Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Keepsake by Sarina Bowen


Title: Keepsake (True North #3)
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Source: ARC from Publicist
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
There’s a first time for everything.

Lark Wainwright used to be fearless. Her life was a series of adventures, each one more exhilarating than the last. But her recent overseas adventure was one too many. Now she’s home and in one piece. Mostly. But her nights are filled with terror.

When her best friend offers her a stay at the orchard in exchange for help at the farmers’ markets, Lark jumps at the chance to spend fall in Vermont. But her nightmares don’t stop. Desperate to keep her fragile state a secret, she relies on the most soft-spoken resident of the Shipley Farm to soothe her when her dreams prove too much.

Zachariah is a survivor, too. It’s been four years since he was tossed aside by the polygamist cult where he grew up. He’s found a peaceful existence on the Shipley’s farm, picking apples and fixing machinery. But getting thrown away by your own people at nineteen leaves a mark on a guy. He doesn’t always know what to make of a world where movie quotes are the primary means of communication. Before hitchhiking to Vermont, he’d never watched TV or spoken on the phone.

Actually, there are a lot of things he’s never done.

Zach and Lark slowly grow to trust one another. One night they become even closer than they’d planned. But Lark may still be too broken to trust anyone. When she pushes Zach away, he will have to prove that he’s good for much more than farm labor. 
If you love romance and have yet to read any of Sarina Bowen's books, then you are seriously missing out. I have loved every one I've read and am always left begging for more. Her latest, Keepsake, was everything I hoped it would be and I loved reading every single page of it.

I absolutely LOVE getting to read a new Sarina Bowen book, especially when it's one I feel like I've been looking forward to reading for forever. Reading one of her books is like reconnecting with old friends after not having seen them for a while and feeling like no time at all has passed. And I love that feeling. So it really should come as no surprise that I loved reading Keepsake. In fact, I pretty much devoured it. Zach's story was one I had been curious about for such a long time and I was so happy to finally be able to read it. And the story completely lived up to my expectations. Lark and Zach's story wasn't always an easy one to read, especially when you find out everything's that happened to them to bring them to where they are today. But at the same time, their story gives you hope that no matter how horrible things are at one time, there is always a chance they will get better. that you'll meet someone that will help you leave that horrible past behind. That's very much what Zach and Lark were for each other and I loved seeing their unlikely relationship grow and develop. They might have been an unlikely match, but they just worked and somehow made sense. And I had full faith that they would make it through everything and come out stronger together on the other side. 

In the previous two True North books, Zach was always there in the background, quietly doing his thing. And because we only ever found out the bare minimum about him, I was beyond curious as to what his story was. I loved getting to know him in Keepsake. Even though it wasn't pleasant, I loved finding out about his past and seeing how that past still affected him today. And there were moments where my heart was breaking for him. Because Zach never deserved what happened to him, and despite his doubts, he deserved to be loved and he was worthy of it. And obviously I loved Zach, but that's pretty much a given at this point. Lark was the perfect balance to Zach's quiet nature. Even if she was putting up a front after everything that happened to her in South America. She was struggling so much with everything even though she didn't want to be struggling. I wanted so badly for Lark to find her way back to herself without too much pain, but at the same time the pain was necessary to get her to where she needed to be. It wasn't easy to read, but I loved reading it and seeing it all come together. 

Sarina Bowen's Keepsake was an absolutely beautiful story. Though it wasn't always easy to read, I loved every moment of it and would have happily kept reading about Lark and Zach. And the Shipley clan in general. Based on the ending of Keepsake, I may be getting my wish about that at some point...

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