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Always
     

Always

4.2 15
by Sarah Jio
 

See All Formats & Editions

A gripping novel about the kind of love that never lets go, and the heart’s capacity to remember, from the New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter and The Violets of March

Enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiancé, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crain can’t

Overview

A gripping novel about the kind of love that never lets go, and the heart’s capacity to remember, from the New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter and The Violets of March

Enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiancé, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crain can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a journalist and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As she and Ryan 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.

Praise for Always

“A heartwarming story of personal growth and the power of nostalgia . . . Fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Emily Giffin should enjoy this warm and compassionate novel.”Booklist

Praise for Sarah Jio

Goodnight June

“Sarah Jio’s delightful and uplifting novel is guaranteed to melt even the toughest cynic and deserves a top rating of five stars (plus the moon).”Historical Novels Review

“A tribute to family and forgiveness.”Booklist

Morning Glory

“Jio explores the degree to which time and distance give comfort to those who have experienced loss [with] a depth of feeling in her writing.”Publishers Weekly

“Jio has become one of the most-read women in America.”Woman’s World

Blackberry Winter

“Compelling . . . an intoxicating blend of mystery, history, and romance.”Real Simple

“Ingenious . . . imaginative.”The Seattle Times 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/02/2017
Jio’s (Goodnight June) newest novel explores intersections of past and present and the complexities of love. Kailey Crane, a journalist at the Seattle Herald, is happily engaged and looking forward to her future when she has encounters a homeless man she recognizes as Cade, the man she once called the love of her life. Alternating between 2008 and a decade earlier, the narrative details Kailey’s relationship with Cade and her present life with her fiancé, Ryan. When Kailey realizes that Cade does not remember who he is or what happened to him, she embarks on a quest to help him find out. She must confront her own past as she tries to figure out what she really wants. The story is most compelling when exploring Kailey’s internal conflict, though her choice between the two men is made too easy. And though the mystery surrounding Cade ultimately seems underdeveloped, fans of Jio’s work will still find her signature emotional depth. (Feb.)
Library Journal
02/15/2017
Jio's latest (Morning Glory; Blackberry Winter) introduces readers to Kailey Crane, a writer for Seattle's Herald who is newly engaged to Ryan, a man of old family money. Kailey's life is perfect—studded with BMWs and Michael Kors bags—but when a dinner out with Ryan turns into a happenstance meeting with former love Cade McAllister, that perfect life begins to fall apart. Kailey hasn't seen Cade since he disappeared years ago, and now he's broken and homeless, unsure of who he is and who she is. Determined to bring him back into the life she's sure he would have had, Kailey tries to jump-start his memories. Ultimately, she must choose between Cade and the life she's created for herself. VERDICT This sentimental novel taps into fantasies of nursing men back to health through love, forgetting about the more complicated issues it stirs up along the way. This quick beach read will appeal to those seeking a clean romance as well as to fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Karen White. [See Prepub Alert, 8/22/16.]—Mara Dabrishus, Ursuline Coll. Lib., Pepper Pike, OH
Kirkus Reviews
2016-11-23
A woman's romantic life is turned upside down once when her first love disappears and again when he resurfaces, noticeably changed.Kailey is on the brink of marrying the perfect guy, but it's clear, despite protestations to herself and to the reader, that her heart's not in it. For one thing, she's writing a newspaper series in hopes of saving one of Seattle's homeless shelters and its neighborhood from development, and her fiance is in business with the developers. For another, she has never gotten over the love of her life, Cade, who disappeared years ago after their relationship deteriorated. Worlds collide immediately when Cade shows up, wild-eyed and homeless, begging outside the fancy restaurant where Kailey and her fiance have been dining. From there, the narrative splits. In the past, Kailey tells of falling for Cade when he steals her away from a setup date. They bond over being orphans and over their love for each other. Cade takes Kailey on trips and shows her around Seattle, moving through the music scene which, as a record label owner, he knows well. In the present, Kailey tracks down the homeless, changed Cade and eventually manages to get him enrolled in a clinic for patients with brain trauma. The origin of Cade's injury is a mystery that keeps the story moving—was it his old business partner, with whom he was always at odds?—but several ends are left loose. The greatest is that Kailey's past narrative portrays Cade as becoming increasingly unreliable, short-tempered, and alcohol-dependent, but these problems are not addressed in either timeline. Homelessness and brain trauma get a lot of lip service but seem primarily to be plot devices rather than examined issues. A well-intentioned but thin portrayal of love.
From the Publisher
Advance praise for Always

