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The Education of Sebastian

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for The Education of Sebastian

  1. 5 out of 5

    Baba

    4 stars.****Review completed February 19, 2013 Sometimes you have to take a chance on love. The Education of Sebastian is about a summer of stolen happiness. A summer also filled with love, bliss, hope, fear, and recklessness. But it ended badly. Caroline is married to a US Navy medical officer who is a lot older than her. She was very young when she met him and he swept her off her feet instantly. After a while, however, she realized that she was in for an uninspiring and unkind life. The sex 4 stars.****Review completed February 19, 2013 Sometimes you have to take a chance on love. The Education of Sebastian is about a summer of stolen happiness. A summer also filled with love, bliss, hope, fear, and recklessness. But it ended badly. Caroline is married to a US Navy medical officer who is a lot older than her. She was very young when she met him and he swept her off her feet instantly. After a while, however, she realized that she was in for an uninspiring and unkind life. The sex was desultory and boring. After two years of marriage, David was transferred to the Naval Medical Center in San Diego and he wanted her to be friends with the wife of his new CO. That's how she met Sebastian for the first time, the son of David's new CO. He was eight years old at that time and Caroline was 21. They talked about children's books and a harmless friendship grew between the two. After a while though, David informed her he'd been assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and they had to move again. Little Sebastian was devastated. Many years later Caroline and David come back to San Diego. Caroline is not quite pleased that she had to move again, because she made friends in North Carolina and she had a job that she liked a lot. And then one sunny day on the beach of San Diego fate…happened again in the form of handsome and young Sebastian Hunter. Sebastian is seventeen years old now. He could sense the feebleness of my will. His lovely eyes were unclouded, free of all doubt, confident and reassuring. And when he leaned forward pressing his lips lightly against mine, it was a peaceful moment at the heart of a whirling pool of emotions. It was an electric moment, the eye of the storm. I tried to understand the feelings that filled me, making me lighter than air. I felt beautiful for the first time in my life, safe and secure. Loved. Cherished. "My gallant knight." "Your anything," he said seriously. "But I want to be your everything." He jumped and turned around with a scowl on his face which broke into a huge, sexy smile when he saw me. "I've got to go now," he breathed into the phone, "a beautiful woman is feeling me up." "Is that right?" Hidden by the crowd I ran my hand up the front of his jeans. "Yeah," he said into his cellphone, "I don't know what she wants." The marriage between Caroline and her husband is (almost) over. (…)Everything had a price. Every glance, every kiss, every stolen touch. It seemed desperately unfair. I didn't want to live without love. Why should I? "Caro, don't you understand how I feel about you? I love you. You're all I want. I want a future with you--I want our lives to be together. I'm not a kid. I've had to grow up fast. I've been taking care of myself for a long time now. And I want to take care of you." "I'm just saying that I'll understand when that changes." "(…) Why are you so scared? I mean, forget all that legal bullshit…why do you keep trying to…I don't know, make me change my mind? What do you think I've got here that I wouldn't give up in a heartbeat to be with you? There's nothing to keep me here. I'll go anywhere, do anything to be with you." "In just over three months, I'll be 18. I could enlist and a few months later I could be sent to the Middle East. I'll be old enough to fight, to die for my country, but you don't think I'll be old enough to (view spoiler)[marry you?" (hide spoiler)] "You want honesty? Well, answer this: if I was 25 and you were 38, would we still be having this conversation?" Even though the age of the hero made for some uncomfortable reading moments, I really enjoyed The Education of Sebastian. Most of the time Sebastian came across as pretty mature for his age. There were moments though where his youthfulness shone through, when he'd been sulking or when an unexpected flush of anger flared up. And let's not forget his impatience as well as gushy love confessions. Although there's no getting around it to point out that the story wouldn't have suffered in any way if the hero had been a couple of years older. It's quite obvious that the relationship between Caroline and Sebastian has been stimulated by Caroline's unhappy marriage as well as Sebastian's unkind and awful parents. If you don't find love at home then you have to look for it in another place. Caroline soaked up Sebastian's affection and love like a dried out sponge. Geez, I couldn't believe that she could withstand a man like David for so many years. They'd totally grown apart a long time ago after all. As a matter of fact, he used her as his doormat, treated her like crap, was cold and dogmatic. She was his cook, cleaner and occasional sex toy. I was honestly shocked when they had sex. What was that?? Hence, I really think that animals show more emotion during intercourse than David and Caroline. Of course I understood that she was naïve when she married him. We all have our dreams, we all want love and happiness but when you realize it's not going to happen--ever--then you have to draw the consequences. You just have to move on. Unfortunately she waited way too long, and isn't it kind of ironic that she realized what she wanted out of life when she met such a very young man? Sebastian brought her back to life, he encouraged her to live her dreams, he showed her how to love even though this kind of love will make plenty of readers uncomfortable, including my humble self. Truth be told, I thought she should have insisted they wait until Sebastian's 18th birthday. After all, it was not that far away (only four months). Anyway, what must be, must be and everything has a price. Life is not always fair and sometimes it will end in a huge disaster. Sadly, they had to pay a high price for their summer of love. Despite what happened that day, despite what happened later, I can't bring myself to regret the events of that summer, because Sebastian taught me how to love. What didn't work for me I think the book could have been benefitted from better editing. Also, I have never ever read a book before that provided that many colons…colons..colons…all the time. I took the liberty to drop them when I added the quotes to my review. I just can't look at them anymore. Well, I guess one is still there. :) I'm off reading The Education of Caroline. Update: I'm 59 % done and it's better than the first book. "There is nothing to forgive," he said, his voice forceful. "We fell in love. It's not a crime." ***************************** I know not every reader will enjoy this book. You might want to check out this review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... And yet I still think that you should be reading The Education of Caroline because it's worth a try and definitely better than book 1. :)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aestas Book Blog

    “I love you, Caro. I want to make love to you. I want to make love to you forever.” This book made my heart RACE. It was a captivating story of forbidden love. I’m still recovering from the huge cliffhanger ending and most definitely planning to go straight on to book #2. I gotta say I was a little hesitant going into this one because of the huge age gap between the hero and heroine. For the record, Sebastian is 17 (4 months shy of 18), and Caroline is 30 and (unhappily) married. I kind of “I love you, Caro. I want to make love to you. I want to make love to you forever.” This book made my heart RACE. It was a captivating story of forbidden love. I’m still recovering from the huge cliffhanger ending and most definitely planning to go straight on to book #2. I gotta say I was a little hesitant going into this one because of the huge age gap between the hero and heroine. For the record, Sebastian is 17 (4 months shy of 18), and Caroline is 30 and (unhappily) married. I kind of wavered back and forth a fair bit on it before deciding I should really just give it a shot and I pretty much just jumped in with both feet knowing nothing other than the fact that this one ends on a cliffhanger, but the sequel has a happy ending. I want to say that the age difference was totally ‘fine’ but in truth it was almost fine. There were definitely moments where you really felt Seb’s age shine through but then definitely moments where you felt his maturity. There was no doubt though that they were definitely soul-mates, or “right” for each other. It was just their situation that was unfortunate. I knew from very early on that Seb and Caro would be one of *those* couples I would just want to pluck out of their setting and put them on some desert island somewhere to live out their happy, peaceful, non-judged lives together. But.. *sigh* … that wasn’t going to happen. There are a few things that made me more okay with the scenario. First, it is NOT a love triangle book. There is no actual wavering back and forth between two guys ever. Caroline is stuck in a loveless marriage to a military man 11 years her senior who she rashly married when she was 19 years old to escape being under her mother’s stifling thumb at home. There is no doubt from the start to the end of the book – she is NOT in love with both men. She is more just ‘stuck’ with her husband. He wasn’t a cruel man, but he was intolerable and insufferable and while he wasn’t directly abusive, the way he treated her was appalling to me and as such, I didn’t lose a moment’s worry over his feelings in the whole matter. “He hated the way I dressed, the way I spoke, what I spoke about and the things that interested me to speak about… He wasn’t always an unkind man… we were just fundamentally unsuited to each other.” The story follows Caroline – married to her husband who’s job as a medical officer in the military moved him around a lot. In the prologue, we see them move to a new base where she is introduced to the horrid wife of his new CO and their adorable eight-year-old son Sebastian. She feels badly for him growing up with such wretched parents and the become friends. Its beautiful and totally not creepy guys!! But when her husband is relocated yet again, she is suddenly forced to move again, leaving behind a distraught Sebastian. Fast forward 9 years to the present day, Caroline is now 30 and they are moved back to that old base which is where she meets Sebastian Hunter – gorgeous, grown up, and carrying a serious torch for her. He’s truly loved her from since he was a kid and although she resists his advances at first, there is something between them… a spark. A spark she tries to ignore, but ultimately can’t. “Sebastian, don’t let me keep you from your friends; I’m quite happy to sit here and watch.” He shook his head and looked at me intently. “I can surf anytime; I’d rather be here with you.” I stared down at my notepad, unsure what to say, but absolutely certain that if I looked up I’d be caught in the net of his blue-green gaze. But I also needed to be clear. “I wish you wouldn’t say things like that, Sebastian. I’m a married woman. It makes me… uncomfortable.” I still hadn’t been able to look up…. “I really like you, Caroline,” he said softly. I felt his hand touch my arm; he was trembling. I had to look up. His face held such an expression of longing, mixed with anxiety… Doing the math, she calculates that he must be 18 years old and they begin a relationship in secret at first. But only later does she find out that he is almost 18. Almost. Ohhh what a difference that one tiny word can make. Its terrifying and neither of them went into it knowingly but they are already too deep to pull back and so, despite trying to resist, they can’t help but continue to develop their relationship. “I knew it was wrong: I knew it was right.” “I had chosen – willingly, knowingly, deliberately. I chose love over law. And I didn’t care.” Its a situation where Caro genuinely did NOT consider him a love interest at first. But he was into her. Like, seriously! And although she struggles at first with her feelings, the heart wants what the heart wants…. “Please don’t,” I whispered. Bu there was no force behind my words. He stood, still holding my hand. “I love you, Caroline.” He spoke softly, but the words were clear, spoken without expectation and with a little hope. “I’m married, Sebastian.” … “You don’t love him, Caro.” My eyes darted to his. How did he know? “I love you. I’ll… I’ll do anything, go anywhere … We’ll be happy.” So, so tempting. “We can be together,” he whispered. “Forever.” But every single thing between them is forbidden. Its dangerous and there is this HUGE, intense, never-ending undercurrent of pure angst that over-shadows every single one of their interactions. “Everything had a price: every glance, every kiss, every stolen touch. It seemed desperately unfair…” I have to say, I pretty much fell in love with Sebastian from the first time he said hi to her on the beach. He was just SUCH a sweet, kind hearted guy. Just one of those guys that you can’t help but crush over – a totally gorgeous character, inside and out. My heart broke for his home life and he did seem a lot more mature than his years at times. The writing style is captivating and had a beautiful feeling that just wrapped you into the story. This book definitely had that 5-star spark. You know the one I’m talking about, right? The one that makes your heart flutter and have you completely involved in the story. The author really made you FEEL all the things they went through – the jealousy and possessiveness, the worries and uncertainty, and their undeniable and passionate feelings for each other. But there were also a few things that kept me from being able to give it a full 5 star rating. I didn’t like how much Caro let herself be under her husband’s thumb. I mean, it made sense for the story because if her marriage was solid, it would have thrown the story into a whole different ballpark but I just didn’t like how much of a doormat she was with him. Literally, he said jump, she asked how high. Although, in her defense, she did have a moment toward the end when she finally stood up to him that made me happy. And I’m trying how to decide about the age gap. I have mixed feeling about it. First and most importantly, I acknowledge that they were right for each other . Okay, I said it. It was clear they were in love – you felt it, you knew it, it was undeniable. But…. I will say that there were times, as a reader, where it felt a little awkward – I don’t know, moments where his teenager-ness really came through that made me just squint my eyes a little and feel a little uncomfortable. It wasn’t the fact that he was young I had issue with but something about certain scenes made their age gap feel a lot more pronounced. And, I mean, I guess its an honest reaction because the fact of the matter is that it projects their feelings onto you – I mean, Caro had those feelings and went through a lot of anxiety over whether or not they should be together given their age gap so I guess it was really just drawing you into that feeling. But yeah, there were definitely moments of “awkward” although kudos to the author for really making you ‘feel’ his age accurately. She didn’t try and dress him up as a man in a kids body. He simple was. a. teenager. A mature one. One who knew, without a doubt what he wanted, who he loved and where he wanted his life to go. This wasn’t one of those “perfect” situations where he’s young but its okay cuz he’s really a man. No. He’s really 17. He had a heart of gold. Was in love for absolute real. But, he was a teen. And she was 30. No sugarcoating it. A few of you were asking me about this, so this book is definitely ‘adult‘ in terms of steam. There is a lot of sex and its fairly detailed so definitely not ‘glossed’ over. I have to say though that I READ IN FEAR!!!! Seriously, I was freaked WAY the hell out at EVERY moment that they were going to get caught!! I mean, yes, they were careful (to a certain extent) but at the same time they were also just freaking LUCKY they weren’t caught earlier because they did a LOT of things that could have EASILY drawn attention had the wrong person been there at the right time. They really weren’t careful enough for my liking about hiding it so, as cute as they were, I spent half my time freaking out and it did detract a little from my connection because I was SO worried all the time. “I want to walk on the beach with you and hold your hand and to not be afraid that someone will see us.” Seriously, the hiding it, having to pretends in public that they weren’t ‘together’, all the stolen glances and fleeting touches, the HUGE looming threat of what would happen if they got caught – EVERYTHING just seriously had my heart in my throat and kept me on pins and needles for a good part of the book. I even had to put the book down a few times and go begging to people for reassurance, lol (yes, I’m a chicken, don’t judge me!!). Especially as I got closer to the end and I KNEW there was this giant brutal cliffhanger, I. Couldn’t. Take. It. As it got closer to the end I was freaking out more and more. It was helpless feeling where I knew it was going to end badly and there was absolutely NOTHING I COULD FREAKING DO ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!! I just had to keep reading. And dreading what was to come. And just seriously… F U C K !!!! I didn’t cry at the end but my heart was in knots!!! I feel utterly wrapped up in Seb and Caro’s story and good or bad, there is no WAY I’m stopping now! So I am absolutely going straight on to book #2 which I have been assured has a HEA!! Thank GOD!! cuz… “You are my world, Caro,” he said. “And you’re mine.” *heart clench* FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE READ THE BOOK, there is a bonus scene from Seb's POB of his first time with Caro here: http://aestasbookblog.com/the-educati... My casting images (also above) Review requested by author. **************************** For more of my reviews, book news and updates: ✦ Main blog: Aestas Book Blog ✦ Facebook Blog Page ✦ Twitter

