4 July 2013

Book Review: Always You by Erin Kaye

"It’s 1992 and Sarah is in love with Cahal, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. As they plan to graduate from university, all seems set for their happily ever after…

Fast forward to 2012 and something’s gone wrong. Cahal is out of the picture and Sarah is divorced from Ian by whom she’s had two children. What happened? As Cahal walks back into Sarah’s life, can they overcome past decisions and surrounding prejudice and make it work a second time around?"

Rating: 4/5

You can buy Always You as a paperback or an eBook now.

This is the first novel by Erin Kaye that I have read. I have to be honest and say I was tempted to read it by the cover, purple is my favourite colour and it was so pretty and inviting, I couldn't resist giving it a go. I have read good reviews of Erin's work on sites like Amazon and other book blogs, so I was hopeful that she would become an author that I'd really want to read as I seem to love a lot of Irish authors' writing. Luckily for me, Erin Kaye didn't let me down, and I have to say I really enjoyed Always You and I'm so pleased I decided to give it a try.

Young and in love, Sarah and Cahal are sure that their relationship is going to last forever. However, there's a few obstacles in their way. Sarah's from a well-to-do family, and Cahal is from the other side of the tracks, so when her father finds out, he immediately tells Sarah she is to end their relationship. Move on a few years to the present day, and Sarah is now divorced from Ian, the father of her two children, and Cahal is suddenly back in her life from halfway across the world. When the pair meet entirely by chance, Sarah recognises a spark, and wonders if her feelings for Cahal have ever really gone away. Will Cahal and Sarah be able to make a go of it once more?

The book begins with Sarah and Cahal as teenagers, enjoying their relationship but already showing a slight division, as Sarah is reluctant to tell her family about their relationship. Quickly though, we move to the present day where Sarah is living as a single mum, working hard and juggling her home commitments, as well as her somewhat awkward relationship with her ex husband Ian, and his sick mother, a part of the book which I felt was very emotional and so very well written. The way the broken family blends together in times of sadness was very touching, and I have to admit to shedding a tear or two at some of the times, Kaye certainly writes them with real heart and feeling behind them. Sarah herself was very likeable, and although you get the impression she married her husband for the wrong reasons, she is doing the best she can by him and her children, despite his obvious desires.

Cahal was a fantastic male lead, and you can understand why Sarah loves him! He's the bad boy gone good, and it is quite heart-breaking to read the scenes with Cahal's parents, and you can see why he has a need to be so close to his own family, and his feeling of being torn between those he loves. The love story between them was wonderful to read, it's very much a Romeo and Juliet type story, and as the twists and turns are revealed towards the end of the book, I have to say I was shocked, hadn't seen it coming at all but was praying for a happy ending for everyone. I have to say, actually, that all of the relationships in the book are really wonderful to read, from Sarah and her ex-mother-in-law, to Sarah and her sister, and even Ian and his mother, and Cahal and his children, they're all positive and realistic relationships that were a joy to read about.

I'm so pleased I decided to read Always You because it was an utterly brilliant read that I will certainly be recommending to anyone who loves a proper love story. The characters within a likeable, all keen to do the right thing by those they love yet battling with intense feelings, about many different things. I was kept guessing all the way about Sarah's dad's dislike for Cahal, and Erin Kaye really kept that under wraps, I thought it was very cleverly done in the book. Her writing style was incredibly easy to read, and I was able to dip in and out of the book when I could, and simply pick up the story where I left off. This book definitely makes me want to read more books by Erin Kaye, I certainly really enjoyed this book, and it left me with a lovely warm feeling inside. A fabulous read.

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