Jason Grant is fifteen years old and about to be placed in his 24th foster home. He has been in foster care since he was a young kid, but no matter what, it never works out. Even the good families who actually care about him aren’t a good fit, because what Jason really wants is to be back in his old life with his real home. So good or bad, Jason has found a way to sabotage pretty much every placement he has had. This time, though, he is willing to give it more of a try, if only to please his caring case worker Michelle.
Life with the Hubbards isn’t too bad, and they have several adopted kids so that is a hopeful sign. And once Jason gets to know their gorgeous older son, Caesar, he is even less interested in leaving. Especially when he and Caesar begin to fall for one other. Jason is finally feeling love for the first time since he started foster care, and even if the Hubbards aren’t perfect, maybe this time things will finally work out.
But it is not meant to be, and once again Jason finds himself on his own. This time he is done with foster care, and at age 16 moves on to working full time and trying to start the rest of his life. Two years later, however, Jason is floundering and still without a support system. Fortunately, with Michelle’s help, Jason finds a caring couple who are willing to open their home up to him while he finds his footing. And with that move, Jason begins to take the first steps to finding love, a family, and a life surround by people who truly care about him.
Something Like Spring is the fourth book in Jay Bell’s amazing Seasons series and it is just the perfect ending to that wonderful series. I’ll admit I was kind of unsure about this last book before starting it. The first three books in the series follow the same basic story, each told in the POV of one of the main characters. In Spring, we have a different main character in Jason and, for the first time, a totally unique plot. I worried that this story would feel like sort of an add on to the others. But instead, I was thrilled to see how nicely this story rounds off other other three, bringing us back together with characters from the other books and tying things together just beautifully.
Jason has always been lonely, but yet fiercely independent. He makes sure that he gets out before people get rid of him, and he has spent years never quite fitting in. Part 1 of the book covers the time when Jason is living with the Hubbards, and we get a great sense of what Jason’s life has been like. There is a glimmer of hope in there of finding love and a family, but it is buried under so much fear and low expectations. Life with the Hubbards has both its ups and downs, but it does bring Jason love for the first time with their son Caesar. Bell so beautifully captures that feeling of young love, that desperation and all consuming feeling. Even as things fall apart for Jason, we can see how he has changed from the experience of really knowing love for the first time.
The story then picks up about two years later as Jason is trying to make it on his own, but he desperately needs help. And in comes none other than Benjamin Bentley and Tim Wyman, who open up their hearts and their home and make Jason part of their family. Oh, let me just tell you how wonderful it is to see them again! This part of the book is about two years after the men got back together, so it takes us past the time frame of the other three books and we really get a chance to see Ben and Tim actually together and living their lives. They are the perfect mentors for Jason, providing guidance and support as he navigates through life and loves. Bell does a really nice job here creating some parallels between Ben and Tim’s past and what Jason is going through. I particularly liked how they explored the issues of first love, and we see Tim reflect on his past. We can see how much he regrets the years he spent apart from Ben, but he also notes that he would never have grown and changed if that hadn’t been separated. So it is a really lovely fusing of Jason’s life with Ben and Tim’s experiences.
As I said, this story really brings together so much of the past books in a really wonderful way. In addition to the incorporation of Ben and Tim and their past, we reconnect with Jace’s sister Michelle (Jason’s caseworker), along with her husband Greg. We also meet their oldest daughter Emma, who becomes a good friend to Jason. Along the way we also get cameos from Marcello, Allison, Tim’s grandma (still adorable), and even Jace’s old boyfriend Adrien makes an appearance. They are all a small part in helping Jason find his place in the world, of seeing him finally find love and build a family and be part of something. It just rounds out the story and it is so nice to see all these people we have grown to love now share that love with Jason.
You may have noticed I am being kind of vague about the romance end of things, and that is because this story is really a journey for Jason in the love department and things are not settled for a long time. I will admit did wish things came together a bit sooner. This is a very long book and while I loved it all, I didn’t feel like we got very much time with Jason and his ultimate partner. It was more than 90% of the way through the book before we even know who Jason will end up with and by that point we don’t have much time to see them really together (especially because there is a fabulous Epilogue that takes up quite a bit of the remaining story). So I think the pacing could have been a bit better here, but overall I was happy with how things ended up.
So Something Like Spring was really the perfect ending to this fabulous series. Bell does a wonderful job branching out a bit into a new character, while still making it all feel like home. I loved Jason and was so thrilled to see him finally find a home and a family. And of course, I adored spending time with Tim and Ben and the rest of the gang again. So I can recommend this story highly, along with the series as a whole, and finished it feeling happy and content.
P.S. The Seasons series is over but Bell has started the Storms series that is connected to this one (and one of the side characters is the MC for the first book, Something Like Lightening). So for those of you who, like me, are sad to see this story end, there is still more to come in this world.