lies beneath the darkness. With every touch, with every punishment, we know it. 
Then something changed. 
He showed me who he truly is.
Now I want him.
I'll go against everything I know to be with him. 

A monster. 

My monster. 

Loving him is a sin, but a sinner I am. I won't stop until I see every part of him. Even the parts he keeps locked deep down inside. 

I am Number Thirteen, and this is my story. 
No one said it was pretty, or right, but it's mine.

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Bella Jewel is an Aussie girl through and through. She spent her life in Western Australia, growing up in many different areas of the state. She now currently lives in Perth with her husband, children and mass amounts of pets. She's crazy, fun, outgoing and friendly. Writing is her passion, she started at the young age of 18 but finally got the courage up to publish, and her first novel Hell's Knights was released in August 2013.



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