Published by Rennie Road Books on July 12th 2016
Purchase links: Amazon, iTunes
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Source: Nina Bocci
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.
We received this book/audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the book or the content of our review.
Book Review: 4 stars
With her new “The True North Series”, Sarina Bowen created already two very real and beautiful books. Whereas the first book in the series “Bittersweet” was more detailed about all the things concerning apples, farming and cooking, the author concentrated on a whole other issue in this sequel: Addiction. We know the main character Jude from the first installment as the tattooed, dark and mysterious ex-con that the Shipley’s took in for working on their farm. But in “Steadfast”, we finally learn why Jude has been to jail at all and how his addiction to painkillers not only ruined his life, but the life of a lot of people close to him, too.
Bowen’s writing in “Bittersweet” was so vivid and realistic, that I seriously tasted the tangy apples on my tongue and smelled the fresh hay in the air. And whereas “Steadfast” was just as realistic, I honestly missed the passion the first book provided in spades. Truth be told, it is probably a thousand times easier to write about beautiful things in life like cider or apple-pies than to write about the cravings of someone struggling so much in life. She painted a very realistic picture about everything concerning addiction in her story, but the “extra” of the beautiful scenery and all I fell in love with in “Bittersweet” hasn’t been in “Steadfast”. It was – for me personally at least – ‘just’ a totally normal, very down to earth second chance romance about a bad-boy with a mallow heart and the good girl falling in love. Been there, done that. The best thing about this book for me was Jude. He was a character that was so adorable and admirable, that I wanted to hug him. The writing was amazing and the romance very tender. The angst-level was definitely higher than in “Bittersweet” but on a scale of 1 – 10, I’d say no higher than a 4.
I rate “Steadfast” with 4 stars and can recommend it – as well as book one, “Bittersweet”, in this amazing new series – to everyone who loves realistic and amazingly written romance novels.
Due to sexual content, reference to drug abuse and violence, I’d recommend readers 18+. And though you can read it as a standalone, I’d definitely advise to read “Bittersweet” first.
And now, I’m anxiously waiting for Zach’s book “Keepsake” – this will be more than interesting!!!