Book Review: Bittersweet (True North #1) by Sarina Bowen

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28161530The new series is set in Vermont. True North is populated by the tough, outdoorsy mountain men that populate the Green Mountain State. They raise cows and they grow apples. They chop a lot of wood, especially when they need to blow off steam. (Beards are optional but encouraged.)

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the orchard.

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.

My Review

Holy smoking hotness! This book was AMAZING! Seriously, hello Sarina Bown! I will be reading ALL OF YOUR BOOKS! I’m fanning myself just writing up this review. This book was SO GOOD. I can’t even.

Goodreads has this listed under New Adult, but I would probably consider more of an adult contemporary. However, Goodreads also has it under erotica, and it was by no means that. That being said, this was one of the best adult contemporary books that I have ever read. I was categorize Bowen’s writing along side Elle Kennedy, Jen Frederick and Sawyer Bennett. I’m still really getting used to this genre, so I assume there are a ton more authors to compare Bowen to, but those are some of my top fave authors. There will be no doubt that I will read every book Bowen writes. I will also be preordering all of the books in this series because WOW!

I have to be honest, I thought I would be super grossed out by Griff. It’s really emphasized that Griff has a really bushy beard. It’s mentioned all the time and Audrey is always rubbing up against it. Fun fact about me: I HATE hair on men. A little stubble is always nice, but I purposely avoid men who have long hair or beards/mustaches. It grosses me the hell out. Chin length hair can be OKAY on a really hot guy, but it has to be just right. I know that this is a funny thing to mention, but I want to bring it up for those women/men who might feel the same way as I do. I gotta be honest, though, the beard worked on Griff. I was falling for that damn beard. It annoyed the hell out of me! It was hot, though!

Another aspect of Bittersweet that I really enjoyed was Audrey’s character. I tend to dislike the female leads in NA and adult contemporary books. That wasn’t the case with Audrey. I really enjoyed her strong, independent personality. She stood up for herself and the ones that she loved. Some might not agree with some of her decisions in the book, but I was on board. She did what she wanted to do. I loved her.

The chemistry between Griff and Audrey was sizzling! I do wish that there had been more scenes like the bar scenes. Cute, sexy moments hidden from everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, I hugely enjoyed the sexy scenes! I just wish that they hadn’t been so predictable. I don’t even know if that’s coming off right. I wish they had been more spontaneous and adventurous. However, there were two REALLY hot scenes in this book that met that criteria for me!

OH! And I can’t forget to mention Griff’s family and his farm staff. OH MY GOSH! I loved them all! I hope that every single one of those characters gets their own book. I’m super curious to find out who the female lead will be in the second book. I kind of feel like it’s going to be someone else, but I hope that Bowen pulls a card and makes it a certain someone who drove them to their meetings……. We shall see. But all the side and supporting characters were off the charts amazing!

The final thing that I want to mention loving about Bittersweet was the fact that it didn’t take place in three days like most NA/adult contemporary books tend to do. Bittersweet actually expanded several months which made it seem more realistic. People don’t fall in love in a few days. I LOVED that Bowen created a more realistic relationship in Bittersweet. Not only did it make her seem more credible and believable, but it made me love the book more.

There were a couple aspects of this book that I didn’t like so much. It’s not that I HATED those parts, I just found them kind of awkward to the plot of the book. 1) I thought that the climax of Bittersweet was super predictable. I saw it coming from the very beginning of the book. Once it finally happened, it was a VERY awkward scene that I actually skimmed through. I do wish that it had been way less predictable than it actually was. 2) I found the relationship between Audrey and her mom very odd in regards to how it turned out at the end. Their relationship probably wouldn’t have changed so drastically in real life. I understand that readers are probably looking for more of  a happy ending in these kinds of books, but it just seemed really awkward and unbelievable to me.

Overall, I absolutely ADORED this book! I can’t wait to read every. single. book. that Sarina Bowen writes. I’m all over her! GO READ THIS NOW!

Rating: [rating: 4]