Book Review: Steadfast (True North #2) by Sarina Bowen

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steadfastShe’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.

For Sophie Haines, coming face to face with the man who broke her heart is gut-wrenching. Suddenly, he’s 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 turn up volunteer in the church kitchen.

She knows it’s foolish to yearn for the man who returned all the heartsick letters she wrote him in prison. But the looks he sends her now speak volumes.

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.

My Review: 

Steadfast is one of the most heart-ache inducing, high blood pressure raising, eye misting, bringer of all the feels kind of book that I’ve read in a really long time. I was addicted from the very first page and soared through the rest of the book. After finishing Steadfast, all I want in my like is some more Jude and Sophie. There was just not enough of them for my aching heart!

I fell in love with Jude in the first book of this series, Bittersweet. I just knew he had a huge, complicated story to tell that I wanted to know all about. If possible, I feel even more in love with Jude in Steadfast. Some of that might have been because of how real is story is. Recovering from drug addiction is a real world issue that made the story itself more interesting and more realistic. The only slightly weird thing for me was that I have no experience with drug addicts or drug addiction. Sometimes the storyline itself seemed so far off what I’m used to dealing with in every day life. However, I really enjoyed reading about Jude’s journey from start to present.

Funny enough, I would have sworn that the love interest would have been May. I had thought that Jude and May had a lot of chemistry in the first book, so I just assumed that’s where this book was going to go. I was a little bit surprised when it turned out to be Sophie. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Sophie! It just took me a little bit off guard. Jude and Sophie’s chemistry, though? Hot damn! They were sizzling! Definitely a power couple to read about!

One thing that I really loved about Steadfast was that it went back and forth from the past to the present. I would have liked to see some more moments from the past, as well as some scenes from Jude’s time in prison. I would have preferred more of a balance between the two simply because I really enjoyed the scenes from the past. I also would have enjoyed some more scenes of Sophie and Jude getting to know one another.

The only thing that I really disliked about Steadfast was that it was kind of long. It almost felt like a bunch of fillers were being added to keep the story going. The story itself, especially toward the ending, didn’t reach its full potential. I would have liked to see some more powerful, romantic scenes between Jude and Sophie. I also would have liked the investigation itself to be more lengthy and to see some more scenes between Sophie and her father. We were told from the very beginning that Sophie’s dad hated Jude, but he really only had like two or three scenes in the book. I would have like to see that confrontation. I felt that Sophie’s dad needed to play a bigger role than he actually did, and I was kind of let down that it didn’t play out that way. Another thing that disappointed me was the ending. Again, I just felt that it seemed really rushed and kind of just thrown together in some spots. The last half of this book had so much potential. I’m just a little disappointed that it didn’t reach the level it could have.

Even though I had a couple problems with the story, I can honestly say that Steadfast is one of my favorite reads of this year, so far. It was so powerful, real, romantic, and heart pounding. I would definitely recommend this read for all romance lovers!

Rating: [rating: 4]