Steadfast by Sarina Bowen
Narrator: Seraphine Valentine, Jeffrey Kafer
Series: True North #2
Also in this series: Bittersweet, Steadfast, Steadfast, Bittersweet, Keepsake, Bountiful, Speakeasy, Bittersweet, Fireworks, Keepsake, Bountiful, Fireworks
Publication Date: July 12, 2016
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 10 hours, 17 minutes
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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.
I listened to this book on audio. This series has been highly enjoyable to listen to so far. I know it’s only the second book, but what can I say?
I wasn’t very interested in Jude after I read Bittersweet. I just wasn’t. He was in prison, he was an addict, and he just seemed sort of pathetic. Even when Holly and Rowena told me how amazing he was, I still didn’t see it. Then I listened to the book and holy crap…Jude is amazing. He is such a strong character that you can’t help but love him. From the beginning, he knew he screwed up his entire life and that he wasn’t getting back what he had. Namely Sophie Haines, the girl he loves. Since he went to prison for killing her brother, he knows that he will never have another chance with her. And he accepts that. That’s what was so amazing about Jude. He just accepts how things are. He accepts that he’s an addict and he does everything he can not to relapse.
Sophie has loved Jude since she was a teenager. Her whole life changed the night that her brother died while Jude was driving under the influence. She had dreams of going to Julliard and becoming a singer. That is no longer possible as she now has her parents to take care of. Her mother is a shell of her former self. In the three years that have passed, she has not moved on or grieved for her brother. Her dad is just bitter. When Jude shows back up in town, she knows she needs to stay away from him. That becomes difficult when he turns up everywhere she seems to be.
It was so heart wrenching when Jude went into the hospital unconscious and was given pain medication. His desperation when he woke up? A knife to the heart. As for Sophie…I didn’t really understand her. She seemed to want to prove to herself and Jude that the accident that killed her brother was somehow not his fault. All the evidence points to the fact that it was. There was a police investigation. Just because her father is police chief doesn’t make it any less so. Still, it almost seems like Sophie won’t accept Jude unless she proves he’s innocent in some way. It didn’t bother me a whole lot while reading the book, but it bothered me after when I thought it over.
There was also Sophie’s dad. He was flat out abusive. Why did Sophie take that? I know she lived at home for her mom, but why did she risk her own safety? It didn’t make any sense to me at all.
In the end, my love of this book was all about Jude. I heart Jude.
Rating: 4.25 out of 5 (for Jude).