Author: Sarina Bowen
Book 1 in series True north
Main characters: Griffin "Griff" Shipley and Audrey Kidder
You guys, when I got my hands on the ARC of this gem, I couldn't have been more happy about it :) cause I absolutely loved it :) so far I've only read her The ivy years series, except that last book, so I knew I was gonna love the writing style... :) and I was right :) this book was so fun to read :) seriously, I have only good things to say about it... yep, not one complaint :) so let me try to put all my chaotic excitement into some sort of order ;) let me start by saying that this is the beginning of what's starting to look like an amazing new series and I am seriously hoping there's gonna be more than just the three books already announced :) but for now, let us concentrate on this story :) but before I go and start telling you guys about this book, can we take a minute to appreciate the awesomeness that is this cover... *sighs happily* ;)
So about our main couple... ;) they actually met in college a few years back and had a very short fling ;) and by fling I mean a couple of hot nights... ;) now he runs the family business, after the death of his father a few years back and she does her best to work her way up in the restaurant business, hoping to own her own place in the future :) and for now it means that she's on a roadtrip to procure some produce from different farmers in Vermont :) and that is how they meet again... or to be more precise, she falls into a ditch at his property ;) I kid you not :) I really liked both of them separately and as a couple :) Griffin carry a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders, providing and worrying about his whole family... more about all of them in a moment :) but he does the best he can, at the same time trying to figure out what he wants to do :) Audrey is a chef-in-the-making :) I mean, the way she cooks and talks about food... ;) I stopped counting how many times I got hungry while I was reading... :) but believe me, it was a lot ;) like I said before, I loved them individually, but I loved their chemistry and banter even more :) the mix of his more responsible type and her more of "go with the flow" attitude is amazing :) and this whole book takes place over a few months of time, so their relationship is both slow building and not so much :) let me try to explain :) since they both have a lot of stuff going on in their lives, it makes sense that it would take more time for them to get closer :) I can't say much more without spoilers, so I'm sorry for being vague :)
Besides an amazing main couple we have tons of interesting secondary characters as well :) so first of all, there's the whole Shipley family :) Griffin has three younger siblings and a truly wonderful mom :) I am so in love with that woman :) the loving banter between them all is fantastic :) besides the members of that family I need to mention two more people :) first one is Zack, who helps on the farm and he and Griffin has the cutest Star Wars thing going on between them :) I am not gonna tell you what it is, but I think it's hilarious :) I also think that he's a super interesting character with a unique past so fingers crossed that he's gonna get his own book :) and last but not least, we have Jude, main character of the next book :) he has a very troubled past, because when we met him in this book, he just got out of prison for being responsible for a car accident that killed a person... he's also after rehab and I am really intrigued by where his story is gonna go, so I can't wait to read the sequel :)
Like I said before, I loved everything in this book :) we have 2 POVs, which is always a plus for me :) but even before I started this book I new that the writing style would be phenomenal :) and I was not disappointed :) another thing I loved is basically the zero amount of unnecessary angst and drama between our couple :) they both have stuff of their own and things to do and achieve, and it was just nice seeing the more rational relationship than just this let's-drop-everything-and-be-together-forever-after-three-days kind of situations ;) to be honest, all the feelings kind of snuck up on both of them ;) and it was both hilarius and cute :) the connections between characters, and believe me, some of them will surprise you, were such a great and important part of this book :) family bonds, friendships and of course the romance... :) the best adjective I can come up with to describe this book is just "fun" :) I know, it's not fancy or anything, but it describes the vibe and tone of the story the best :) the whole time I was reading it I was thinking to myself... "what a fun read" :) so I'm going with it and you can't stop me :) if you already are a Sarina Bowen fan, you will love this book, but fear not ;) if you are brand new to her, this story is a perfect way to discover her amazing writing style :) so go get it now, you won't regret it :)
I have just a few quotes for you today... believe me, it was really hard to pick just those few, because they are all over this phenomenal book :) so here's your glimpse into all the awesomeness that awaits you :) just remember, since they come from the ARC version of this story, there might be slight changes in the finished version :) happy reading :)
The very first quote inside this book :)
"A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something Brussels sprouts never do. - P. J. O'Rourke"
A little bit of Griff and Audrey's first meeting ;)
"'Now let's get your shiny new car out of the ditch, shall we?'
Griff was glowering at me. For real. Before today I'd never seen anyone actually glower. It was an expression found only in books, and on Griff Shipley's ridiculously handsome yet grumpy face."
A little scene with Griff, Audrey and May, Griff's sister ;)
"The curvy girl making a wacko sauce in my kitchen had once felt spectacular beneath me. And in front of me. And straddling me...
'Hmm?' Shit, I was actually staring at her. 'Is there something on my ass that shouldn't be there?' she asked.
'Uh.' I was so busted. 'Just a bit of hay.'
'Get it off, would you?'
Ruh-roh. Trapped in my own stupid lie, I took a quick swipe at her skirt near the hip, where it was relatively safe.
'Thanks,' she chirped stirring.
May gave me a strange look as she dropped off a bag of brown sugar and some other seasonings on the counter beside Audrey. 'Everything okay over here?'
'Of course,' I grumbled. 'Just hungry.'
Her eyes twinkled. 'Are you now?'"
Another exchange between our main couple :)
"'Zach said he got my bag out of the car,' she told me as we began walking. 'That was nice of him.'
'Now you know who's the gentleman on the premises.'
She gave me a quick poke in the side. 'Not you.'
Audrey laughed. 'Even though you're giving up your room to me tonight. Isn't that what a gentleman does?'
'Peer pressure,' I explained.
'Ah, well. I'll take it.'"
And one more with Griff and Audrey :)
"'So,' I said, closing the trunk.
'So,' he said, cocking his head to the side and smiling down at me.
That smile packed a punch, and it stole my focus. 'It's been... interesting.'
'Aw.' He actually rolled his eyes. 'Interesting?' That's the review I get? I'm pretty sure the earth moved.'
'Well...' My cheeks heated. 'You're a farmer. It's your job to notice the earth. I know I burned off some crucial brain cells last night. I'll be lucky to find my way back to Boston.'
His smile grew wider. 'Come back if you get lost. You know where to find me.'"
And last one from the amazing Audrey ;)
"Griff and his boys were all out there shirtless staking crates of apples. It was apples, bulging biceps and rippling pecs as far as the eye could see. Zach was the only one who dove for a shirt when I got out of the car. Jude - who was heavily tattooed - ignored me. Kyle actually flexed, then gave me a wink. Showoff.
And I don't even know what Griff did, because I was trying so hard not to stare at his eight-pack and the happy trail running down toward his...
Crap. I was a terrible businesswoman. Mentally undressing your vendor was definitely a no-no."
If you still need more convincing... I don't know why, cause I think I was pretty persuasive... ;) but if you do, I have a link to the first chapter right -> here <- :)