This series was my first time reading a book written only by Sarina Bowen.
I adored the Him/Us duet by this author and Elle Kennedy, so was pretty excited to see what Sarina Bowen could do on her own.
And let’s just say… I’m SOLD.
I’m such a sucker for contemporary romance series that follow either a group of friends, a team, or a family – in which you learn to love all the characters and anticipate reading all of their stories.
This series follows members of the Shipley family as well as some of the people that work on their orchard.
The setting was its own character in these novels, and though I don’t typically gravitate toward romance novels that take place on farms, I’m glad I started the series despite it.
Here are my mini-reviews for each book in the True North series that I read:
One of the things that I appreciated the most about this particular book, was learning about the process of making cider. I adored how passionate Griffin was about this. His back story (his history with studying chemistry) and how it wove into his obligation to his family’s farm was really interesting. I always love a good grumpy guy with a big heart hero, and that’s exactly what I got. This was a refreshing enemies-to-lovers romance that I absolutely devoured.
This book definitely brought some tough subjects into play in this series. I was intrigued by Jude’s story from the moment he was introduced in the first book. Although, I do admit I was a little apprehensive going into this book knowing that we were dealing with a character who is recovering from serious addictions. It can be so difficult for me to read about these types of troubling issues, and while I think Sarina did a great job of depicting the struggles Jude had to go through to recover, it wasn’t unbearable to read. At its core, this book is still a romance. If you love second chance romances, you’ll love this one.
Guys… GUYS… this freaking book. Holy crap. This is by far my favorite book in the entire series and one of my favorite contemporary romances to date. Describing this book makes it sound absolutely ridiculous… you have a heroine who was previously kidnapped during a trip overseas and then a hero who escaped from a cult. But, I promise you, it’s done so well and it’s so believable, I didn’t roll my eyes ONCE. In fact, I was basically panting the entire time because the chemistry between Lark and Zachariah is so palpable. Also, it certainly helps that this book has one of my all-time favorite romance tropes (male virgin). There is so much beautiful, heart-wrenching longing in this book between the two characters and it absolutely made my heart so full of butterflies.
I didn’t love this book quite as much as I loved the first three. And, to be fair, it is pretty hard to top Keepsake. This book is a bit of a crossover novel from Sarina Bowen’s other series, Brooklyn Bruisers, so there was a sports romance aspect in this as well. First of all, I loved Zara and Dave – their characters were fantastic. I think the only thing that was slightly lacking in this one was the chemistry between the two characters. Also, I’m not really big into the single mother trope, either, so that could be part of it.
I liked this book only a touch more than I liked Bountiful. Mostly because I adored May’s character throughout the entire series and I was so excited to hear her story, especially after everything you see her go through throughout the rest of the series. I certainly appreciated the bi rep in this book. There is a bit of a forbidden romance aspect to this, which is always a plus since that’s one of my favorite tropes.