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

While enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiance, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crane can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a writer for the Herald and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As they 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. (via Goodreads)

I received an eARC from the publisher, Ballantine Books, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I have also previously reviewed Sarah Jio’s Morning Glory, which can be found on Tumblr here.

I did not enjoy reading Always, which disappointed me greatly. I loved the first two books I read by Sarah Jio, and this one really fell short for me.

I didn’t care about any of the characters, even Cade’s life didn’t intrigue me. She kept saying she loved everyone, but I never felt any emotion from this book.

The mystery of what happened to Cade was really interesting, but it felt like Jio was trying to do too many things, without enough pages. She was trying to show that Kailey was a great journalist, while also being everything to everyone in her life – a great cook, Cade’s savior, Ryan’s perfect fiancé and an investigator into Cade’s issues. It was way too much for one book, and it never came together.

I think that I would have loved this if it had just been the mystery of trying to figure out what happened to Cade, or reconnecting with Cade and dealing with losing her relationship with Ryan. It just never really worked for me.

This releases tomorrow, and I hope it’s more your cup of tea than mine. This is a two star read for me.

Sarah Jio is the New York Times bestselling author of THE VIOLETS OF MARCH, THE BUNGALOW, BLACKBERRY WINTER, THE LAST CAMELLIA, MORNING GLORY, GOODNIGHT JUNE, THE LOOK OF LOVE–all from Penguin (Plume), and ALWAYS, forthcoming on February 7, 2017 from Random House (Ballantine). Sarah is also a journalist who has contributed to The New York Times, Glamour, O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, SELF, Real Simple, Fitness, Marie Claire, and many others. She has appeared as a commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition. Her novels are translated into more than 25 languages. Sarah lives in Seattle with her three young boys.

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