Jagger by Chelsea Camaron and M.J. Fields Jessica Cale
Series: Caldwell Brothers, #3
Released: April 12, 2016
Reviewed by Sheena
Jagger is an underground MMA brawler who can’t get the young woman who he knows is being brutally abused out of his mind, not to mention he knows first hand what it is like to get knocked around by an old man. Tatiana is a severely abused near eighteen year old girl who endures daily beatings and pure hell from her father. Her mother is long dead and her abusive father is all she has in the world, until Jagger becomes her savior. Together they find love in a hopeless place and refuse to let one another go.
Personally, I would have been perfectly fine with letting this novel go– but finish it I did (barely) and I lived to tell the (cautionary) tale.
This was a hard book to read. Not because of the violent fight or abuse scenes. I skew dark and can find deep, beautiful captivation in otherwise heavy material. Jagger was a heavy lift because it was beyond unfocused and disconcerting. Scenes clashed together and beyond being incoherent and weird, there was this heavy tone, so much so that I wanted to shake my e-reader in an albeit misguided, attempt to shake some sense into it. Jagger needed a monkey off it’s back in the worst way.
I totally go for older dude, young innocent girl fiction. Often. But when one of the first semi-intimate encounters includes a lesson in “good touch/bad touch” I.Completely.Checked. Out. My skeevy meter broke the richter.
Still high on the adrenaline, the win, and now the desire I have coursing through my veins, I reach out and cup her cheek. She tenses at first, but then I stroke my thumb across her scar, and she closes her eyes, making me more aroused.
“There’s good touch and bad touch,” I tell her.
She leans in to my hand a little.
“This is good touch Tatiana. Can you feel how good it is?”
She nods slowly two times.
“That’s a good girl.”
Yeah. That is a big no for me- for the daily double Alex Trebek. Aside from the skeeve vibe that cropped up and never quite dissipated with Jagger and Tatiana, the relationships that the other characters form are never explained well. During her brave escape from her abusive father’s home, Tatiana is happened upon by Jagger’s arch enemy in the ring, Cobra. They form some weird insta- BFF connection that is supremely unfounded and disingenuous. Then there is Jagger’s buddy and mentor who has a tragedy, which is unexpected- but totally not in the “cool plot twist” realm. More like- umm ok, that sucks, but ehh??
Jagger is the third book in the series, stands alone as far as these sort of series go- but character investment is a big obstacle. Weak motivations and plot holes plagued this book from start to finish.
I do not have anything redeeming to share about Jagger, aside from there being a glimmer of interest in one of the secondary couples, however, given my experience with Jagger, I will not be continuing or retro reading anything else in this series. Insta friendshps, Insta codependency, Insta weirdness and Insta resolution, which all culminate to a real shame and missed opportunity as there was time to put a little more effort into developing the characters and plot. I felt sorry for the lot of them. No good feels after putting this down, as a mater of fact, I need to go baptize my eyes in something with a solid HEA and chock full of romantic fiction sensibilities.