“A heartwarming story of personal growth and the power of nostalgia . . . Fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Emily Giffin should enjoy this warm and compassionate novel.”Booklist

Praise for Sarah Jio 

Goodnight June

“Sarah Jio’s delightful and uplifting novel is guaranteed to melt even the toughest cynic and deserves a top rating of five stars (plus the moon).”Historical Novels Review

“A tribute to family and forgiveness.”Booklist

Morning Glory

“Jio explores the degree to which time and distance give comfort to those who have experienced loss [with] a depth of feeling in her writing.”Publishers Weekly 

“Jio has become one of the most-read women in America.”Woman’s World

Blackberry Winter

“Compelling . . . an intoxicating blend of mystery, history, and romance.”Real Simple

“Ingenious . . . imaginative.”The Seattle Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101885024
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/07/2017
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
574
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

one

November 15, 2008

“Oh no, why do I always do that?” I say to my fiancé, Ryan, as we walk into the restaurant.

“Do what, baby?”

“Leave my purse in the car.”

We just valet-­parked, and as we look out the window Ryan’s white BMW is driving off. “I’ll go get it, my forgetful one,” he says, kissing my cheek. “You grab our table. I’ll be back in a sec.”

Four years ago, we had our first date at Le Marche, the French restaurant on Fourth Avenue with a waiting list five months out. Somehow Ryan was able to get us a table, just like he got us one tonight. My fiancé, it seems, can move mountains.

“I want you to have a perfect night,” he said when he surprised me with the reservation. He reached for my hand as if he never wanted to let go, the diamond, much larger than I wanted, sparkling on my ring finger. We’re getting married in July, at the Fairmont.

“Do you have a reservation?” the host asks as I check my coat.

“Yes,” I say. “Two. Under Winston.” It’s hard to believe, but in a matter of months I’ll be Mrs. Ryan Winston; that is, if I take Ryan’s name. He wants me to, and part of me does, as well. I mean, this is the Winston family, confidants of the Gateses and the Nordstroms. This is a family name one doesn’t eschew.

But I’ve always been Kailey Crain. KC, although no one has really called me that since, well, the sixth grade. Still, it’s hard to just let that go. I close my eyes tightly, then open them again, trying to banish a memory that’s fighting its way to the surface.

“Right this way,” the host says, leading me to an intimate table by the window. I peer through the glass, noticing the way the raindrops make the lights outside look like gemstones. Seattle may be an old gray lady, but she still sparkles under cloud cover. I tug nervously at the right sleeve of my dress, pulling it higher on my arm, the way I do when I’m mingling with the type of people Ryan grew up with. He isn’t a big fan of the tattoo on my shoulder, and I suppose I’m not either. Skin inked a decade prior is a glaring reminder of a past that didn’t become a future, of the dreams that evaporated into thin air. I couldn’t hold on to them, and yet the word toujours, French for “always,” remains branded on my skin. I rub my shoulder, wishing for a magic eraser.

I sit down, place my cellphone on the table, and watch as couples stroll by outside, hovering under hoods and shared umbrellas. A woman in her twenties clutches her boyfriend or husband, and they laugh as they precariously dodge a mud puddle. The scene transports me back to age twenty-­two, to the year Tracy and I moved to Seattle. Back then, we were wide-­eyed and idealistic. We believed in true love and happy endings.

Funny how things turn out.

I catch my reflection in the window. My shoulder-­length brown hair is showing signs of frizz, rendering the time I spent flat-­ironing my thick, naturally wavy locks a veritable waste of time. But what did it matter—­wasn’t Ryan always telling me he liked my natural curls? My green eyes? My nose dusted with freckles? I smile to myself. My life is full now, with my job at the Herald, making plans to remodel the Craftsman in Wallingford, the one I bought with . . . Ryan, of course.

I smile as he walks into the restaurant with my purse in hand.

“It’s a monsoon out there,” he says, handing me the black Michael Kors bag he bought me for Christmas last year, then smoothing his rain-­soaked hair. Handsome is the best word to describe him. Classically handsome. Tracy’s initial impression, whispered in the bathroom of a restaurant the night I first introduced them, was that he resembled a strapping Disney prince come to life. He did, and he does. Tall and toned with a thick head of dark hair: Give him a shield and white horse and Ryan is the spitting image of the cartoon prince who swept Cinderella off her feet. I’m lucky.

