Saturday, May 26, 2018

Speakeasy (True North #5) [May & Alec] by Sarina Bowen

This one was as beautiful as it's cover. You shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but when it matches so precisely - what can I do ;) I enjoyed getting May and Alec's story. I loved that they were an "unlikely couple" and maybe because of that they didn't truly give each other a chance which made them subconsciously realize it's pretty much bullshit and they DO actually make a wonderful couple :)

If you ask anyone in the Shipley family, they'll all agree that though they love May dearly she is the family's "black sheep". Besides getting her BA as an attorney everything else she seems to screw up.. Falling for the wrong person isn't even the worst, though it becomes a habit.. though it's nothing like her other "habit" she acquired through college - Alcoholism... She struggles to make her life work but somehow she always finds herself in this spot where everyone is feeling sorry for her and coddle her with a too-tight protective blanket.

The book begins with another "screw up" though this one isn't all on her.. She walks into The Gin Mill only to catch her girlfriend with her combative ex (determined to get her back). After she fights for composure and unlikely friendly help she finds herself AGAIN dealing with the family's pitty when she grabs all her staff from their joined apartment only to return back home. 

May's unlikely savior is Alec Rossi, the owner of The Gin Mill. She has known Alec since she was a little girl, even had a crush on him way back then.. but it still surprised her he offers his help no questions asked, promising him a pie for his help (which she actually never delivers! sorry for the spoiler hehe).

Though this awkward experience May and Alec form a friendship. May is bi-sexual but actually for the past few years she thought her future would be with a woman, not a man. But being Alec's friend is just that, right? Even though she finds him EXTREMELY attractive (well, who wouldn't?). The fact she deals with Alcoholism and he works in a bar (and live right by it) sounds like a bad joke, but that's Alec's expertise...

After spending a boring graduation ceremony together things change between them and they decide to go for the most either of them have to offer at the moment - a friends with benefits arrangement. It works better than they expect... and yet when Alec realizes May's it for him he needs to make sure they are on the same page..

May and Alec's romance is not the only issue they both need to deal with. For May it's mostly battling herself, her insecurities and how to manage her family's over protective behavior towards her. For Alec it's finding a way to manage his business. He was never considered smart, yet he built a business for himself with his two hands with very little help even from his own family. Yet now there are too many variables for him to deal with. He DOES need help but it doesn't come from anyone he expected which was heartwarming to read.

I LOVED Alec and May, together and each on their own. They are fun together which made it easier on both of them to deal with reality, yet unlike May's perspective, it's just them together, it's not like they can't be serious, it's what they chose to have and they can broaden their relationship and become so much more if only they allow themselves to be vulnerable enough to admit how they feel which isn't easy, especially not for May with everything she had to deal with lately. I had a lot of respect for her. She had a lot on her plate and she was brave and stubborn to smile even when she least wanted to, just to make the ones she loves happy. Making herself happy was another thing entirely but that's what Alec was for ;) Alec was a TREAT to read. It was hard not to fall for the guy, with his easy going behavior he seems like a care-free guy but he is so far from it. He cares for so many people, his siblings, his mom, his old neighbor and recently for May. When this guy opens his heart (even if he doesn't admit it)  he knows exactly how to give and be there for others. Maybe considering his hook-up history people consider him just a pretty face with a good looking body but clearly he has so much more to offer.

HIGHLY recommend this one! You don't need to read the other books in the series to get this one. Everything that needs to be explained - clearly is - but I would go back to the beginning and enjoy all the other books in the series as well. Just getting more from Grandpa Shipley is worth it! He's HILARIOUS!

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

This book is out 29 May 2018 - Grab / Pre-order it now through the links below.

Read on:
26 May 2018

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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