Author: Ryan Winfield
Publisher: Birch Paper Press
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
Genre: Adult Romance
Format: Kindle 454 kb | Paperback 336 pages
Buy this book on Amazon: Kindle Version | Paperback
Author's Website: http://www.ryanwinfield.com/
Author's Goodreads Profile: Ryan Winfield
Synopsis from Goodreads:
What boundaries would you cross for love?
That's the question a grieving mother must answer when she takes in her dead daughter's young boyfriend and finds herself falling for him. A touching love story that will have you equally tantalized and in tears, Jane's Melody follows a forty-year-old woman on a romantic journey of rediscovery after years of struggling alone.
Sometimes our greatest gifts come from our greatest pain. And now Jane must decide if it's too late for her to start over, or if true love really knows no age.
Jane's Melody is an adult romance novel and may not be suitable for younger readers due to sexual content.
So those of us who have been reading all of Ryan's books know that he has easily switched genres in the past year. Going from Contemporary Novel, to YA Dystopian and now to Adult Romance. I have to tell you that while I am anxious for the finale of The Park Service Trilogy, I really think that Ryan hit his niche with Jane's Melody. This book has pushed South of Bixby Bridge into 2nd place for me. Jane's Melody is definitely my new favorite Ryan Winfield book!
I knew from the minute I read the synopsis that I was going to enjoy this book. I rend to love books with any theme of "forbidden" love. What I especially liked about this book is that it's not just a love story. This is a story about life, about dealing with loss, about accepting that you don't always have control over the ones you love. It's about realizing that sometimes you just have to let go of everything and live your life the way you want or need to. It's a story about addiction and dealing with addicted family members. It's a story about friendship and the lengths you will go to for the ones you are closest to.
Jane is a single mother who has just lost her only child. It's not clear how she died, but Jane knows that it was related to her addiction. At only 20, Melody was in and out of treatment programs, but nothing that ever stuck. She was living on her own in Seattle when she died and no one really knows what happened. Jane is desperately trying to find out what happens when she comes across a young man singing in the street. It's the same young man she saw visiting Melody's grave just after she was buried. She just knows that if she can get him to talk to her maybe she can find out more about Melody's life and possibly what led to her death.
Caleb is a 24 year old musician who is, at the moment, down on his luck. He's crashing wherever he can every night, playing his guitar on the street during the day. Jane runs across him again at a particularly low point and she invites him to come work for her clearing off the land behind her house. He want's to get to Austin where he can try to break into the music scene and she has offered him a place to stay while he earns the money to get there.
I don't want to go too into detail from this point, but suffice it to say that their relationship goes into a place that Jane never expected. She learns things about herself and about her daughter that help her to move on to a better place in her life. She has a good friend, Grace, who she learns more about too as they spend a good amount of time together. This is just a beautiful love story, but it's unconventional enough that it makes you think about what you would do in her place. I know I would choose Caleb in a heartbeat! He is so mature for his age and I love that he knows what he wants and he's not afraid to go for it.
There is one thing about Ryan's books that I love and it's that they are always so emotional. This one made me laugh but it also made me cry. I felt so deeply for these characters and for what they were going through. It was a breath of fresh air to read a whole book where the characters were mature and they didn't fly off the handle for no reason, or jump to conclusions and do stupid spiteful things. I know that so many of the books I have read lately do this and at some point it's just refreshing to read a book where the characters just treat each other with respect and love.
I totally recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good, heartfelt romance read. It does have some pretty steamy love scenes in it, but this is an adult book so that's to be expected. I will say that I think they they were tastefully written, not that I expected any less. I know that I will be sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for Mr. Winfield to write another Romance novel, I think he really should give us more books like this one!