Series: True North

Weekly Wrap Up: September 3 – September 9, 2018

Posted September 9, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Giveaway Winners | 2 Comments

Here’s what you missed this week on Book Binge…

What We Reviewed


Tracy reviewed Going Rogue by Chantal Fernando | 3.5 out of 5
Tracy reviewed Hidden Blade by Sherry Thomas | 4 out of 5
Holly & Rowena reviewed Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely | 4 out of 5
Casee reviewed Alpha & Omega by Patricia Briggs | 4.5 out of 5
Holly reviewed The Chase by Elle Kennedy | 3 out of 5
Holly retro-reviewed Sabine by Moira Rogers | 3.5 out of 5
Tracy reviewed One Perfect Kiss by Jaci Burton | 2.5 out of 5

What We Posted

Happy Labor Day!
Giveaway: Celebrate Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven with a Romantic Fantasy Starter Kit
Release Day Blitz: Hot as Sin by J.T. Geissinger
Monthly Reads: August 2018
2018 Releases Holly Should Have Read by Now
What Are You Reading? (+ Tara Thomas Giveaway)
WTF Cover Saturday (276)
Sunday Spotlight: Intercepted by Alexa Martin

Book News

Did you guys see the cover reveal for Fireworks by Sarina Bowen? If you missed that, check it out.

Weekly Wrap Up: September 3 – September 9, 2018Fireworks (True North, #6) by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North #6
Also in this series: Bittersweet, Steadfast (True North #2), Steadfast, Bittersweet, Keepsake, Bountiful (True North, #4), Speakeasy (True North, #5)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 451
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

Skye Copeland is on paid leave from her broadcasting job after accidentally drawing a pecker on the traffic map.

Let that sink in. Like it’s her fault the traffic pattern that day created a perfect schlong?

Skye isn’t laughing. She needs this job. And that’s the only reason she’s agreed to chase down a story in her least favorite place—that hell on earth known as Vermont.

A quick trip. In and out. Much like - never mind. Skye can sneak into the town that once tried to break her, get the story and get back into the good graces of her producer. Easy peasy.

Except things go sideways even as she sets foot over the county line. Her step-sister is on the run from a violent drug dealer. And the cop on the case is none other than Benito Rossi, the man who broke her teenage heart.

His dark brown eyes still tear her apart. And even as she steels herself to finally tell him off after twelve years, the old fireworks are still there.

Things are about to go boom.

Woot, we’re getting Benito’s book. I’m looking forward to seeing him fall in love as I have adored him in the other books. He’s a great brother to Zara and Alec and he’s a cop. I love a cop hero. 🙂 It comes out on my birthday too so woo hoo, Happy Birthday to Me!

Weekly Wrap Up: September 3 – September 9, 2018On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1) by Samantha Young
Series: On Dublin Street #1
Also in this series: Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2), Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3), Before Jamaica Lane, Fall From India Place, Fall From India Place, Castle Hill, Echoes of Scotland Street, Moonlight on Nightingale Way, Moonlight on Nightingale Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, On Hart's Boardwalk (On Dublin Street #6.7) , On Hart's Boardwalk
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: August 31, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare…

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul.

Samantha Young is re-revealing the new cover for her On Dublin Street book and it’s got a cartoony feel to it. What do you guys think of it? She also released the first chapter of the book from Braden’s POV and you can read that over here.

Current Giveaways

Sunday Spotlight: September 2018

What Are You Reading? (+ Tara Thomas Giveaway)

Monthly Reads: August 2018

Giveaway: Celebrate Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven with a Romantic Fantasy Starter Kit

Giveaway Winners

We have some winners to announce this week! Congratulations to the following…

Denise

What are You Reading? (+ Sarah MacLean Giveaway)

Winners: An email will be sent to you shortly. Please let us know where you would like us to send your prize. You have two weeks to get back to us before we choose another winner. Check back on Sundays to see if you’re a winner in one of our giveaways.

That does it for this week’s weekly wrap up. How was your week in books? Hear any book news that you’d like to share? Get any new books you want to share? Review any books we should check out? Please share.


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Review: Speakeasy by Sarina Bowen

Posted May 31, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Speakeasy by Sarina BowenReviewer: Rowena
Speakeasy (True North, #5) by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North #5
Also in this series: Bittersweet, Steadfast (True North #2), Steadfast, Bittersweet, Keepsake, Bountiful (True North, #4)
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Sometimes you fall for Mr. Right. And sometimes for Mr. Right Now…

May

Did you hear the one about the girl who walks into a bar and catches her live-in lover kissing someone else? No? You’re the only one in town who missed it. Luckily Alec is there to wrap me up in strong arms and carry me out the door before things get too ugly. And that’s not all Alec is good at. Our unexpected chemistry makes him the perfect rebound guy.

