Series: The True North #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release Date: July 12, 2016
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.
When I was seventeen, I thought Jude was sent to me from heaven. When I was eighteen, I let him take me there. When I was nineteen, he broke both my heart and my family.
From the very second that Jude was introduced in Bittersweet, I knew that I needed his book. There’s just something about the broken and tortured heroes, and it doesn’t get more tortured than the man who let his addiction take away not only his freedom but the love of his life. Three years ago, Jude made a mistake that cost him everything. He’s always been able to hide his drug addiction from his beloved Sophie, but when he crashes into a tree and sent to prison for the death of his car’s passenger, all his darkest secrets tear wide open. Now after serving three years, the last place Jude wants to come back to is the town where everyone knows him as an ex-con, but there’s not much choice for him while he gets back on his feet again. So back to his father’s house he goes to work in his auto-shop and hopefully save up enough to get himself a second chance elsewhere.
My name is Jude Nickel, and I am an addict. Also, I’m a big fucking idiot.
Sophie Haines was the love of his life. Letting her go was the hardest thing he’s ever done, but she was always too good for him and meant for greater things. He expects Sophie to be living her dream on Broadway and not stuck with her life in shambles in their small town with a mother that’s a shell of a person and an abusive, jaded father.
It’s inevitable that they run into each other and the love that neither of them ever forgot or got over soon brews to the surface once more.
We’d ended up exactly where I hadn’t wanted us to land, slotting ourselves right into position in both my bed and my memory.
Steadfast packed quite an emotional punch. I loved the realism with which Sarina wrote Jude. This is not a man that suddenly forgets he’s an addict once he detoxed. His struggle is daily and your heart breaks for him experiencing all of it with him. His love for Sophie was easily one of my favorite things about this book. It’s just so unwavering and pure. His inner struggle of loving her but knowing he can’t be with her was heart-wrenching.
The first time I ever kissed Sophie was in a car in the rain. That kiss had made my blood surge with lust and hope. But this one made me ache with impossible longing.
But reading how supportive Sophie was with everything about him and his past made it that much better. Sophie was an amazing heroine. She’s been through so much herself and her family life leaves something to be desired, but you truly understand what draws her to Jude and why she never really blamed him for what happened three years ago.
An addiction is when you can’t keep away from something that’s bad for you. Maybe Jude was a drug addict, but I was a Jude addict.
I absolutely loved the two of them together. The story is highly emotional, angsty and with a touch of forbidden. It broke my heart and melted it. It shattered me into a million pieces and then slowly put me back together.
You own me. You always have.”
“Even when you’re not perfect, you’re still mine.”
The love between Sophie and Jude was a palpable thing. I couldn’t get enough of them. It was beautiful in a tragic way. My heart was aching reading their road to a second chance together. I’ve been a huge fan of all things Sarina Bowen for a while now, but Steadfast put her on a whole different level to me. It was easily one of my favorite second chance romances I’ve read in a long while and certainly the most memorable. It was beautiful and emotional. It was everything I had hoped it would be and so, SO much more.
TRUE NORTH SERIES
KEEPSAKE (True North #3) – releasing October 2016