*Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a signed copy of Juli Page Morgan’s Crimson & Clover, plus an eBook copy of Sister Golden Hair*
Summary: 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.
When we last saw Jane McKinney and Caleb Cummings they’d rediscovered each other at the end of Ryan Winfield’s Jane’s Melody. These May/October (maybe September) lovers had overcome their obstacles and moved in together in the up and coming music town of Austin, TX. Living what Caleb refers to as a “Bohemian” lifestyle (small apartment, little money, and love), they are both physically and emotionally distanced from the bubble that was their life on a small island off the coast of Washington state. Jane and Caleb must now face the reality of being in a committed relationship while learning what is necessary to fulfill their dreams.
Reviewing Jane’s Harmony is a bit like lassoing a toddler, there are so many outstanding elements that make up this story, that at times it’s difficult to pin down how to classify it.
Is it a romance? Absolutely. Jane and Caleb are two halves of one soul but still have obstacles to overcome before they reach their happily ever after.
Is it about music? Yes…and no. In a matter of fact way, definitely. Caleb is a talented musician and song writer. He longs to share his talent with others, but without the compromise that comes with success. This actually makes him a standout character in a genre filled with success driven, hard-rocking, alpha males. Caleb’s music is so personal that there are moments that it plays the role of antagonist in this story until Caleb learns that to fulfill his dream (and be the man he wants to be for Jane) he’ll have to reconcile his artistry with his success. That he does this without compromising who he is becomes one of the main plot points of this novel.
That this is also a tale of escaping the scars of addiction is never in doubt. The marks left on Jane’s heart: her abusive father, “dry” drunk, soulless mother, her daughter Melody, dead at 20 from an overdose, are never far from Jane’s mind. As the story progresses, it becomes obvious that this soulful pain is holding Jane back from finding true happiness—and keeping it.
So, what is Jane’s Harmony? By definition, harmony means: agreement; accord, consistent pleasing arrangement of parts. Any simultaneous combination of tones. So, Winfield tells us straight out in his title what his book is, it’s about finding harmony. Finding it within ourselves and with those we love. Once we’re harmonious, we can find peace, unity, and “a blending of simultaneous sounds.” *definitions taken from dictionary.com*
From an overall perspective, I found that Winfield writes in big, sweeping, sometimes philosophical, passages. At times he can be a tad long-winded and perhaps a bit cliché here and there, but he knows how to reach into your chest and yank out your heart, resulting in a bout of ugly crying that’ll leave you with an empty tissue box. Yet, the book does start slow. Jane’s search for a job is boring and takes up way too many precious words. Caleb is just too perfect—until he’s not and we finally get to see all of him. When he the TV show Singer-Songwriter Superstar we get a nice look into the world of reality TV and a variety of eclectic characters that make up the music business. This, along with outstanding dialogue and some unexpected turns makes Jane’s Harmony the full package.