Thursday, 12 November 2015

Review - Semper Fi by Jane Harvey-Berrick

Title: Semper Fi
Series: The Education of… #3
Author: Jane Harvey-Berrick
Release Date: November 10, 2015

Ten years ago US Marine Sebastian Hunter was a teenager in love with a married woman—a woman who broke his heart. 

Kicking his heels in a desk job in Geneva, he’s given the chance to get back to the action. Life just might be worth living again … until he meets the woman who broke him 10 years earlier. 

Now she’s back, but he’ll do anything to keep her at arm’s length. Temptation doesn’t come much stronger, but he’d be a fool to fall for her again… 

Caroline Venzi is a successful journalist, preparing to head out to report from the front lines of the war in Afghanistan. Love is the last thing on her mind when she crosses paths with Marine Sebastian Hunter. 

Will this chance encounter reignite the erotic passion of their past? 

* * * * * 

This story is a re-telling of the best-selling contemporary romance 'The Education of Caroline', now told from US Marine Sebastian Hunter’s point of view. 

Profits of this book support the military charities Felix Fund (UK) and EOD Warrior Foundation (USA) 

* * * * *

I'm not usually drawn to alternate point of view stories. However, I loved The Education of Caroline (the original telling of this story) so much, and found it so richly layered that I wanted to see the layers from the other side. Sebastian has such a wildly emotional, intense journey I knew that I needed to read his story and experience the book through his eyes. I wasn’t disappointed. 

If you haven't read The Education of Sebastian and The Education of Caroline first, you should. You'll for sure want to read The Education of Sebastian before starting Semper Fi as it provides important backstory, and an understanding of the history and intensity of Sebastian and Caro’s feelings. 

Semper Fi follows the same timeline as The Education of Caroline. Thus, after a torrid and intense love affair ended with a devastating blow, Sebastian and Caroline have spent ten years apart before being unexpectedly reunited. A lifetime has passed since they last saw each other, and the time apart changed each of them in such profound ways that they are now essentially strangers. That is, strangers who still feel a connection to each other, a deep pull toward one another. Even after all the years and miles and emotional devastation that separated them, once they are reunited, there is no turning back. 

This is the story of Sebastian and Caro’s journey back to each other, and of their fierce love that never lets go. No time, no distance, no career assignments or any other curveball that life throws at them (and there are many) can keep them apart. Their reunion is slow, and agonizing—but also intense, beautiful, scorching, and heartbreaking, and so incredibly emotional, I don't even know what to do with these feels. 

The most emotionally charged pieces of this book revolve around Sebastian's experiences as a Marine. Jane Harvey-Berrick put us right inside his head and we experienced everything with him—the good, the bad, the lusty, the breathlessly romantic, and the ugly. It felt authentic and left me feeling a little bruised and weary—and I loved every moment of it. It's fitting, then, that profits of this book support the military charities, Felix Fund (UK) and EOD Warrior Foundation (USA). It's the most beautiful, touching, and appropriate epilogue that Ms. Harvey-Berrick could ever have given this book. 
~ Review by Shelly

I lived in London for over 10 years and have a love affair with New York. It's only since I have moved to the countryside, that the words have really begun to flow.

I live in a small village by the ocean and walk my little dog, Pip, every day. It’s on those beachside walks that I have all my best ideas.

Writing has become a way of life – and one that I love to share.

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