Alec

I should know better than to hook up with my rival’s little sister, but the fiery look in May’s eyes really turns my crank. She needs cheering up, and I’m just the guy for the job. It’s not like I’ll fall in love. Not even after a string of scorching hot trysts, and the realization that we’re good at the same things: wild nights and familial disappointment. I don’t do love, never have, never will. So this is the perfect arrangement, for both of us. Nobody would approve, but nobody has to know…

Sarina Bowen is always a welcome addition to my to be read pile. She is one of my favorites and May, the heroine of this book is one of my favorite people from Bowen’s True North series so I was stoked to read that she was getting her own book and even more excited when I got this one for review.

The last time we saw May, she was in a relationship with Daniela and it wasn’t the best of relationships for May. Daniela had no fans in May’s family and a huge reason why was how this book actually starts. With Daniela not treating May with the respect that May deserves. May finds out that Daniela is cheating on her when she stops by Alec’s bar because she saw Daniela’s car outside in the parking lot while she’s making her way home. She wasn’t expecting what she found in the Gin Mill and she sure as shit didn’t know what she would have done without Alec Rossi there to help her out of that jam.

Alec felt bad because he should have said something to May a week ago when he realized Daniela was using his bar to cheat on her. He let it go and now May is here and about to catch her girlfriend macking it down with another woman. That’s not a scene he wants May to be a part of so he tries to deflect her attention but isn’t quick enough. He’s a little late on being there for May but he can be there for May now so that night starts a friendship that he wasn’t prepared for and wasn’t expecting.

Alec wasn’t my favorite character in previous books. He came off as a little jerk-ish but I really came around with his character in this book. I connected with his character through every part of his story and that low key surprised me because early reviews of this book that I read, the bloggers weren’t huge fans of his so I went into this book, not expecting much but I’m glad that I read this for myself because I thought Alec was a wonderful hero and a fantastic partner for May. I thought the growth in his character was pretty spot on. He had a lot of crap that he was dealing with and he was so stubborn about a lot of it but boy was I glad to see him grow, learn and then really run with the opportunities presented to him.

I really enjoyed the friendship that blossomed between Alec and May. Seeing Alec be there for May and then realize how much he likes being around her was fun for me. They had the kind of chemistry that makes me happy and I ate their interactions together right up with each turn of the page.

Seeing May really come into her own was a treat because I feel like I’ve been rooting her on for such a long time and then for her to get the news about first Daniela and then Lark, she was catching no breaks. She was lucky to have stumbled into the friendship she had with Alec and when she finally stood up for herself with her family, I cheered because it was a long time coming. I loved Griff so much in his book, his grumpy self really worked for me but in this book, he annoyed me with the way that he treated Alec and then the way that he treated May. I wanted May to hurry up and stand up for herself and while it happened, it took a little while to get there and I was anxious about it.

Sarina Bowen has written wonderfully romantic stories for the characters in the True North series and they continue to hit me right in the feels. This book was no different and I closed this book with a huge smile on my face. I seriously cannot wait for more from these guys. I’m crossing my fingers for more books featuring Benito, Dylan, Daphne (though I can wait on theirs) and anyone else that Sarina Bowen can think of. I’m here for it all.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

True North

four-half-stars


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Joint Review: Bountiful by Sarina Bowen

Posted December 6, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Joint Review: Bountiful by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Bountiful (True North, #4) by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North #4
Also in this series: Bittersweet, Steadfast (True North #2), Steadfast, Bittersweet, Keepsake, Speakeasy (True North, #5)
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Publication Date: October 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 315
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.

Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on.

Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life.

Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave No-Last-Name will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.

Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.

Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard-won love—are Bountiful.

We first met Zara in Bittersweet, book 1 of this series. She and Griff, the hero of Bittersweet, had been having a fling, but he broke it off before he met his heroine, Audrey. Later Zara turned up pregnant and refused to say who the father was. Turns out he was a summer fling she couldn’t find when she ended up pregnant. Professional hockey player Dave Beringer is unexpectedly back in town and shocked to discover the girl he never forgot is more than just a good memory..she’s the mother of his child. Figuring out a new normal when he never expected to have a kid is going to be rough…especially since he still isn’t over his attraction to his daughter’s beautiful mother.