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marina

    Two final pages. First reaction: Second reaction: [image error] Excuse my small outburst..I'm sure if you read those pages you will have the exact same reactions. However, in order not to finish this frantic display of negative emotions in such a manner let me conclude with this. Sebastian and Caro. “Anywhere. Nowhere. Somewhere. I don’t care – just as long as it’s with you.” "When I hear her voice, the world disappears When I hear her voice, I Two final pages. First reaction: Second reaction: [image error] Excuse my small outburst..I'm sure if you read those pages you will have the exact same reactions. However, in order not to finish this frantic display of negative emotions in such a manner let me conclude with this. Sebastian and Caro. “Anywhere. Nowhere. Somewhere. I don’t care – just as long as it’s with you.” "When I hear her voice, the world disappears When I hear her voice, I have no more fears. She takes away the sadness, she takes away the pain She takes away the darkness, she takes away the rain. When I’m traveling from so far away She’s my path, she’s my sun, she lights my way." “I waited and waited and waited,” he stammered. “You never said it… you never told me… and now you have. I love you I love you I love you. Oh, Caro, so much.” “I’m not a child!” yelled Sebastian. “I’ve been looking after myself since I was eight years old because you were too drunk to look after your own kid. How many times did I have to help you up the stairs because you were too shit-faced to walk, mommy? How many times did strangers drop you at the door because you couldn’t even manage to call a cab? And as for my father, you’re just a fucking joke. Everyone here knows that you’re just a pathetic hole-chaser with an alcoholic slut for a wife. Caro is the best thing that ever happened to me. We’re going away together and you’ll never see us again.” “I have to go now, tesoro,” I said softly, stroking his neck. His grip tightened around me. “No!” he gasped as if he was in great pain. “Yes. Sebastian, listen to me. I want you to have a good life, tesoro, a big life. I want you to be happy, to fall in love…” “No, God, no, Caro! Don’t say that!” “Yes! Do it for me.” “I’ll always love you, Caro. Don’t give up on us. Please don’t give up. I’ll wait for you. It’s only three years. I love you!” But it wasn’t just three years, was it? I knew that now. “I love you, too,” I whispered so softly I didn’t know if he’d heard me. “Ti amo tanto, Sebastian, sempre e per sempre.” I tried to peel his hands away from my body but he wouldn’t let go. “No!” he cried over and over again. “No!” Ok, now I need the sequel.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Smitten's Book Blog

    Wow!!! I absolutely completely utterly totally loved this. Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men. You'll need to excuse me, as I'm precariously hanging in limbo right now, after reading an excrutiatingly painful cliffhanger. But never fear... I have The Education of Caroline patiently waiting for me on my Kindle, to be devoured just as soon as I get through this review... so I must be quick. I get given plenty of books to review. I love doing it. Some are, Wow!!! I absolutely completely utterly totally loved this. Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men. You'll need to excuse me, as I'm precariously hanging in limbo right now, after reading an excrutiatingly painful cliffhanger. But never fear... I have The Education of Caroline patiently waiting for me on my Kindle, to be devoured just as soon as I get through this review... so I must be quick. I get given plenty of books to review. I love doing it. Some are, inevitably, better than others, but I always try and give a fair and accurate review, keeping my responsibility to my blog readers and their tastes in mind. Sometimes, I read a book that makes me totally forget I am supposed to be reviewing it and sucks me in entirely. The Education of Sebastian is one such book! "It's always been you, Caro. The first time I saw you, I thought you were the most beautiful girl that I'd ever seen. I thought you must be a princess like Cinderella. It's only ever been you." Oh my goodness!! At first, I will admit, I kind of wasn't totally on board with Sebastian and Caroline... I liked them both, I wanted them both to be happy and I could see that they both needed an out from their current lives... but I was convinced that they should be together. Afterall, it was illegal and Sebastian is a child... what does he know about love?! "What do you think I've got here that I wouldn't give up in a heartbeat to be with you? There's nothing to keep me here: I'll go anywhere, do anything to be with you." But by the end, I realised how wrong I was! I adored Sebastian! And I was sold on his love for Caroline! He loved her wholly. And she loved him back. I chose love over law. And I didn't care. I'm not going to give too much away, because I wouldn't want to diminish the reading experience for anyone, it's fantastic. All I will say is that the ending ripped my heart out and I'm so hoping The Education of Caroline will restore it to it's rightful place. Contemplating leaving everything I had ever known of one ill-advised hour of passionate lunacy. This book is steamy, emotional, heart wrenching, thought provoking, soul searching, a little bit naughty and a whole heap of guilty pleasure! "The matter, Sebastian, is that you're a minor. What we've just done... what I've just done... it's against the law. It's a felony, for God's sake!" It has notes of On The Island but with it's own scrummy twists and turns thrown in to scramble your poor little mind and get your pulse racing. "Sebastian, women like sex just as much as men... if it's good." He tried to smile but still looked uncertain, his forehead creasing with worry. "Am I...?" He bit his lip. I knew what he was trying to ask me. "Yes, you're good. In fact I'd say you're amazing: in so many ways." I'm praying that the delicious Sebastian gets his Caroline and that together they find the happiness they deserve. They're such gorgeous characters and I have a feeling that their story is about to get even more exciting. I can't wait, so, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find out... Read this book! It's fab and it deserves for more people to be talking about it. To read more reviews go to my Book Blog: http://smittensbookblog.wordpress.com/ Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SmittenSC Find me on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/smittensc/ Join in the chat on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/427743...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lise *friends don't flag*

    “You’ve brought me to life – and you’ll never know how much I owe you because of that.” I know I am going to sound a bit like a broken record as many people have judged this book without reading it and I to had an opinion before reading it. As a Mother of a 17-year-old son, I thought-ugh no way this can work but then I remembered going into On The Island with much hesitation and completely loving the book. So… I began the story of Caroline and Sebastian: a truly enthralling story of forbidden “You’ve brought me to life – and you’ll never know how much I owe you because of that.” I know I am going to sound a bit like a broken record as many people have judged this book without reading it and I to had an opinion before reading it. As a Mother of a 17-year-old son, I thought-ugh no way this can work but then I remembered going into On The Island with much hesitation and completely loving the book. So… I began the story of Caroline and Sebastian: a truly enthralling story of forbidden love. Both Caroline and Sebastian were alone in their home life; Caroline rejected by her Mother and now in a loveless marriage. Sebastian, at the age of 8 is emotionally and physically abused by his parents and practically raising himself. He finds a friend, teacher and someone that truly cares about him in Caroline and forms a loving bond with her, one that he held on to. When she reappears in his life almost ten years later, he has not forgotten her and now is in love with her. This is where the story takes the reader on a journey of two souls that are so right for one another, but in the eyes of society are so wrong. “It’s always been you, Caro. The first time I saw you, I thought you were the most beautiful girl that I’d ever seen." The author describes the development of Seb and Caro’s forbidden relationship in such relatable detail that I felt every emotion of a 17-year-old young man as well as a 30-year-old women. The discovery and awakening of their love was written so beautifully and the way the author wrote the voice of the H/h, with their uncertainty, jealously, possessiveness and deep passion for one another seemed so real and authentic. I felt like I was with them on the beach, in the car, in their bedrooms, in the storeroom and in the bathroom. Sebastian’s sweet innocence was heart warming, but in all of his inexperience he was still man enough to be a quick and aggressive learner. Of course all good things come to an end and this forbidden love was discovered and things did not end well…. Or did they? You, the reader will need to read this wonderful story and find out … “I love you, Sebastian. So much, tesoro.” And then I walked away, leaving behind all the goodness and beauty that I’d ever known in my life.”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    There are already a million reviews out there (and about two million gifs....make that two million...and two!) of this book. So, for the other three people who haven't read this yet and who may be considering it, here are a few of my thoughts on The Education of Sebastian. Married at nineteen to a man eleven years older, a medical officer in the US Navy, Caroline Wilson feels isolated as a military wife. She's unsophisticated, uneducated and young. At twenty-one, she meets and befriends There are already a million reviews out there (and about two million gifs....make that two million...and two!) of this book. So, for the other three people who haven't read this yet and who may be considering it, here are a few of my thoughts on The Education of Sebastian. Married at nineteen to a man eleven years older, a medical officer in the US Navy, Caroline Wilson feels isolated as a military wife. She's unsophisticated, uneducated and young. At twenty-one, she meets and befriends Sebastian Hunter, the eight year-old son of another military family. Their friendship is short-lived as often the case within the military community, moving to different bases around the country. They meet again, Caroline is thirty. The Good Jane Harvey-Berrick has a very nice writing style, her prose polished and above average, especially for the contemporary romance genre. The writing in first person from Caroline's pov suits this story well. Caroline is a likeable heroine. Sebastian is written I think particularly well as a sweet, caring, yet mature teenager. Their relationship is believable, romantic and sweet. There is a lot of sex. The Not-So-Good There is a lot of sex. It can and does become a little tiresome, despite it being well-written. For those readers who dislike cheating in any way, shape or form, this book will not be for you. Caroline is married, albeit unhappily, but embarks on an affair with Sebastian. The plot here is pretty thin. Nothing actually happens. Besides the sex, of course....and their developing relationship. It's very much a slow, character-driven story. Caroline is likeable, but a bit of a doormat. I realise she was young when she married, but I wish she'd stood up for herself a bit with her husband. As the adult here she was also reckless and at times clueless. This complaint is I realise, redundant now. But the book does end on a cliffie. No waiting, as book #2 has been released. Just have it ready if you're going to continue reading the series. Some readers may already know, but (view spoiler)[ Sebastian is only seventeen when he and Caroline begin their affair. Under Californian law he is a minor and their sexual relationship is illegal. (hide spoiler)] Steam: 3-3.5

