Book Review: Bittersweet (True North #1) by Sarina Bowen

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I had received an ARC of this book awhile back, and had read it with every intention of reviewing it…despite this review coming a little late (ok, I know I’m quite late…but better late than never) I was given this copy and should deliver my end which comes with receiving an ARC. So lets get to it! 

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28161530Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published Date: June 14th 2016
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Synopsis: If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the orchard.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago.

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.

**ARC courtesy of author in exchange for an honest review**

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Hallelujah! I totally appreciate that it wasn’t INSTALOVE! Both, Griff and Audrey have their own back story having met while at school where they had spent some time together, as college students, feelings had developed but never explored. Hence I could totally buy into the progression of their relationship.

I was cuddling the world’s grumpiest farmer.

I have a soft spot for grumpy heroes, and Griff is such a wonderfully grumpy farmer!  He was adorable! He almost made it to the NFL but ended up back in Vermont, to help with running the Shipley Farm. Griff melted my heart right from the start, but I think I might be bias, since I do love the fact that he’s a grump, mixed with just the right amount of confidence. One of my favorite quote by him would be:

“As the saying goes, you’re supposed to do what you love.” I tapped my chest. “I’m it, baby.”

That brought laughter with a mixture of, “how cute can this guy get!” reactions from me. Despite all that, Griff also has his own sets of worries in regards to his relationship with Audrey, wondering how he could make what started out sexual attraction into an actual relationship, and how would they be able to sustain that relationship.

While I didn’t really take to Audrey from the start, I grew to appreciate her efforts to stay independent from her mother and make it out in the world on her own. It’s really nice to see a character that isn’t perfect, but tries in her own ways to make it on her own two feet. She knows she’s not book smart but that’s okay, she finds her passion and she works hard at it. I like that she is resourceful and intelligent, she’s just not the academic type and that is totally fine. I had my own struggles when I was deciding on my majors and my parents were unhappy with what I’d decided on. Then I watched as my own sibling, who f my parents’ sake picked Engineering and HATED IT; suffered through 2 years of college, scoring average grades before finally switching majors. Therefore I really appreciate seeing a character who persisted in achieving her dreams on her own.

I ate my meal and listen to the Shipley family squabble over whose turn it was tonight to control the TV remote.

Lastly, let’s not forget the Shipley family! They were loud, warm, loving and accepting. What more do you need from such a wonderful family! And I say this to include Jude and Zach, of course. I really love supportive secondary characters, and the Shipley Family is one such family. They are wonderful down to the bickering siblings! And who doesn’t appreciate bickering siblings!

Overall, it was an enjoyable read. Sarina Bowen lulls you into the beautiful scenic Vermont farms (which I’ve never been but would love to make a trip now), pile you up with farmers talk so you feel like you’re there standing on that field with them, excite you with the hot sex scenes and still manages to deliver some pretty low key tender moments without too much angst.

I’m definitely looking forward to reading Steadfast, which is Jude’s story next!

Would I recommend this? Sure, especially if you’re a fan of grumpy farmers and bright cheery cooks and romance with low angst. This is for you!

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Have you read the book? If you have, what did you think about it? Did you have the same issues I did about the book? Otherwise what did you love about it? If you’ve not, would this be something you’d pick up? Would love to know what you thought, looking forward to hearing from you!

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The original photograph in banner was taken from Farnum Hill Cider, I’d just edited it a little to suit my preference.

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9 thoughts on “Book Review: Bittersweet (True North #1) by Sarina Bowen

  1. Is this the book you said you were having trouble reviewing on Twitter? I haven’t read any Sarina Bowen before but I’m glad that you enjoyed this one! It seems fun and easy and also funny, from the quotes you’ve included, and sometimes you just need that kind of book. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah! Like I enjoyed the read but I had like no angle on how to review it at the time. And I love Sarina! If you prefer low angst romance she is good about that; although because the climax isn’t very angsty and quite low key things can feel slow. She does approach very real situations…failing out of college, sudden family responsibilities, making decisions not everyone likes, etc.

      As an author I strongly recommend her! Esp her Ivy Years series and Him duology. Bittersweet the setting is a little like Alice Clayton’s Nuts 😁 farming community and all that jazz 👍

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      1. That sounds goooood. I’ve just read Paper Princess/Broken Prince and I feel like I might have found an NA I actually like. I’d be checking out Sarina Bowen when I get the time – all those things you mentioned sound right up my alley. 😀

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      2. I’ve been debating on that…I’m not sure it’s for me after reading the synopsis 🙈 sounds a little too Hana Yori Dango for me lol. Oooo do tell me when you finally do pick up one of her works! I might start on her new sports series when it comes out 👍

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