He reaches for my hand across the table. “I called earlier and made sure they had your favorite Bordeaux. Remember, our perfect night is just beginning.”

I grin as he pulls my hand to his lips.

“Every detail counts,” he says with a sweet smile.” You’ve seemed a little distracted, and I want to be there for you.”

I tug on my engagement ring and nod. He’s always been able to read me, perhaps better than I can read myself. “It’s been hell at work since I’ve added the business beat to my ongoing reporting on life in Seattle,” I reply. “I’ve been crunching to get that series about Pioneer Square written.”

The first of three pieces was published today. I’m certain Ryan has read it, but we’ve agreed to disagree on the areas where our professional interests diverge. He’s a smart man, sharp enough to know that his taking issue with my article would ruin the night before it has even begun.

He bends the rules by steering the conversation to other people’s opinions, people who are not present at this cozy table for two. “You know, a lot of my colleagues think they should dynamite that six-­block radius.”

I shake my head. “Is that you talking or your risk-­management team?”

“It’s difficult to ignore the fact that there isn’t much down there but addicts and vagrants. You can barely walk two feet without stepping in human excrement.”

“Well,” I say, weighing the satisfaction of making my case against Ryan’s romantic plans for the evening, “the people there need help, and the Hope Gospel Mission is the only organization doing anything about it. The way I see it, the vitality of a nonprofit is a crucial measure of neighborhood longevity. You can’t blame me for wanting to help them keep their doors open.”

The sommelier arrives and uncorks Ryan’s preselected bottle of red before pouring us each a glass.

“Honey,” Ryan says tenderly as I take a sip of my wine. “You have the biggest heart of anyone I know. How could I ever blame you? For anything?”

I think of the sensitive content of the series, how hard I have to work not to let emotion cloud the impartiality that being a good reporter demands. Earlier today, I spent the afternoon interviewing the mission’s director, a heavyset woman named Melissa. She looked into my eyes and practically begged me to protect the organization from the very developers Ryan works with—­builders hungry to throw up cheap apartment buildings, displacing the lifelines for hundreds of homeless people in the process.

True, Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood is a bit on the seedier side, and development could bring new life to its streets, but Ryan painted a grim picture of a place I loved so long ago and still do. Anyone with a heart for the down-­and-­out could see that the plan to overhaul the neighborhood would not only close the doors of the Hope Gospel Mission, it would entail demolishing thousands of low-­income units and two shelters. As such, property developers, many of whose financial outlooks Ryan manages, remained in gridlock with the city of Seattle.

“I guess I just like it the way it is,” I say. “The neighborhood has an old Seattle feel. It’s gritty, I know. But it’s real. And it’s home to so many people.”

“Didn’t you used to live down there?”

His question is one I would rather not answer, so I busy myself refolding the napkin in my lap.

“No,” I finally say. “But I used to know someone who did.”

I don’t tell him that over the years my curiosity about that someone has gotten the better of me, eaten at me like a cancer at times. I squeezed the marrow out of Google. Cade, it seemed, had not only left me but had possibly left the face of the earth. But that is all in the past.

Ryan raises a suspicious eyebrow. “And who is this someone?”

“No one,” I say, eager to change the subject. I’m as uninterested in speaking about my past love life as I am in hearing about his, especially the woman he dated before me: Vanessa, the Southern belle whose father and Ryan’s were blue-­blooded best friends and real-­estate moguls with connections on the East and West Coasts. She was a shoo-­in to be Mrs. Ryan Winston until I stumbled into his life and ruined their collective plans. Imagine the look on their faces: “Mom, Dad, this is Kailey. I love her. And she has a tattoo!”

When I tried to wrap my head around the situation early on in our relationship, Ryan was direct. “You know as well as I do that Vanessa and I were best suited as friends,” he said. “We grew up together.”

“And she’s still in love with you,” I replied without missing a beat.

Ryan shook his head. “No, she’s not.”

“Ryan,” I said. “I’m a woman. I saw the way she looked at you in West Virginia.” She had been with her family at the Greenbrier for the annual extravaganza Ryan and his family and friends have taken part in for generations. The men golf, and the women lunch. I survived the ordeal by conning a sympathetic waiter into spiking my sweet tea with bourbon.

Ghosts, as Tracy calls these youthful loves. We must not let them haunt.