Holly: I didn’t really connect with this book. I really loved the previous books in the series, but this one fell a little flat. I didn’t dislike it, but it didn’t grab me the way I thought it would.

Rowena: I had no problem connecting with this story. I thought it was wonderfully written and I really enjoyed seeing Zara and Dave come together again. I loved seeing two worlds that I am so in love with come together with Zara and Dave. It was so good to see Leo, Patrick and Dave’s other Brooklyn Bruisers teammates interact with Griff, Audrey and the rest of the True North gang.

I’m trying to remember if there was anything that I didn’t like about this book…nothing is coming to mind.

Holly: Maybe it was my reading mood, but I just didn’t fall into it the way I have the other books in the series (and the Brooklyn Bruiser’s series, for that matter). It moved slowly for me in places, and I didn’t understand the way Zara acted some of the time. Plus, there was a lot of build-up around their relationship and how they’d make it work, and then it just kind of…fizzled. I think I expected more bang after the way the tension was built up.

Rowena: What didn’t you understand about the way Zara acted? For me, I thought she handled the whole seeing Dave again and being honest about Nicole with him, really well. Sure, she needed a hot minute to get herself together but for the most part, I thought she handled giving Dave a chance great. She was unsure but knew that she couldn’t deprive her daughter of relationships that were her right to have. I really liked Zara. I liked her a lot more as a mother than I did a bartender. Her reasons for being so mute on who the father was in the previous books were good reasons and I thought she was a fantastic mother to Nicole.

Holly: The way she was so hot and cold with Dave is what threw me. She wanted him. She wanted to be with him. She wanted him as the father of her child. Then she didn’t want to be with him or start a relationship with him. Her pulling back halfway through the book made the I-Love-You’s seem to come out of nowhere, even though we’d had basically the entire book.

Rowena: When she explained why she felt the way that she did with Dave, I bought it and fell in line with how the both of them felt for each other. But you’re right, she was a bit hot and cold with Dave.

Holly: Sure, I get that she didn’t trust in a relationship with a guy she barely knew who was only going to be in town for a few months. But she refused to even have that conversation with him. He’d bring it up and try to discuss their future and she’d run scared. I get she was afraid, but I was surprised and slightly disappointed she wasn’t willing to even talk about it. Then, bam, all the angst is done? I just didn’t buy it. And honestly, Dave had more reason to be wary of a relationship than Zara. If he was willing to work at it with her, why couldn’t she do the same?

Rowena: We saw it differently then because I got it. Dave’s internal issues were about not trusting himself to be a good father because of his childhood and his past whereas Zara’s internal issues were about someone else letting her down time and time again. It was natural for her to see Dave being the kind of father she had growing up, especially since he told her himself that he was never going to have a family. It took her a little bit to get herself together and come around to the idea so I understood it. Because more than anything, she was trying to protect Nicole.

Holly: Eh, I disagree. Yes, she was let down in the past, but she had brothers, uncles and her mom who were all there for her. They didn’t let her down. So her claim that everyone in her life (that’s me adding dramatic flair..lol) let her down doesn’t hold water. And again, it’s not that I don’t think she had a valid point when it came to Dave, but her refusal to even discuss their future is what threw me off.

Rowena: She never claimed that everyone let her down. Just her Dad. She was scared that Dave was going to be just like her own Dad to Nicole. He perpetuated that by telling her that he never wanted to have a family. He was pretty adamant about that. He changed his mind and she didn’t trust it. What’s not to understand about that? Since her refusal to discuss it didn’t last all that long, I wasn’t mad about it. And you shouldn’t be either. Get over it, Holly. LOL.

Holly: But it did last a long time! Basically the whole entire book. But you’re right, I probably should get over it since it all worked out in the end. I should..but I probably won’t. Ha.

Rowena: I’m rolling my eyes at you. Seriously.

Holly: That’s not to say I didn’t like Zara. Because I did. But her hot and cold attitude threw me off. It just didn’t jive with the Zara we knew from previous books.

Rowena:Dave handled finding out he was a father pretty realistically, I think. I thought he did a lot of growing up over the course of this book and when he falls in love with Zara, I believed him. I loved that there wasn’t a thing that he wouldn’t do for Zara and Nicole. She needed him to deflect some attention away from her for an afternoon? Done. She needed him to step in and watch Nicole so that she can rush around for Audrey and Griff’s wedding? Done. He wasn’t the perfect hero but he was a good man. He loved deeply and I truly adored watching him bond with Nicole.

