Series: True North #3
Published by Rennie Road Books on October 25th 2016
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Lark Wainright used to be fearless. Her life was a series of adventures, each one more exhilarating than the last. But her recent overseas adventure was one too many. Now she’s home and in one piece. Mostly. But her nights are filled with terror.
When her best friend offers her a stay at the orchard in exchange for help at the farmers’ markets, Lark jumps at the chance to spend fall in Vermont. But her nightmares don’t stop. Desperate to keep her fragile state a secret, she relies on the most soft-spoken resident of the Shipley Farm to soothe her when her dreams prove too much.
Zachariah is a survivor, too. It’s been four years since he was tossed aside by the polygamist cult where he grew up. He’s found a peaceful existence on the Shipley’s farm, picking apples and fixing machinery. But getting thrown away by your own people at nineteen leaves a mark on a guy. He doesn’t always know what to make of a world where movie quotes are the primary means of communication. Before hitchhiking to Vermont, he’d never watched TV or spoken on the phone.
Actually, there are a lot of things he’s never done.
Zach and Lark slowly grow to trust one another. One night they become even closer than they’d planned. But Lark may still be too broken to trust anyone. When she pushes Zach away, he will have to prove to himself that he's good for much more than farm labor.
Keepsake is the third standalone novel in the True North series. With each book I fall more and more in love with the Shipley family, life on the Shipley farm, the Shipleys’ friends—basically anything Shipley related. I’ve been curious about farmhand Zach, and now we finally get his story.
Zach has always been the quiet, kind, and hard working one. Other than the fact that he grew up sheltered in a religious cult and he’s a 23-year-old virgin, little was known about his past. Lark is May’s friend. She’s working at the farm during apple picking season and attempting to recover from a traumatic ordeal of her own.
Love. Zach. He knows what it’s like to painstakingly rebuild your life after horrific experiences. His gentle and gracious nature makes him the perfect partner for Lark. I really enjoyed the slow burn nature of their relationship and the way they unselfishly give to each other.
I have no issues with the plot itself, but the pacing is very slow making the book feel longer than necessary. I think editing some scenes out would have enhanced my overall enjoyment. That doesn’t detract from the numerous funny and sweet moments that make the story so appealing. The meals around the Shipley table, the gentle ribbing among the men, Zach and Lark’s quiet moments of reassurance, and the integral roles Griffin and May play are just a few highlights. The epilogue is pure perfection.
Keepsake is a heartwarming addition to this winning series.
Recommended for fans of:
** ARC kindly received. **