Number Thirteen by Bella Jewel
on March 19, 2014
Genres: Abuse, Adult Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Dark, Drama, Erotica, New Adult, Romance, Sociology
Amazon • Goodreads
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.
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.
Release Date: March 19, 2014
Genre: Dark Romance
**AUTHOR NOTE – This is NOT a BDSM Romance**
The prologue for Number Thirteen is amazing. That alone sold me on the book. I couldn’t wait to read about this tortured boy, William, and what happened to him. I fully expected this book to be about revenge or justice or something related to what happened to him. I guess in a round about way it was. Although the story itself didn’t resonate with me as strongly as the prologue.
The writing in Number Thirteen is very good and I did find myself quickly absorbed in the story. I was hungry to find out what this was all about. I kept thinking there would be a turning point where I could finally say “I get it now.” It some ways it did and in some it didn’t. I appreciated the authors to attempt to portray William as a broken albeit gentle man. A man who had a tortured soul and wanted some sort of redemption. But the dots didn’t all connect for me.
The story is about a girl, Number Thirteen, she awakes during her capture. She eventually comes to realize that she’s with 12 other girls all identified by the number on their hands. None of them can remember their names or where they came from. This alone was an intriguing concept that I wish had taken a more darker tone since that was what I expected. These girls have no clue why they’re here in this room, but they’ve all been beaten in some capacity, they’re hungry, they’re sore, and they’re scared. One of the girls bangs and bangs on the door. After several hours the guards haul her away. During this time the other girls here what is alluded to as a gunshot. They in turn suspect the worst and their fear grows exponentially. A short time later another girl is brought in to replace the one taken.
I mention this because we are led to believe that what William is doing is actually a good thing. That he doesn’t intend to harm these girls. That he’s actually trying to save them. However, I kept expecting an explanation for the girl that was removed from the room. What happened to her and did they really kill her? I also thought that he handpicked these girls and if that’s the case where did they find a replacement girl so quickly?
I also had trouble with William and his background. I understood he had daddy issues but we’re never told why. It’s just a story line that sits there. You know it has an impact on William. You know that been hurt by it, especially given that his twin Ben was considered the apple of his father’s eye. But we never get an explanation as to why. For me that made it harder to connect with William. If he’s not really a monster, why not? There are also some slight inconsistencies I picked up on although they have no real impact on the story.
With all of that said, the concept of Number Thirteen is actually very intriguing. You take all these girls, whom are actually adults, and you give them an opportunity for a new beginning. All the girls come from horrible backgrounds some more broken than others. You take these girls, who again, have no clue why they’re here and you break them down only to build them back up. All while shielding them from the horrors they experienced. You give them what they can’t give themselves and in turn you get what? I guess loyalty, respect, maybe even love. I sort of felt like William was more of a father figure to them than anything else. Again, it’s an interesting concept for sure.
I’m not sure I understood the epilogue. Why would Number Thirteen want to be called that instead of her real name. I get that she’s not that person anymore or at least she thinks she isn’t. When in reality she absolutely is that person. It’s all those experiences no matter how traumatizing that led her to where she was and instead of embracing it she wants nothing to do with it? Okay that’s fine why not give yourself another name? Why would you want to be a number? It just seemed to impersonal, especially given her reaction to William calling her by her real name.
This was my first Bella Jewel book and I look forward to exploring her other stories.
*A copy of this book was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*