TRIGGER WARNING (HIGHLIGHT BELOW):
DRUG ADDICTION. PHYSICAL ABUSE.
Series: True North #2
Genre: Romance, New Adult
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Release date: July 12th 2016
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.
Sophie Haines is stunned by his reappearance. After a three year absence, the man who killed her brother and broke her heart is suddenly 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 volunteer in the church kitchen.
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.
“One minute at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time, I kept going.”
Steadfast is a sweet and touching read. It’s also a very important book about drug addiction and loss. The story is emotional, the characters are layered and flawed, and the plot deals with some pretty heavy themes. There is sweetness, but there is also pain and hurt.
Sarina Bowen delivers another great novel. This one is a little darker than Bittersweet, but just as good. The great writing and incredible set of characters all make a comeback, stronger than ever. There are still smiles, but also a few tears this time around.
Once again, I read this in one sitting. I mentioned in my Bittersweet review that I loved the characters and couldn’t wait to read the next installment. Well… I didn’t wait! I’m happy to say Steadfast hooks you in just like its predecessor, with witty dialogue and an engaging plot. There is more drama in this one, but the conflicts and struggles of the characters still feel grounded and real.
The novel is also told in dual POV, and we get to know Jude and Sophie’s stories. It’s heartbreaking at times, and I did tear up a little. Jude’s story and his struggle with addiction are written extremely well. Bowen is respectful about the theme, and handles it very well.
All characters continue to have very different and unique voices, and this installment only adds more depth to each of them. We do see a little less of the Shipley gang, though, which is a little sad. But we still get some awesome new people introduced, like Denny and Karma. 😛
One thing that I had a little trouble with was the shifts in timeline from past to present. The flashbacks disrupt the pace and flow of the story a little, breaking the nice momentum between a few chapters. It’s used to give us glimpses into Sophie and Jude’s relationship, but they still felt a bit abrupt.
Overall, Steadfast is a great addition to this cute little series. It keeps the sweetness from the previous installment, but adds some darkness to it. It’s a very fast and enjoyable read, and once again leaves me wanting more. Highly recommend it to all Romance fans, especially those who like a little bit of emotional pain with their love stories! Now, onto the next one. 😀