I look over at my handsome fiancé as he straightens in his chair. Yes, we come from different places and see the world in different ways. He challenges me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But what informs our past stays there. Ryan is my present. I am grateful that our once-­separate paths have converged, brought us here together. Tonight. Forever. Always.

“I love you so much,” I whisper, sliding my arm across the white tablecloth to hold his hand.

“I love you, too,” he says with an intensity that I swear I can feel in my soul.

As he speaks, rain splatters the window. A full moon shines behind a tiny patch of clearing in the sky, trying desperately to emerge from its cloudy cloak. A supermoon, Tracy said. A physician with a quirky penchant for the mystical, she has talked nonstop about some astrological eclipse that is apparently taking place tonight. And though I have no interest in astrology, I secretly love her daily reports. Somehow I can stomach the woo-­woo when carefully curated and sifted by my best friend.

And now I wonder if Ryan’s edginess can be blamed on the metaphysical. The thought lingers as I take another sip of wine, silky and peppery at the same time. I hear the telltale crackle inside the glass and a memory surfaces. Like always, I tuck it away, far away, where it belongs. I’ve long since stopped feeling the ache in my heart that I lived with for so long.

I may not have had closure, but I have tasted wisdom. Anyone who has ever had their heart broken, or even just bruised, has learned that there’s finality in the facts. He left. And I’ve realized that when someone wants to leave, you let him go.

Ryan refills my wineglass and begins telling me about his day. He modestly recounts an incident when a coworker fell asleep during a meeting with the company president. Events could have turned dire, until Ryan surreptitiously set off his cellphone alarm, waking his sleeping colleague in the nick of time. My eyes crinkle with emotion at his kindness. My face melts into a smile.

“I’m happy,” I say unprompted. The words leap from my mouth, or maybe my heart. I can’t keep them in. “You make me so happy.”

“Me too, baby,” he says.

My cellphone buzzes, alerting me to a new voicemail, but rather than check it I tuck it into my purse.

Ryan winks and waves his hand to summon the waitress; she appears at our table a moment later. “Can I get a negroni?”

“Yes, sir,” she says, turning back to the bar.

We share the salmon and duck-­fat potatoes and an order of the prawns. “They’re a little spicy,” Ryan says, taking a bite, “don’t you think?”

Ryan has an adventurous palate, a necessity for the fiancé of a food enthusiast, and yet unlike me he doesn’t tolerate the taste of heat. I swear I nearly gave him a third-­degree burn on his tongue the first time I made him breakfast. The Tabasco I’d whisked in with the eggs for an added kick didn’t go over so well. Lesson learned.

“Want to order something else?” I suggest, but Ryan tells me he’s happy to watch me enjoy the food. We talk about the wedding. Our gazes drift off to separate corners of the restaurant during the occasional lull in conversation as each of us pauses in turn to consider a key detail that would never have occurred to the other. We’re a complementary pair. It’s comfortable and nice, the way life is with Ryan, the way it will be for a lifetime. I finish another glass of wine, drinking in the feeling of contentment.

Meet the Author

Sarah Jio is the #1 international, New York Times, and USA Today bestselling author of eight novels. She is also a longtime journalist who has contributed to Glamour, The New York Times, Redbook, Real Simple, O: The Oprah Magazine, Cooking Light, Woman’s Day, Marie Claire, Self, and many other outlets, including NPR’s Morning Edition, appearing as a commentator. Jio lives in Seattle with her three young boys.

