Such a great, sweet read!
I read this in two nights and loved every minute of these two. I read Keepsake first, and they both are so different and so wonderful! I love her writing, and the simple, sweet plots. The chemistry between these two.. hot hot hot! Also… quite makes me want to work on an apple farm in New England, thats for sure! Love it!
This book, and the series so far, have all been excellent reads. The author's writing style flows very well, the story line catches and keeps the readers attention. It's nice to read a book without all the typos and grammatical errors.
5 #GrumpyGriff Stars
By Cyndi Becker
Bittersweet hit the sweet spot. It made me feel all sorts of wonderful things and I wholeheartedly recommend it. First off, it is so wonderfully written, with two lead characters and a gaggle of family and friends that form a unique community. Sarina’s characters are exceptional and she knows exactly how to write them so that their personalities are shaped perfectly in time with the plot. Their voices and often colorful inner dialogue makes for a fun read. Secondly, the premise is unique and educational as well. I had no idea cider making was such an art. Okay maybe I did! But with Griffin in the mix (egging Audrey on) it’s downright sexy. Really, read it and you’ll see exactly what I mean. So, now for the specifics…
At the center are Audrey and Griffin; two people who had been on each other's radar (and then some) back in college. Flash forward a few years and fate has put them back in each others paths. Audrey is complicated by a few distinct personality traits. She is one feisty, smart and sassy young lady, but it’s the confidence she has, despite the negativity her mother has thrown at her, that makes her really endearing. She isn’t in the best place when she happens back into Griffins life but she has the ability to recognize certain truths in people and the underlying strength that allows her to call things as she see’s them. It’s heartbreaking when her self doubt comes through but she plays it off as she expects to get things wrong.
Griffin's life is simple yet oh so complicated. It’s simplified by his distinct lack of a social life. Even out of the traditional cultivate and harvest cycles of farming, he just doesn’t have many interests outside of his family. But he’s been saddled with loads of responsibility and been a long time since he’s done something really good for himself. Hell he’s never really been in love ~ he’s existed by merely scratching the itch (wink wink). But Griffin is a balanced individual and has a soft heart to even out the big #GrumpyGriff side. He is the epitome of a swoon worthy lead and his connection with Audrey is primal and highly charged. Audrey inspires the #GRRRRRR in Griffin which made me positively giddy!
The story line flows at a good pace, initially over a few weeks, then over a few months. This gives Audrey and Griffin time to realize the strength of their attraction and see their similarities and deal with any differences. Griffin’s alpha qualities are perfect for the sweet and sassy Audrey. Her transformation over the course of the story was subtle yet in the end it felt huge!
Having read the preview at the end of Bittersweet I am very excited for Jude’s story. It seems I now have an entirely new fictional community to obsess over :-) Steadfast (True North #2) is now on my much anticipated summer reading list.
Loved this series and it's characters!!
By Pirate 6
Absolutely loved this story / characters. So sexy & heartwarming 😊
Great start to a new series
Sarina Bowen is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. I'm not a great writer of reviews but if you liked her other books this one is really good!
Fun, fun, fun!
Sarina Bowen kicks off her True North series with a delightful second chance romance that’s full of heart.
Griffin Shipley and Audrey Kidder had a one-night (actually a two-night) hookup in college and haven’t seen each other since. Audrey is an ambitious chef who has travelled to Vermont to negotiate a farm-to-table agreement between local farmers and her unpopular big city employer. When she runs into car trouble near Griff’s farm, the two are reunited and he grudgingly helps her out. Despite his irritability, it’s not long before the fire between them is rekindled and “Grumpy Griff” begins to imagine a future with Audrey.
I adored Griffin, plain and simple. He never once complains about having to give up his career plans to take over the difficult task of running the family farm after his father dies. Instead, Griff builds new dreams while under the constant stress of supporting his mom and siblings and keeping their apple orchard afloat. You’ve got to love a family man. Sure he’s grouchy sometimes, but he’s basically a kindhearted, lonely man who’s ready to let love in. The fact that he’s strong, good looking, and a beast in the bedroom doesn’t hurt. Oh, and he’s an organic chemist. Brains are sexy.
If there’s anything bitter about this story it’s Audrey. Griffin lays his heart on the line for her over and over, but she’s so stifled by fear and self-doubt that she guards her feelings without giving much away. She basically treats him like a sex buddy when he’s around and ignores him the rest of the time. I get that she’s focused on opening her own restaurant, but I felt she should be more considerate. Despite her shortcomings, she’s infectiously cheerful and easy going, albeit a bit too gullible for my taste.
I loved every single thing about life on the farm. The details about running an apple orchard and the easy camaraderie between the family members and the workers made for enjoyable reading. Maybe I was just hungry, but I especially appreciated the culinary aspect. Preparing wonderful meals for such a large, close-knit group of people who sit down together for three meals a day was lovely. Heck, I wanted to be part of the Shipley clan.
If you’re looking for a lazy afternoon read that will make you smile and swoon, I think you’ll enjoy Bittersweet. An excerpt from Steadfast is included, and I can already tell that Jude’s story will be an interesting one.
Loved Ever Word!
By LostIn PA
I loved this book from the first words to the last. You know how sometimes, you reach 85% and you wish there was more to read? Yeah, that!
Every character in the book was someone I wanted to know and came to know through the chapters. Some of the things I loved most about the book is the glimpse into the lives of a farming family, the subtle education that Griff provides regarding the importance of organic farming and the very real economic difficulties faced by those who grow and nurture our foods. Audrey, a chef, was a wonderful contradiction. She was confident and outgoing on the outside and full of insecurities and angst on the inside. Griff and Audrey together? Good lord! Where is the water hose, I need to be cooled down!
The secondary characters were so much fun, the love the family had for each other came through the pages of the book and engulfed you! While reading, you got a real sense of Vermont, the sights and sounds resonated within you as you read, you are not just reading words, you become a fly on the wall (or apple tree, sorry Griff) and watch as the scene unfolds.
This is an awesome read and I highly recommend it. I cannot wait until the next book, Steadfast, comes out on July 12!
Review: True North 1: Bittersweet
Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen is the first book in her brand new series True North. Hot farmers and apple trees? Yes please! This was a fabulously paced book filled with all kinds of details on cider making, cooking, and apple farming amongst other things. I not only thoroughly enjoyed the romance story between Griffin and Audrey but I felt like I was a little smarter after reading this. A little more aware of the organic farming community. I LOVED that about this book.
Audrey was a bit of a train-wreck in the beginning. Anything that could go wrong for her seemed to but her calamities all lead her to Griffin's farm so all good in the end there.
Griffin was just doing his best to keep his farm making money. When it all fell to his shoulders after his dad's heart attack and he had to let his potential career in professional football go to come home and take over, he figured this was it. Farm only and no time for romance. When Audrey practically crashes back into his life things start to look up for the both of them.
Heartwarming and unpredictable I absolutely adored this book and cannot wait for the next one, Steadfast, Jude's book.
Characters really come alive! I enjoyed it from start to finish. I can't wait for the next book in the series to be out. I think Sarina Bowen has become my new favorite author.