Thursday, July 14, 2016

Steadfast by Sarina Bowen

Title: Steadfast (True North #2)
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Source: ARC from Publicist
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Kobo
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 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.

If you haven’t yet read anything by Sarina Bowen, do yourself a favour and go pick up one of her books as soon as possible. With every one of her books that I read, I just become more and more convinced that she can do no wrong. And Steadfast, her latest release, might just be her best yet.

A few weeks ago I completely devoured Sarina Bowen’s Bittersweet and as much as I loved Griffin and Audrey, Jude is who stayed with me. So I was beyond excited to get to read his story in Steadfast, even though I knew it had the potential to be the kind of story that breaks me. And it definitely broken me, but in the best way possible. Jude and Sophie’s story was just an incredibly touching one, even if they didn’t have the easiest of times making their relationship work To say there was a lot standing in their way would be quite the understatement because at times it felt like everything and everyone was against them. But they made it through and their story often had me in tears. But it was okay though, because despite the need for tissues while reading, I finished the book with a big smile on my face. Because as much as Steadfast broke my heart, it also put it back together. And stories that do that are my absolute favourite. Not only that, but through all the heartbreak and pain, Sarina Bowen injected an element of hope in the story that left me believing that no matter how bad things are, there’s always a little bit of hope, especially if you’re willing to fight for that hope. 

I was craving Jude’s story from the moment I first met him in Bittersweet. There was just something about him that spoke to me and I wanted to hear his story no matter how heartbreaking and difficult to read it would be. And while reading that story, I felt completely in love with Jude. In fact, I don’t think it would have been possible for me to not fall in love with him. Jude had definitely made some poor decisions in the past but he was working so hard to not repeat his mistakes and move on with his life. He struggled and his struggle broke my heart. But I also wanted him to catch a break, to finally have something go his way. And that something came in the form of Sophie, even if both of them were trying to resist falling back in love (did they ever really stop loving each other, though?) with each other. And I loved Sophie just as much as I loved Jude. Though she wasn’t struggling with addiction the way Jude was, Sophie had her own set of struggles and it seemed like at times she had no one in her corner. Except for Jude, even if he didn’t think he was good enough for her. And I know I’ve already said it, but Jude and Sophie just worked together and I don’t think I’ve ever rooted for a couple more than I rooted for them.

Sarina Bowen’s Steadfast was a beautiful and heartbreaking story and I loved every single moment of it. I am completely hooked on her True North series and I can’t wait to read the next book, Keepsake. And I’m pretty much dying to know who will be joining Zach in that story. 

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