Author: Sarina Bowen
Book 2 in series True north
Main characters: Jude Nickel and Sophie Haines
I've had the pleasure of reading an ARC of this gem... don't worry, that did not affect my opinion at all... the only thing it changed is the fact that I was able to read this wonderful book before the release date... and I loved it :) where "Bittersweet" (book #1) was fun, this one was very emotional... but don't worry, if you haven't read the previous story, because this one works perfect as a standalone :) although you should read that first book because... well, because it was fantastic ;) but since this is the review about "Steadfast" let me go back to all the praises I can tell you about this amazing gem :)
Let me start with our main couple... *sighs* their story broke my heart so many times... it is a hard and emotional story after all... they are both in their early twenties, and actually were a couple when they were younger... Sophie is the sheriff's daughter, and Jude was the bad boy... well, he still sort of is... but it's much more complicated now... ok, let me try to explain without actually spoiling you anything :) so... they were together for a few years, until about four years ago... when he was convicted of driving under influence and being responsible for a car accident that killed her brother... he spent three years in prison, and now, after a few months on Shipley's farm, he comes back to his hometown... he is a recovering addict, and it's a daily struggle to stay clean... Sophie still lives in that same town, because the death of her brother really affected her family, and she does what she can to help her mother... it's of course much more complicated than these few sentences, but I want you to discover all the details for yourselves, so no spoilers from me...
What can I say to you about Jude and Sophie... *sighs* oh, how my heart was breaking for them... so many times... they were together before and throughout the whole book we get glimpses and flashbacks of that time between them... and during those scenes we can see how both of them had changed... how much different they are now... there is so much history between them... it's such a complex situation... so many feelings between them... some of them dead and buried, and some of them very much alive... all I'm gonna say here is that the book takes place over a few months... which is only natural, because theirs is not a situation that can be resolved in just a few days... I don't really want to say too much about how everything between them was before and how does it look now, because I think that you would enjoy their story the most without many details before you actually read the book :) but don't worry, even though it's a very emotional and absolutely sad book at times, it has many beautiful and heartwarming moments as well... not to mention a lovely ending ;) and most of those lovely and lighter moments are connected to...
The secondary characters :) mainly the whole Shipley family :) like I said before, this book can be read as a standalone, but if you read them in order, all the scenes with that amazing family will have much more meaning :) we met all of them in the first book, so I won't introduce all of them here, but they are such a lovely bunch :) I love them all and was very happy to see them in this book as well ;) but from the brand new set of characters introduced in this story, I think it was Father Peters who stole my heart :) Jude meets him after he attends an NA meeting in the church and they bond over something very yummy... ;) but I will let you discover all other details for yourselves... :)
I absolutely loved this book :) time and time again, the lovely Sarina Bowen proves, that you can write an entertaining book that also touches upon much more serious topics... each of her book I read just reminds me that for every few mediocre authors out there, you can find a beautiful gem like her :) an author that writes honest and raw stories... stories that are not only emotional but also hopeful... books that will make you laugh out loud and cry... and this beautiful gem is just one more example... written in 2 POVs, showing us in the most perfect way how both Jude and Sophie are affected by the past... how they struggle with what happened... but also how they overcome obstacles and find happiness again... :) I cannot recommend this book enough... :) it was a stunning, emotional journey that will forever have a piece of my heart... I will never get it back... it belongs to Jude and Sophie now...