Review: Bittersweet (True North #1) by Sarina Bowen

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Summary:

The new series is set in Vermont. True North is populated by the tough, outdoorsy mountain men that populate the Green Mountain State. They raise cows and they grow apples. They chop a lot of wood, especially when they need to blow off steam. (Beards are optional but encouraged.)

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the orchard.

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.

Review:

Gosh, I was so lucky to receive an ARC of Bittersweet! I love Sarina Bowen’s books, and although I was a little skeptical because I thought I’d miss the sport setting, I just adored this book. It’s a nice take on a modern-day farm life, probably with one too many hotties, but hey, I ain’t complaining about that.

“Having the sink over here keeps us out of the way,” he said. “And keeps the cooks from getting cranky.” “What keeps you from getting cranky?” I called after him. “Whatever it is, have some of it.” All the Shipleys laughed except for Griff.

Audrey barrels into Griff’s life, again, when she scouts Vermont for farmed goods to get to Boston and impress her boss, so that eventually she’ll get to achieve her dream and open her own restaurant. Griff and her have few steamy nights from the college days to remember each other from. Audrey hasn’t really thought about him, since she sees him again in all his tanned, muscled, and bearded glory; but Griff has never quite forgotten her. I completely fell in love with their banter, and their chemistry (seriously, off the charts!). They try to resist, because Griff has no intention of leaving his farm, since he’s running it and providing for his big family, and Audrey’s plans will only lead her back to Boston. But *evil laughs* yeah, you tried guys.

Here we go again. I was as good at resisting Griff Shipley as Homer Simpson was at resisting a donut. The way he made me feel only by touching my hand was probably illegal in several states.

Griff is the first one to acknowledge his feelings and he isn’t shy about them, but at the same time he doesn’t want to become an obstacle to Audrey’s future. Audrey herself doesn’t want to have feelings for him. Her mother’s raised her to see men as shackles, and to never give up on anything for them. So Audrey has a bit of a hard time working that out, but eventually she’ll figure out that as long as you’re doing it for your own happiness, it’s the right choice.

The three of us queued up at the grill, where Dylan was flipping burgers.  “Who wants cheese?” he called cheerfully. “I do!” Audrey volunteered. “I like everything.” “I’ll have cheese,” I agreed. “Which I like, but not as much as I like Audrey.”

I loved the setting, and the Shipleys are a bunch I’d love to read more about! But for now I’ll be impatiently waiting for the second book, which will be about Jude, so it’ll probably be a lot more intense. Can’t wait!

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