  7. 4 out of 5

    Farah *Professor Dean's Beauty*

    This is the life of Caroline... A woman who got married at the age of 19 to get out of her parents house... Now 11years later stuck in a lonely loveless marriage... Her husband is a US Navy medical officer. A man who basically uses his wife to cook, clean and screw when he feels like it. Never happy with anything she ever does for him.. When they move to San Diego after many years Caroline isn't happy about the move.. She left behind her job and friends.. Caroline goes to the beach and She meets a This is the life of Caroline... A woman who got married at the age of 19 to get out of her parents house... Now 11years later stuck in a lonely loveless marriage... Her husband is a US Navy medical officer. A man who basically uses his wife to cook, clean and screw when he feels like it. Never happy with anything she ever does for him.. When they move to San Diego after many years Caroline isn't happy about the move.. She left behind her job and friends.. Caroline goes to the beach and She meets a boy she once knew as a child and his name is Sebastian.. Young Sebastian is now a young man.. He is 17 years old and beautiful Young Sebastian never forgot Caroline since he was 8 years old.. He starts spending time with her and offcourse since Caroline is unhappy and lonely this sparks the beginning of a Forbidden Affair. “The matter, Sebastian, is that you're a minor. What we've just done... what I've just done... it's against the law. It's a felony, for God's sake!” Being with a man younger than 18 is a felony... And while Caro is deciding between right and wrong.. Desire wins.. “I chose love over law. And I didn't care.” Seb and Caro start sneaking around to meet and Caroline is taken to a wold which she forgot existed.. Feelings she thought she would never feel.. Emotions she thought existed in her are brought back to life by the touch of Sebastian They secretly meet on the beach...hiding from the world.. From the shame of sleeping with a minor. He teaches her how to surf... She feels alive... Happy... And he loves her... His always loved her since he was young. “It's always been you, Caro. The first time I saw you, I thought you were the most beautiful girl that I'd ever seen. I thought you must be a princess like Cinderella. It's only ever been you.” Caroline experiences such passion.. Sex on the beach, in the car, in her house.. Sex anywhere and everywhere they can. While trying to balance her loveless marriage and her forbidden affair.. Caroline must make some tough decisions.. She can't understand why he would want her... His young, and has his whole life ahead of him.. For someone who is 30 years old, Caroline is really immature, scowling when Sebastian's ex talks to him, she keeps having childish talks with herself. They keep arguing about the same things.. The relationship is wrong, then it's okay.. I admit Caroline started to irritate me a bit then Sebastian begging her not to end things.. Caroline finally makes the decision to leave her ungrateful asshole of a husband and when Sebastian is 18 they would move to New York and start a life.. Contemplating leaving everything I had ever known of one ill-advised hour of passionate lunacy.” But offcourse.. The truth always come out... And the lies catch up..Sebastian's parents come to confront her at her house minutes after she's told her husband his leaving him... And the While I felt sorry for them, this should have been expected. Caroline is told if she ever contacts him again they will get her arrested. She has to let him go... For now.....

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alex is The Romance Fox

    Painful, beautiful and heartrending. This is a beautifully written love story that grabbed my heart and never let go. I really loved the two characters - Sebastian & Caroline. [image error] He lifted my chin with his fingers to make me look into his eyes. “There’s nothing to forgive,” he said, his voice forceful. “We fell in love: it’s not a crime.” The love story between Sebastian and Caroline was totally believable for me. I have a cousin, who at 18 met and fell in love with a lovely, not Painful, beautiful and heartrending. This is a beautifully written love story that grabbed my heart and never let go. I really loved the two characters - Sebastian & Caroline. [image error] He lifted my chin with his fingers to make me look into his eyes. “There’s nothing to forgive,” he said, his voice forceful. “We fell in love: it’s not a crime.” The love story between Sebastian and Caroline was totally believable for me. I have a cousin, who at 18 met and fell in love with a lovely, not happily married woman of 34. Despite the many “it will never work, too much of an age difference” remarks, they did get married after her divorce, had a child and are still happily married and together 26 YEARS!!!! I think that if Caroline had just only waited for Sebastian to turn 18, their love story may have not created the pain they both experienced when their relationship was discovered. The choices they both made may not have been right but then I have never been faced with something like they were so it was pretty difficult for me to make any judgments. I just kept hoping that things would not end badly for them. And things did end in such a painful and sad way. “I have to go now, tesoro,” I said softly, stroking his neck. His grip tightened around me. “No!” he gasped as if he was in great pain. “Yes. Sebastian, listen to me. I want you to have a good life, tesoro, a big life. I want you to be happy, to fall in love…” “No, God, no, Caro! Don’t say that!” “Yes! Do it for me.” “I’ll always love you, Caro. Don’t give up on us. Please don’t give up. I’ll wait for you. It’s only three years. I love you!” But it wasn’t just three years, was it? I knew that now. “I love you, too,” I whispered so softly I didn’t know if he’d heard me. “Ti amo tanto, Sebastian, sempre e per sempre.” Caroline feels trapped in a loveless marriage and realizes that something is missing in her life, that’s forgotten who she is. She went from a life of being sheltered by her parents to marrying a man who has never shown her any real love and acceptance or recognized the person she was. At times I found her to be somewhat “immature” but there were so many things in her life that she had never experienced and as I got to know her better, I was more understanding about the way she did certain things. Feeling alive, feeling loved and loving. So intoxicating!! Their love scenes are beautiful, sensual and breathtaking. Sebastian leaned back in his chair and I took a deep breath. “Is it always like this?” he said, suddenly looking lost and vulnerable. I knew what he was asking me and I didn’t have an answer. I shook my head. “Not for me… not until now, until you.” What did I know of the kind of love that made it hard to breathe, where your body ached day and night for that connection with another, physically, mentally, spiritually? It was utterly new and terrifying and exhausting and wonderful. I was dazzled by the light that spilled from him into the shadow of my previous existence. He eclipsed everything, erased everything that had gone before. I was reborn – not just to him, but to myself. And I was ready for the adventure. Sebastian’s life has not been easy. Despite the abuse and cruelty by his parents and the lack of any love from them, he’s still able to be a kind, caring and loving person. I fell in love with him from the very beginning. He has such a loving heart, a sweetness in him that pulled at my heartstrings. A longing to love and be loved. To matter to someone. I loved seeing the two sides of him…the young and carefree and the deeper side of him. Almost hard to believe he was so young. He’s so open about his feelings for Caroline, who questions her feelings about their relationship. He looked up. “You want honesty? Well, I don’t know what will happen… but neither do you. Maybe we’ll make it… maybe we won’t. But you’re giving up before we’ve even tried. I don’t understand. Why won’t you take a chance?” The most incredible feeling of love welled up inside me. I was so lucky. He was kind and thoughtful and caring. He was fun to be with; beautiful inside and out. I didn’t know a lover could be a friend, too. And he loved me. Me. But was I really strong enough to follow my heart and to hell with the consequences? Could I expect a 17 year old boy… man… to be strong enough for this? No, that wasn’t right. I was the one who had to be strong: for both of us. The interaction between Caroline and Sebastian is beautiful and intense, totally captivating me. Sebastian was singing to himself. I strained to hear the words. When I did, my heart broke open, filling with the love that poured from those faint, heartfelt words. Peace and joy and a sense of wholeness that I’d never known utterly overwhelmed me and I began to cry softly. When I hear her voice, the world disappears When I hear her voice, I have no more fears. I had never believed it was possible to cry from happiness. She takes away the sadness, she takes away the pain She takes away the darkness, she takes away the rain. He stretched up to pull down two white towels, placing them carefully at the side of the bath. When I’m traveling from so far away She’s my path, she’s my sun, she lights my way. Then he turned and saw me standing in the shadows. “Caro! Why are you crying?” “Because I love you.” Two lonely souls that find something in each other that fills the void in their lives, in their hearts. I knew why he thought that, why he would say that, but I couldn’t let him blame himself. “It’s not your fault, Sebastian,” I said gently, stroking his arm. “You’re the one good thing I’ve got in my life. I wouldn’t change that for anything. Not for anything. I finally feel… alive.” I heard him gasp and he pulled me closer. “I feel the same, Caro. You’ve taught me everything I know.” I blinked in surprise. “You have. You’ve taught me who I can be, you’ve made me stronger. You make me want to see the magic in the world. I didn’t know falling in love could be… like this.” Was that really how he felt? Is that how he saw me: someone who could make him stronger? How did that happen? I was so weak and cowardly. But, and I felt a small flowering of hope inside me, I had changed, hadn’t I. I was getting stronger: not yet strong, but getting there. It felt as if he’d been the one to teach me. Perhaps we had learned together. By the time I came to the end of the story, I felt heartbroken. Totally devastated. The sadness, the pain – jeez, I could not stop the tears falling ......... when i read this........I cried buckets!!! Then my eyes rested on the man I loved; the man I vowed I would never see again because he’d been hurt enough – by me. “Caro, no!” he cried again, tears falling down his face, mingling with the blood. “I love you, Sebastian. So much, tesoro.” And then I walked away, leaving behind all the goodness and beauty that I’d ever known in my life. I know that there’s a follow-up to their story and I just hope that they will find each other again and be together.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    5 Amazing heart shattering stars!!! A beautiful, intense, passionate, devastating, forbidden love story. Loved it!!! I will say, when you finish this one, be ready to jump straight into book 2! Caroline is in a loveless marriage. At 30 years old, and being married for 11 of those years, she is living a lonely and empty life. Being with David is sucking the life out of her. David is an officer in the Navy. They are living out east, but he gets transferred to California. They move back to San 5 Amazing heart shattering stars!!! A beautiful, intense, passionate, devastating, forbidden love story. Loved it!!! I will say, when you finish this one, be ready to jump straight into book 2! Caroline is in a loveless marriage. At 30 years old, and being married for 11 of those years, she is living a lonely and empty life. Being with David is sucking the life out of her. David is an officer in the Navy. They are living out east, but he gets transferred to California. They move back to San diego where there were stationed around 9 years ago. Caroline see’s a familiar face when she is out and about. Sebastian. At first she doesn’t recognize him. When she last saw Seb, he was only 8 years old. He has horrible parents, so he would visit Caroline and her father a lot as a child. He’s not a child anymore. Sebastian is now 17, but he looks much older than that. He recognizes Caroline right away. Oh dear, Sebastian... I love that guy! He does not have the maturity level of a 17 (almost 18) year old. The two of them start to catch up with each other. There is a pretty obvious connection and attraction, though Caroline tries to deny it at first. It’s one of those loves that is once in a life time and completely undeniable. Sebastian brings Caroline back to life. I knew it was wrong: I knew it was right. They are keeping their relationship a secret until he turns 18, then they are going away together. Caroline knows what she’s doing is risky, but their love is worth taking a chance on. “There’s nothing to forgive.” he said, his voice forceful. “We fell in love: it’s not a crime.” “I chose love over law. And I didn’t care.” They have to get creative spending time together... Not only was this a beautiful story, it was smoking hot! Wow! These two have crazy chemistry. “It’s always been you, Caro.” I am so in love with these two. The age difference was really not that big of a thing. Caro isn’t after a younger guy. She just loves Sebastian. And Sebastian is crazy in love with her. He is protective over her, such a sweet guy, and no matter what other women are around, he only sees Caro. “I don’t care about anyone else,” he said fiercely. “Just you.” “My gallant knight.”
 “Your anything,” he said seriously. “But I want to be your everything.” Unfortunately, their situation is not ideal. Even when Caro leaves her husband, they can’t openly be together. It is really sad. I am a sucker for forbidden love and messed up/unconventional relationships. I was rooting for these two the whole book. Would it really matter if they were 20 and 33, or how about 30 and 43... No one would care! How many woman get married in their 20’s to men in their 30’s? I get it... Sebastian was a minor. But he was a high school graduate and so close to 18, I don’t think it counts. Now, as beautiful as their love story was, the ending was tragic... The last few pages seriously had me a hot mess!!! I was kinda like this... then this... and lastly like this... The ending of this book gutted me. I was an emotional wreck, crying hysterically. I swear, if these two don’t manage to get their happy ever after, I may lose my shit. After reading this story- Just a side note: After reading BOTH books in this series, if the age difference is a deal breaker for you , give the second book a shot! The Education of Caroline was a fabulous read! But I would highly recommend both of these two :D

