Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Fisherman #1
Hero: Fisher Mann
Heroine: Therese Capshaw
Date of Publication: September 30, 2021
Started On: October 30, 2021
Finished On: November 01, 2021
The Naked Fisherman by Jewel E. Ann is the first book in the Fisherman duet series. The story begins with 18 year old Therese Capshaw (Reese) travels to see her mom for the first time in five years. Having been incarcerated for growing marijuana, Reese’s mom spends five years in a women’s correctional facility, while her dies three three years into her mom’s jail term, which means Reese had gone under the care of her paternal grandparents, who had ensured that she grow up with the right Christian values by sending her to a private Christian academy in Texas.
When she arrives, Reese finds out that her mom is leaving her in the care of her landlord for just a month’s time, the landlord who turns out to be none other than 28 year old Fisher Mann. From the get-go, Fisher teases her, all because she is easy game with her naivety born out spending her most formative teenage years at the Christian academy.
Reese is enthralled, shocked, aroused, and at the same time uncomfortable by what Fisher makes her feel. The way he treats her as a child who knows nothing one minute, and the next turns on his charms with a gusto makes her feel scorched and leaves her helpless in her response to him.
Given that this is a two book series, The Naked Fisherman ends on a cliffhanger and unless you already gave up on reading this one halfway through, you would definitely want to know how all of it ends. Which is what happened to me.
Jewel E. Ann has a way of writing her stories that draws the reader in, regardless of the trope she takes on. With an age gap of ten years between the hero and heroine, Fisher is a man who is a bit of a commitment-phobe, enjoying his life to the fullest. It is a tad difficult to gauge his feelings (developing or otherwise), when it comes to Reese because the story is told solely from Reese’s point of view in the first person.
I felt quite conflicted for the most part of the story – perhaps that is by design. Rather than feeling the sexual tension, I felt like Fisher was being inappropriate because he was taking advantage of Reese’s innocence in a way. The fact that Reese feels uncomfortable about it is telling. It is not Reese’s fault that she ended up with a conservative set of grandparents, who molded her to their way of thinking. I also felt like this book looks down on religion as a concept, making it sound as if being conservative and/or religious is the bane of everyone’s existence.
I have seen some reader reviews taking on quite the judgmental tone when it comes to Reese and her understanding and viewpoints at first towards LGBTQ. Religious values for the most part guide us towards what is right and wrong. As society has evolved and moved away from religion, the ethics and legal framework that rules society has taken cues from the evolving expectations of humans, which of course has meant the acceptance of LGBTQ and the worldwide campaign to inculcate everyone with these values.
What I find funny is that while the same groups of people talk about acceptance and advocates against judging the other for their chosen paths, the same comes out with their guns blazing to condemn anyone who holds different values close to their heart. Live and let live is only a phrase that is applicable for those who are on the path of the majority accepted norms now, and anyone who believes otherwise, either because of their religion or any other philosophies that guides their lives, are considered to be rigid, judgemental, and not fit for modern society.
Fisher certainly leads Reese on, turning hot and cold when it suites him, giving not just Reese a whiplash before all is said and done. The whole deal with not taking Reese’s virginity, and Fisher acting “noble” by stating that Reese’s husband would thank him for it was kind of off putting as well. If Fisher did not want to be responsible for taking Reese’s virginity, all well and good. But entire scenes focused on this aspect got a bit tiresome for me.
Reese’s inner conflict when it comes to being with Fisher is something I could identify with. You do not lose sight of how you are brought up, the values instilled in you, just because you meet the kind of man that takes your breath away. Your conscience would still speak up, and it is up to that person to decide how they want to move forward from that point onward. Calling Reese dumb, pathetic, or worse because of that just shows how judgmental society has become in a bid to accept the popular norms.
For those who are fans of Jewel E. Ann, the reviews are mixed, so I recommend to read this at your own risk.
