A Stella Review: Jace’s Trial (Trials in Abingdon #1) by J.M. Wolf

RATING 2 out of 5 stars


Life is a trial full of obstacles that stand between you and your goals. Do you have the courage to face your own trial?

Jace Garrison was a musical prodigy at Juilliard ready to take the world by storm. Everything he could ever want out of life was unfolding right before his eyes, until everything came crashing down at once.
With his muse gone, along with everything he loved, will Jace find the courage to move on?

Former Navy SEAL Gerard Ramhart had always played by his family’s rules and traditions. Until he fell in love with Riley Garrison. Unfortunately, before Gerard had the courage to propose to the man he loved, Riley’s life was taken away. Gerard was left devastated, with only his memories of Riley and the pain of losing him to keep him going.

One year after Riley’s death, Gerard finally makes it to Riley’s hometown in Abingdon, Virginia and meets his son Jace for the very first time. Two men grieving over the loss they shared, and during their time of heartache, something blossoms. Can Gerard help Jace find the will to live the life he’s meant to have? And can Jace find his muse and accept his feelings for Gerard, despite the fact that Gerard once belonged to his father?


Jace’s Trial is the first book in the Trials in Abingdon series by a new to me author, JM Wolf. I was very curious about this novel, I read the blurb and found it intriguing and different from the usual plots. So I approached the reading with great enthusiasm. Still, from the beginning it was pretty clear the book wouldn’t have been a success to me. At first I wasn’t understanding quite well why, then I realized the story was going on with an unreality I can’t accept in contemporary romance.

Although I read the blurb and so I knew what I was going to read, the first part of the story laid the basis for a disaster. Shortly (and I’m not going to spoiler the book) what happened is Gerard lost his lover, Riley, and one year later he went to Jace’s home (Riley’s son) and the day after they went out for dinner, a dinner more than once called a date, and things soon turned into more intimate as should be between them, The same night Jace asked Gerard if a relationship was possible. Of course I knew a romance would happen between them but not like that. And without revealing too much, yes Gerard said no but he was a liar cause the signal in just that two days were there and Jace got them.

The fact the MCs had a sort of “lust at first sight” left me a little dubious. I could accept this from Jace POV but not from Gerard, especially whe the author let me know Jace was the spitting imagine of his father. That led me to believe he wasn’t actually interested in Jace’s person, but in Jace as a substitute of his dead lover. From that moment it was hard to me to find the his character real and believable. Plus the age difference was too evident, although I usually love it, in this case it didn’t work at all, maybe because I saw Jace and his vulnerability as something to protect or maybe because both of them were  too hurt to start a relationship.

I went on with the reading hoping something would change and made the story more real to my eyes. At the end it was a pain to finish Jace’s Trial, I can assure you I did it just because I had to review it for the blog, otherwise nope. And if you follow my reviews, you know I’m very easy to please, just give me some kind of romance and I’m a happy reader. But when there’s something that bothered me I struggle and it’s impossible to find positive elements to praise. I don’t think I will read the next installment in the series.

The cover art by Rue Volley is good, I like the style quite a lot.

Buy Links – Available on KU

Amazon Universal Link: Smarturl.it/JacesTrial

Amazon US  

Amazon UK 


This book contains content of physical and mental abuse, grieving, and bottled emotions.

* This is Book 1 in the series, but can be read as a standalone story- no cliffhangers.*

Kindle Edition, 300 pages

Published February 20th 2018 by Encompass Ink


Edition Language English

Series Trials in Abingdon #1

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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