Contemporary romance | New Adult Romance | Reviews

Review: Steadfast by Sarina Bowen

Review: Steadfast by Sarina BowenSteadfast by Sarina Bowen
Series: true north #2
Published by Rennie Road Books on July 12th 2016
Pages: 338
Buy on Amazon USBuy on Amazon UKBuy on KoboBuy on itunes

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.

So its three for three for me with Sarina Bowen (I read the books out of order though they can be read as standalones). Though all the books I have read from Sarina Bowen have dealt with different issues and have completely different character types and plot what doesn’t change is the pretty great writing, the ability of Sarina Bowen in making the characters come to life and their stories touching my heart.

Jude Nickel‘s life changed when he crashed his car and ended up in prison for vehicular manslaughter and possession of drugs for 3 years. Now as a ex-con with no prospects he decides to move back to his fathers house to help him with his auto-shop after his current job ends at the farm he works at. Being back is extremely difficult for him, not only does it bring painful memories back, it also makes it worse knowing where he could find drugs from. This is of course before Jude sees that the love of his life Sophie and finds out she’s still living in Colebury.

“My name is Jude Nickel, and I am an addict. Also, I’m a big fucking idiot.”

Sophie Haines had a strict upbringing and after the death of her brother, what little family she had was destroyed. Sophie left college to take care of her mother who never got over the death of her son and is just sort of drifting through life while her father pretends everything is ok with outbursts of anger and disappointment. The only person she thought loved her, Jude has entered her life again. Sophie doesn’t know how to deal with this, she loved Jude but his hiding his addiction from her and his later actions broke her heart.

“When I was seventeen, I thought Jude was sent to me from heaven. When I was eighteen, I let him take me there. When I was nineteen, he broke both my heart and my family.”

Sophie and Jude were wonderful together. Their love for each other was amazing. It was pretty intense and antsy filled love. I adored them together. Getting to see their HEA after everything they go through was highly satisfying and I didn’t want to say goodbye to them.

This was a beautifully written second chance romance book. You get see them deal with their issues, struggling with their feelings for each other that never went away, then learn to be together again and stronger as individuals and as a couple.

“Of all the things I’d lost – my good name, the chance to get a decent job, my carefully restored care – none of them mattered as much as Sophie.” 

Random comments:

~I loved how we get see Jude’s struggles, the good and the bad days dealing with addiction. I really felt for him. I think it just showed a more realistic view of people dealing with addiction and how difficult it can be coping with it. I also loved how Jude loved Sophie and his comments to her when he was being flirty e.g. “That dress is like Vermont, baby. Great views everywhere.”

~Sophie was amazing, she had to deal with a lot of stuff and most of it alone. She was such a strong character.

~I still love the Shipley family. They are great!

~The book kind of reminded of Taylor Swift’s lyrics from Sad beautiful tragic song “What we had a Beautiful magic love there. What a sad beautiful tragic love affair. ”

The book is pretty emotional or I’m just a sap who feels too easily but either way the book was great and a must read for any NA fans out there.

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

In 2016, Sarina became a Rita Award winner! The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.