Selecting this week’s favorite book is difficult, as I read four 5 crown reads, and, although the four books are all in the romance genre, they are all completely different. Bittersweet, however, is the book that stayed with me. Even now, as I have read two books since reading Sarina Bowen’s newest publication, I still think about these characters. I wonder what the next book will be about. I anticipate my return visit to Vermont. While all of the books I read this week are well-written and engaging for me as a reader, this book just spoke to me. There is something magical about this story and these characters, thus earning the Modern Belle’s favorite read of the week!
Modern Belle’s Review
5 FANTASTIC CROWNS
I’m sitting here trying to determine how to best transfer my love of this book to the written word. It was amazing, sweet, hot, lovely. While all of these are true, it doesn’t seem to do this book or the author justice, but I am going to try to write a review that lives up to my adoration of Bittersweet.
What I loved most about this book are the characters, all of them. Let’s first start with the main male character, Griff. He is a great romantic hero. He is loyal and cares about his family, giving up his possible future to take care of siblings and the farm shows how honorable he is. His knowledge of organic farming and defending his fellow farmers against big corporations adds to his attractiveness as well. Even though the reader sees him as sweet and nice to his family and fellow farmers, he is gruff with most others, even Aubrey, and, oddly enough, it is endearing. It just makes me love him that much more. Also, this man can spew the hottest lines that aren’t particularly dirty. I have read about a lot of dirty talkers while reading this genre, but most of them are blatantly dirty and sometimes raunchy. Griff never gets incredibly dirty with content, but it still is hot and has the same effect. Griff, with his gruff, bearded, cider-making hotness, has firmly placed himself among my favorite heroes. Additionally, I really like Audrey, the main female character. She is a character that doesn’t feel wanted. She struggles with not feeling valuable, although she is a fantastic chef. She doesn’t seem to measure up to the standards of her mother, and her college relationship didn’t end well. When we meet her, she is struggling to keep her job and achieve her dream of owning a restaurant. Her newest task assigned to her, which she needs to do well in order to keep her job, sets Audrey on the path to reconnect with Griff. Through her interactions with his family, Griff, Zara, Jude, Zachariah, and other farmers, Aubrey begins to grow as a character. She begins to see her self-worth and value. I simply delighted in their relationship and how they make each other better. They listen to each other, fight for each other, and chase after their dreams together. I just love them, and I hope we get to see them again in the other books in the series.
As much as I love the main characters, the secondary characters in the story are just as fantastic! Jude is flawed and tragic, and I can’t wait to see his road to redemption. Zachariah is another worker at the orchard, and he just seems so sweet and sheltered. I am hoping book three in the series will focus on him, as I want to see him get a happy ending, too! More than these two secondary characters, the whole Shipley family makes me fall in love, just like Audrey, and I hope we get their stories. Even if they don’t get their own books, I need to know what happens to the twins, the cousins, and although she isn’t a Shipley, Zara. I just fell in love with this whole family, and I want to see all of their stories, even if they are just secondary plots in the main story.
Although not a character in the story, the setting of the Bittersweet plays an intricate part of the story. The description of the setting makes me want to book a trip to Vermont. The food descriptions make me want to make reservations at food-to-table restaurants, but I need to make sure they are authentic, as not to upset Griff. The imagery to describe the orchard really showcases the relationship between Griff and his father and serves to further develop his character. The setting, as described by Sarina Bowen, just become this whole separate character that added to my love of the novel.
Sarina Bowen is one of my favorite authors. I have read everything she has written, and it has all be fabulous. I always love her characters and am sad when I leave them. The characters of Bittersweet are no different, and I can’t wait to see them again for the second book of the series, Steadfast.
Farmers make the earth move.
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.
Warning: Contains sexual situations, gourmet yumminess, a steamy outdoor shower and proof that farmers don’t mind getting dirty.