Jennifer Colby-Kittler is the boss. They even call her The Jenneral. But married life is hard, even when you call the shots. When the sizzle in her and husband Russ’ romance goes AWOL, Jenn calls in the big guns. They’re going to forge ahead and have a second child whether Russ likes it or not. The only problem is that Russ is leaning toward not.
When the Kittler’s new baby mission doesn’t go according to Jenn’s plan, the tension grows, and a mutiny in their marriage unfolds. Jenn’s sister (the lovable Kait from Project Kaitlyn, book one in the Sweet Water Circle series) and friends intervene, forcing her to explore her inner being by attending yoga classes hosted by a dreamy new instructor. Jenn reluctantly agrees, needing to learn to how to let go of control before a civil war leads to divorce. But when the guru falls for her (desperately wanting to also explore her inner being) and an old flame finds out that Jenn’s marriage is under attack and attempts to plant his flag, Jenn doesn’t know which path to choose.
Can Jenn learn to let go before her life spirals out of control? Should she save her marriage before it’s too late, start over with someone new, or go it alone?
With hysterical antics, witty and humorous dialogue, and a strong character arc, you’ll love the follow-up to Project Kaitlyn. Jenn Reinvented is the second book in the hilarious Sweet Water Circle series, exploring the relationships, life adventures, and personal growth of a small circle of friends, who you’re gonna want to hang out with, which is good, because their stories are ready to be told in the rest of the Sweet Water Circle series!
Grayson Avery is the author of The Sweet Water Circle Series, a romantic comedy series that focuses on childhood friends in their 30’s and 40’s as they help each other navigate the stormy waters of dating, marriage, divorce, and a whole lot of inappropriate, naughty, and downright hysterical situations.
Jenn Reinvented is the second novel in The Sweet Water Circle series where each novel will focus on one member of the friend group. While the first novel, Project Kaitlyn featured a different main character, the main character in this novel, Jenn, was included as a secondary character. In this novel, the characters set out to find how to move forward when their marriage is falling apart. This novel is simple as the problems the characters face are realistic and relatable yet still compelling enough to keep the reader interested.
Jennifer (Jenn) Colby-Kittler is 39 years old and is married to her husband, Russ with their son, Cooper. The story opens with her waking up with her husband and him rejecting her in bed. She realizes that the spark might be gone and she now makes it her mission to figure out how to fix it. Since she is used to taking charge in her family, she takes a lot of the responsibility to find a solution to bring back the passion. When she looks through past photos, she sees how happy they were when Cooper was a baby, so she starts to think that a second baby might be the answer. As the story is told solely from her perspective, the reader only experiences one-half of this marriage.
On the other side, Russ is tired of Jenn always taking charge, as he does not believe she sees him as his equal in the partnership. Although he does express this to Jenn and states that he has felt this way for a long time, it was hard to imagine that this argument did not come up sooner. It is interesting how Russ and Jenn have an established dynamic that obviously bothered Russ for years, but he tried to let it go and instead it built up. I wish the story went into a little more exploration for why he never tried to have a conversation about it before, as Jenn seemed to be in the dark about how Russ felt about this issue.
Things do not go as planned and the marriage seems to get more strained by the second. Divorce is placed on the table as a possible option and Jenn decides it might be time to give up and put herself out there. She begins taking yoga classes with a handsome guru, who may have some feelings for Jenn. There is also her past love Joe that is still a member of the community. Joe went out when Jenn was 19 and he still might harbor feelings for Jenn. There is also the fact that even though Russ put the separation/divorce on the table, neither of them want to give up the house and both continue to live there with their son. There are many humorous and light-hearted moments mixed with the serious ones to figure out how Jenn will reinvent herself and figure out if it is time to move on or time to work things out with Russ.
Essentially, this story is a great lesson in communication, as both of them did not express themselves and each let their feelings fester which led to larger issues. To me, both of them had issues, but I could not understand Jenn wanting to bring a baby into a marriage with issues. This is a real situation, though, as I even know people that this happened to and some of those relationships worked out and others did not. Jenn’s frustration with having a spouse seemingly ignoring her was relatable as almost everyone has felt this at one point or another in any relationship (does not have to be a marriage). It can be very exasperating to be told everything is fine, but they obviously are not. The ending was a little rushed as I would have liked more, but it did fit well with the characters. Overall, this was a very enjoyable novel and I am definitely interested in reading more from the series in the future!
**I give a special thank you to Rachel @rararesources and the author for the opportunity to participate with this enjoyable novel via Netgalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**