Thursday, July 14, 2016

Steadfast by Sarina Bowen

Title: Steadfast (True North #2)
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Source: ARC from Publicist
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Kobo
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.

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 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.

If you haven’t yet read anything by Sarina Bowen, do yourself a favour and go pick up one of her books as soon as possible. With every one of her books that I read, I just become more and more convinced that she can do no wrong. And Steadfast, her latest release, might just be her best yet.

A few weeks ago I completely devoured Sarina Bowen’s Bittersweet and as much as I loved Griffin and Audrey, Jude is who stayed with me. So I was beyond excited to get to read his story in Steadfast, even though I knew it had the potential to be the kind of story that breaks me. And it definitely broken me, but in the best way possible. Jude and Sophie’s story was just an incredibly touching one, even if they didn’t have the easiest of times making their relationship work To say there was a lot standing in their way would be quite the understatement because at times it felt like everything and everyone was against them. But they made it through and their story often had me in tears. But it was okay though, because despite the need for tissues while reading, I finished the book with a big smile on my face. Because as much as Steadfast broke my heart, it also put it back together. And stories that do that are my absolute favourite. Not only that, but through all the heartbreak and pain, Sarina Bowen injected an element of hope in the story that left me believing that no matter how bad things are, there’s always a little bit of hope, especially if you’re willing to fight for that hope. 

I was craving Jude’s story from the moment I first met him in Bittersweet. There was just something about him that spoke to me and I wanted to hear his story no matter how heartbreaking and difficult to read it would be. And while reading that story, I felt completely in love with Jude. In fact, I don’t think it would have been possible for me to not fall in love with him. Jude had definitely made some poor decisions in the past but he was working so hard to not repeat his mistakes and move on with his life. He struggled and his struggle broke my heart. But I also wanted him to catch a break, to finally have something go his way. And that something came in the form of Sophie, even if both of them were trying to resist falling back in love (did they ever really stop loving each other, though?) with each other. And I loved Sophie just as much as I loved Jude. Though she wasn’t struggling with addiction the way Jude was, Sophie had her own set of struggles and it seemed like at times she had no one in her corner. Except for Jude, even if he didn’t think he was good enough for her. And I know I’ve already said it, but Jude and Sophie just worked together and I don’t think I’ve ever rooted for a couple more than I rooted for them.

Sarina Bowen’s Steadfast was a beautiful and heartbreaking story and I loved every single moment of it. I am completely hooked on her True North series and I can’t wait to read the next book, Keepsake. And I’m pretty much dying to know who will be joining Zach in that story. 

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fast Connection by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell

Title: Fast Connection (Cyberlove #2)
Author: Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: July 11, 2016
Source: ARC from authors
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Kobo
After a decade of serving in the Army, everyone still expects me to be Dominic “Nicky” Costigan—the skirt-chasing player. They don’t know I’ve been spending my days trying to figure out my post-military life. Including how to pick up guys.

When I meet Luke on a hookup app, he makes it clear it’s for one-night only. That’s fine with me, because I’m down to see what this silver fox can do. But after I arrive at his doorstep, it doesn’t take long to realize we have serious chemistry, and we end up meeting again.

He’s got more walls around his heart than a military base, but I think he’s as addicted to me as I am to him. He can’t resist me for long. I mean, who can? Except Luke’s rules exist for a reason, and when I test his limits, things get complicated. Maybe too complicated.

It’s official, I will read everything and anything that Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell collaborate on because, if you ask me, they can do no wrong. Fast Connection was an amazing follow-up to their first collaboration, Strong Signal, and I loved every single moment of it.

Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell’s first collaboration, Strong Signal, is definitely in the running for my favourite book of 2016 (at least, so far). It was a book that took me completely by surprise and one I didn’t know I would love as much as I did. I mean, it’s been months since I’ve read it and I still think about it and find myself wanting to reread it on an almost-weekly basis. So Fast Connection, their second collaboration? I DEVOURED it. I couldn’t put the book down. I mean, I mean I put my own safety at risk and read while walking home one night because I just had to finish the book (there were a couple close calls with lampposts but I survived). It was a completely addicting story that hit all the right notes for me. And that was especially true for the romance. I can’t even begin to explain how much I loved the romance in Fast Connection. There was something about Dominic and Luke that just did it for me and I could have kept reading about them forever. I was so sad when I reached the end of the book because it meant no more reading about them. Just like they fell in love with each other, I pretty much fell in love with them.

Let me be real here for a second: I didn’t exactly have a very high opinion of Dominic Costigan after reading Strong Signal. I mean, he was a bit (okay, more than a bit) of a jerk to Garrett. But even then, I was curious to see if there was more to him. And guys, there was so much more to Dominic Costigan than I could have ever thought and I absolutely love him now. There was something so endearing about him, despite the fact that sometimes I wanted to slap him because he was being stupid. And if the way Luke felt is anything to go by, I’m not the only one who thought so. And Luke. I so did not expect to be as charmed by him as I was. Much like Garrett in Strong Signal, Luke was the strong, silent gruff type. Which apparently is something I go for. Or at least it is in books. But for real though, I totally loved Luke despite my initial reservations about him. And Luke and Dominic together? It shouldn’t have made much sense, and yet it totally did. As completely different as they were, they were also absolutely perfect for each other. And I loved reading about them. 

If you’re even the least bit curious about Fast Connection (or Strong Signal for that matter), drop whatever you’re doing and go read it. Trust me when I say that you won’t regret. And when you’re done, you’ll be counting down the days until Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell’s next book. Because that’s what I’ve been doing since finishing Fast Connection.

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