Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review: Steadfast by Sarina Bowen

Title: Steadfast
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release: July 12, 2016
Source: ARC
Google http://geni.us/steadfastgoogle


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

My Review: 

Steadfast is book 2 in Sarina's True North series and its just as amazing as Bittersweet.  Steadfast brings us a story of second chances, second chance romance, yes, but also so much more.  

Jude is just months into his sobriety, months into starting over and trying to find who he is without his vices.  But its a long hard road, and not just the temptations of falling back under the lure of drugs.  Jude returns home after the work he was doing thins out and he's no longer needed. He's going to stay, hopefully, with his father and try to figure out what will come next for him. He knows its not going to be easy being home, between the temptations of the past, and the hurt and pain left over from the accident he caused. 

Sophie. Oh Sophie, she made me hurt for her. Her pain was visceral and so was the tugging she felt towards Jude, knowing that nobody else could understand that tug.  She suffered a loss that was great and everyone shared in the grief of that, but she also suffered a loss that no one could help her with and she didn't quite get herself.  I loved this girl. She was someone I'd have as a friend, someone I'd love to hug, and just talk with.  

I enjoyed this story, and not just for the usual reasons, but because it was different.  Steadfast brought to life real complications, real issues we as humans can face, and it gave us a look from another angle, a rare glimpse into the suffering of someone with a shall we say shady past who wants to move on from it, wants to be better.  Jude is one of those chracters that you just fall in love with, he pulls emotions out of you often, and you feel a deep connection to him, in rooting for this character.  The fact that this was a second chance romance story also made me happy as its one of my favorite tropes, and these two had a lot to work through, not counting the fact that nobody else wanted it to work out.  

Steadfast broke my heart, but also mended it.  It hit me right in the heart often, and pulled me further into the story, into the heart of the matter between not only Jude and Sophie, but a lot more.  This story showed a man who wanted to own his past, but also overcome it, a man who thought his worth was less than because of the things he had done. And the story of a woman who was helpless to stay away from the man everyone thought she'd be better off without.  

Their story is raw and emotional yet endearing as well.  Their connection is palpable, and the chemistry between them undeniable.  

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