Review ♥ Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

June 11, 2016 Angela Contemporary, Enemies to Lovers, Reviews, Romance

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Review ♥ Bittersweet by Sarina BowenBittersweet (True North, #1) by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North #1
Published by Rennie Road Books on June 14th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 293
four-stars

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The new series is set in Vermont. True North is populated by the tough, outdoorsy mountain men that populate the Green Mountain State. They raise cows and they grow apples. They chop a lot of wood, especially when they need to blow off steam. (Beards are optional but encouraged.)

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.

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.

 

Bittersweet collage
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 just 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.

Recommended for fans of:
Lumbersexuals
Cooking
Farm life
Cider

** ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. **


Read the first chapter here!

four-stars

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

In 2016, Sarina became a Rita Award winner! The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.



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