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mo

    Well, that was a bit of a roller-coaster. Was very wary about starting this. I mean I have a son who is nearly 17 - did I want to go down that road in this book. It had things that I do not like in books, infidelity, underage sex! But I saw the great reviews by a lot of friends and I know their taste is good so went for it. I really liked it. Yes, the age thing did bother me a bit - he is 17, she is 30, he is legally under the age of consent. I know in America it is different ages in different Well, that was a bit of a roller-coaster. Was very wary about starting this. I mean I have a son who is nearly 17 - did I want to go down that road in this book. It had things that I do not like in books, infidelity, underage sex! But I saw the great reviews by a lot of friends and I know their taste is good so went for it. I really liked it. Yes, the age thing did bother me a bit - he is 17, she is 30, he is legally under the age of consent. I know in America it is different ages in different States. But it was a fairly powerful love story. OK, you are thinking, he is only 17, what does he know about love but I really felt he did love Carolina - coming from his background I can see how he might have jumped into any kind of loving relationship but I believe the connection was there long ago. My heart was in my mouth a lot of the time, waiting for them to be caught. Think they took a few too many risks. Was it worth it? Not sure - yes, there was the "cliffhanger" - did I say recently that I was not reading any more of these "cliffhanger" books?? I doubt I would have started it if I did not have the next one to dive into straight away. I thought the writing was very good, the characters portrayed very well, even the non-main characters. Would recommend this book. Hopefully Book 2 will end up the way i want it to end!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rag

    4.5 'Love Knows No Age' Stars This is what I've been waiting for, a book about cheating with another man but the other man is not a dick and the husband is a dick. All of the stories I've read or watched that had cheating on it would end in a disaster. Like this new movie coming out called "The Boy Next Door with Jennifer Lopez in it, you could tell that the "boy" is a bad guy and things go to hell. This book was exactly what I've been in a mood for. Caroline has been together with her husband 4.5 'Love Knows No Age' Stars This is what I've been waiting for, a book about cheating with another man but the other man is not a dick and the husband is a dick. All of the stories I've read or watched that had cheating on it would end in a disaster. Like this new movie coming out called "The Boy Next Door with Jennifer Lopez in it, you could tell that the "boy" is a bad guy and things go to hell. This book was exactly what I've been in a mood for. Caroline has been together with her husband for 11 years. She knows she isn't happy with him. Get this, she is not his wife or partner, she's basically his slave. She's supposed to be the 'perfect' wife. "Yes honey" "I'm sorry honey". She nows that's not her but she doesn't say anything. Sebastian is the boy that Caroline used to look after because his shitty-alcoholic parents couldn't. But now that Caroline is back to town and meets Sebastian again he's no longer the 8 year old she ince new, he's now a built-hot-tanned-surfer. You could tell there was a connection when they reunited. Before they started getting "intimate" Caroline didn't know that Sebastian was only 17. That was one of the reasons what they were doing was wrong. Had I reached a turning point in my life, or was this merely a blip on a long and bleak horizon? Was leaping from a failed relationship to a doomed one the most sensible action for a woman of thirty? Rationally: no. But the feel of Sebastian’s body against mine, inside mine; his sweetness, his gentleness... Could I really say that meant nothing? Were those feelings so abundant in my life that I could count them worthless. Lets talk about David, he is a reason that makes me want to never wanna get married. There's like a huge amount of men that use their wives as maids than soul mates. He pissed me off badly. That's why she was happy that she cheated on him. I was crying and laughing and crying. How ridiculous. Of course it wasn’t going to be okay. How ridiculously happy and terrified and happy I felt. Sebastian made her feel wanted, beautiful, and alive. She've never felt that way with David. She felt loved for the first time. Fate had thrown us together: who was I to deny it? No, that wasn’t right. I simply no longer cared. I had chosen – willingly, knowingly, deliberately. I chose love over law. And I didn’t care. This book was simply beautiful. Love doesn't know any age difference. I loved caro and Sebastian. But I couldn't help but fall in love with Sebastian. He might've been 17 but he's mature for his age. “You’ve taught me who I can be, you’ve made me stronger. You make me want to see the magic in the world. I didn’t know falling in love could be… like this.” I was praying that the ending wouldn't piss me off, but I guess my prayers weren't answered. Thank the God that there's a second book, if there wasn't I think I would've died a thousand deaths. Simply Amazing. “You are my world, Caro,” “And you’re mine.”

  12. 5 out of 5

    KatLynne

    Intense ~ Passionate ~ Engaging ~ Riveting ~ Romantic I began this book with much skepticism due to the underage hero along with the vast differences between his age and that of the heroine. She's thirty, in a loveless marriage and he has a few months before his eighteenth birthday. I would never have dreamed how much I would enjoy their journey! It's riveting, intense, powerful, passionate and one of my most captivating reads this year! There are circumstances that have made Sebastian Hunter Intense ~ Passionate ~ Engaging ~ Riveting ~ Romantic I began this book with much skepticism due to the underage hero along with the vast differences between his age and that of the heroine. She's thirty, in a loveless marriage and he has a few months before his eighteenth birthday. I would never have dreamed how much I would enjoy their journey! It's riveting, intense, powerful, passionate and one of my most captivating reads this year! There are circumstances that have made Sebastian Hunter mature beyond his years. Not only is he incredibly handsome, but very endearing and oh-so-lovable! Carolina Wilson aka Caroline is coasting through life in a loveless marriage, following the orders of her overbearing husband. Now, for the first time in her life her tesoro makes her feel alive. This is a new-to-me author and she has an amazing talent for storytelling. JHB has crafted an engaging, well written story with a cast of complex characters and included a plot that makes it impossible to put down. There is a major cliffhanger at the end. Make sure you have Book #2 on hand! "ti amo tanto, sempre e per sempre" Thank you Babs and Ellen for giving me the push to read this series!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rosalinda *KRASNORADA*

    ***UPDATE*** Guys, I am MORE than loving BOOK 2 so I really recommend this series to everyone. Book 1 was not for me but I am really happy I decided to read book 2 because is BRILLIANT!!! *** If you want to read a GREAT review about book 1, click here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... ----------------------------------------------------------------------- SORRY buddies but I am not in love with this story, I am leaving this one for a while and will try to finish it tomorrow but it's too ***UPDATE*** Guys, I am MORE than loving BOOK 2 so I really recommend this series to everyone. Book 1 was not for me but I am really happy I decided to read book 2 because is BRILLIANT!!! *** If you want to read a GREAT review about book 1, click here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... ----------------------------------------------------------------------- SORRY buddies but I am not in love with this story, I am leaving this one for a while and will try to finish it tomorrow but it's too sweet for me. Maybe book 2 will work better for me :( I know all my GR buddies loved it so pls don't hate me, it's just my fault! I must say I LOVE the writing style, this is a great book for people who love super sweet stories... I know they are sweet and super lovely and perfect and BORING!!! Caro falls in love with him in 2 seconds, seriously? I understand he's been in love with her since FOREVER but I don't get her. Her husband is super cliche, like the bad guys in cartoons. The worst thing is Carolina Maria is depending on men, COME ON! Man up bitch! You are waiting 4 months to leave your hubby because you are not able to do it on your own, we are in 2013, get a job doing whatever and manage your life! And then I found some parts funny and they were NOT meant to be funny! *I take it that he is 17 but a box of condoms in a few hours???? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHA. Seriously, I don't want this to sound bad but COME ON! I have a good, scratch that, great sexual life and you don't use 12 condoms (or was that a 24 condoms box?) in a few hours. Carolina Maria you should be super sore, use cream over there guapa! *She gets surprised because he calls her BABY. MADRE MIA DE MI VIDA! That's the most normal thing ever! *Next day, Sebas brings ANOTHER BOX OF CONDOMS, YEAH!!! You and your sweet c*ck are AWESOME! *That menopause comment?! *Sebas, don't come to see La Alhambra until you are in book 2, ok? We don't like sweet guys and you come with sugar on top! I will finish this, hell yeah (or I'll try) and then I will read book 2 because I know I am going to love cocky Sebas!

