Review: Steadfast (True North #2) by Sarina Bowen

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Summary:

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.

Review:

I’m so happy to have received this ARC! Since reading Bittersweet I’ve been waiting for Jude’s book, and thank goodness it wasn’t a long wait. I think among Sarina Bowen’s books, this is the “darkest” one, at least considering that it deals with addictions. But as per usual, she did a great job of making it all understandable and hopeful.

I used to be so proud of the way I kept my two loves separate from one another-the drugs and the girlfriend. Even when I was snorting an unsustainable quantity of oxy, I was still functional in the garage and still a good lover. What an achiever! Until the night it all went wrong.

Jude’s story isn’t sugar-coated. I was truly shocked to read how honest his recovery was. He used drugs for many years, and after being clean for six month, he’s coming to terms with it all, and it’s brutal. This book shows exactly what it means to recover from an addiction, and what it mean to be an addict. It also shows, how difficult it can be for the people who love them to both acknowledge the loved one’s addiction, and help them. Jude managed to keep a solid front, never showing how far gone he was. And that’s why Sophie, who was also way to young to know what to do, tried to ignore that side of him.

If I wanted to stay sane, I’d have to remember the bad times, too. The times when he showed up late. Or when he’d take me to a party and disappear, only to reappear with jumpy eyes. The night he didn’t show up at all. I’d let him get away with that behavior because I hadn’t wanted to acknowledge that side of Jude.

I also loved the romance; and although most plot twists were predictable, Sarina Bowen’s fluid writing style, and her honesty made the book a whole lot more intriguing. In the end, I couldn’t put it down, and I can’t wait for Zach’s story!

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