Review – The Education of Caroline

The Education of Sebastian/ The Education of Caroline

by: Jane Harvey-Berrick

Published  November 12th 2012/ February 7, 2013

Rating: 4.5/5

“You…you’re only seventeen?”

Dude Cover

Book 1

Synopsis: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, realizes that dark passions exist below the serene surface.

Book 2

Book 2

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

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

“I want you, Caro. I want to make love to you. I want to make love to you forever.”

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My thoughts:

Okay so with book 1, Sebastian’s Education. I don’t know about you guys but the beginning made me feel somewhat uncomfortable. I was imagining the powers above  letting out a bolt of lighting and  getting struck in the middle of my forehead while reading this one. Think Harry Potter! It wasn’t really the age difference ( 13 years) that bothered me but the fact that he was 17. There are laws for a reason people. Not only that, this was a kid that she knew when he was eight. For me, that would have been hard to get over.  After a couple of chapters, I got used to the idea thinking Sebastian was mature for his age. Having to basically raise himself since his parents were more of  a egg-sperm donor type. Still some of his words and thoughts were adolescent to me.

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“I haven’t changed how I feel. I still love you – I’ve always loved you. It’s only ever been you.”

So about the characters, I thought that Caroline was weak in book 1. First, because she wasn’t able to standup for herself against her  rude ass husband David. Second, because she lacked the conviction of holding out for 4 months.  If I was in her shoes I would have doubts about Sebastian, never experiencing affection, being that young and infatuated…I would expect him treating me like a mommy replacement.

I loved her in the 2nd book. She finally left her husband knowing how difficult that road would be, she was determined to succeed in putting herself through school and achieving success in her career without any monetary help from her ex (who should have paid up). She grew and matured and became outgoing despite all the shit she had to deal with. And was courageous and fearless for taking risky assignments  in war zones. Loved her in book 2!

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Now onto Sebastian, his character in book 1 was okay. I was impressed that he remained sweet, caring and thoughtful despite his home life. He never rebelled and maintained healthy relationships with his friends and also finished high school education.  On the other hand , I think that he shouldn’t have put Caroline though all that. He should have avoided a sexual relationship as much as she should have. If he really loved her why would he put her  in a situation where she could’ve faced imprisonment?

In book 2, jeez he was smoking… what a manwhore. I guess everyone has their means of coping with heartbreak… become an alcoholic and sleep with the whole female population! Again, despite his past he too became successful in his career. Became a respectable marine. I was really proud of him! I’m glad that he remained passionate and romantic when they reconciled. I love how they reconnected, how they were able to make their plan trip throughout Europe. So romantic!

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Ten years ago he’d said these words to me, told me that he loved me. I’d believed they were the words of a lonely, infatuated boy: real, but not lasting. Now the same man was standingbefore me, saying that he’d loved me all  this time – and that it was real. He didn’t care that I was older than him; he didn’t care that I was ridden with insecurities; and he’d forgiven me for doubting him.”

So about this relationship, of course it should have never had happened. If  they just could have waited for 4 months then there wouldn’t have been an issue. I blame all this on Caroline, she was the adult after all. That being said, the question is would this story have worked if they weren’t in this situation? What if he was 18 and she was older? It could have worked but it would not have been as monumental.

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Book 2 was obviously better for so many reasons. The age thing was no longer a factor. The way they reconciled was perfectly paced. The inside peek into the tactical part of the military was also interesting.  Only a couple of things that I would have changed. (I’m not a writer).  The book cover for one. Feel like I’ve seen this picture on other indie books. Hope it gets updated.

Another thing was the ten-year  span.  That seems like a LONG time to me. I think a 5-7 years would’ve been sufficient. Think about allllllll that lost time. Also the word “CHIEF” was over used in my opinion, it was a little annoying.  And was it really necessary for him to become disabled in the end? SUcks! Haven’t they been through enough?!

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” 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.”

All in all, I loved it. Despite the awkwardness of the age thing.  The story would not have unfolded like it did and that’s what makes the story acceptable. I know I’ve had some reservations on stories where minors were involved ( Nets and Lies ) but after reading the second book I think it was justifiable.

∞ ∞ ∞

My Casting picks:

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For Caroline I wanted to choose someone older obviously and had somewhat of an italian heritage. So I picked Allysa Milano. Love her!

LIAM HEMSWORTH

For Sebastian, was thinking about Liam Hemsworth. Check out this beach bod!

I honestly wish there was another book… a novella… or even a spin-off. I would have loved to see how Caro and Sebastian ended up. If they ended up having kids which is a long stretch coz of her age. I wanted to know how Sebastian is dealing with his injuries. And if he decided to go back to school and jump into a new career. And what did Caroline decide to do with her inheritance and also her writing. Maybe a story about David? Or one of her best friends falling in love with a military friend of Sebastian?

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