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Always 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
KrisAnderson_TAR 5 days ago
Always is the latest novel by Sarah Jio. Kailey Crain is a journalist with the Herald in Seattle, Washington in 2008. Kailey and her fiancé, Ryan are leaving a restaurant when she spots a homeless man outside. Kailey walks over to give him her leftovers, and discovers it is Cade McAllister. Cade and Kailey were very much in love and she had just discovered she was pregnant when he disappeared. Kailey has not heard from him since early August of 1998. Cade had co-owned Element Records with his best friend, James. Cade’s Aunt Fay had lent them the money to start the company. But, the business relationship between Cade and James started to deteriorate rapidly when James wanted to take the company in a different direction. Kailey is shocked to find Cade in such a state. She slowly wins his trust and gets him to a doctor. It turns out that Cade suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury) which has left him in a state of confusion (has Swiss cheese memory). The doctor recommends a new program for Cade that will help him recover and get back the skills he has lost. Over time, he might regain his memory. Cade re-entering her life creates a dilemma for Kailey. She thought she had moved on from Cade, but seeing him has brought all the feelings back to the surface. Kailey, though, is also in love with Ryan. Kailey needs to make a choice. Which man has captured Kailey’s heart? I look forward to Sarah Jio’s new book every year. But I did find Always to be a disappointment. I found Always to be a cliché romance novel. It is nicely written and had a good pace (for the most part). The story is somewhat intriguing (especially in the beginning), but then it turns into a predictable romance novel. There are some interesting music references in the book based on Cade’s love of music. I did find the characters to be a little flat (one-dimensional). I give Always 3 out of 5 stars (there are readers who will enjoy it). It is easy to figure out what happened to Cade in 1998. I was a little disappointed that Ms. Jio finishes the book with unanswered questions. The reader never finds out how Cade survived the ten years on the street especially with his injuries. There are areas that will have you shouting at Kailey. Cade just enters the program and Kailey is the only person he knows. He counts on her to visit him. But, Kailey goes on a vacation to Cabo with Ryan. Is this the best time for a romantic trip to Mexico? Does she really think Cade will handle not seeing her? Another moment that was odd (and had me shaking my head with disbelief) is when Kailey finally tracks down Cade (not the first night she sees him outside the restaurant). Instead of taking him somewhere to get immediate assistance, she takes off to visit James. If you had been hunting for this man, would you just leave him again? Kailey had no idea if she would be able to locate him once again. I wish less time had been devoted to Kailey thinking about Cade (how he looked, his charm, etc.). It reminded me of the Harlequin romance novels I read as a teenager. Always was not up to Sarah Jio’s normal standards (like The Violets of March or Blackberry Winter). I will, of course, order Ms. Jio’s next book. Always could have been an off novel for her.
rachelcherise28 8 days ago
You will never go wrong with a book by Sarah Jio. I have enjoyed reading all her novels and this one, while written in a different style than her previous books, did not disappoint.
elbell 10 days ago
Cannot believe that this was written by Sarah Jio. This is very trite, predictable, and a bit boring. I slugged my way through it. What a waste of money.
Erani_Kole 12 days ago
Oh my God, this is an immediate five stars of a rating for this book. I can't even begin to wonder at the ratings that aren't fives, because this is one of the most emotional reads I've gotten through this year, if not the past couple of months. The writing was simple but so sweet, and the roller coaster of drama and feels was crazy. I went from finding it nice and easy, to complicated, to irritating at one point, and then suspenseful, and then I pretty much just cried the rest of the way. I thought I had the plot pinned down, but at some point, maybe a little more than half way through the book, I started to have doubts about who she'd end up with: the man she once loved or the one she was sure of. Lots of drama definitely had me frowning or crying or lying about just wondering what I'd do in certain situations (I've concluded that I'd just fall and cry) and like, damn. I've never read a book that dealt with homelessness before, so you can imagine how impacting it was for me as a new topic introduced into my life. It was really heartbreaking just thinking about someone I love out and alone like that for so many years. I tried not to concentrate on any of those things too much, and focus more on the love that life threw back at her, and even that was another heart-wrenching thing. How do you choose between the guy you used to dedicate your heart and soul to, and the guy that dedicated his own when you were at your lowest? Overall, I think this is a must read. The writing had me reading the whole thing in a matter of hours, if not less. I'm an urban fantasy reader. I don't do these kinds of books, but I took a chance, and I am so glad I did. I can't imagine finding another book that could impact me more than this did. I feel like you'd be missing out if you didn't give this a chance. *voluntarily and honestly reviewed the ARC I received from NetGalley*
aimlyss 14 days ago
