Series: True North #2
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: July 12, 2016
Format: eARC, 313 pages
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
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.
I’ve been struggling for days to figure out what exactly I can say about this book to do it the justice it deserves. I come up short every time. Steadfast was about redemption and second chances. It made me swoon and gave me feels for days. It was completely different than Bittersweet, the first book in the series, but I loved it every bit as much.
I was intrigued by Jude in Bittersweet. I wasn’t sure how soon we would get his story, so I was excited to learn his was the second in the series. Knowing what I did of his history – that he was an addict who had served time for vehicular manslaughter – I suspected his book wouldn’t be the easiest read (and, at times, I was right) but I couldn’t wait for it. What I got was so much more than a romance. Yes, that was a huge and important part of it, but the book was far deeper than that. I love how his story progressed and I appreciate how Sarina tackled the topic of addiction. It was real, raw and honest. It wasn’t always pretty, but neither is addiction. Not only is he navigating the hold of his addiction, he’s doing it in the place where it all started – surrounded by the people and memories that led him down that path initially – which makes it that much harder to do. I ended up really loving Jude in this book. His journey wasn’t easy, but he fought it with everything he had and I liked how he grew personally. He was a really good guy that got sucked into a shit situation. When you got a glimpse into his past, it was really easy to see that and fall for him.
It can probably go without saying, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Sophie. I adored her. Y’all know I’m a sucker for a good second chance romance, so I couldn’t wait to see what would happen when Jude and Sophie were back in each other’s lives in any way. They had some HUGE obstacles to overcome. I wasn’t sure they would be able to, honestly. It’s tough to fight family and history all at one time. But, Sophie was a strong woman and I was glad she was by Jude’s side. Their feelings for each other were obvious from the start. No matter what happened to tear them apart, their chemistry and love didn’t just go away. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. I was definitely surprised at some of the twists in the story, too, which was a great surprise. I also loved how the Shipleys still played a part in Jude’s life, even if he was no longer living with and working for them. They’re a huge part of his recovery and I was so happy to know they were still there for him in a lot of really important ways. Plus, because I’m greedy, I really enjoyed getting to see more of them. I love that family so much. I can’t wait for the next book in the series, where I suspect I’ll see even more of the family, since the book is Zach’s.
I hope you’re reading this series. If not, you’re really missing out and you need to do something about this soon. Seriously.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Whatever you call it, there was an ache inside me that I longed to soothe. And I moved through each day a little lost, trying to fill an empty spot in my soul. But it never went away.
When I was seventeen, I thought Jude was sent to me from heaven. When I was eighteen, I let him take me there. When I was nineteen, he broke both my heart and my family.
But even a glimpse of him had given me palpitations. As if my subconscious had recognized a piece of my soul before my brain got a chance to speak up.
Kissing her wasn’t a decision I made. It was just inevitable, the way a clap of thunder follows lightning.
“You feel like mine.”
All we can do is listen harder, hug harder and hope for the best.
Have you read any of Sarina’s books?
Which is your favorite?