Holly: Dave was great. I loved how patient he was with Zara and how, even though he needed a minute to get his life figured out after she dropped her bombshell on him, he really stepped up. He was scared, but he did what he needed to do. I think where Zara lost me was that she seemed so confident and in charge, but kept pulling back from Dave.

Rowena: You think we’re going to get a book for Dave’s sister, Bess? I totally want that book….but not before Becca and Nate. Ha!

Holly: I really want Becca and Nate. I think we need to start a petition that their book is next. But yes, I definitely want Bess to get a book. I adored her.

Rowena: I think their book is next, at least in the Brooklyn Bruisers series so I’m not too worried about that. But yes, Bess is like LL Cool J…she needs love.

Holly: She does need love. So does May. I didn’t like her girlfriend at all. Maybe Bess and May will end up together.

Rowena: I can so get behind a Bess and May pairing. May’s boo thang was annoying af and she deserves way better than that. I’m curious if they’ll both get their own stories told.

Overall, I thought Sarina Bowen wrote another fantastic romance about two people who didn’t think they’d ever see each other again but did anyway. The sparks between Zara and Dave were bright and extra sizzling. Their romance was a sweet one and I loved the hell out of it. I loved this book just as much as I loved the other True North books and more than I loved Rookie Move. It was fun, sweet and I wanted to cuddle it close when I was finished with the book. So stinkin’ good.

I really enjoyed this book so I’m giving it a 4.75 out of 5.

Holly: I didn’t dislike this book, but it didn’t grab me the way I thought it would and Zara’s actions threw me. I’m giving it 3.5 out of 5.

Holly’s final Grade: 3.5 out of 5
Rowena’s final Grade: 4.75 out of 5

True North Series

Brooklyn Bruisers Series

four-half-stars


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Review: Keepsake by Sarina Bowen

Posted November 2, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Keepsake by Sarina BowenReviewer: Rowena
Keepsake by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North #3
Also in this series: Bittersweet, Steadfast (True North #2), Steadfast, Bittersweet, Bountiful (True North, #4), Speakeasy (True North, #5)
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Publication Date: October 25th 2016
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 326
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

There's a first time for everything. Lark Wainright used to be fearless. Her life was a series of adventures, each one more exhilarating than the last. But her recent overseas adventure was one too many. Now she’s home and in one piece. Mostly. But her nights are filled with terror.

When her best friend offers her a stay at the orchard in exchange for help at the farmers’ markets, Lark jumps at the chance to spend fall in Vermont. But her nightmares don’t stop. Desperate to keep her fragile state a secret, she relies on the most soft-spoken resident of the Shipley Farm to soothe her when her dreams prove too much.

Zachariah is a survivor, too. It’s been four years since he was tossed aside by the polygamist cult where he grew up. He’s found a peaceful existence on the Shipley’s farm, picking apples and fixing machinery. But getting thrown away by your own people at nineteen leaves a mark on a guy. He doesn’t always know what to make of a world where movie quotes are the primary means of communication. Before hitchhiking to Vermont, he’d never watched TV or spoken on the phone.

Actually, there are 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 pushes Zach away, he will have to prove to himself that he's good for much more than farm labor.

Keepsake was one of the books that I was most looking forward to releasing in October so that I can get my grubby hands on it. I quit everything that I was doing, reading and watching so that I can read this book. Sarina Bowen is one of my favorites and this series has really shaped up nicely for me.

I’ve been wanting to read Zach’s book for what feels like forever. There was a lot of time between books to develop theories on who Zach would end up with and it really could have been anyone. We thought that maybe he was Zara’s baby daddy because that would have been a good one, virgin boy fathers baby after losing virginity to town bartender. Then there was May. He could have fallen in love with his boss’ sister and the complication there would have been the younger sister in love with him and was heartbroken on top of Zach not wanting to go there with any of the sisters for fear of losing his job and his home if things didn’t work out. Well, we didn’t get either of those stories because Zach fell in love with May’s best friend, Lark. Lark who went to work in Guatemala and was kidnapped then held hostage for ransom.

Lark is having a really hard time sleeping at night because she has night terrors. She keeps getting sucked back to memories of her time in Guatemala and she thinks that being out in the open air and staying busy on an apple orchard would be good for her. For the most part, being out in the sunshine and spending her days hard at work is good for her but not even that can keep the night terrors at bay for good. When those night terrors get the best of her, she’s not just waking herself up but she’s waking up everyone sleeping in the bunk house. One of those guys is Zach, a quiet guy who has been living on the Shipley farm for some time now.