Always by Sarah Jio is a very emotional book, the story will pull at your heartstrings. I can't imagine being put in Kailey's position. To lose the love of your life suddenly, without any warning, and then to find him many years later as a homeless man. How to deal with Cade while still being with her kind and caring future husband, Ryan, would be such a difficult situation to be in. It's amazing how understanding Ryan is of the increasingly more time Kailey spends helping Cade. I don't want to give anything away, but you'll feel for everyone involved, especially Kailey and the heart wrenching decisions she has to make regarding the rest of her life. I really enjoyed this book, it drew me in and I looked forward to reading it during all of my free moments.
chillandreadblog 14 days ago
Review can also be found in chillandreadblog.wordpress.com Kailey Crain is an accomplished journalist, writing for the Herald. A true humanitarian, a kind person, living in Seattle with her fiance Ryan. They are in the process of planning their wedding, which can be a really tense one, especially when at the same time the two of them are on a conflict of interest, because of the new development construction Ryan’s company is working on, and a shelter for people in need that Kailey supports. On the night the two of them are enjoying a romantic dinner, trying to keep away all that could possibly affect them, Kailey finds the long lost love of her life, living in the streets. A homeless thin person that does not even recognizes her. After that encounter, Kailey has the need to know what happened almost a decade ago, when Cade had suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth and her life eventually. “Always”, the new book from Sarah Jio, coming on February 7th, is definitely a page turner! It is one of the books that will make the reader want for more as the story evolves. She has done an excellent job on the characters. They are well structured, even a little in the fantasy sphere, as most readers would not expect to find a forgiving person or a giving one, or even great love is out of the question nowadays for many… However, they characters do stick to their form, revealing their greatness throughout the book. The themes expressed here are many and of much use for introspection. On one hand, there is the theme of one true love. The one that actually exists out there for all of us. Then there is what we would do for our true love. Would we sacrifice everything? Our current life is in order; would we threw all this away just to follow love again? Another theme is humanism. Our actions for the greater good, that of others, whether we know them or not. True selfless actions to help others in need. To support people who are less fortunate than us. You don’t have to be on a non profit organization wandering all over world in pursue of people in need, to be considered as a humanitarian. You can be socially engaged by helping people in your own town, in your own neighborhood. Not all homeless people asked for it. Sometimes events take an unexpected turn and the life you knew is not the life you live. So, as Sarah Jio shouts through here writing, don’t always judge by appearances! That’s a big and very useful lesson that we have many times be taught and many times have forgotten. Have an open mind and more importantly have an open heart! Thank you to NetGalley & Ballantine Books for an advance copy of this book.
Jarina 14 days ago
Always is the eighth novel by Washington author Sarah Jio. Set in her own backyard of Seattle, this novel is centered on Kailey Crane, a journalist with the Seattle Herald. Kailey has not had an easy life. Her parents were killed in an auto accident when Kailey was seven. She was then raised by loving grandparents but always felt as though something special was missing. That is until she met record producer Cade McAllister. Cade's background mirrored Kailey's, and their connection was immediate. From their first date on they seemed inseparable, that is until his company took a downturn and they had a fierce argument. Afterward, Cade vanished. After years of angsting, Kailey has finally moved on and is engaged to successful businessman Ryan Winston. All is moving along towards their wedding date until Kailey looks into the eyes of a homeless man to whom she is offering her restaurant leftovers and sees a blank stared Cade looking back. Kailey must find out what happened and how he ended up in this condition, but feels hesitant to tell Ryan her discovery. Kailey uses Ryan's business travel as the opportunity to make these discoveries, but what she inevitably discovers is that her heart belongs to more than one man. Sensitively written, we are privy to the history and struggles of the relationship between Kailey and Cade, the more mature relationship between Kailey and Ryan, and the aftermath when Kailey tries to help Cade regain his memories. With some surprising turns, the reader will root for each of the main players, but can they all find their happily ever after? I do recommend this book.
DiiMI 14 days ago
He was her first love, her soulmate and they shared what most people can only dream of and then he was gone. Just gone, no word, nothing and she was crushed. Ten years have passed and time has changed Kailey, she is now a successful journalist, engaged to a wealthy man who is kind, supportive and simply amazing. In the back of her mind and her heart, she has never gotten over Cade, so when she swears she saw him while out with Ryan, she knew she couldn’t rest until she knew for sure that the broken homeless man really could be her larger than life Cade. He is a mere shadow of his former self, gaunt, grimy and acting as if he were in a haze, no memory of who she is, let alone who he once was. Now Kailey must find out what happened a decade ago and who was responsible, all without letting Ryan know. When the horrors of the last time Cade was “Cade” come to life, the finger points at the one person who would benefit most from Cade’s millions. Is he guilty? ALWAYS by Sarah Jio is a tale of love, loss and remembering. It is a tale of choices, healing and soul deep commitment and the super-human strength of love at its very core. Told through flashbacks, the mystery of Cade’s disappearance and his loss of memory come to light as the modern day Cade also begins to remember who he was and who his heart belonged to. What of Ryan? Kailey is caught between two lovers, but when push comes to shove, her heart knows where she wants to be, no matter what. Soulful, dramatic, and sometimes difficult to read as this tale unfolds, it is a well-written romance that will leave one wondering, what if? I received a ARC edition from Balantine Books in exchange for my honest review.
