Bittersweet (True North #1) by Sarina Bowen #ReleaseDay #5StarReview #OUAP @sarinabowen

Posted June 14, 2016 by Cyndi Becker in 2016, 5 Star, Blog Tour, Contemporary Romance, Cyndi, New Release, Our Review / 0 Comments

Bittersweet (True North #1) by Sarina Bowen #ReleaseDay #5StarReview #OUAP @sarinabowen

Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North #1
on June 14th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago theyÔÇÖd 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 doesnÔÇÖt have time for the sorority girl whoÔÇÖs shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

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

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

This new series by Sarina Bowen 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 canÔÇÖt stand the heat, get out of the orchard.

ÔØñÔÇó.┬©Ô£┐┬©.ÔÇóÔØñ┬á5 StarsÔØñÔÇó.┬©Ô£┐┬©.ÔÇóÔØñ

Bittersweet hit the sweet spot. It made me feel all sorts of wonderful things and I wholeheartedly recommend it. First off, it is so wonderfully written, with two lead characters and a gaggle of family and friends that form a unique community. SarinaÔÇÖs characters are exceptional and she knows exactly how to write them so that their personalities are shaped perfectly in time with the plot. Their voices and often colorful inner dialogue makes for a fun read. ┬áSecondly, the premise is unique and educational as well. I had no idea cider making was such an art. ┬áOkay maybe I did! But with Griffin in the mix (egging Audrey on) itÔÇÖs downright sexy. Really, read it and youÔÇÖll see exactly what I mean. ┬áSo, now for the specificsÔǪ

At the center are Audrey and Griffin; two people who had been on each other’s radar (and then some) back in college. Flash forward a few years and fate has put them back in each others paths. Audrey is complicated by a few distinct personality traits. She is one feisty, smart and ┬ásassy young lady, but itÔÇÖs the confidence she has, despite the negativity her mother has thrown at her, that makes her really endearing. ┬áShe isnÔÇÖt in the best place when she happens back into Griffins life but she has the ability to recognize certain truths in people and the underlying strength that allows her to call things as she seeÔÇÖs them. ItÔÇÖs heartbreaking when her self doubt comes through but she plays it off as she expects to get things wrong.

Griffin’s life is simple yet oh so complicated. ItÔÇÖs simplified by his distinct lack of a social life. Even out of the traditional cultivate and harvest cycles of farming, he just doesnÔÇÖt have many interests outside of his family. ┬áBut heÔÇÖs been saddled with loads of responsibility and been a long time since heÔÇÖs done something really good for himself. ┬áHell heÔÇÖs never really been in love ┬á~ ┬áheÔÇÖs existed by merely scratching the itch (wink wink). But Griffin is a balanced individual and has a soft heart to even out the big #GrumpyGriff side. He is the epitome of ┬áa swoon worthy lead and his connection with Audrey is primal and highly charged. ┬áAudrey inspires the #GRRRRRR in Griffin which made me positively giddy!

The story line flows at a good pace, initially over a few weeks, then over a few months. This gives Audrey and Griffin time to realize the strength of their attraction and see their similarities and deal with any differences. GriffinÔÇÖs alpha qualities are perfect for the sweet and sassy Audrey. Her transformation over the course of the story was subtle yet in the end it felt huge!

Having read the preview at the end of Bittersweet I am very excited for JudeÔÇÖs story. It seems I now have an entirely new fictional community to obsess over 🙂 Steadfast (True North #2) is now on my much anticipated summer reading list.

~Review by Cyndi


Bittersweet Amazon

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Other Books in the True North series

Steadfast ( True North #2)

Steadfast Amazon

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.

For Sophie Haines, Jude’s sudden return to Colebury, Vermont, is an unwelcome distraction. It’s not acceptable to still crave the man who killed your brother.

And it’s a small town…

Releases July 12, 2016

Pre-Order on iBooks


This will be Zach’s book…

Keepsake Amazon

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is the RITA® Award winning author of over two dozen contemporary and LGTB romance novels. She most recently hit the USA Today bestseller's list in February, with Brooklynaire. Formerly a derivatives trader on Wall Street, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University.

Sarina Bowen is a New Englander whose Vermont ancestors cut timber and farmed the north country since the 1760s. Sarina is grateful for the invention of indoor plumbing and wi-fi during the intervening 250 years. On a few wooded acres, she lives with her husband, two boys, and an ungodly amount of ski and hockey gear.

Sarina's books are published in a dozen languages on four continents. In 2016, The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with a RITA award for Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.



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