  14. 5 out of 5

    • Lisa •

    4 HEART WRENCHING STARS. I certainly wasn't sure about this book going in to it, but as ever I was tempted by the great reviews and it's popularity on GR. My heart was literally in my mouth the whole way through this book. Bittersweet love, heartache, forbidden encounters ~ This is the journey of Caroline and Sebastian, An emotional account of two people, who find each other in the midst of their equally saddening circumstances. The book had a way of drawing me in, with it's intrigue and passion i 4 HEART WRENCHING STARS. I certainly wasn't sure about this book going in to it, but as ever I was tempted by the great reviews and it's popularity on GR. My heart was literally in my mouth the whole way through this book. Bittersweet love, heartache, forbidden encounters ~ This is the journey of Caroline and Sebastian, An emotional account of two people, who find each other in the midst of their equally saddening circumstances. The book had a way of drawing me in, with it's intrigue and passion i I was almost desperate to see how the story would end. Overall I found this difficult to rate, at times I did feel uncomfortable with the content of the story. But their is no doubt that I fell in love with the characters and book two becomes a necessity after completing this story. This book has 5 star ratings almost everywhere, the authors talent of writing a story of taboo proportions, that is gorgeously written and dare I say enjoyable astounded me. I was a nervous wreck most of the way through the story, so that did take away some of the enjoyment level of my reading experience. This is undoubtably a 5 star read but I can only give it 4 overall. A conflicted 4 stars.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aleatha Romig

    This is NOT my type of romance. I do NOT usually read books that involve an age difference like this story. That said, a good friend recommended, so I read. I LOVED this story. It's more than the sexual relationship. It's about love and maturity. It's about finding that ONE person, despite external forces being NOT in your favor. My advice: give it a chance. I'm glad I did.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tessamari ♥Many Waters...♥ ~ Sweet Spot Book Blog

    4.5-4.75 Stars *Meet Sebastian & Caroline He kissed me with sudden ferocity, covering my face and throat with hard, burning kisses. His weight pinned me down as I ran my hands across the taut muscles of his back and shoulders. “I love you,” he growled. “That’s all that matters.” When I came across this book, I wanted to read it like ASAP. The only thing that stopped me was that I knew it ended in a cliffhanger, so I waited for the release of the second book. As soon as book two was 4.5-4.75 Stars *Meet Sebastian & Caroline He kissed me with sudden ferocity, covering my face and throat with hard, burning kisses. His weight pinned me down as I ran my hands across the taut muscles of his back and shoulders. “I love you,” he growled. “That’s all that matters.” When I came across this book, I wanted to read it like ASAP. The only thing that stopped me was that I knew it ended in a cliffhanger, so I waited for the release of the second book. As soon as book two was released, I was all over it like white on rice. I knew the premise of the story involved a thirty-year-old woman and her 17-year-old lover. Yes, that’s right: Seventeen! Did it bother me? Nope. I LOVED it just the way it is. “You want honesty? Well, I don’t know what will happen… but neither do you. Maybe we’ll make it… maybe we won’t. But you’re giving up before we’ve even tried. I don’t understand. Why won’t you take a chance?” ~Sebastian Caroline is thirty and stuck in a loveless marriage. She married David when she was only nineteen years old. Eleven years after, she’s utterly miserable. He constantly mistreats her and takes her for granted. He’s a navel officer and traveling comes second nature. When they return to San Diego for the second time around, this is when her life begins to change. She’s known Sebastian since he was eight years old. Now, don’t judge just yet, hear me out. When Caroline first lived in San Diego, he would constantly go over to her house and visit with her and her father. He’s never had a happy home life and going over there was like a refuge for him. He was truly saddened when she moved away. Fast forward ten years later, she returns and finds Sebastian all grown up. She’s also starting to realize that he’s constantly flirting with her. But she’s married, albeit not happily, and he’s only seventeen. So what if he’s only four months shy of eighteen: It’s not right, right? However, Sebastian is relentless. He’s always finding ways to hang out with her. It’s only a matter of time when both succumb to their attraction. “Can you feel yourself inside me?” His face was filled with amazement. “Yes,” he whispered. “I can.” Sebastian couldn’t believe she’d come back. He’s loved Caroline for a very long time. Crushing on her when he was only eight was just the starting point. Now that she’s here, he’s going to do everything he can to be with her. It’s always been Caroline. Always. They start an affair. Their first time was pretty memorable. Not only was Caroline Sebastian’s first, but this was also the time where she learns of his age. Heck yea, she freaked. She swore that she would wait til he turned eighteen before doing it again, but unfortunately, that plan blows up in her face. They seriously cannot resist each other. They enjoy being around each other, not only on a physical level, but also a very deep emotional level as well. Caroline starts to wake up. Sebastian makes her want things that she didn’t think were attainable. They set up a plan that when he turns 18, she will not only divorce David, but they plan on running away together. They have dreams of roaming Italy and starting a life together in New York. But how long can they keep their affair a secret? “I love you, Caroline. I always have. My whole life.” The times when they were together were raw, beautiful and sensual. Sebastian is just the sweetest man in the world. He absolutely is 100%, head over heels, in love with Caroline. However, Caroline couldn’t help but constantly question their relationship. Sebastian is gorgeous. Why does he even want me? Could they make their dream work? Her fears were valid, but Sebastian kept reassuring her that they will try to do the best they can to be together. This book had me on pins and needles the whole time. I was waiting for the shoe to drop. I was emotionally invested in their relationship. When this story ended, I was a hot mess. I was glad I read this when I knew book two was out because as soon as I closed this book, I opened book two immediately. I LOVED THIS STORY! *Photo provided by author

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amber Rose

    *****HOLY FUCK BATMAN STARS***** No one told me it was going to be like this.... No one told me I would feel this way after this book. This book is simply amazing!!! I mean fucking brilliant. Sucked me in till the last page. I was on the end of my seat the whole time thinking what the hell is going to happen next. Sebastian I am happy you have joined the team to be a part of my TOP Boyfriend list. I am glad to have you on board. :) I want to add more to this review but I am so *****HOLY FUCK BATMAN STARS***** No one told me it was going to be like this.... No one told me I would feel this way after this book. This book is simply amazing!!! I mean fucking brilliant. Sucked me in till the last page. I was on the end of my seat the whole time thinking what the hell is going to happen next. Sebastian I am happy you have joined the team to be a part of my TOP Boyfriend list. I am glad to have you on board. :) I want to add more to this review but I am so stuck in the second book right now I can't stop reading!!! This is a must read. I am so caught up in so many emotions through this book. Makes you want to jump into the next book!!! LOVE THIS!!!! Just read it!

  18. 4 out of 5

    It's just me Shelly B

    This is a book in which some could possibly say the storyline is some what taboo......it's the story of Sebastian and Caroline he's 17 and she's 30....she's also married. Yea I know...it sounds bad however the story is absolutely beautiful and you would just have to read the book to understand:) Sebastian met Caroline when he was only 8 years old and his love for her began at that point. However Caroline moved away for 10 years and when she came back little Sebastian wasn't so little anymore;) So This is a book in which some could possibly say the storyline is some what taboo......it's the story of Sebastian and Caroline he's 17 and she's 30....she's also married. Yea I know...it sounds bad however the story is absolutely beautiful and you would just have to read the book to understand:) Sebastian met Caroline when he was only 8 years old and his love for her began at that point. However Caroline moved away for 10 years and when she came back little Sebastian wasn't so little anymore;) So they met again for the second time on a beach and it was ON from there!!!! [image error] They couldn't get enough of each other and Sebastian's love for Caroline was so sweet and at the same time so innocent! “It’s always been you, Caro. The first time I saw you, I thought you were the most beautiful girl that I’d ever seen. I thought you must be a princess, like Cinderella. It’s only ever been you.” The thing I loved most about this book was that feeling that they couldn't get enough of each other. Even though Caroline knew it was wrong she couldn't stop her self from wanting and loving him! It was actually very beautiful even though it was very wrong! "Fate had thrown us together: who was I to deny it? No, that wasn’t right. I simply no longer cared. I had chosen – willingly, knowingly, deliberately. I chose love over law. And I didn’t care." [image error] "Love with out restrictions" is the perfect meaning of this book. Sometimes you don't get to choose who you love it just happens. I will say that this is fiction and I did enjoy it but in real life I would probably have a different opinion. Since its a book.......I loved it, I loved the characters, I loved the storyline! Pick it up and give it a try;)

  19. 5 out of 5

    mich

    Even if this had been the most well-written, touching book complete with hidden depths, I think you’d be hard pressed to stop your brain from screaming three things at you the entire time you’re reading it and that is: HE’S 17! and SHE’S MARRIED! and HE’S 17!!!!! The writing is good - it hooked me in right away just from the first few pages where we are introduced to Caroline, a woman who is caught in a loveless, unhappy marriage to a cold and selfish man. The author captured Caroline’s silent, Even if this had been the most well-written, touching book complete with hidden depths, I think you’d be hard pressed to stop your brain from screaming three things at you the entire time you’re reading it and that is: HE’S 17! and SHE’S MARRIED! and HE’S 17!!!!! The writing is good - it hooked me in right away just from the first few pages where we are introduced to Caroline, a woman who is caught in a loveless, unhappy marriage to a cold and selfish man. The author captured Caroline’s silent, accepting defeat of the life she found herself in to perfection - I found myself completely impressed with that. Caroline meets Sebastian early on in the book and folks, it was fricken uncomfortable as hell. Well, it was for me anyway. Uncomfortable, but also intriguing. And the author has balls too in not making Sebastian some kind of worldly, older than his actual age character. She doesn't try to trick us by making him seem mature for his age so that the whole affair feels just a little less taboo. Nope, dude is 17 and he acts like he’s 17 and he talks like he’s 17 (actually, he seemed even younger than that to me at times). Caroline is 30 and while she sometimes sounded her age, her immaturity in many scenes was a bit hard to swallow and had me thinking, who’s the fucking adult here anyway?! There were sex scenes aplenty and I think it was too much. The author really plays up the ‘close calls’ and ‘is this when they get caught?’ moments, and while it did create good tension and keep me on the edge of my seat at first, I slowly got annoyed at the frequency of the same damn things happening over and over. But the ending definitely delivers, it is dramatic and crazy and I loved it. Huge cliffhanger though, I need to read the next book right away. (view spoiler)[ I am absolutely giddy to see the reunion of Caro and Seb. I love LOVE a good reunion scene, and I hope theirs will not disappoint! I'm also happy to see from the blurb that it's 10 years later and we can see how things will play out between the two now (hopefully) mature adults. (hide spoiler)]

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Loved it!! I knew what was coming at the end, but I still had a good cry. Off to start book two....