bookluvr35SL 14 days ago
Kailey is having dinner with her fiance Ryan when she thinks she sees someone she used to know. It turns out it was the love of her life, Cade. Ten years ago they were planning for the future, and then he just disappeared. She spent years looking for him but never found so much as a trace. Now that he is back she has a huge choice to make...... continue on with her life with Ryan or rekindle what she had with Cade. This is a very good "feel good" book, and it is a quick read. Very enjoyable!
mkdmom 14 days ago
I was given an ARC of this book from Net Gallery for an honest review. Sarah Jio is one of my favorite writers and I was excited to be able to read and review this book. One of the things that Ms. Jio does when she writes a book is that she usually will tell two stories...one in the current day and one in the past. The stories she tells are usually about two different characters. In this book, the stories were both about the same character, telling her story in 2008 and in the 90's. I enjoyed this plot point very much. The 90's part of the story really gave a good glimpse into the Seattle scene, both musically and in the community. The story set in 2008 gave us a chance to see how she felt reliving her past. This was a great "what if" story...what if you found someone from your past again that you didn't have closure with? How would you handle your second chance? The book conveyed all the feelings the character had in finding her first love again in a situation she never thought possible. All the fear, love and conflict was expressed. My only qualm with this book is that there were several plot points that were left dangling. I don't know if this was intentional because the character of Cade had amnesia and since he didn't know his past, the reader couldn't know either or if this was just not caught in editing. I also would have like the book to have been fleshed out a little more...I would have liked to hear more about Kailey's story after Cade and more with her romance with Ryan.
Deb-Krenzer 15 days ago
I love Sarah Jio. Her books are always so good. I haven't read one that I didn't like and if you haven't read one, why not? In this one, Kailey's life is perfect. She's engaged to the perfect man, she has the perfect job, they have the perfect home and everything is going great. Then one night after a perfect dinner, she sees a homeless man. Kailey has the biggest heart and it goes out to this homeless man. She's carrying a doggy bag home, so she gives it to this man. When she truly looks at this man, she looks into his eyes, past his beard, long hair and dirty face and sees his eyes. She knows him. It's her ex-boyfriend. The one who broke her heart. The one who took her years to get over. The one who she thought she would be with forever. Homeless and he didn't even recognize her. Kailey can't stand it. She has to help him. This man once ran a multimillion dollar record company. Why is he in the streets? In the end Kailey must choose. Who will it be? I'm not sure if I agree with her choice, but this is a great read, very entertaining and enjoyable. As I had to find out what was going on with Cade and what had happened to him, and how, I couldn't put it down. Of course, being retired I had the luxury. Huge thanks to Random House - Ballantine for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 15 days ago
Thanks to the author, publisher, and netgalley for allowing me to read this book. If you are a true romantic, you NEED this book. Run, don't walk or job, to the nearest bookstore and pick it up! I raced through the title in less than a day, and I am still crying. Precise and well-written, with great throwbacks to the music scene in the 90s: you'll remember yourself listening from everything to the spice girls to Kurt Cobain, feet in doc martens and ear buds on your ears, feeling the music and the love. From Pike Place Market to Nordstrom, from studio apartments to mansions by the sea, you'll love these characters through a decade of their lives. You'll hope for them, you'll want to slap them, but mostly, you will want them to end up with their form of happily ever after. Sarah Jio's best book yet! (less)
bookbruin 15 days ago
Do you ever truly stop loving your first love? Will there always be a part of them in your heart that you keep forever no matter what happens? Always was an emotional novel, filled with equal parts heartbreak, joy, & hope. It follows the story of Kailey, who due to mysterious circumstances nearly a decade ago, lost the love of her life, Cade. After mourning that loss for years, she has finally opened herself up again to the possibility of happily ever after, & is engaged to be married to Ryan. She is happy & appears to have everything she has ever wanted both professionally & personally. All of this gets turned upside down, however, when Cade, resurfaces suddenly. The story is woven together by alternating between chapters in the past and the present. Though it is an effective way to tie our main characters together, I did find the timeline slightly confusing and did have to refer back to the beginning of the chapters to get the dates straight. I enjoyed many of the secondary characters as much as I did Kailey & Cade. Tracy & Jan are