Final Verdict: The Naked Fisherman is a story that invoked a lot of mixed feelings in me, from religious conservatism to being less than comfortable with the Fisher’s attitudes and actions towards Reese at certain points!
“Why are you running from me?” He was right at my back.
I forced myself to turn toward him, and it took superhero strength. He stepped toward me.
I stepped back.
We did this dance until a wall stopped my retreat.
He pressed his hands to the wall above my head, and my heart rate spiked a thousand percent. The air exchange in my lungs sounded like that of someone finishing a marathon.
Was I reading him wrong?
It wouldn’t have been the first time I got it wrong and felt like a fool. But that moment felt different.
The look in his eyes wasn’t the same.
The part of his lips.
The increased intensity of his own chest rising and falling.
“A-are you g-going to kiss me?”
His lips pulled into a hint of amusement. “I was thinking about it.” Fisher’s patience killed me, completely slayed me. It was as if he had to solve the world’s problems in his head before he kissed me.
But I didn’t want to be a problem of the world. I wanted to be the girl—the woman—he kissed on a Monday night for no good reason. Not everything in life needed an explanation. Couldn’t we steal a few seconds, a kiss, without accountability?
“Will you be done thinking about it anytime soo—”
Fisher kissed me.
“Did you get a lot of work done today?” He gripped my waist, and my hands flew to his shoulders because I wasn’t sure what he was doing. Then he lifted me onto the counter and stepped into the space between my spread legs.
Just like the previous night, everything in my body kicked into overdrive. “I …” Swallowing hard, I gave him a nervous smile. “I sorted and filed today.”
“That’s good.” He brushed my hair away from my shoulders and dipped his face into my neck.
I stiffened feeling the warmth of his breath spread along my skin. My hands slid from his shoulders to his hair, searching for control. If I didn’t want him to kiss my neck, I could have yanked him away.
But I did.
A sharp, audible gasp left my parted lips just as he sucked my earlobe into his mouth and released it a second later by dragging his teeth along it. All the weird things happened at once.
Heat in my cheeks worked its way down to everywhere.
Pressure built between my legs.
I swear it felt like I’d peed a little, but I knew better.
Heaviness in my breasts.
Even my nipples felt different—sensitive as they pressed against the fabric of my bra.
Copious amounts of saliva required constant swallowing to keep from drooling. I was afraid to be touched anymore yet needed to be touched. It was so foreign and impossible to articulate even to myself.
After a few seconds of hesitation, I crawled onto the bed close to him.
“Straddle my legs.”
Biting my quivering lower lip, I straddled his jean-clad legs. The level of intimacy made it nearly impossible to breathe.
I scooted higher.
He sat up, shrugging off his shirt, and I jumped as his hands found my hips, his fingers grazing my butt. Our noses nearly touched.
“I’m going to kiss you. And touch you.” His voice was just a whisper, a warm breath over my lips. “And you’re going to do whatever you need to do to feel … good. And if you get scared, I want you to close your eyes and know that I’ve got you. You’re not too young or too anything. You are you. And I just think that you’re … beautiful.”
We kissed, unhurried, almost lazily.
My hands navigated his chest and back, every muscle, every bend in the terrain of his body. Fisher feathered his calloused hands over my bare skin, sending goose bumps spreading across it.
Our kiss deepened, a soft moan breaking the silence. It took me a few seconds to realize it was me, not him. Fisher’s fingers slid up my inner thighs. I stiffened, eyes wide. He blinked a few times and slowly kissed me again. When I closed my eyes, I let go … finding trust in the man who “had me.” His fingers teased the leg of my panties. My right hand found his hair as my left hand clawed his back.
“Fisher … m-move …”
“Move what?” he asked with so much control I thought I might die of my own impatience.
“E-everything. Just … move.”
His strong hands claimed my hips again, only this time, they gripped me a little harder, and he moved me over him.
