Genre: women’s fiction
He got the second home and the Porsche. She got the kids and a broken heart. Now Jackie Laurens, post-divorce and heading toward the big 4-0, is on vacation in sunny Hawaii and facing her upcoming birthday – alone. But not for long. She’s soon falling for Kai, her gorgeous, much younger surf instructor, and their wild passionate fling becomes the biggest surprise of her life.
Back home in Seattle, Jackie has to struggle with single parenthood and her memories. Kai hasn’t forgotten her, yet thousands of miles of ocean and an age difference that feels even bigger lie between them. And, of course, Jackie’s friends disapprove. When a choice must be made, can she, will she risk everything for her chance at happiness?
I am not a big fan of woman’s fiction, but I met Jane Porter at LLC Berlin 2014, and so I wanted to read one of her books. I found this one second hand, and as I am around this age myself, I just had to read it.
I have to admit I did struggle with it some times, as Jackie is going through some severe depression and gets lots of critique from her friends. She is divorced, because her husband cheated on her, and they had grown apart. Jackie has two young children to take care of, the housework of course, and has her own career in decorating other people’s houses. She lives in Seattle. One of her best friends convinces her to go on a vacation, just the two of them, to celebrate Jackie’s 40th birthday. But when Jackie is waiting in the airport (the kids are with their father and his girlfriend), her friend calls that she can’t make it, as her husband is suddenly very ill. (The same husband who never wants her to do anything that does not involve him). And so Jackie goes to Hawaii alone.
At first she is at a loss what to do, making a schedule and sitting at the hotel’s swimming pool pretending to read a book. But a persistent man who thinks she will be a good fit to be his fourth wife drives her away. And the very attractive young surf instructor captures her attention ... When she keeps running into him, and he offers to teach her how to surf, to her own astonishment, she agrees. Jackie is very self conscious though, how can he admire her with her sagging body when all those young tight girls in itty bitty bikinis are throwing themselves at him? But there is just something between them, and they end up spending a lot of time together.
Back home in Seattle, Jackie can’t stop thinking of Kai, and when he calls her, she is determined to go back soon. Her friends disapprove, he was just a vacation fling, they live thousands of miles apart, and nothing can come of it. But Jackie is learning to do what she wants and needs, and not to be subjected to other people’s wishes and expectations of her. Her ex-husband of course finds out as well, and he ridicules her. But Jackie doesn’t care about that, there is a reason they are divorced.
And so Jackie lives her life in Seattle, and travels to Hawaii a few times. Until her daughter is in a car accident with the sitter she hired (against her ex-husband’s wishes) and she can’t get back soon enough. After that, she is so guild ridden, that she decides to give up on Kai. He will get over her soon enough ...
Jackie is a woman who lives mainly for her children. She has some good friends, who are all still married, and also live for their husband and children. She has a nice house, a nice car, and her own small business, her husband derogated all the time. Her little hobby. But Jackie wants more out of life, she wants to be happy. Her friends don’t understand that, they are content with their lives as they are.
The book is a lot about the feelings Jackie is having, she does love her kids to pieces, but she wants more. Eventually they will be grown up and living their own lives, and where will that leave her? She is reasonably pretty and has kept in good shape. When she hires a part-time nanny, that will give her more time for the job she enjoys, and land some new clients. But still.
Finding Kai in Hawaii changes her life, she starts questioning things she has always taken for granted. That you have to have things, a nice job, a nice house, a nice car, nice friends, and of course nice kids. Kai takes life easier; he came from a background like hers, so he knows what he has left behind. He loves the easy and relaxed life in Hawaii. He is a professional surfer in winter, and a surf instructor in summer. I like how he makes Jackie feel more confident about her self, and how he takes her all over the island. She is more to him than just a short fling, but Jackie doesn’t dare to believe in that, even though she has never had better sex in her life. She is very much hung up on the age difference, but I liked it.
Even though it sometimes felt like it took soooo long, and I got a bit tired of Jackie continuously questioning herself and her feelings and her thoughts, she grew a lot in this book, and I am proud that she choose herself, and happiness instead of settling for what she had. And I am sooo glad that the book has a happy ending, a truly good ending and one that I did not really see coming or expected. So I was happy when I closed the book, and it will make me read the other Jane Porter book I have, The Frog Prince.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian