Also by this author: Bittersweet (True North, #1)
Steadfast (True North Book 2) by Sarina Bowen
Published by Rennie Road Books on July 12, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Buy on Amazon
She’s the only one who ever loved him—and the only one he can never have. 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.
Steadfast can be read as a standalone. However, we first meet Jude in True North. I knew when he was first introduced that he would end up being one of my favorites. There was just something about him that draws you in and makes you want to know everything there is about him.
Jude is a recovering addict who served time in prison for killing a man while driving under the influence of narcotics. Now that he is out, he has been working hard to stay clean and start a new life for himself. When he first got out of prison, he was able to spend 6 months at the Shipley Farm in a nearby town from him hometown of Colebury, VA. The long hours and the simplistic life was good for him. But now the apple season has passed and he’s forced to return home. The one place he has tried to avoid. The temptation too easy and the memories of losing not only some of his life but the love of his life is extremely difficult.
Sophie has always loved Jude. She was the good girl who wanted the bad boy. When she caught his attention, she fell hard and fast. When Jude shows back up in town after serving time, she tries to avoid him but he seems to be everywhere in her life. He’s also changed from the boy she knew and loved. Once again, Sophie finds herself drawn right back to the only boy she’s ever loved.
This book is heartbreaking yet inspiring. Jude’s drug addiction is all too real. Most of us have had some kind of personal connection to addiction. What I think sets this book apart from some of the most recent addiction books that I’ve read is the fact that it gives you more of an inside look at the struggles of a recovering addict. Through Jude, Sarina shows us just how difficult day by day is. We also get to see things that might seem small to some people but are milestones for addicts. I know that many people will be able to connect to this story.
I like the fact that we get to see Sophie’s side of it as well. Addiction isn’t isolated to the user only. It’s affects your loved ones and those around you. Her situation and actions are relatable and gives just a little bit of insight from the loved one’s point of view. She’s a very strong heroine who has been through a lot with her family yet she still has the heart to digest and understand just what happened during his addiction.
Overall, I really enjoyed this heartbreakingly beautiful second chance novel and I really can’t recommend it enough. It won’t be pretty all the time but it’s inspiring for people who have to overcome a serious life obstacle and come out of it with hope. Well done, Sarina. I’ve enjoyed this series and I can’t wait for the next book.