I love romances. Sometimes light, sometimes hot and steamy. When I’m on a beach or by a fireplace, I’m alway up for a relaxing read. This one, The Education of Sebastian written by Jane Harvey-Berrick has been on my reading list for a while. I haven’t had the ‘courage’ to read it because older women engaging in romantic relationships with 17 year old boys is not very appealing to me, even in novels. But, curiosity got the better of me and I’m glad it did!
“A friendship between the lost and lonely Caroline, and the unhappy Sebastian, leads to an illicit love that threatens them both.
Caroline Wilson is trapped in a cold and loveless marriage with an older man. When her husband finally wins a long sought-after promotion, Caroline feels she has little choice but to follow him to a new home in San Diego. There she meets Sebastian, a young man of 17.
For an all too brief summer, their happiness blooms.
But external pressures begin to bear down, not least from the overbearing David, and Sebastian’s parents begin to suspect that their son has a secret. Even Caroline’s new friend, Donna, realises that dark passions exist below the serene surface.” – Goodreads.com
I have to admit that the promise of hot and steamy romance is what initially drew me to this book. However, what kept me going (in addition to amazing sex scenes), are all the other aspects of Caroline’s life.
Caroline and Sebastian meet when he was barely 8 years old. Sebastian‘s father, a high-ranking military doctor, is someone who Caroline’s husband looks up to while trying to further his military career. As a barely 21 year old stay at home military wife, Caroline’s home is a welcome escape for a neglected Sebastian.
Through their friendship Sebastian develops love for Italian language and opera. He enjoys Caroline’s Italian cooking and games he plays with her father. Her home becomes his refuge, where he receives the care every child deserves. Unfortunately for Sebastian, that friendship does not last long. Caroline and her husband end up moving across the country to another military base.
A decade later, Caroline and her husband return to California and the military community they once called home. It doesn’t take long for Caroline to run into Sebastian. But now he is no longer a child. Instead, he is a handsome, well-built, young man who loves beach, sunshine, and surfing. But that’s not all. He never forgot his Italian lessons and over the years, further developed his likeness for opera. Spending time with Caroline, once again, becomes his favourite past time. But this time, on a whole different level.
I enjoyed many things about the book and it’s characters. Caroline’s determination to build her own career as a journalist is definitely on top of that list (right next to the ‘romantic’ moments on the beach 😉 ). I found it refreshing that she did not try to fit the ‘mold’ of a military wife. It was in treating to see how Caroline evolves as a person and how she eventually finds her own voice in her life and her marriage. And I loved that the hot and heavy romantic scenes, were intertwined with moments of carefree laughter, gentle caresses, and true appreciation for one another through touching moments of great compassion and care.
The only thing that I felt uncomfortable with throughout the book is the fact that I knew, that legally, Sebastian was still a minor. Fiction or not, it just didn’t sit well with me.
That’s probably why, I liked the second book, The Education of Caroline, much better then the first.
Overall, I would gladly give this book four out of five stars. I have never read any books that involved military wives, so that was a welcome change. I really liked, how’s Sebastian and Caroline brought out the best in each other, and finally, I found the ending very interesting and realistic. It was a true page-turner, perfect for a beach, or a lone evening at home and a very welcome distraction from everyday life.
What about you… Have you read this book? Do you have another adult romance that to recommend? SHARE, please. I’m always look for something new and ‘fun’ to read.