Monday 8 July 2013

The Education of Caroline by Jane Harvey-Berrick (The Education of... #2)

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: February 7th 2013
POV: Female - First-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 8 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


Ten years after their broken affair, Sebastian and Caroline meet again: this time in very different circumstances, against the background of the war in Afghanistan.

Now a successful journalist, Caroline meets Chief Sebastian Hunter, US Marine. Will this chance encounter rekindle the erotic madness of her passionate affair with a younger man?


I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the first book, but it was still great. I prefer contemporary romance with low drama. I really love the parts in Italy. That was the best part of the book. It was more reminiscent of book 1, as  Sebastian and Caroline simply spent time together doing every day things and intensely loving each other. The parts in Afghanistan was interesting, but was focused mostly on the action and danger and didn't leave a lot of time for romance. The part at Long Beach was the worst. I got kinda depressed while reading it. It was the only part that had conflict between Sebastian and Caroline. It was painful to see Sebastian struggling and taking it out on Caroline instead of letting her comfort him. I never like conflict in contemporary romances.

"Don't give up on me, Caro. Please don't give up on me. I need you, baby. I love you so much. I'm so sorry.” 
I could forgive anything now that he'd let me touch him."

But I did really enjoy how Sebastian and Caroline's relationship developed, excluding the hiccup at the end. The fact that they were able to pick up where they left off ten years earlier, the way it was completely indisputable that he still loved her, and they didn't even have to work through what happened. They just let it go and moved forward. It was amazing. They love each other so much. But I preferred Sebastian in the first book. I'm not a fan of all the swearing and drinking and the temper. Simply as a reader, I prefer who he was before. But it was a very realistic transition and I understand why he turned out that way. I don't hold it against him as a person, and I could still see the old Sebastian deep inside. It was excellent character development. I am also remarkably happy that they finally got their HEA. I only wish it had been 10 years earlier. I was so pleased to see that there are those that can celebrate with them and not judge their relationship.

Oh, and this book wasn't as hot as the first one was. The sexual content wasn't as high, but it was still pretty high. But also I have a thing for innocence, first times, and discovery. Maybe that's why I enjoy YA so much. Sebastian was the kind of guy you would usually find in YA, during the first book. But in the second he was the usual moody, adult love interest. Book 1 gave me the best of both worlds.

“My beautiful boy, my lover, my friend. The man I thought I'd never see again. Sebastian.”

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