Sunday, March 5, 2017

Always by Sarah Jio

What They Say......While enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiancĂ©, Ryan, at one of Seattle's chicest restaurants, Kailey Crane can't believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a writer for the Herald and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As they leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister. 

When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense—everything connected and felt right. But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what—and whom—she wants.

Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she's willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.

What I Say....Always was a very moving read, it just didn't move me in the right direction.  I loved The Violets of March, and ever since then, I always look for Jio's books, she really has a way with sucking you into the story.

Kailey is a big hearted reporter, who has been following a story on the homeless, and a business developers desire to displace them.  As passionate as Kailey is about the plight of the displaced, she feels like she can't always discuss her work with her fiancee since he is a business developer.  But Kailey and Ryan have forged a way to support each other's careers because they are so deeply in love with each other. 

Then one night, Kailey goes to give her leftovers to a homeless man, and sees that it is her old boyfriend, Cade.  

Kailey is shocked and stunned, Cade was the one that got away - literally.  He just disappeared ten years ago in the middle of their relationship.  Although Kailey is happily engaged, and has a fiancee without fault (except for overbearing parents - but they live far away), she decides to track down Cade and try to help him.

Cade doesn't remember Kailey, but is willing to take her help.  She gets him hooked up with a neuro institute to deal with his brain injury - he doesn't remember anything about his former life as a record company executive, or his former partners.  As Kailey helps Cade, Ryan tries to understand her need to be so involved with her ex-boyfriend.

The weird thing is that as Kailey goes into her flashbacks of her and Cade's life together, you see that their relationship wasn't on all that solid ground.  Cade was pretty close to being an alcoholic, was blowing off dates with her and had a budding drug problem.  His partner wanted to dump him because his addictions were interfering with his judgement and he was frequently not showing up for work.

But Kailey keeps getting more involved with Cade, neglecting her wedding planning, and lying to her fiancee, who is getting close to having enough.

Cade has a breakthrough and remembers his accident, his partner agrees to pay him the millions he is due, and Kailey and Cade will live happily ever after - Ryan, not so much.

I have to say, this story made me a little frustrated with Kailey - it's not like Cade was treating her well at the end, even before he went missing.  And Ryan has been nothing but loving and supportive, but she chooses to leave her happy life to risk it all again with Cade.  I'm not even thinking she shouldn't be with him because of the brain damage, the slow speech, etc., but because he wasn't that great the first time around!

It had a nice wrap up for Kailey and Cade, a not so nice one for Ryan, and all in all, I think Kailey is a romantic without any common sense.

Current Goodreads Rating 3.78

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