Sunday Spotlight is a feature we’re running in 2016. Each week, we will spotlight a release we’re excited about. We’ll be posting excerpts and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂
Keepsake is the third book in the True North series by Sarina Bowen. It’s Zach’s book. Before we found out who Zach’s heroine was, everyone had a theory. Some thought he would end up being a baby daddy, some thought he would end up with May (Griff’s sister) but Sarina Bowen had the last laugh cause we were all wrong. Haha.
We are super thrilled to be featuring Keepsake for today’s Sunday Spotlight so without further adieu…let’s get started.
Lark Wainright, 23, has nightmares. She used to be fearless. But while overseas for her nonprofit employer, she was kidnapped and held at gunpoint in a dusty shack. Everyone has an opinion about what might have happened to here there, but she’s not saying much. She’s too consumed by guilt to talk about it.
When her best friend offers her a stay at the Shipley orchard in exchange for help at the farmers’ markets, Lark jumps into her little car and heads to Vermont. Unfortunately, the night terrors don’t stop. Desperate to keep her fragile state a secret from those who know her best, she relies on the most soft-spoken resident of Orange County, Vermont, to calm her down when her dreams prove too much.
Zachariah, 23, is a survivor of a different kind. It’s been three years since he was tossed aside by the polygamist cult out west, and the only home he’d ever known. In Vermont, he’s found a peaceful place in the bunkhouse at the Shipley’s farm. He’s good with animals, and he’s good with his hands. But getting thrown away by your own people at nineteen leaves a mark on a guy. And he doesn’t always know what to make of a world where apps and movie quotes are the primary means of communication. Before hitchhiking to Vermont, he’d never watched TV. He’d never spoken on the phone.
Actually, there are still a lot of things he’s never done.
Zach and Lark slowly grow to trust one another. One night they become even closer than they’d planned. But Lark may still be too broken to trust anyone. When she shoves Zach away, he will have to prove to himself that he’s good for more than farm labor.
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Finally, we get some quality time getting to know Zach. I’ve been waiting so long…or so it seems. Let’s get on with the excerpt already.
I closed the bathroom door and turned on the shower, giving the ancient plumbing a chance to heat the water. It was time to strip, but for once I hesitated. It was a little weird getting naked if a woman could just walk right in here. I was used to the all-male environment, where I didn’t have to think before taking off my clothes.
After hurriedly tossing my clothes onto the wall hook, I stepped under the warm spray. After a hard day’s work, it was blissful. My muscles were tired in a satisfying way, and I enjoyed the rhythm of the water hitting my bare skin.
Like food, hot water was scarce where I grew up. I hadn’t known you could indulge in a hot shower at the end of the day without feeling guilt over it.
There had been plenty that Isaac and Leah had needed to teach me after my nineteen years living at Paradise Ranch. When I got to Vermont, I’d never touched a computer or a telephone. I’d never eaten fast food. I didn’t know what Red Bull was, or a Quarter Pounder. I didn’t know Star Wars or the Black Keys or Game of Thrones.
Some of my ignorance was even more embarrassing.
I’d never forget the time when Isaac had first told me the story of his early days in Vermont. He and Leah had run off from Paradise Ranch together, basically camping their way across the country, from dusty Wyoming to Vermont. “We liked it here, and it was August. So we picked apples all season and then stayed on.” Living as frugally as two humans can, it had taken the two of them only five years to scrape together a tiny down payment on a failing farm. Even now, Isaac and Leah worked like dogs to make the place pay them a living wage.
I had listened admiringly to this story, impressed by both the pluck and luck it had taken to go from teenage cult members to landowners in the span of ten years. “It’s lucky that Maeve wasn’t born until after you could buy the farm,” I’d said. My entire young life, I’d watched the responsibility of too many children weigh down the young mothers at Paradise Ranch.
To Isaac’s credit, he never laughed at my frequent displays of ignorance. Not once. “That wasn’t luck, my man. That’s birth control.”
“What’s that?” I’d asked. I’d been almost twenty years old, and I hadn’t even known there was a way to avoid getting your wife pregnant.
The next week, Isaac had given me a book about sex-ed—the kind that preteens are handed by modern parents. And just to make sure I got the message, he explained birth control to me one night after Leah and Maeve had gone to bed.
And even though we lived in the middle of nowhere and I lacked any kind of social life, Isaac had put a new box of condoms in my dresser drawer. “Just in case, right? It’s different here, Zach,” he’d said, which was the understatement of the century. “Nobody is going to give you a beating for having sex. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to be careful.”
I still had the box. It was unopened.
Well, go on and get your girl Zach!
Keepsake comes out on October 25th so there isn’t a long wait at all. Make sure you get your copy pre-ordered…or you can enter our giveaway and try your hand at winning a copy from us.
True North Series
Bittersweet | Steadfast | Keepsake
Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.
Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!
About the Author
Sarina Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction. She lives in the wilds of Vermont.
She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college. Also, the The Gravity series.
With Elle Kennedy, Sarina is the author of HIM and US.