Saturday, December 9, 2017

Steadfast by Sarina Bowen (audiobook)

Title:  Bittersweet
Author: Sarina Bowen
My Rating: A+
Narrator: Seraphine Valentine and Jeffrey Kafer

Genre: New Adult Romance 
Series: True North #2
Main Characters: Jude and Sophie
Release Date: October 2016 (audiobook)
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
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.

My Review:
Overall: 4.75
Performance: 4.5
Story: 4.75
I have so, so much love for this story. I adore second chance at love stories, but with the details of Jude's backstory, this romance was just so much more. More emotionally involved, more heartbreaking, and so much more romantic as the story evolved. I ADORED this book.

Jude has spent the last three years in jail for driving while under the influence...something that resulted in killing his passenger and him going to jail for manslaughter. Now he's out, trying to recover from heroine addiction, and trying to rebuild his life in the same town where his entire world collapsed. He never expected Sophie to still be there. Three years ago, she was supposed to be off forgetting him and chasing her dreams. But the events in his life had long-lasting repercussions for Sophie, too.

Because Sophie's brother was the passenger, and her mother never recovered from the loss. So now she's still living at home, taking care of her mother, and surviving the ongoing bullying from her sheriff father. It's an awful existence. I'm not sure who truly had it worse...Jude in prison, or Sophie with her father. 

To say Jude was railroaded when the accident happened is putting it mildly, and Sophie's father isn't happy to have Jude back in town and in the sphere of her daughter anymore. (I really, really hated this man...he is EVIL.) But despite that Jude and Sophie begin to find their way to one another again. There are so many roadblocks for them, but that's what made this book so darn good. There's so much build-up and suspense to how and when they will give into their attraction and chemistry.

This book was fantastic. I highly, highly, highly recommend it. If you like second chance at love stories, it's a perfect one. This isn't a story about two people who had a fight and broke up. It's about so much more and it's the constant fight for the two of them to find their way back to one another, for Jude to stay clean, and for them both to realize where they need to be in this new reality. I loved the book!

Note: This entire series is phenomenal and I highly recommend all three books, but you can easily read any of them as stand-alones.

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