The Education of Sebastian, book 1 in a 2 part series by Jane Harvey-Berrick, has been on my “recommended list” for some time. I was very hesitant to read this book because to the severe age gap between our two main characters. I can understand a May-December relationship but a 13 year age gap and the female lead is 30..you do the math.
Caroline is the wife of an overbearing bully military doctor. Moving around from base to base is just a part of life. So at 21 when she finds herself if sunny San Diego alone most of the time, due to her husbands hectic schedule, she and her Italian father make friends with the neighbors little boy Sebastian, 8. She reads him stories and teaches him Italian while her father and Sebastian build model cars/plans then blow them up..you know destructive little things that boys do. When it was time to move to a base in North Carolina, Caroline had to say good-bye to her little friend who cried as if he lost his mother.
9 years later they are back in San Diego and Caroline all but forgot about her special little friend until one say he walks up to her on the beach to say hello. Now 17 Sebastian is built like a man but still very much a boy but his charisma does something to Caroline something she tries so hard to deny…
I was SCARED to read this. I thought it would just tear me up because he was still a minor but this story is so much more than just their physical attraction. The love that develops through their shared pain and difficult home lives actually have you rooting for them to both escape it all. I found myself saying maybe age really is just a number, maybe these two people need their happy ending. Caroline never had a child hood as she met her husband at 17 and married him at 19 so she went from being a teenager to a wife with no real-time to discover who she was or wanted to be. With those thoughts in my head I was able to see the innocence and friendship and eventually love that this story is really about. The sneaking around and sexy time was a little exciting and by the end of book 1 I was clutching my pearls and gasping, frantically searching for the next page! I could get to book 2 fast enough.
” he always looked at me as if his world began and ended with me. How could I not be affected by that? By the certainty of his love?” -Caroline, The Education of Caroline
Book 2 fast forwards us 10 years. Caroline is 40 Sebastian is 27 and I read this 352 page book in 4 hours. I was desperate for more story and boy did I get it. The love, pain, heartache, tragedy and drama that ensues in Book 2 had me bawling my eyes out like a baby. I cried for Sebastian. I cried for Caroline. I cried for every heart-break and pain that I had ever felt.This book brought some serious emotion out of me and although I am a self-proclaimed cry baby I was a blubbering mess from some beautifully written words on a page. Wow what a girly thing to do. I can’t go too deep into book 2 as it will give away too much of book 1 but these book are definitely on my Must-Read List and it should be on yours to. 5 out of 5 stars, if you love a tear jerker with a HEA this is for you.
To buy the combo set of both books on sale for $3.99 click Here