  21. 5 out of 5

    R.E. Hunter

    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men." Just ... wow. This book completely blew me away and left me so raw. I didn't know what to expect from this book but it wasn't this. I am floored. It gripped me and wouldn't let me go. I couldn't put it down. Couldn't get away from it. The Education of Sebastianhas been on my TBR since its release and I was seeing great things about it. Although part of me wanted to read it, I was hesitant because of Sebastian's age. The idea "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men." Just ... wow. This book completely blew me away and left me so raw. I didn't know what to expect from this book but it wasn't this. I am floored. It gripped me and wouldn't let me go. I couldn't put it down. Couldn't get away from it. The Education of Sebastian has been on my TBR since its release and I was seeing great things about it. Although part of me wanted to read it, I was hesitant because of Sebastian's age. The idea of a 30-year-old woman carrying on a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old boy really made me uncomfortable. But sometimes the best books make you uncomfortable and break down all those walls and preconceptions that you have and leave you seeing things from a whole new perspective. The Education of Sebastian is definitely one of those books. I went into it skeptical, but I promised myself that I would keep an open mind and I'm glad I did. I completely adored this story on every level. "What do you think I've got here that I wouldn't give up in a heartbeat to be with you? There's nothing to keep me here: I'll go anywhere, do anything to be with you." Sebastian is probably one of the most lovable male characters I've come across. He was gorgeous inside and out, completely sincere, not afraid to be emotional ... and watching him grow into his manhood and become more assertive and dominant was amazing. I liked Caroline as well, but she did drive me crazy with how she behaved in their relationship. Then again, I understood it. To believe that a 17-year-old boy could understand love and commitment is just impossible to comprehend but, at times, I think Seb understood it better than Caro ever could. "It's always been you, Caro ... It's only ever been you." The way these characters grow together, learn about each other and work through their relationship is beautiful. Their love is just so big. There is a ridiculous amount of sexual tension and the sex scenes in this book are intimate, honest, inviting and just plain sexy. I couldn't get enough of Caro and Seb. His boyish charm, his enthusiasm and how hard he loved Caroline just completely took me by surprise. I was swooning all over myself. He is definitely one of my new favorite book boyfriends. And I loved how Caroline found herself and her happiness and grew stronger because of their love. Although I went into it uncomfortable and unsure, by the end of this book I was completely convinced. I wasn't seeing Sebastian as a child at all and I was rooting for he and Caroline all the way. I loved how Jane Harvey-Berrick wrote this story. I felt every single emotion she conveyed and was completely swept away by the story. The ending completely broke my heart in two and left me so raw and hurt. I don't want to give too much away, so all I can say is you just have to read this book and experience it for yourself. It was amazing. Thank you so much Jane Harvey-Berrick for providing a review copy of this title, I cannot wait to jump right in to The Education of Caroline! More reviews at The Book List Reviews

  22. 4 out of 5

    LZ

    This is for my fellow buddy readers! Whoa!!That ending, this book and these characters just blew me away! This book has been lurking in my TBR for quiet sometime and I'm so happy that I finally picked it up! I wasn't sure if I could get into the age difference between Caroline and Sebastian, but it was a non-issue. Their story was so well written and fleshed out that I just got lost in it. Slowly, I fell for Sebastian right along with Caroline. My heart was sad for the marriage she found herself This is for my fellow buddy readers! Whoa!! That ending, this book and these characters just blew me away! This book has been lurking in my TBR for quiet sometime and I'm so happy that I finally picked it up! I wasn't sure if I could get into the age difference between Caroline and Sebastian, but it was a non-issue. Their story was so well written and fleshed out that I just got lost in it. Slowly, I fell for Sebastian right along with Caroline. My heart was sad for the marriage she found herself in and I sympathized with her when she struggled to find herself amongst all of the new emotions. "I knew I was wrong: I knew I was right."  And Sebastian, oh sweet Sebastian.....I just want to hold him!!! He has such a great mixture of vulnerability and strength. The abuse and negligence of his family resulted in an intensity that made him more mature than his age. He does have an air of innocence, but it doesn't feel creepy; actually, it made him more swoon worthy because his feelings are so raw.  "Your anything," he said seriously. "But I want to be your everything." It was interesting to peak into the subculture of military life. The collection of characters in this book had me questioning humanity and common decency. There were quite a few instances I wanted to physically lash out, but there's also a lot of sweetness. As for that ending? Well, talk about going out with a bang! I'm anxiously waiting for the rest of this story.  Ok, I can't resist another for the road......

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    This story follows Caroline Wilson – thirty years old, married eleven years, and trapped in a cold, loveless marriage. When she was seventeen, she was swept off her feet by David, a military surgeon. Dazzled by the sophisticated man, and ready to escape her mother's constant scrutiny, she made a rash decision and married David at nineteen. “He hated the way I dressed, the way I spoke, what I spoke about and the things that interested me to speak about… He wasn’t always an unkind man… we were This story follows Caroline Wilson – thirty years old, married eleven years, and trapped in a cold, loveless marriage. When she was seventeen, she was swept off her feet by David, a military surgeon. Dazzled by the sophisticated man, and ready to escape her mother's constant scrutiny, she made a rash decision and married David at nineteen. “He hated the way I dressed, the way I spoke, what I spoke about and the things that interested me to speak about… He wasn’t always an unkind man… we were just fundamentally unsuited to each other.” Because David is in the military, they had to move around a lot. In the beginning of the story, Caroline and David have just been relocated to San Diego, where Caroline first meets Sebastian. She is nineteen and he is eight. When she meets Sebastian's parents, she is horrified by the way they treat their son. Caroline felt bad for Sebastian and ends up forming a close friendship with the boy. Unfortunately, eventually Caroline and David are relocated to another base and she's forced to say goodbye to Sebastian. Nine years later, David and Caroline are relocated back to San Diego. While on the beach one day, Caroline meets Sebastian again. Caroline is now thirty and Sebastian is seventeen – all grown up, handsome, fit, and very charming. And Caroline soon learns Sebastian has been carrying a torch for Caroline since he was a boy. She resists his advances at first – determined to stay away from Sebastian and his good looks and charm. But there is an attraction there she can't resist. A feeling she has never felt for David. She feels alive with Sebastian. Figuring he was at least eighteen, she decides to give in to her feelings. But, when she finds out she actually had sex with a seventeen year old, she freaks out. She tells Sebastian there is no way they should ever be together again. Sebastian is determined to keep Caroline, so he talks her into a relationship without sex until he is of age. And because they both are extremely drawn to one another, she gives in. The chemistry between Sebastian and Caroline is incredibly intense and soon they find themselves in a very hot and heavy love affair. “You are my world, Caro,” he said. “And you're mine.” Because I am a woman in my mid-thirties, the thought of having sex with a seventeen year old man does nothing for me. I actually shiver at the thought. But the way Jane Harvel-Berrick writes Sebastian's character, I could understand Caroline's attraction towards him. He never had the parental nurturing and supervision most children have growing up. He's been taking care of himself since he was eight. With a drunk for a mother and an abusive father, Sebastian was forced to grow up fast. He's a mature, gorgeous, outgoing, kind man – not a boy. And because Caroline has been living in a stifling marriage for so long, she craved love, touch, kindness. She craved feeling alive again. Sebastian not only awoken her, but he made her feel special and beautiful. Not a servant to his needs like her husband. “Be happy, Caro, because that's what you deserve. I love you, I have always loved you, and where I go after this world, I will always love you. Sempre e per sempre. I fell hard for Sebastian right from the beginning. His deep love and affection for Caroline blew me away. The way he cared for Caroline and protected her made him swoon-worthy in my book. He definitely received a very thorough education from Caroline in the bedroom. The man's stamina is incredible. Phew. There were times when his alpha personality would come to the surface and it made me wonder what kind of man he would become as he aged. And I definitely plan to find out in the second book. “There's nothing to forgive,” he said, his voice forceful. “We feel in love: it's not a crime.” This is a well-written, lovely, and sensual book. This forbidden love story never came across as creepy. Even though Caroline was cheating on her husband the entire time, I never once felt bad about it because David was not a good husband. David may not be a completely cruel man, but he was insufferable, demeaning, demanding, and flat-out cold. He didn't treat Caroline with the kind of respect she deserved. And, let's face it, sometimes it is okay to step outside of the box and open your mind to reading different types of romance love stories. Even love stories that may be frowned upon by society. But, for Caroline and Sebastian, their love never felt wrong or uncomfortable. They have the kind of unconditional love that most people search for. Just because there is an awkward age difference, doesn't make it unnatural to love someone with so many years between them. I knew there was a cliffhanger when I began this book, but it didn't make it any easier when it ended. The ending emotionally wrecked me. I've never wanted a book to NOT end so bad in my life. But lucky the second book, The Education of Caroline, is out now! Rating:B+ Heat: Hot -- A Romantic Book Affairs Review Find us on Twitter and Facebook too! Arc kindly provided by the author.

  24. 4 out of 5

    * Meli Mel *

    4.5 STARS OMG!! What an ending!! I need to read the second book, Pronto!! Thank God I have it... PHEW! 'Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men' "There is nothing to forgive," he said, his voice forceful. "We fell in love. It's not a crime." Caroline is 30 years old and in a loveless marriage to a US Navy Medical Officer. Sebastian is a 17 year old high school graduate, just four months away from 18. They met when Sebastian was just 8 years old and this is when he 4.5 STARS OMG!! What an ending!! I need to read the second book, Pronto!! Thank God I have it... PHEW! 'Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men' "There is nothing to forgive," he said, his voice forceful. "We fell in love. It's not a crime." Caroline is 30 years old and in a loveless marriage to a US Navy Medical Officer. Sebastian is a 17 year old high school graduate, just four months away from 18. They met when Sebastian was just 8 years old and this is when he started to fall in love with Caroline. But then her husband was relocated, and so Caroline leaves and doesn't return until 10 years later. In their first encounter, Caroline notices how handsome he's gotten and how eager Sebastian is to keep seeing her. She starts to feel uncomfortable at first, and tells him so, but then she couldn't help but feel attracted to him. "Why are you so scared? I mean, forget all that legal bullshit…why do you keep trying to…I don't know, make me change my mind? What do you think I've got here that I wouldn't give up in a heartbeat to be with you? There's nothing to keep me here. I'll go anywhere, do anything to be with you." I wasn't sure initially, if the age difference was going to really put me off, due to Sebastian being underage and all. It ended up not bothering me too much in the end. I won't lie, some moments the age gap was more obvious then in others, and it was in those moments where I wasn't 100% okay with the relationship. I guess, I still would have liked for them to have waited until he was 18. Nevertheless, I really did enjoy the story. "I love you, Caroline. I always have. My whole life." ****** "Caro! Why are you crying?" "Because I love you." “What did I know of the kind of love that made it hard to breathe, where your body ached day and night for that connection with another, physically, mentally, spiritually? It was utterly new and terrifying and exhausting and wonderful. I was dazzled by the light that spilled from him into the shadow of my previous existence. He eclipsed everything, erased everything that had gone before. I was reborn – not just to him, but to myself. And I was ready for the adventure.” Even though Caroline was 30, she at times seemed as innocent as Sebastian. I felt like she never really grew up and became her own person, because of the way she was treated by her husband. So in some ways, their behaviour was of a similar age. She was a doormat. David, her husband, demanded things be as he liked at all times. He never seemed to take an interest in, or encourage her to pursue what she was passionate about. He made her feel insignificant while he was always important. Everything they did was so mechanical and with no emotion. I don't know how she stood him for so long. I did feel very happy when she was able to finally leave that relationship and stand up for herself. Sebastian gave her that strength and support she needed to take that step. She was able to learn what real love felt like and also think about the possiblities to have in life. She finally felt alive and it was because of him. "You've given me back my self-esteem and you've given me hope for the future. You've given me love. You've given me yourself. There's nothing else I want." Sebastian, sometimes, seemed to be mature for his young age. This was because he pretty much raised himself, since he practically had a nonexistent father and an alcoholic mother. That doesn't mean he didn't act like the teenager that he was, he definitely had his mood swings. He also was very sweet and so endearing. Almost everything that came out of his mouth had me absolutely MELTING! In the beginning, I thought, he couldn't possibly know what love is. I just thought he needed an out from his situation at home and latched himself on to Caroline. I soon realized that I was wrong. I believed him when he said he loved her. I adored him and just wanted him to have the happiness he deserved. "Caro, don't you understand how I feel about you? I love you, you're all I want. I want a future with you... I want our lives to be together. I'm not a kid, I've had to grow up fast. I've been taking care of myself for a long time now. And I want to take care of you." The ending was terrible!! Not that it was poorly written, but because of the events that took place. My heart was breaking and I hurt so badly for them. Why couldn't they just have waited for those four months to go by to start something! Then maybe it would have ended differently. It was a beautiful read and now I am DESPERATE to start the next! 'Despite what happened that day, despite what happened later, I can't bring myself to regret the events of that summer, because Sebastian taught me how to love.'