Zach and Lark become friends and when Lark needs him, Zach is there for her. There isn’t much that he won’t do for the pretty girl with the haunted eyes that is such close friends with a girl he considers a sister. The more time that they spend together, the harder Zach falls for Lark and Lark for Zach. Lark knows that Zach is one of the good ones and she wants to be there for him just as much as he’s been there for her and she introduces him to the world of living…if you know what I mean. 🙂

Sarina Bowen really packs the angst with this one and my heart hurt for both Zach and Lark. They have both been scarred from events in their past and they’re both leaning on each other to just get through it all and I really enjoyed seeing them come together. I loved both Griff and Jude but I think Zach edged them both out for my favorite hero in this series. There was just so much to love about him. His sensitive nature, the protective instincts he’s got for everyone in his life and how hard he works to make sure that he will always have a place at the Shipley farm. I couldn’t help but hurt for how hard he worked to make sure that he proved to Griff and Mrs. Shipley that they still needed him around. To live like that, in fear that the people who opened their home to you would change their mind and kick you out hit me hard because what a way to live. Poor thing worked himself hard each and every day to make sure the Shipleys didn’t regret giving him a chance.

The romance between Zach and Lark was good. I liked seeing Zach really come into his own while seeing Lark. Seeing Zach fall in love hit me in my feels at every turn because I wanted this for him and I loved seeing him when things got rough. Seeing him struggle with what to do and where to go from here while Lark did what she needed to do made for their reunion that much more special for me. They were a great couple and when I closed the book, I was completely satisfied with the outcome. This was a great book and I would probably be re-reading this book from time to time. All for Zach. If you enjoyed the other books in this series than I know you will enjoy this one. Everyone should know Zach, he’s that awesome!


gif credits
4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

Posted August 10, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Bittersweet by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly
Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North #1
Also in this series: Bittersweet, Steadfast (True North #2), Steadfast, Keepsake, Bountiful (True North, #4), Speakeasy (True North, #5)
Publisher: Rennie Road Books, Self-Published
Publication Date: June 14th 2016
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 300
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Farmers make the earth move.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d 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 doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

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

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

Warning: Contains sexual situations, gourmet yumminess, a steamy outdoor shower and proof that farmers don't mind getting dirty.

Keywords: Vermont, sexy romance, lumbersexuals, not cowboys, hard cider, good times, steamy kisses and homemade ice cream.

Bittersweet was such a sweet read. I fell in love with Griffin Shipley, his farm and his family.

Griffin Shipley and Audrey Kidder hooked up a couple times in college. Griff wanted more, but Audrey never returned his calls. Although he was drafted out of college to play professional football, when his father died Griff chose to come home to work the family farm. Five years later, he’s in charge of the whole operation, which leaves little time for anything – or anyone – else. Which is why Audrey showing up out of the blue is both a gift and a nightmare. He would love nothing more than to strip her naked, but he doesn’t need the distraction – or the trouble she brings in the form of her employer.

Audrey struggled to find herself after high school. After failing out of two colleges, she went to culinary school and loved it. Now she’s interning at a major food company in hopes of winning  a major showcase they’re hosting. Winner gets a brand new restaurant. She’s determined to win the showcase, but she has to maintain the status quo until then – which means convincing Grumpy Griff the farmer to sell her apples.

Griff was such a great hero. Gruff, sexy and no-nonsense. I loved his approach to life and farming. Audrey wasn’t as focused as Griff, but she really worked in her own way. She’d been told her whole life she wasn’t good enough, but she didn’t let that stop her from finding her place and pursuing her dream. I really loved Griff’s family and the workers on his farm. Though I loved Griff and enjoyed his romance with Audrey, they made the book for me. Jude, Zach and his siblings and mother were really the showstoppers.

I did struggle a bit with how lost Audrey seemed in the beginning. She was determined to get her own restaurant by winning the showcase, but there wasn’t a lot of focus on her as a chef. What we did see of her at work made her seem incompetent. It isn’t that I thought she couldn’t do it period, but I felt like she needed more experience first. I also struggled with her relationship with her mom. I would have liked to see that explored a bit more.

Despite that, this was a solid read. I fell into this book right away and didn’t come up for air until it was finished. Funny, sexy, sweet…Definitely another winner from Bowen.

3.75/5

four-half-stars


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