Steadfast - Sarina Bowen

Steadfast

By Sarina Bowen

  • Release Date: 2016-07-12
  • Genre: Contemporary
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 34 Ratings)

Description

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.

I'm crazy about this series. In love with Jude and Sophie, the Shipley's, just the whole family dynamic. EVERYTHING IS WOW. -Angie's Dreamy Reads 5-stars, Top Pick! 

This story will break your heart and stitch it back together again. -Harlequin Junkie 

Utterly fantastic. Well-written romance that runs the full gamut of emotions. Oh, and did I mention steamy? This series has it all. -Red Hot & Blue Reads

  This is a must read for any romance reader. If you're having a little bit of overload from the typical storyline and want characters with depth and soul, one click this one. I promise you won't regret inviting Jude and Sophie into your reader world! - City and Book 

Another fantastic book by Sarina Bowen! I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. -The Book Hookup The true definition of a feel good read, it completely consumed me from the first page! - Reviews by Rah 

Steadfast has everything you want in a second chance romance and I guarantee it will be in your Best Of 2016 list.  -Sasha Says

This book slayed me. I was up until 3am finishing it! -Feeding My Addiction Book Reviews 

Sarina Bowen has topped herself again. I couldn't put down Steadfast! -Unapologetic Book Addict 

A dark and heart rending story. I was inspired to think more about giving people second chances and the benefit of the doubt. Also? It's really, really sexy. -Tiff at Mostly YA Lit

Reviews

  • 5++ #Gingersnap Stars and recommendation

    5
    By Cyndi Becker
    You know that moment when you are reading a book and you KNOW it’s gonna be one of your “top reads”? With Steadfast, I had that feeling after only a few chapters. Jude Nickel is an addict in recovery, working at the Shipley farm when we met him as a secondary character in Bittersweet. I hadn’t looked to see who book 2 would be about, so when I read the teaser chapter at the end of Bittersweet, I was simply floored. It made so much sense, he was the mystery that I suddenly couldn’t wait to get to know. Steadfast is truly one of the most beautifully layered stories that vividly looks at the life of an addict and the horrific and cataclysmic event that destroyed the family of the love of his life Sophie Haines. Jude’s addiction and recovery makes for one of the most thought provoking reads. Being in his head as he reasons through his regrets and lives moment to moment trying to stave off the “itch” to use drugs filled it with a unique tension. There’s no doubt that recovery is a condition and Bowen does an amazing job capturing all the norms of addiction/recovery and many of the nuances. Steadfast is also very much a love story. The connection between Jude and Sophie is palpable, especially while discovering how they are ripped apart after nearly three years together. And they would always face heavy opposition from Sophie’s family so neither had any reason to hope that their connection would hold and how natural it would be to fall back together. "Kissing her wasn’t a decision I made. It was just inevitable, the way a clap of thunder follows lightning.” ~ Jude “But even a glimpse of him had given me palpitations. As if my subconscious had recognized a piece of my soul before my brain got a chance to speak up.” ~Sophie Whether it was sheer loneliness, circumstance or fate that brings them back together, they were both mired in a desperate isolation. Individually they moved forward out of the pure necessity of life, but they are stuck in the aftermath of tragedy. When Jude returns to his fathers’ house and the family garage, he fights to retain control of his recovery: “Colebury reeked of all my old mistakes and desires. The itchy void in my chest gave a throb, and I rolled over to try to quash it. But that only reminded me of another absence. I stuck my nose in the pillow and took a deep breath, wondering if any essence of Sophie might remain. But she was long gone.” ~ Jude Sophie is in no better a position. Sophie’s life is hell. You can feel the desperation of Sophie’s life; living under the roof of her tyrant father and essentially motherless. Combine that with losing the love of her life, their separation is utterly heartbreaking. “My heart believed he had left Vermont just as thoroughly as he’d left my life. My heart was a goddamned idiot, obviously.” ~Sophie While the story line is driven by Jude’s life as a recovering addict, ensuring Jude and Sophie can move past the tragedy creates an element of mystery. Bowen very skillfully builds up the suspense and we are left waiting for the other shoe to drop. But she balances this with a passionate and love story. The story told from their alternating points of view and while they both reflect on their past, they slowly work towards a future. “It wasn’t that I didn’t want Sophie in my life. I wanted her very badly. I just wanted there to be a better me to give her in return.” ~ Jude “An addiction is when you can’t keep away from something that’s bad for you. Maybe Jude was a drug addict , but I was a Jude addict.” ~ Sophie The secondary characters, Father Peters and the compassion he shows Jude does much to restore his faith in himself. And surprisingly , Denny made it onto my list of “good” characters. Romantic notions aside, he cares deeply about Sophie and he stands by her as a much needed friend. But it’s the Shipley family that gives the story the essence of the community. It makes me long to spend even a week on a farm, communing with nature and eating cookies. Ultimately, Steadfast is a story about forgiveness, forgiving oneself and others, and the power of hope.
  • Steadfast