He did it for me, and it felt so addictive I couldn’t formulate a coherent thought.
He did it for him, and his breaths grew more labored, his kisses more desperate.
I wanted nothing more than to know what it would feel like for him to be inside of me. “Fisher … I … I think I want you to take off your jeans.”
He reclined back onto my pillow and grinned as I leaned forward, resting my hands on his chest, my hair falling around my face and his.
“You don’t … not yet.” His eyelids grew heavy as his pelvis lifted from the bed.
“I’m going to kill Rory for leaving you with me.” He took a step forward and grabbed the back of my hair, clenching it in his hand and forcing my head to the side as he sucked and licked my neck.
“F-Fisher …” I clawed his biceps to steady myself. He wasn’t kissing my red lips and smearing my lipstick. I gave him a little credit for that, but he still seemed to be teetering on the verge of control as his other hand slid up the front of my shirt.
I gasped when his rough hand palmed my bare breast. He groaned, his thumb circling my nipple.
“Oh my God—gosh …” I stumbled over using the Lord’s name in vain.
Fisher grabbed my face and kissed me, our tongues mingling as my nipples brushed his chest. And I needed more. My fingers teased his abs just above the waist of his jeans, and he moaned into the kiss. Then my brave and completely inexperienced fingers moved lower, tracing the outline of his erection, and his hips thrust forward into my touch as he moaned a little louder … kissed me a little harder … and lifted me onto the edge of the pool table.
It was wrong. I thought. I maybe even knew. But I didn’t want to take responsibility … not yet. The feeling … the drug he became … was too strong.
“So … you won’t take my virginity.” It felt weird having that conversation because he’d said something so eerily similar to me. “What will you take from me?”
With a contemplative expression that seemed to border on the painful side, he whispered, “Let’s start with your clothes.”
I wondered … I wondered so hard when he made the decision to draw a line. He knew as well as I did that Rory wouldn’t be okay with anything we had done together. It wasn’t just me pushing lines and bending rules to serve my own needs and desires; Fisher did it too.
I just didn’t know why. He could have had Angie or Teagan or a million other women meeting his sexual needs.
“I’m going to fucking devour you,” he said just before his mouth covered my bare flesh.
Just before his tongue parted me.
Just before he hummed.
I was …
Terrified to have his mouth there.
Elated because it felt so good. Too good. Sinfully good.
My hands ghosted down his back. His hands gripped my butt.
I spread my legs wider, allowing him to push into me a fraction more.
Each move a little harder.
Each breath a little more ragged, just like his next words.
“Inside of you.” Thrust. Thrust. Thrust.
“So fucking bad.”
With a smug expression, he eyed me like he used to do, but I didn’t fall for it. “It’s almost too easy.”
He kissed me. Hard. Harder than he had ever kissed me. And I fought him, but I lost because I did want him to kiss me. It’s all I wanted. But it didn’t mean I was going to give myself to him. No matter how much I wanted his kiss, it didn’t change what had happened between us.
My hand dropping the empty bottle to the floor so my fingers could dive into his hair didn’t change anything either.
His hands grabbed my ass and lifted me off my feet. Fisher kissed me and carried me up the stairs like a drunk man on a mission.
Through the door.
Down the hallway.
Onto his bed.
He grabbed my face and kissed me a little softer than just seconds earlier. Dragging his lips across my face, dotting it with kisses, he whispered in my ear, “Your husband can thank me.”
Those words stopped my heart. The warm blood in my veins ran cold, sending an icy jolt along my spine.
Fisher lifted my hips and positioned me over him, pushing into me an inch, maybe not even.
Tears filled my eyes as I stilled, not letting him move my hips any farther. And I saw it in his eyes.
More than anything, I saw all the reasons I fell for Fisher Mann. He knew we weren’t at the right place to make us work, but he was willing to give me the one thing I thought I wanted. He wanted to give me all he had to give, even though he knew it wouldn’t be enough.