Sunday, June 12, 2016

ARC Review: 5 ★'s for Bittersweet (True North #1) by Sarina Bowen

The new series is set in Vermont. True North is populated by the tough, outdoorsy mountain men that populate the Green Mountain State. They raise cows and they grow apples. They chop a lot of wood, especially when they need to blow off steam. (Beards are optional but encouraged.)

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the orchard.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago.

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.

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What I thought about Bittersweet

Wow!  It's been a long time since I've stayed up into the wee hours of the morning reading a book I just couldn't put down. There's just so much to love about Bittersweet, from the second chance romance between Audrey and Griff, to the wonderful portrayal of family farming in 2016. Sarina Bowen's writing has that special quality that lets me to fall right into the story, and I did just that with Bittersweet.

Audrey is shipped north of Boston to find sources of farm to table produce for a large restaurant chain. She's as surprised to see Griff Shipley as he is to see her, and there's a lot of heat right from the start between these two.  I really loved Audrey's character. She's been knocked around and she's not really doing what she wants in her life, but she's got a plan and she's doing it on her own. She had a lot of spunk and she fit into Griff's life in so many ways. I loved her fire and determination.

Griff Shipley is a up and coming organic farmer with big ideas and not enough time, money or resources to make his dreams happen, much less have a personal life.  Audrey shows him just what he's been missing, and he finds himself drawn to her in ways he didn't anticipate or want. I loved how their relationship grew over the course of the book.

The farm setting for this story really worked for me as a backdrop to this contemporary romance. The family farm is disappearing in this country and I loved that Sarina Bowen recognized the hard work and rewards that come with it. 

I absolutely adored the secondary characters in Bittersweet too. They all felt like family to me and at the risk of sounding greedy, but I'm really looking forward to more from this series. Like NOW.

So overall, for me, Bittersweet kept me turning the pages, and the story was so smoothly written it was easy to just fall into it and fall in love with these characters.  Definitely recommended for fans of contemporary romance. 

ARC provided for review.


About the Author

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont's Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.


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