Thursday, August 7, 2014

Jane's Harmony by Ryan Winfield

The Basics:
Jane's Harmony by Ryan Winfield
Atria Books
Book 2 in Jane and Caleb's Story
Mainstream, Romance
Published August 5, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why I picked up this book:

Jane's Melody, the first book in the series, made me cry, and I couldn't resist coming back for a second dose.


Starting over is hard to do.

That’s what forty-year-old Jane McKinney learns when she quits her job, sells her home, and leaves Seattle behind to start a new life and pursue the man she loves in Austin. After the death of her daughter, Melody, Jane never thought she would find happiness again—until she met Caleb Cummings. Sensitive, loving, and mature beyond his years, Caleb is a handsome young musician struggling to make ends meet. But when his fortunes take an unexpected and drastic turn for the better, Jane is left wondering where exactly she fits in.

Can you ever leave the past behind? Jane must now decide if she really is willing to commit to a new beginning with Caleb—or if some wounds are just too deep to ever truly mend.

My thoughts:

Where Jane's Melody was about finding connections with others and the world and breaking a cycle of negative self-talk, I think Jane's Harmony is about embracing joy, living life as it comes and finding peace.

Jane's Melody was such a journey through heartache, I think that experiencing that with Jane and Caleb really made me appreciate and enjoy Jane's Harmony more. Truly, this book made me grin where the first had me weeping.

There's a security in the relationship between this older woman/younger man that I think we should all hope to be so blessed as to experience. Certainly they face some ups and downs, but after all the back and forth over the plausibility of the relationship in book one, I was relieved to see that both Jane and Caleb are embracing their happily ever after, as it were.

Now, there are definitely some snags along the way, but I think this book really was, for me, about what happens after 'the end' in a contemporary romance. Jane's not comfortable in the small, cheap apartment that they share, Caleb really wants to be able to provide. They both desire equality in their relationship, but they also both genuinely celebrate each other's successes. I really, really loved their relationship.

Also, Caleb is quite probably the best book boyfriend ever. His love for Jane, and all the sweet gestures are almost too much. The bar has been raised for all you future contemporary romance book boyfriends, consider yourselves warned!

This book did feel a little light after the heaviness of Jane's Melody. Without the grief and uncertainty that Jane was plagued with during the first book, I think this one reads as a much more positive and almost fluffy story. I do think it's a great lesson for modern couples in work ethic both for work and relationships. Jane and Caleb both put so much into expressing and indulging and celebrating their love.

Finally, title was far more clever than I anticipated. It earned an extra smile for me when I reached 'the end'.

Bottom line:

While I don't think Jane's Harmony emotionally resonated as strongly for me as Jane's Melody did, it was a very satisfying look at what happens next for Caleb and Jane. As a contemporary romance, it worked really well.

4 stars
For fans of Jane's Melody, contemporary romance, younger man romances, musician romances.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't realize this one was part of a series....thanks for sharing your thoughts; it does sound good.