"Don't you let fear have a place in your life, J. not even a tiny place. Get rid of it from every hidden corner. Chase it away with the truth, and do what you want to do while you can..."This was, as expected, quite the melancholy read. Not quite the tearjerker, though, at least not until a certain part toward the end. The setting is rainy Seattle, and a little island off the coast, so even the weather fit the mood. MY SYNOPSIS:A quick recap...Jane has just lost her twenty year old daughter to addiction. In fact, the opening scene of the book is at Melody's funeral. As Jane tries to cope with her guilt...a mother's guilt that she couldn't save her only child...she scours the city, seeking a connection with her daughters last days. One rainy day, while sitting in her car outside the cemetery, she notices a young man placing something on Melody's grave. He leaves, and Jane follows. The young man is Caleb, a homeless musician with an old soul. Their meeting sparks more than a passing interest between the two, and something bright and shiny brings Jane out from her cloud of loneliness and depression. Suffice it to say, with the help of Caleb and Jane's best friend Grace, Jane begins to see life as something worth living. But her age and Caleb's youth threaten to be too much for her, and doubts plague this lonely woman. And Jane has to decide: can she grab at a chance at happiness, or is she too set in her ways to embrace the unexpected?MY THOUGHTS:The beginning was good. Very much a downer, of course, but it set the stage and really let me live inside Jane's lonely head for a bit. The woman literally roams the streets, chasing the ghost of her daughter, fighting her own demons and those of her past. Everyone in Jane's life has been an addict, and she's so tired of it all. This was one point that this author makes very well. For those of us that have ever had to sit and watch a loved one deal with addiction, this book hit the nail on the head. There comes a point at which you just simply can't care any more...there's not enough in you. And even so, you just can't NOT care, either. It's exhausting. "When she thought of her daughter rotting away in that box, she felt like screaming. She felt like screaming and hurting herself. But after so many years of worry, she had no voice left for grief . And she couldn't imagine feeling a worse sort of pain."When Caleb enters the picture, the sexual tension was a bit awkward for me...it was almost not there, especially from Caleb's end...I just didn't feel it. And then once the romance really stepped in, it just felt awkward. There were a couple of scenes that made me kind of giggle...as if this is what men think women want from their men..."She opened for him like a flower. He was gentle, so gentle that she hardly knew when he had entered her, and he moved inside her like a man conjuring love from secrets hidden in the rhythms of his heart. And as he moved, she moved, ans she watched his face in the blue shadows and he merged into an amalgamation of every love that had ever come to visit her in dreams. "Not trying to be rude, but gag...just too syrupy sweet, too Lord Byron for my taste. However, Ryan Winfield also goes on to give us this:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"I'm going to take you home and rip these clothes off and fuck the self-doubt out of you. That's what I'm going to do. "~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~And I say...YES, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!! That is how you reassure an insecure woman of how much you desire her mature body. You show her that she makes you lose control. So, I guess...take your pick. You've got the animalistic side of Caleb, and you've got the uber romantic side. I know which one I prefer.So the middle was a bit slow for me, but after about the sixty percent mark, a lot of things started happening. Not just the expected fallout, but some other major things happen in Jane's life that makes this just as much a live and learn story as a romance. It was actually a wonderful, beautiful nudge to those of us entering our middle aged years, particularly us women who value stability and looks over most anything else. What we SHOULD value is life itself. It's a precious gift, one that I know I take for granted every day. And Jane is forced to open her eyes, in more ways than one.I loved Caleb's character. He's a young guy, sure. But his hard life has not made him tout a pity party story. He's not after fame and riches either. He just wants to play music. Only, he detours that life dream to fall in love with a woman fifteen years older than him, and he doesn't bat an eye. I think I love him."You're beautiful,” he whispererd.“Tell me again.”“You're beautiful, you're beautiful, you're beautiful. "