  25. 4 out of 5

    .Lili.

    5+++ STARS, A MUST READ!!!! I'll start off by saying there is no review I can write that will do this book justice. This is the love of story Caroline and Sebastian. The first they meet is when he is 8 and she's 21. Several years later they meet again when he's four months shy of his 18th birthday and Caroline is 30. When they meet again there is an instant connection that Caroline tries to fight because of their age difference and her marriage. In the end their love was not to be denied and she 5+++ STARS, A MUST READ!!!! I'll start off by saying there is no review I can write that will do this book justice. This is the love of story Caroline and Sebastian. The first they meet is when he is 8 and she's 21. Several years later they meet again when he's four months shy of his 18th birthday and Caroline is 30. When they meet again there is an instant connection that Caroline tries to fight because of their age difference and her marriage. In the end their love was not to be denied and she gave in to their feelings. What followed is a powerful story of love, jealousy, infedelility, guilt, and passion. I was rooting for them the entire time as they were both so deserving of love. She, who is never shown any from her husband. He, who was never shown love from his abusive alcoholic parents. This book had me: And by the end I was an emotional wreck. I MUST HAVE BOOK 2 NOW!!!!!! So do yourself a favor and buy this book and read it!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

    Oh I can not believe they ended it there. But I am so glad to see the story will be continuing! I was recommended this book by a friend and am so glad she did so! The Education Of Sebastian was a brilliant story about self discovery and love. Carolina is a 30 year old woman in a very unhappy, loveless marriage with David. He is a horrible man who hasn't the time of day for her, unless it is to order her around like a slave. And not the sexy kind of slave either! One summer they find themselves Oh I can not believe they ended it there. But I am so glad to see the story will be continuing! I was recommended this book by a friend and am so glad she did so! The Education Of Sebastian was a brilliant story about self discovery and love. Carolina is a 30 year old woman in a very unhappy, loveless marriage with David. He is a horrible man who hasn't the time of day for her, unless it is to order her around like a slave. And not the sexy kind of slave either! One summer they find themselves moving back to San Diego, a place they lived when Carolina was 21. Whilst at the beach she discovers a handsome young man coming towards her as if he knows her.. Little did she know she did. It was her 8 year old neighbour grown up into a young man! What happens next is a passionate love affair between Sebastian and Carolina. It's full of heartache, love and lots of sex. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and was rooting for Carolina and Sebastian the whole way though. They deserve their HAE. This is the first book in a series and I can't wait for the next one to come out!

  27. 5 out of 5

    AJ

    “There’s nothing to forgive … We fell in love: it’s not a crime” FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!! I have been completely blown away by this book! Holy freaking intensity! This is the story of a forbidden love story between a 30 year old married woman and a 17 year old boy. It possibly sounds a little gross, but I have to say, even if in my head I knew it was wrong, it didn’t feel wrong! It is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL love story, and I was completely swept away! I fell in love with Sebastian right alongside “There’s nothing to forgive … We fell in love: it’s not a crime” FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!! I have been completely blown away by this book! Holy freaking intensity! This is the story of a forbidden love story between a 30 year old married woman and a 17 year old boy. It possibly sounds a little gross, but I have to say, even if in my head I knew it was wrong, it didn’t feel wrong! It is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL love story, and I was completely swept away! I fell in love with Sebastian right alongside Caroline. He is just incredible! He has endured so much in his life, he is mature, and seems so much older than 17. He knows what he wants, and what he wants is Caroline. Caroline is trapped in a loveless marriage where she is essentially a Stepford wife. Married at 19 to a Navy doctor who bullies and belittles her, she is lost, unhappy, and very much alone. When a lovestruck Sebastian enters her life with his heart in his hands, she starts to experience something that she has never felt before. “He had opened my eyes to a world of possibilities, to a world where I could be loved for myself.” And OH. MY. GOD!!! I was surprised at how quickly things progressed between the two of them, but it felt natural, and I loved seeing them together. There are some seriously hot and steamy scenes which had me fanning myself, and I loved the progression of things between them as they became used to each other, and as Sebastian grew more experienced. It was shown each time they were together, and I thought it was really well done. And equally as special is just watching them spend time together. Even though a lot of the time I had heart palpitations expecting them to get caught, the connection between them is strong, and the whole relationship is beautifully written. What I love about this book – it’s so real! The dialogue, the emotions, even the sex is all realistic. And I love that! I could empathise with everything that the characters go through. And even though at times I wanted to give Caroline a shake, I understood the reasoning behind her actions, and what she was feeling. Neither she or Sebastian are perfect, they both react emotionally to what is happening between them, and that is exactly how I would expect them to be as they both cave into the craziness and intensity of a love affair that will change both of their lives forever. “You’ve taught me everything I know. … You’ve taught me who I can be, you’ve made me stronger. You make me want to see the magic in the world. I didn’t know falling in love could be…like this.” Even the side characters are well developed and realistic - their role in the story, as well as their reactions to the unfolding events round out the story beautifully. My heart was pounding through most of the story, and the angst level is off the charts! I kept waiting for the big ‘thing’ to happen. Seriously, I was a hot mess for most of the second half of the book! And when it happens – holy freaking clusterfuck! I could barely breathe! Massive, heartbreaking cliffy!!! So now, I’m wiping my tears, pulling up the big-girl panties, and diving straight into the next book! “Here in this room, with our bodies entwined, I felt that I could trust this fierce love that had shattered and rebuilt my life. But outside, the world was a cold and dangerous place. I didn’t know if love would be enough.” I absolutely loved it - 5 stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shell The Belle

