I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by Sarina Bowen
Released: July 12th 2016
Series: True North #2
Published by Self Published
“STEADFAST is a beautiful story guaranteed to warm your heart about second chances in love and life. It moved me.”
~ Under the Covers
After reading BITTERSWEET, my heart was aching to know more about Jude. He’s battled a drug addiction, and is a convicted felon trying to get his life back on track. The time he spent working at Griffin’s farm was his first few months out in the world without the crutch of drugs to help him get by. I knew he was going to be a delicate and emotional character. I just didn’t expect to find so much more underneath.
On paper, Jude should be many things I don’t like. Especially the tortured hero that thinks he’s no good for the heroine, and the one that falls on bad paths because his situation at home isn’t good. But Sarina Bowen had me so wrapped up in Jude and his story, much like you can tell the heroine was, that I only wanted to see him be happy and do good. I wanted to fix him. *looks sideways* I was THAT girl! Addiction is never an easy topic to tackle, and we usually see only the side of being in the thick of it and making all those bad judgment mistakes. There is no easy and permanent fix. What about the recovery? This book focuses on that aftermath and the fact that it’s probably the hardest road to travel. What an amazing job by this author in incorporating this as such an important part of this story. And in the end I was so happy to have been proven right when we find out more about Jude and what’s happened in his life. But I digress, because I don’t want to spoil it for you.
Now that I’ve rambled on and made no sense… Jude has gone back to his hometown after working at the farm for a few months because apple picking season is over. He’s dealing with a lot of his demons. Seeing his no good father again, the looks from the community who sees him only as the person responsible for the death of the son of the Chief of Police, his ex-girlfriend’s brother, the fear of seeing the love of his life again and most importantly his addiction. I don’t know if there’s anything harder than that. We go through the ups and downs he experiences, how he feels about Sophie and the love he has for her, the cravings and his internal battle to stay clean. This is a broken hero I have nothing but respect for and admiration. And yeah, my heart also softened up and fell in love. He’s not the typical alpha male we love to read about, but he’s so real and tries so hard to rebuild the pieces of his life and find some self worth where there doesn’t seem to be much of any left. I get a little teary eyed thinking about him and how far he’s come and I can’t help but love him for it.
At the bottom of all this is a second chance at love. Jude and Sophie were each other’s first and only loves. It’s a beautiful thing to see how that overcame so many obstacles. Although I don’t think this is as hot as the first book, there is something in the desperation with which Sophie and Jude come together that tore at my heart every time. And I think that was even more special.
STEADFAST is a beautiful story guaranteed to warm your heart about second chances in love and life. It moved me. And in the end I was so happy to see an HEA for two people that deserved nothing more than happiness. Great read and very satisfying in the end.
“I wasn’t a normal person. I’d given up that title when I’d learned how to dull my pain with drugs.”
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