By Sarah Jio

ISBN# 9781101885024

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

always-sarah-jioKailey Crain’s life is going perfectly.  She has a job she loves with the Seattle Herald and is engaged to a wonderful man, Ryan, who happens to come from money, which isn’t a big deal for Kailey, but they want for nothing.

However, Kailey’s first love, Cade, is never far from her mind.  She has always considered him the love of her life and that they were meant to be together; soulmates, if you believe in that kind of thing.  But Cade disappeared years ago, without even telling her goodbye.

So imagine Kailey’s surprise when she goes to help a homeless man outside of the ritzy restaurant Ryan has taken her to, only to discover that it’s Cade!  Cade is skin and bones, long-haired, his face covered in a long beard, dressed in rags, he doesn’t speak.  And, worst of all …. he doesn’t appear to recognize her!  Something terrible has happened to him that has left him in a state of confusion.  She has mourned him for so long, has he been living on the streets all that time?!?

Cade has nobody, not even his best friend will help, so it’s up to Kailey to help figure out what happened and to try to get him back on his feet.  But will helping Cade cost her a life with Ryan?

“You saved my life,” I mutter. “I … I don’t know what to say?” I swallow hard. “How can I thank you?”

“No thank-you necessary,” he says.

I search his moist eyes, and wipe away tears from mine. “I will always be indebted to you.”

“Better plan,” he says. “How about you just save my life someday, then we’ll be even?”

“I will,” I say, smiling through tears. “I will.”

Oh my goodness …. I loved this book!  I thought the synopsis looked good, but I saw it had some mediocre reviews online, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  It absolutely blew me away though!

This book does switch back and forth between their present, which was 2008, and the past.  This allows us to see how Cade and Kailey started out and gives us glimpses of their relationship throughout the two years they were together before Cade disappears.  I normally don’t like flashbacks, but when done the way it was in this book, it just works!  I absolutely loved Cade in those flashbacks.  It let the reader see how full of life, and vibrant Cade was, and of course how much Cade and Kailey loved each other.

“I know what this is,” he whispers, his voice faint above the music. I’ve known it from that first night I saw you at the show, but now there’s no doubt in my mind.”

My gaze is entwined with his. Our eyes are locked and the key is gone. My heart feels full in my chest, heavy but in a good way.

“It’s love,” he says, letting the words slip freely from his mouth. And when they do, they fill the air and multiply like musical notes in a cartoon.

“Love,” I say as the record crackles and skips.

“Love,” he whispers back, weaving his fingers in mine.

And when I set my head on his pillow, and our bodies become one, for the first time in my life I feel as if everything in this crazy, complicated world makes complete and utter sense.”

Cade’s vibrancy in those scenes were such a contrast to the shell of a man that Kailey found outside that restaurant though, which was enough to break my heart.  Also, in those flashbacks we got to see Cade’s love of music, all his stories about the legends before they were famous.  He could tell you where Kurt Cobain did his laundry and the very lamp post where Pearl Jam got their start.  As I said, he was just so full of life and quite the big deal in Seattle at the time, being president of his own record label he started with his friend, James, who in the present, was quite the jerk.

Ryan was a good guy too, but I just felt like he was fighting a losing battle during this book … how could he ever compete with the Cade of the past??

There was nothing I didn’t love about this book!  It was an emotional tearjerker, which I love!!  I honestly couldn’t tell you how many times I teared up, but it was several times ….  This novel is powerful, heartbreaking, and beautiful and I think it would make an amazing movie, if done in the right way.  I only wish this book had been a bit longer…. I wanted so badly to see the man Kailey ended up with’s reaction to her surprise!  It’s one of those books that you wish were going to be a series so you could see more of the characters you fell in love with!  Bravo Jio!  This was a job well done.  This was my first experience reading this author, but it won’t be my last!

And the whole time I was reading this book with Cade being homeless and how good he was to the homeless in the past made me think of the song What It’s Like by Everlast (Warning! Video is uncensored).

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*