Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Steadfast (True North #2) [Jude & Sophie] by Sarina Bowen

Don't even know where to begin.. This book was A-Mazing. I want to say it was a difficult read, because it was! and yet it was also IMPOSSIBLE to put down. This book deals heavily with addiction in such a realistic way the only thing I can say is I applaud Jude for getting through what he did. Yeah he did stupid mistakes when he was young, and yet he wasn't that much older when he decided to take himself seriously and SAVE himself.  I was also really impressed with Sophie, she has such a tender and big heart, it's obvious how much she loves giving and being there for others even though her life is more than difficult, mostly after losing her brother (and in a sense her mother as well). She has this amazing ability to see others truly even when she isn't seen by almost anyone around her. 

Let's start somewhere in the beginning.. Jude have always been a "bad boy" and yet something in him was drawn to the Sophie. In a way his exact opposite. When they started hanging out / dating they had to keep it a secret, it was obvious their relationship is not something her family and most her father (the chief of police) would approve and it doesn't help that her older brother keeps rating them out. All these things do nothing to discourage Sophie from Jude or the other way around.. After three amazing years together everything falls apart one awful night. Jude car crushes with Sophie's brother in the car. Her brother dies and Jude is taken to prison for man slaughter, being high while driving and possession of drugs.. 

Both their worlds crush to the ground at this point. Sophie didn't even know Jude used drugs, she didn't know what her brother was doing with Jude (they hated each other..) and no one would tell her anything. She tries connecting Jude in prison but he doesn't reply. Her father was always a bully and now it's even worse, losing his favorite son. Sophie has another ache on her shoulders - her mother was crushed by everything that happens and so she isn't really functioning. Sophie stays home to take care of her mother mostly but it also means being jailed by her father. This is the situation that she is in when Jude reappears 3.5 years after his imprisonment. 

Jude have been trying to deal with his bad decisions. After getting out of jail he got into rehab and ever since then have been working for the Shipley family (we met him there in the previous installment when Grif took him in). But now that the apple season is over he returns home to his father's garage. Working in what he does best - repairing cars. Yet his alcoholic father, the lack of costumers and the way the police are trying to catch him doing SOMETHING wrong mostly gets on his nerves, he wishes he could be someplace else where he could work and earn his keep but his past won't really allow it.. On top of everything there is Sophie whom he still loves dearly but he also knows he has literally nothing to offer her and not only that, it's more than possible he would disappoint her again, being a former drug addict means dealing with his mistakes EVERY DAY, including killing her brother and ruining her family. 

While Jude and Sophie are still very attracted to each other, after their first few meetings they somehow agree that they can only have a sexual superficial relationship. Well, it turns out this way even though both of them want much more than that from each other, and yet speaking their minds isn't easy. Jude doesn't feel good enough and Sophie doesn't know how to approach Jude with her feelings and also her anger from everything he kept from her back then. Even now there is much that Jude doesn't admit and so Sophie decided to do her own kind of investigating to understand what happened 3.5 years ago. You know how it goes, when you dig up corpses (literally or not..) sometimes you find more than you bargained for.. I gotta say I didn't see THAT coming! Or how complicated it was. But I was really tired and since I couldn't put the book down I let Sarina lure me through the little dots until I got to the finishing line.  

I feel as though I can write volumes about this book but I've said enough or maybe too much.. There are little glimpses of the Shipley family from the previous installment which was fun. We had A LOT of real physical and mental struggle for both MC, naturally mostly for Jude. I DO see him as a HERO even though he is the anti-hero with his past mistakes. For me being a hero doesn't mean being perfect, it means being able to put the effort and fight your demons and being human while doing it. There were times when Jude wasn't that nice to Sophie but EVERY time he pushed her aside he did it for her. Yeah he didn't want her to see him in his lowest, but it's mostly because he didn't want to be there and knew he might be and so Sophie's place should be with someone she deserves. 


You don't have to read the first installment to get this one, it would be better to read it though, because you'll know who the Shipley's are. But bare in mind most of the plot takes place in a different town entirely and so it doesn't really matter. 

I kindly received this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. 

This book is out TODAY 12 July 2016
Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Google

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 310 pages, 4-5 July 2016 / On GoodReads
True North is a New Adult / Contemporary Romance series by Sarina Bowen. It takes place in the beautiful Vermont where nature is always present. With Apple trees and exceptionally well made ciders. This series is really awesome! It brings something special and also personal from Sarina's "backyard" with interesting and complicated characters. Some older and some younger. All with unique stories with a very satisfying HEA. Sarina tackles a few difficult life situations in this one and she does it beautifully though frankly I don't expect any less from her. Superb series.  

* If the name Dave Beringer sounds familiar it's probably from another great series by Sarina - Brooklyn Bruisers. He plays for the team but finds his HEA someplace else ;) 

1. Bittersweet [Griffin Shipley & Audrey Kidder] (Published 14 June 2016) ★★★
2. Steadfast [Jude Nickel & Sophie Haines] (Published 12 July 2016) ★★★★★
3. Keepsake [Zachariah "Zach" Holtz & Lark Wainright] (Published 26 October 2016) ★★★★½ 
4. Bountiful [Zara Rossi & Dave Beringer*] (Published 20 October 2017) ★★★
5. Speakeasy [May Shipley & Alec Rossi] (Published 29 May 2018) ★★★
6. Fireworks [Benito Rossi & Skye Copeland] (Published 13 November 2018) ★★★★
7. Heartland [Dylan Shipley & Chastity Campbell] (Published 28 January 2020) ★★★
8. Waylaid [Daphne Shipley & Richard "Rickie" Ralls] (Published 20 July 2021) ★★★

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