excellent friends to Kailey and support her immensely as she struggles to face her past and present. Tracy especially, wins the BFF award, for her unwavering honesty, even though it's not what Kailey wants to hear, but what she knows will make her best friend happiest in the end. I loved seeing the relationship between Kailey & Cade evolve and blossom. Yes, there is an instant chemistry, but they also connect on a genuinely deeper level. I had a smile on my face reading almost all of the chapters in the past. This, however, only made it more heartbreaking reading the chapters in the present. You mourn the relationship right along with Kailey and the mystery of what happened to Cade, kept me from being able to put this book down. I did feel that the resolution was abrupt & there are a few loose ends that don't quite line up. *** SPOILERS *** I thought for sure James or Alexis had some skeletons in their closet & I felt James' sudden change of heart and offering to help was out of character. His willingness to give Cade financially everything he was due was a little too convenient, though it did allow our characters to have their HEA. Another issue I had was what really happened to Cade? Was he attacked as he tried to walk away with his homeless friend, Ivan? Who checked/signed him out of the hospital? Was there truly no one who would look for him, especially in those early days? It doesn't seem possible that he could fall off the face of the earth so easily. Poor amazingly woderful Ryan. I felt so terrible for him throughout the book. He was beyond understanding and I felt Kailey really disrespected him by not telling him the truth about Cade from the start. Even though I was rooting for Cade, I still wanted Ryan to have some kind of happy ending too. I did not believe that Kailey truly loved Ryan, however, because he even commented several times that she had never opened herself up fully to him and that there were secrets she still kept buried. Kailey even suspected him of trying to hurt Cade, which is not something you would think about someone you claim to know and love. Always overall is fairly predictable and I had no doubt how the story was going to end, but this didn't diminish my enjoyment. It was an excellent & heartfelt second chance romance & left me feeling hopeful that there are things in life that can truly stay golden. *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book.*
Chris721 15 days ago
Kailey has a wonderful life. A loving fiancee Ryan and a fantastic job at the Herald. She is very happy. After having dinner dinner with her fiancee, she notices a homeless man and gives him her leftover food. As she looks into his eyes, she realizes he is her ex-boyfriend Cade who disappeared from her life years ago. She is so shocked! Kailey goes back to the restaurant the next day to find Cade and see what has happened to him in the last 10 years since he disappeared so suddenly from her life. Kailey helps Cade get the help he needs but keeps Cade from her fiancee. The story goes back and forth to present day to 10 years ago as we learn of Kailey's and Cade's love. As Cade becomes more of the man Kailey knows she needs to decide if she belongs with the love of her life or her fiancee. I really enjoyed this book. It is a story of love, lost love found again, and friendship. Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for allowing me to read and review this book.
mamalovestoread22 15 days ago
Kailey Crane has everything she could possibly want in life, she has a job she thoroughly enjoys, a beautiful home to come home to every night, and a handsome fiance waiting for her with open arms. But all of her good fortune hasn't came so easily, and ten years ago she pictured her future a little differently, and with another man. When Cade disappeared from her life she was left broken and alone, and struggled to pick up the pieces, but with time and some healing she found a new life path to follow. But the minute she starts to feel like everything is falling into place, her life takes an unexpected turn, one she never saw coming...a turn that has her looking into a very familiar pair of eyes and seeing the promise of a future she thought she lost ten years ago. Once again I am reveling in the effects from an exceptional literary escape provided by Ms. Jio, her stories are nothing short of amazing!! Each time I settle down to read one I am left moved beyond words and completely in awe of her talents. Kailey and Cade's story was inspiring, heart warming, deeply moving, and I am quite certain it will be lingering with me for a long while. I highly recommend this one, definitely one of the best reads I have discovered so far this year!! It is one of those reads that will seep into the recesses of your heart, churn your emotions, and leave you contemplating what if? I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this title.
MaureenST 15 days ago
From the beginning to the end, this one is a real page-turner; I had to know the out come, and could not guess. After the disappearance of her soul mate nine years ago, Kailey is now going on with her life and she has met and is engaged to Ryan, a man who loves her with his whole being, and would do anything for her. How did she get so lucky, and she knows this and loves the person that Ryan is. When a chance encounter with a homeless man, Kailey’s life is thrown into a spiral, she has found her Cade McAllister, but can she save him, and keep her life with Ryan? When she throws her whole support to saving Cade, doing everything she possibly can, will her relationship with Ryan survive? Try putting yourself in her shoes, and then in Ryan’s, and something has got to give, and yet will their love be strong enough. Who will you root for, and will you choose the right one? I received this book through Net Galley and Ballantine Books and was not required to give a positive review.