Thursday, July 14, 2016

Steadfast (True North #2) by Sarina Bowen


She’s the only one who ever loved him—and the only one he can never have.
Jude lost everything one spring day when he crashed his car into an apple tree on the side of the road. A man is dead, and there's no way he can ever right that wrong. He’d steer clear of Colebury, Vermont forever if he could. But an ex-con in recovery for his drug addiction can’t find a job just anywhere.
For Sophie Haines, coming face to face with the man who broke her heart is gut-wrenching. Suddenly, he’s everywhere she turns. It’s hard not to stare at how much he’s changed. The bad boy who used to love her didn’t have big biceps and sun-kissed hair. And he’d never turn up volunteer in the church kitchen.
She knows it’s foolish to yearn for the man who returned all the heartsick letters she wrote him in prison. But the looks he sends her now speak volumes.
No one wants to see Sophie and Jude back together, least of all Sophie's police chief father. But it's a small town. And forbidden love is a law unto itself.

November, Colebury VT


The last time I drove through Colebury, Vermont, I sat behind the wheel of a 1972 Porsche 911 restored to mint condition, with a sweet new paint job in Aubergine.
Compare and contrast: three years later, I rattled down Main Street in a tattered 1996 Dodge Avenger I’d just bought for nine hundred bucks. The front fender was held together with duct tape.
None of that would have bothered me if the Avenger and I didn’t have so fucking much in common. We’d both ended up in the gutter, broken in body and spirit. The car’s muffler was shot. Exposed wires hanging out from under the dashboard were a perfect proxy for my jangled nerves. I was five months out of rehab and I still couldn’t sleep more than three hours in a row.
My arrogant teenage self would never have driven this heap, but that punk’s opinion didn’t matter anymore. I hated that guy. And while we’re marking all the contradictions, I should also add that the last time I drove through Colebury, Vermont, I was high as a kite on opiates.
Today I was stone cold sober. So at least I had that going for me.
In the minus column, I was now a convicted felon. I served thirty-six months for possession and vehicular manslaughter. I had very little money, and even fewer friends. The one lucky thing in my life — a live-saving job at an orchard in the next county — had just ended. It was November, and there were no more apples to pick or sell. So heading home was my only option.
There was, as usual, no traffic in Colebury. The little town where I grew up didn’t have a rush hour. It was more like a rush minute, and that hadn’t started yet...


 rated it 5*
Because I absolutely loved book one, I was eager to dive into book two, especially seeing as it was Jude's book. Let me tell you, I wasn't expecting this.

See, this story moved me because of the circumstances of how the events played out, of what happened. It has forbidden, nuh-uh, never-gonna-happen written all over it. I kept wondering what will happen, how will things be fixed. It took a turn I wasn't expecting, at all, but I so applaud Ms. Bowen for that because it made me love the story even more.

Be ready for a story that is not as light and funny as Bittersweet - though it does have its funny moments, what with the Shipleys having cameos. I sighed whenever Griffin popped up because he's an absolute favorite, that moody farmer.

Be ready for Ms. Bowen to take you through the struggle of an addict that is doing his damnedest to not give into temptation, no matter how hard it is, how challenging every day is for him. Every step of the way, the need to fall back on drugs is bigger and bigger but he finds a way to fight it. With the help of the girl that got away.

So, the conclusion of this review is that I loved this book so, so much and I highly recommend it! I got teary-eyed, I melted, swooned, chuckled and fell in love more with these characters. And I can't wait for more because surely every Shipley gets a happy ending! *nudge nudge* Ms. Bowen.

I want to thank the author from the bottom of my heart for the copy given in exchange for my honest review. A pleasure. 

Amy  rated it 4*
Steadfast is the perfect title to this book as it described so many facets of the plot line. Jude has returned to his hometown after finishing up at Shipley farms. He's worried about being back in an environment that lead to his addiction, but he's also leary of seeing Sophie.
 Sophie has never forgotten or gotten over Jude; she still loves him and thinks of him often. Even though they live in a small town, he's doing his best to avoid her, but they meet up by circumstance....and it's a bit awkward at first. I loved that Sophie saw the good in Jude all along and that she was willing to be his champion.
 I understand how Jude struggles with believing he's worthy of Sophie and at having a fulfilling life. I absolutely loved how the Shipley family wouldn't let Jude stray from his new family and it was great when he realized how important they had become to him. I think this was a good addition to the series and I'm excited to read Zach's story! 

Toni FGMAMTC rated it 4.5*

Steadfast is the perfect name for Jude’s book. He has to remain focused and moving forward in order to stay ahead of his drug addiction. It’s something that will always be there. 

Jude and Sophie were madly in love in high school. Her family and his bad decisions made it difficult for them to be together and eventually kept them apart for good. Now he’s back in town and both of their lives are going to be rocked again.

I admire Jude, not for making the mistakes he did, but for being able to change his life around, which truly isn’t as simple as it sounds. Sophie has the sweetest heart of almost any character I’ve read. I could not have put up with a portion of what she did from all the people she loves. Every scene with the Shipley’s made me smile. I love that family so much and definitely still want them to adopt me. This book made me angry in parts and teary in others. I smiled a lot and had aww that’s so sweet moments. The super sexy is definitely present. It also has a bit of twist and touch of thriller. 
Steadfast is a mix of romance, inspiration and a great blend of everything to bring out emotions. 

I'm really looking forward to Zach's book.

Buy the Book

About the Author

Sarina Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction. She lives in the wilds of Vermont.

She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college. Also, the The Gravity series.

With Elle Kennedy, Sarina is the author of HIM and US.

COMING IN 2016: Two New Series!

Stay tuned for a new Vermont contemporary romance series, True North, and hockey novels from Penguin Berkley including Rookie Move.

Sarina enjoys skiing, espresso drinks and the occasional margarita. She lives with her family, eight chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.

To be kept abreast of new releases, please feel free to sign up for the mailing list at

Or visit the her Facebook page, or tweet her @sarinabowen. 

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