BountifulSeries: True North #4
by Sarina Bowen
Published by Rennie Road Books on October 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.
Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on.
Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life.
Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave No-Last-Name will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.
Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.
Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.
I love Sarina Bowen’s True North series and I’ve been waiting around for another story from up in Vermont. I danced a little jig when I saw a literal “crossover” event between True North and her Brooklyn Bruisers, another series I adore of hers. But how to get Brooklyn, NY together with Vermont? Vacation, baby!
Flashback 2 years ago: Dave Beringer of the Brooklyn Bruisers is on vacation with his teammates up in Vermont. It’s there he crosses paths with none other than one of my favorite characters from the True North world, Zara Rossi.
If you’re familiar with the True North series, you’ll recognize Zara from book one, Bittersweet (awesome book, by the way!). She was Griff’s “scorned” lover that you couldn’t help but connect with and root for. I, myself, was waiting for her story due to “events” in her life that occur throughout the other three books leading up to this one. If you’ve read the synopsis (duh), you kind of know the deal but you don’t know everything that happened. Well, here’s the book that spills all the dirty details. And oh, boy… it was good.
Before I go further, because honestly, I never know when to mention this in a review, but may I suggest that if you really want to get the full effect of the story, the way Ms. Bowen probably meant the story to “read”, you’ll want to read AT LEAST book one before reading this one. All three books would be optimal, but you can skate by with just Bittersweet.
The reason I say this is because Griff and Audrey, as well as the rest of the Shipley family, are a pretty big part of this story. What about reading the Brooklyn Bruisers series, you may ask. Well, I’ve read all the books to date and I think the difference is that those character appearances enhance and support the story, instead of being a part of the story. Dave’s hockey teammates brought much need lightheartedness to the story. But having read their individual stories isn’t really necessary to THIS story. You can figure out their personalities right from this story. And perhaps it will motivate you to pick up a Brooklyn Bruiser story? Hmmm…
Ms. Bowen always brings solid writing and story telling skills to her books. That’s why she’s an auto-buy author for me. But… the reason why I personally didn’t rate this book higher is the second half of the story. I couldn’t wrap my mind around some of Dave and Zara’s actions. I could understand most of Zara’s motivations (vague, much?) but Dave was a bit illusive to me. The reasons why Dave acted the way he did was explained throughout the story, more so in the end. But, for some odd reason, I felt uncomfortable as I read his side of the story.
And the way it was resolved at the end? I was holding my breath on that one. I kind of like my “happily ever afters” less “flip the switch” and a bit more subtle. But damn, if you like dramatic, this was it!!
And yes, if some of the new characters introduced in this story make their way to having books of their own, I WILL be reading those books. Ms. Bowen is too good of an author to NOT read 🙂 Sometimes there will be just some stories that don’t match up with a reader. This is probably one of those for me.