    FOUR SOLID “A SUMMER OF STOLEN HAPPINESS” STARS This story was really lovely. I am in love with this couple, especially Sebastian. The only reason I did not give this five stars was the ending and, well, because I didn’t like the initial way they met. As you know from the blurb, when Caroline and Sebastian embark or their love affair, he is seventeen and she is thirty. However, they first meet ten years earlier, when she is twenty and he is just eight. Don’t get me wrong here, there was no FOUR SOLID “A SUMMER OF STOLEN HAPPINESS” STARS This story was really lovely. I am in love with this couple, especially Sebastian. The only reason I did not give this five stars was the ending and, well, because I didn’t like the initial way they met. As you know from the blurb, when Caroline and Sebastian embark or their love affair, he is seventeen and she is thirty. However, they first meet ten years earlier, when she is twenty and he is just eight. Don’t get me wrong here, there was no inkling of anything at all then, but it just creeped me out that she knew him as a boy is all. I can understand the change though, the seventeen year old Sebastian would have looked like a different person than the eight year old version; just recently I bumped into an old friend; I used to spend a lot of time at her house, she had three sons. When I last saw the youngest, George, he was around twelve years old, and when I saw him recently, he was twenty three!! And he in NO WAY resembled his blonde 12 year old self from back then; his hair was much darker, he was incredibly tall, very muscled and very good looking indeed. So I can kind of get it. But anyway, it didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment, as I said earlier, I can totally understand the difference ten years can make going from a child to an adult. Sebastian Back to the story. Whereas I don’t usually like stories with cheating, I can completely understand why Caroline cheated on her husband, David. She was stuck in a loveless marriage to a man who had never shown her any love or affection. Never made her feel good about herself. You get the picture. She married him, a Military surgeon, at eighteen and he was eleven years older than her. She was desperate to leave home, and her mothers dream husband for her daughter. Very soon after she realized it was a mistake, but she had nowhere or no-one to turn to – her mother’s opinion was she had made her bed etc. They lived at various army bases and Caroline was to him merely someone to fulfill the position of wife and arrange dinner parties and the like in her husbands numerous attempts to elevate his position within the Military base society. She married him because her mother made him appear like the perfect man. She (Caroline) didn’t know any better. For years she put on a façade of at least being content, but as those years slipped by one by one, she gradually became aware that she could not carry on with this life for very much longer. There are no real descriptions from Caroline about herself in this story, I don’t even know what colour or style hair she has, so Ive chosen how I think she would look, Jennifer Anniston at thirty is perfect. Caro ”I looked at the man who was my husband, for better or worse. Nothing. My emotional gauge was running on empty. It had been that way for a long time. Until Sebastian.” "Had I reached a turning point in my life, or was this merely a blip on a long and bleak horizon? Was leaping from a failed relationship into a doomed on the most sensible action for a woman of thirty? Rationally, no. But the feel of Sebastian’s body against mine, inside mine; his sweetness, his gentleness". Her husband was nasty and selfish and considering his age, his actions most of the time were downright childish. He would sulk constantly, one example is after coming home drunk, he has a hangover the next morning; “I served his breakfast; three pieces of bacon, two eggs, two pancakes, syrup on the side and coffee. “This plates cold” he said, “Cant you do anything right?” Well I would have tipped the fucking plate of food over the c***ts head!! His sulk from his hangover and cold plate lasted well into the evening, until he goes to bed; ”David, I noticed, had deliberately balled up his clothes and flung them onto my side of the bed, knowing I’d have to get up early to press his pants – again” Well, I would have faked a migraine the next morning so that he’d have to iron his fucking “pants” himself!! Another example is when they are putting on a dinner party for David’s “important” friends. Caroline has been slaving, literally, in the kitchen all day, making a huge effort, whilst David (the c**t) has been playing poker on his study computer. ”Then I saw that the dress I’d laid out to wear tonight had slid off the bed. David would have had to step over it three or four times as he’d moved around the bedroom, but he’d left it in a crumpled heap” Waaattt?? Why doesn’t she call him on this? I would have HAD to confront him, but then I suppose David would just be ever more difficult. I was screaming at her JUST CHUFFING LEAVE ALREADY FFS!! NO ONE SHOULD PUT UP WITH THAT!! David is condescending, not only to Caroline, but anyone else on the base who isn’t what he considers high enough rank to bother with. And he berates Caroline for spending time with the families of these personnel, as though it will reflect badly on him!! What a complete fucking arsehole. Some have said why did she wait so long to contemplate leaving? And indeed, she did wait too long. But this kind of thing happens – you can find yourself in a relationship that truly doesn’t have any real basis for a life long haul, but because everyone around you thinks your partner is great, or because it becomes comfortable, whatever, a hundred other reasons too, you stay in it. And life goes on as you go about your day-to-day routines of work, career, etc, and only when something happens to make you realize you are wasting your life do you take the chance and leave. Some people spend needless years waiting for something or someone better to come along, and they are the biggest fools; if you ever find yourself in this situation, don’t sit around waiting for your Prince Charming to come along and sweep you off your feet – you are not a Disney Princess and that wont happen!! But Caroline knows that leaving David and starting again is not going to be easy; ”If I left David, I was well aware I would have nothing, not even my reputation. I had never lived on my own, never lived on what I could earn, never lived without the say-so of someone else. The unknowingness was terrifying” It’s this kind of learned reliance on another that stops a lot of people from making that scary move and leaving a bad relationship. Sebastian was the catalyst that sped things up rather than the reason for Caroline’s disillusionment with her own life and situation. His adoration of Caroline and his overwhelming love for this woman was simply too hard to ignore and she gave in to her emotions. ”I felt beautiful for the first time in my life, safe and secure. Loved. Cherished.” Everyone should feel like that in a relationship, surely? David had simply made Caroline feel the opposite; dumb, useless, and unattractive. Sebastian gave her soul new life; “I love you Caroline” He spoke softly but the words were clear, spoken without expectation and with little hope” ”My mind filled with images of our sweet, gentle, glorious love making. I’d never been touched like that before – it had been an education, a delicious, dangerous awakening” ”A Summer of stolen happiness” One thing I do not understand, and for love of God everyone reading this take note; Caroline said this; "David had his salary paid into a savings account, and he gave me $1000 a month for groceries, gas for my car and utility bills. It was only just enough. I had no money of my own. When I’d had my job back east, David had insisted that my wages went into the communal pts, as he called it. Although I never saw the money again. I didn’t even know how much was in our savings account. What a humiliating admission.” This made me so very angry when I read that. Now look, if she is earning this money she has an absolute unequivocal right to ask: a) Where is this money going? b) If it is going to a savings account, is it in joint names? Because it should be, she earned it too ffs!! c) HOW MUCH IS IN THE DAMN SAVINGS ACCOUNT???!!! Half of that is yours, Lady!! Claim it!! But Caroline doesn’t question this, and she bloody well should!! Her husband is no doubt an ungrateful bully and Caroline has always done as she should, and never questioned. Until Sebastian She realises, at last, that she has to leave David; not simply because of Sebastian, but because this life with David is dead in the water and she wants out. She wants a life worth living and enjoying whilst she is still young enough to carve one out for herself. So, she finally starts to make plans to leave. ”I knew my marriage was over: it had been over for a long time before I’d met Sebastian, I’d just been too much of a coward to admit it” What Caroline doesn’t realise is that when she first starts her affair with Sebastian, he is not eighteen, as she had thought, but seventeen, with four months until his birthday!! This adds extra complications because the law in state they are living in, California, has a legal age for sexual consent of eighteen. Despite all her efforts to keep Sebastian at arms length when she realizes this, they are destined to be lovers sooner rather than later and are unable to stop the love and desire that threatens to consume them both. They need to be really careful about being found out, though, as it could have serious consequences for Caroline, but hell if they don’t take the most logic defying risks and I was constantly terrified they were going to be seen/caught. All the way through I was like: That seriously bothered me; I mean, if you are potentially looking at being prosecuted for this would you not take extra care? I mean EXTRA care?? What I really did like though, was that although Caroline was making plans to leave David, she never once counted on Sebastian being the ultimate goal; she recognised that he was incredibly young and in no way expected any kind of commitment from him, in fact it was quite the opposite. She would tell him over and over that he had to be aware of the age difference, and that she was really was, in the grand scheme of things, too old for him. She talked about him having children several years down the line, and that he really ought to be with someone closer his own age to make this more of a reality. So, although Caroline desperately wanted to be with Sebastian, as her love for him grew so did her desire to do the right thing by him and not allow him to be tied to her. She believed that their relationship had a “shelf life”, if you like, and what she feared most was that ten years later, Sebastian’s interest in her would wane and his head would be turned by younger women, thus leaving her forty years old and having to start again. This thought plagued her throughout, and although her immediate plans were to leave California with Sebastian and live with him awhile in New York, this was mainly because she was determined also to get Sebastian away from his horrendous parents, and that way he would have a decent chance of making something of himself without the burden of his dreadful parents and wanted to help him get as far away from their grasp as possible. In her mind, Carline believed that after several months to a year in New York, she and Sebastian would most likely then go their separate ways, leaving them both to carve out a life that they both were happy with. However Sebastian thinks very differently; the only future he can see is with Caro; ”None of that matters, Caro. You’re wrong – I can’t imagine not wanting you, not ever, and not just physically. I enjoy being with you always. Forget all the legal bullshit – why do you keep trying to make me change my mind? What do you think I have here that I wouldn’t give up in a heartbeat to be with you? There’s nothing here for me, I’ll go anywhere, do anything to be with you” And . . . ”If I was twenty five, and you were thirty eight, would we still be having this conversation? No.” ”I thought I was setting him free, but he saw it as my refusal to take a chance . . .on him, on us, on love – maybe even on myself” Until finally . . . ”I didn’t have any words of opposition or defiance left in me. The future was unwritten: maybe one day I would be told for him and he would leave me – it seemed inevitable. But wouldn’t two or three years of love be worth having, regardless?” I didn’t find the love affair hard to read, some have said because of Sebastian’s age it made it a little cringey for them. Not to me. The age of sexual consent in Britain is 16, so Sebastian was already a year passed that so I can get my head around it. And also to me, Sebastian was in some ways much older than his years. He had suffered physical, mental and verbal abuse at the hands of his parents, and has had to man up pretty quickly. He has pretty much been taking care of himself for years. In fact, at times, he seems to be more adult than Caroline. By contrast, Caroline has led a very limited life with David. All she has really done is fetch and carry, cook and clean for him. Sex with David was vanilla, usually awkward and clumsy and simply for his gratification, and once that was achieved, rather quickly, that was it. Caroline is very naïve and is only now, at thirty, experiencing that stomach-flipping, butterflies in tummy sensation of falling in love. Sebastian shows her such tenderness and makes her feel things she has never felt about herself: Beauty and courage; and so she finally looks outside the box that is her marriage and builds on her confidence in her own abilities and self worth to be able to follow her own path without having to depend on anyone else to do so. This was already beginning to happen, but like I said, being with Sebastian helped it happen quicker than it was doing. And you know what, sometimes life, or fate – whatever you choose to label it, sometimes it plays games; nasty cruel games. Sebastian and Caro where soulmates, destined to fall in love and truly belonged together. But life separated them by twelve fucking years – and not only that, threw them another curve ball and made Caro the older one. ”We wandered along the cold, flat sand, under the moonlight, leaving the footprints of lovers” The sex scenes; Well, some have said they were a bit too much, or icky, or too much information. Too realistic was one complaint. For me it was the realism that made it more sweet. The book is called “The Education Of Sebastian” for a reason – and his sexual ineptness, particularly at the very beginning of the affair was meant to be portrayed that way; it was meant to show his inexperience and how they both progressed as their relationship did – after all, Caroline wasn’t some older seductress who was sexually promiscuous, she was in many ways as clueless as Sebastian, and in reality, they taught each other many things over those three/four months. ”You’ve bought me to life, Sebastian, and you’ll never know how much I owe you because of that” The writing is so beautiful. Having read Lifers by the same Author, although I didn’t really enjoy that one too much as it was a bit slow paced, I recognised the brilliance in Jane Harvey-Berrick and decided to give this Author another go. She didn’t disappoint. Berwick has the knack of writing in such a way that draws you into every page and holds you right there in the moment. It is so easy to read and makes everything seem incredibly real. The Ending Well, the ending just about floored me. Although it in no way surprised me!! It’s not how I wanted it to end, (view spoiler)[I wanted them to both leave their present lives behind, move to New York together, spend that year together, and then, Sebastian’s education with Caroline complete, as Caroline predicted they both go their separate ways; Sebastian to complete his further studies and eventually meet someone who he can fall in love with, and Caroline to carve out her career in journalism that she wanted and then she to eventually meet someone with whom she too can fall in love with and build a lasting relationship. (hide spoiler)] However, it is what it is, and I can’t wait for book two. ”I will never regret the events of that Summer, because Sebastian taught me how to love”

  29. 4 out of 5

    Spoiler Whore-Momoa

    If you don't have an open mind on the subject of forbidden love with a minor and infedility then this story will not be for you. The blurb says it all. Don't say you were appalled and that you didn't know what you were getting into. There is nothing creepy about this story. The way I saw it was as a life and sexual awakening with a thirty year old woman Carlolina who is in a loveless marriage and with a seventeen year old virgin teenager Sebastian who has been emotionally, mentally and If you don't have an open mind on the subject of forbidden love with a minor and infedility then this story will not be for you. The blurb says it all. Don't say you were appalled and that you didn't know what you were getting into. There is nothing creepy about this story. The way I saw it was as a life and sexual awakening with a thirty year old woman Carlolina who is in a loveless marriage and with a seventeen year old virgin teenager Sebastian who has been emotionally, mentally and physically abused by his parents. It's also about what you lost and what you gain in life and the choices you make that can heal you and ultimately destroy you and the one you love. The author did a fantastic job in the sexual encounter scenes. Nothing too graphic and when you get into the story you somehow forget that Sebastian is a teenager. He sometimes didn't act his age and then there were times that his adolescence would appear. They first met when he was eight and she was twenty-one when her husband was transferred to San Diego. She taught him Italian and they discussed their love of books. When David gets a promotion they move away to North Carolina. After nine years they make their way back to San Diego and she meets Sebastian at the beach. She doesn't recognize him but he remembers her, cause well, it's always been her for him. They have chance encounters and Carolina notices that Sebastian has a crush on her. She doesn't like the feeling but when she comes across him at a park and she notices that he has been beaten up and his hair chopped off she takes him back to her home to clean him up. When they start their affair Carolina honestly thought Sebastian was eighteen. When he says that he'll be eighteen in four months she is disgusted with herself. She knows she did wrong cheating on her husband but she's more appalled about Sebastian's age. She knows the ramifications of her actions, she knows they must end their affair but she's drawn to him and he to her. While their relationship blooms they start planning for the future on where they will live, how they will make it and what needs to be done for them to be together the right way. They try to keep it cool but soon their lust and love knows know bounds and little by little they begin to falter on keeping their affair secret. When it's finally revealed it's an emotional scene to read. You see, you feel and you know they belong together. I loved their story. It wasn't all about the sex though it does happen a lot. It's the emotions they stir in each other. It's their discovery with each other that draws you in. If you put yourself in their situation what would you change? I think they did the best they could with their circumstances even if it was wrong in societies eyes. I recommend this read cause I found it to be a beautiful yet heartbreaking love story and I admit I did shed a tear or two. Some say what if the rolls were reversed. What if the girl was 17 and he 30? I don't know. Write or show me a story with that age and I'll give you my honest opinion.

  30. 4 out of 5

    JoJo - JJJ (Jo Anna) Janesko

    Rating Clarification 4.5 stars. Okay the ending just blew me away. I had a feeling it would be heartbreaking but had no idea how much it would effect me. It shredded my heart into pieces. Be prepared. You will want to have the next book on hand so that you can see how the story continues and what happens to this amazing couple. This was a really good story and one I would recommend to readers. I know some people are concerned about the age difference however it really didn't bother me. It had Rating Clarification 4.5 stars. Okay the ending just blew me away. I had a feeling it would be heartbreaking but had no idea how much it would effect me. It shredded my heart into pieces. Be prepared. You will want to have the next book on hand so that you can see how the story continues and what happens to this amazing couple. This was a really good story and one I would recommend to readers. I know some people are concerned about the age difference however it really didn't bother me. It had such a beautiful love story that I know readers will be able to look past the age difference and see the heart of the story. Great book!!

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