Bountiful by Sarina Bowen
True North Series (Book 4)
Coming October 20, 2017
4 Finally Home Crowns
I adore this cross-over novel, which is part of The True North Series and contains characters from the Brooklyn Bruisers series (all can be read as standalones). Bountiful is sweet and sexy with a genuine hero, a sassy heroine, and a little girl that will absolutely melt your heart.
One of my favorite aspects of the book is the characters. Every single one, from the main characters to the secondary ones, are so enjoyable and developed, and I found myself looking for clues that we would eventually get their stories (fingers crossed).
Dave in particular is a very unusual male athlete hero. He doesn’t necessarily have that arrogant outward swagger that readers often see in the romance world. Trust me, he has confidence in all the places he should, but their is a nonchalance to his attitude that tempers the typical athlete archetype. Another aspect of his character that is interesting is his unclear outlook on the future. He knows he can’t play hockey forever, but he cant imagine anything else. His past as well as his knowledge of himself doesn’t allow him to see past the present, which makes him perfect for Zara when they are young and a bit problematic for her when he returns to Vermont a few years later. What Sarina Bowen does well with his character, though, is shows a full evolution. Readers get to see him change and grow as he becomes more involved with Zara and Nicole, and we see his future begin to take shape. It is during these moments, as he is chasing the future he wants, where readers really get to see his level-headedness and gentle nature shine.
Zara is a prickly heroine. From the moment readers meet her, she has walls built so high, I didn’t think anyone could truly break them down. Even when Dave and Zara meet in the past, she doesn’t ever fully allow them to fall and expose herself. The Zara readers meet later, though, is different, as she is now a mother, and as any mom knows taking care of another human being changes a person. Her priorities shift and what she wants and desires is no longer a priority. Although Zara seems to be the same prickly heroine from the past when she meets Dave again, her motivation for erecting her barriers is much different. This is her mama bear coming out, and she is doing what she can to protect her daughter from being hurt, which also stems from Zara’s difficult childhood. Readers will love that at the end, just like Dave, Zara also undergoes a full evolution as a character, allowing herself to finally be happy.
Bountiful is a very low angst story. It follows the journey of two people who don’t see a future beyond the moments they live in the now, which makes them great for a fling but problematic for a future. Sarina Bowen takes readers on a journey as they navigate how they build a future while considering all the extra considerations that come with a business, a professional hockey career, and taking care of and raising a child. The author handles this issues in a truly authentic and realistic way, with very little drama or angst. I personally would have liked a bit more of an explosion for the conflict, but I’m not sure that this reaction would have truly fit with the characters and how she chose to develop them. Either way, Sarina Bowen delivers another book that will warm your heart, heat up your sheets, and make you believe that love will always find a way.
Sarina Bowen continues to deliver feel-good, steamy romances that exemplify everything readers love about romance. Authentic and down-to-earth characters, sweet and sexy romances, and writing that is out-of-this-world. Fans of Sarina Bowen will not be disappointed in this book, and I can’t wait to see where she takes us next in The True North series.
ARC received in exchange for an honest 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.
***CAN BE READ AS A STANDALONE
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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.
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Jude lost everything one spring day when he crashed his car into an apple tree on the side of the road. A man is dead, and there’s no way he can ever right that wrong. He’d steer clear of Colebury, Vermont forever if he could. But an ex-con in recovery for his drug addiction can’t find a job just anywhere.
Sophie Haines is stunned by his reappearance. After a three year absence, the man who killed her brother and broke her heart is suddenly everywhere she turns. It’s hard not to stare at how much he’s changed. The bad boy who used to love her didn’t have big biceps and sun-kissed hair. And he’d never volunteer in the church kitchen.
No one wants to see Sophie and Jude back together, least of all Sophie’s police chief father. But it’s a small town. And forbidden love is a law unto itself.
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There’s a first time for everything.
Lark Wainwright 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.
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About the Sarina Bowen:
Her Ivy Years and Brooklyn Bruisers books are hockey romance novels. These two connected series began breaking hearts in 2014 with The Year We Fell Down. See http://www.sarinabowen.com for updates.
HIM and US are the bestselling, hockey LGBT novels co-written with Elle Kennedy. HIM is also a finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® Award.
For lovers of angsty snowboarders, Sarina also writes the Gravity series, featuring snow sports heroes.
Sarina enjoys skiing, coffee products and a nice glass of wine. She lives with her family, six chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.
She would be honored to connect with you at http://www.sarinabowen.com.