Chance Encounters by J. Sterling – Book Summary & Ending

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*WARNING* This post contains spoilers for the below book — The ending to this book WILL be revealed below on this page! 

Please Note:  The purpose for this page is meant to refresh your memory on details of the book.

If you do NOT want to know the ending to this book, please return to the home page of this site. 

YA Book Caroline Weber was a normal girl who thought she had her life figured out. After graduating from college in New York, she moved to San Francisco with her boyfriend, Clay. Everything in her life felt perfect. There wasn’t anything she would change……until she met Jackson Parks.Is it possible that a chance meeting with a stranger can make you question EVERYTHING you thought you wanted? Caroline tries to carry on with her life as if nothing has changed…but the truth is, nothing can ever be the same.Chance Encounters is an emotional love story about trusting and following your heart, even when it’s leading you down a difficult path.Sometimes other hearts have to break in order to keep yours intact.   This YA book is appropriate for ages 15+

Main Characters:Caroline Weber the main female character; Clay Matthews – Caroline’s boyfriend and then fiance; Jackson Parks, farmer in New York and love interest that comes between Caroline and Clay; Tracey – Caroline’s friend from college that lives in New York; Bailey – Caroline’s longtime friend and they work together; Johnny – Caroline’s college friend that dies in an accident in the beginning of the book; Alex & Tommy are friends and roommates of Jackson (Tommy not a fan of Caroline because she had a boyfriend); Sally – the girl Jackson starting dating after Caroline got engaged to Clay; Gina – Clay’s co-worker, who in the Epilogue Clay ends up engaged to.  
Events: Caroline lives in California with her boyfriend Clay.  She receives a call from her friend Tracey, that lives in New York, that their college friend, Johnny, died in an accident.  Caroline then flies to New York, without Clay, to go to the funeral.  On her way flying home from the funeral she is seated next to Jackson, who is flying to California for a wedding…. then the sparks start flying between them.  This is where the “love-triangle” begins.  
Before they part their separate ways without realizing they did not exchange contact information, Clay and Jackson have the chance to meet briefly and are able to size each up.   
Days after meeting, both Caroline and Jackson are still unable to stop thinking about each other – but in that time, Jackson remembered that Caroline told him where she worked so he was able to contact her after all.  They meet up and have lunch before Jackson flies back home to New York.  Their sparks are still there and they decide they will stay in touch with each other.
They continue to contact each other through text and phone calls every day over several months.  Clay continues to work all the time, which gives Caroline perfect opportunity to continue to communicate with Jackson since Clay is never around.  During this time Clay and Caroline start to drift apart more and more (she even forgets to tell him about a promotion she got, because she told Jackson instead, and thought she told Clay).  Clay thinks Caroline’s distance is because of Johnny’s death, among other things and thinks he knows how to fix the problem and decides to take Caroline out for to dinner (supposedly for her birthday), but decides he is going to propose to Caroline.  
Side Note:  On Caroline’s birthday she receives flowers from Clay and also Jackson along with a heart shaped charm.  
Clay wines and dines Caroline for her birthday and she is surprised and conflicted about the proposal, but does care about Clay, who by the way is a very loyal and caring boyfriend, so she says yes because she can’t say no.
Obviously, this devastates Jackson and after some heartbreak on both of their parts, Jackson tells her he loves her but, for her not to call him anymore.   Jackson’s friends, Alex and Tommy try to help him over his broken heart.  Bailey is trying to help Caroline over hers and her confusion over what to do about Clay and Jackson.  Weeks pass and Caroline receives a letter from Jackson….he loves her…”two ships passing in the night, aware of one another, but unable to come together. The current –too strong, the waves–too high, the weather–too stormy. It it was only one of those things maybe we could have overcome it, but with all of them working against us at once, it was too difficult……”…I will always love you….  So Caroline reads it, has another breakdown because she loves Jackson but since she is marrying Clay, she does what he asks and does not contact him again.
Caroline and Clay are attending their engagement party thrown by their parents, at the same timing that Jackson is severely hurt in an accident with his horse on his farm.  At the engagement party Caroline receives a call from Alex, telling her that “he is not okay; we don’t know if he’s going to make it.”  She literally flies off to New York without any explanations to Clay or her family as to why she is leaving her own party. 
How book ended: The Epilogue wrapped everything up for Caroline and Jackson with a wedding being held at Jackson’s farm. 
Sex in Book:  
      Actual Description of Sex and/or Foreplay  N/A
      Touching of Anatomy  N/A
      Sex was implied but not described  
Violence/Gore  N/A
Torture/Death/Murder  N/A
Abuse of Child  N/A
   Sexually abused and/or rape  N/A
Abuse of Adult  N/A
   Rape  N/A
Death (Died naturally (not murdered)  x **
Drug Use (not including alcohol & smoking)  N/A
Underage drinking  N/A
Language – use of the “F” word  N/A
Reference to existence of Santa, Tooth Fairy, etc.:   (This is for younger reader books)  N/A
Special Notes: **There was only reference to friend dying and attending a funeral

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