    5
    By LisanneH
    Well-crafted, emotional read. Great depth of character. Recommend. 💋
  • LOVED this book!

    5
    By isalaur
    Another great story with compelling characters from Sarina Bowen. I was caught up in the story immediately and held captive throughout. Had the HOLY S%*$!! moment as I figured out what was coming and how the story was likely to pay out. Loved Jude and Sophie and was cheering so hard for them. Am looking forward to the rest of the series. Highly recommend.
  • Be. Still. My. Heart.

    5
    By Laurie_Oh_TLG
    Steadfast is pure poetry. It will make your heart ache, but the beauty of this story will make it sing. I don't think that I have enough words to do the True North series justice. All I can say, is that it was impossible not to get completely lost in these characters and the brilliant words that flow from the heart and mind of Sarina Bowen. Make these books yours. Go. Go. Go. Happy reading!
  • Steadfast

    5
    By Legomaniac 9876
    I was nervous to read a story about a drug addict. The thought of someone using a needle to get high always makes me squeamish, especially if there was going to be a lot of detail. But, I love Sarina's stories. She is a beautiful writer that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading, so I went for it. I am so happy that I did. I devoured this in one sitting ( all day reading is a fav! ). Jude and Sophie's story is strong and sometimes ugly and also so very beautiful. You get little visits from the Shipley's too! Great read- five stars for Steadfast!
  • 5+ stars

    5
    By mak115
    Awesome book! So glad Sarina Bowen decided to write Jude's story and what a great story it was!
  • Great Read.

    5
    By Annieande
    I loved this book. The angst mixed with a mystery and with a heaping helping of self-loathing - I was hooked. The love scenes were so hot, and when you add in the love these two characters have for one another, I was swooning until 1am so I could see what became of them. Great read.
  • Could not put it down

    5
    By Jacklov2rd
    Sarina Bowen once again reminds me why she is one of my favorites. This book will break your heart and put it back together while you enjoy every minute.
  • Do Not Go Into that Good Night

    5
    By Toni FGMAMTC
    Steadfast is the perfect name for Jude’s book. He has to remain focused and moving forward in order to stay ahead of his drug addiction. It’s something that will always be there. Jude and Sophie were madly in love in high school. Her family and his bad decisions made it difficult for them to be together and eventually kept them apart for good. Now he’s back in town and both of their lives are going to be rocked again. I admire Jude, not for making the mistakes he did, but for being able to change his life around, which truly isn’t as simple as it sounds. Sophie has the sweetest heart of almost any character I’ve read. I could not have put up with a portion of what she did from all the people she loves. Every scene with the Shipley’s made me smile. I love that family so much and definitely still want them to adopt me. This book made me angry in parts and teary in others. I smiled a lot and had aww that’s so sweet moments. The super sexy is definitely present. It also has a bit of twist and touch of thriller. Steadfast is a mix of romance, inspiration and a great blend of everything to bring out emotions.
  • Fantastic book; Wonderful series!

    4
    By asullivn
    Sarina Bowen’s True North series is a breath of fresh air. There are no millionaires, superstar athletes, models, or rock stars. You won’t find people returning from the dead, love triangles, or emotional roller coasters. It’s simply an enjoyable series with down-to-earth, working class characters that warm your heart. Steadfast moves into heavier territory with a believable story about drug addiction and second chances. This is Jude’s story. He’s a recovering drug addict who has just served three years in prison for manslaughter while driving under the influence. After finding solace working on the Shipley farm for six months, the farming off-season has him returning to his hometown unemployed. It’s the last place on earth he wants to be. Temptations are around every corner, the police chief is out to get him, and he can’t stop wanting his ex-girlfriend/love of his life whose heart he broke. Jude really brought out my maternal instincts. I just wanted to hug him throughout the entire story. He’s a truly decent man who is trying his best to stay clean and find hope in the midst of grim circumstances. Sarina Bowen turns a sympathetic light on the effects of drug addiction. I love how she gauges Jude’s mood by starting his chapters with a craving meter. I also had a lot of admiration for Sophie. She and Jude are well matched and I enjoyed their star-crossed and forbidden second chance love affair. Steadfast is a welcome addition to this sweet series. Zach’s book, Keepsake, is up next. He’s the virgin farm hand with a controversial past. I’m excited to read more about life with the Shipleys.

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