“I love you, I have always loved you and… I will always love you. Sempre e per sempre.”
Ohhh I had so much anticipation going into this one!! After the brutal cliffhanger at the end of book one that had my heart in knots and my heart in my throat I just NEEDED more!
I will keep this review as spoiler-free as possible but if you read it, you will see some general details about the story – but no major plot twists or anything.
But, if you haven’t yet read book #1, you can read my review for that HERE.
We know from the blurb that this book takes place 10 years after the events of book #1 so there was the huge worry – what happened to them during those years apart? Why were they kept apart?? Literally just a million questions were pouring through my mind so off I went to find the answers.
Ten years later, Caroline has made it on her own in the world as a military journalist – she has basically made her dream come true. I was very happy for her but my heart was fluttering all over the cuz I neeeeeded to see Seb again! What happened to him? Where was he?? God, I MISSED him!!
We don’t have to wait for too long though because soon into the story, Caroline is sent on assignment to report and in walks Sebastian Hunter, US Marine… *dreamy sigh* my heart pretty much just leapt into my throat when he showed up.
He’d changed, life had hardened him and he was all grown up and badass. But yet at the same time, he was still just Seb and ohhhh my God, I swear I just wanted to hug him!!
I have to say that I really just felt all out bad for him. The poor guy was really just fucked over by life. If you think about it all from his perspective, he really, from the start of his life played all his cards right and yet just got continually screwed over by fate. I can see how that would have changed him. The poor guy. Really made my heart hurt for him.
It also made me happy to learn that he didn’t just spiral downward from the end of the last book – he waited for her but when the twists of fate kept them apart again, only then was it that he began to change.
I was relieved though that neither of them ever was in a committed relationship so, just like in the first book, there was thankfully no love triangle here. No cheating, nothing.
When they meet, he’s got 17 days before he deploys again and she has 2 weeks before her assignment so they decide to take the trip through Europe they always talked about.
I loved watching them reconnect. They were an interesting blend of functional and disfunctional. It was clear that their feeling for each other hadn’t changed but with so much history and missed opportunities, things were just not exactly the same.
“It was as if nothing’s changed, but everything’s changed.”
But despite the years of separation, they were still just Caro and Seb – meant for each other against all the odds of the world.
After all the “trauma” of the last book, I appreciated that the author gave them a fair bit of ‘together’ time to reconnect and just ‘be’ … you know? Without the huge constant angst that the last book had brought on by the intense fear of them being caught. This book definitely took its time to give them the swoony, happy, romantic time together that you just craved for them.
I have to say in many ways it felt like they had never been separated. Do any of you have the kind of best friend where you can not talk for ages but then suddenly send them a text and you’re instantly chatting as though you’d never been apart? Well Seb and Caro felt like that as a couple. They had their ups and downs, anger, hurt, love, loss, everything – but it never changed the way they felt about each other deep down. Not really.
But despite the swoon of first half of the book, things weren’t all rosy and it seemed that, as always, just when they almost had things under control, something worked against them to tear them apart.
“I really fucking hate this, Caro. We’re always running in different directions, we’re always running out of time. I just want to wake up with you in my arms every day.”
In the first book they were separated by age and the rules of society. But now, ten years later, their lives have taken them in dangerous directions that have the potential to tear them apart again. There were scenes where my heart ached – it just absolutely just plain HURT for them.
There is a bit of separation and there are some heart-stoppingly scary things that happen but these are the two main things that personally I need to know to get me “through” a book, so I’ll tell you in case it helps you too:
First and most importantly, there is a HAPPY ENDING to the series – they are happy, together, and free to live out the rest of their lives together. Okay?
Secondly, despite there being some separation in the book, it never lasts more than a few pages so, again, rest easy. And also, there is NO cheating in the entire series! This doesn’t count whatever they both did in their 10 years apart, but even then, if you read the story, it still to me was absolutely not cheating given the information they both had about each other.
There were a few things that bothered me a little but nothing major that stood out. Things like how, in some ways, it felt like Caroline was still treating him like a kid, and for whatever reason, I found myself almost wanting to skim a few of the sex scenes (shocking, right?? I’m still not entirely sure why), and a few other small niggling things, but really, I have very little in the way of complaints.
I actually cried in this book. I found that this book pulled stronger non-angsty emotions out of me than the last book did. There were some very swoony romantic moments, a few worrying ones, and one that just totally made my heart DROP (that’s the one that made me cry) but over all, I had to say I found it to be a calmer book because I wasn’t reading every single page in fear quite like the last one. I guess his age brought with it a certain relief, you could say.
Overall though, I can say that I really enjoyed these two books. There was swoon, angst, romance and heart ache. I connected with the characters, enjoyed the flow of the writing style and loved finally seeing Seb and Caro get the happily-ever-after that they deserved.
“I want to have a life with you, Caro, for the rest of my life… Just as long as we’re together. This time, forever.”
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includes both The Education of Sebastian + The Education of Caroline