Sunday, 20 November 2016

Keepsake - Sarina Bowen - Review


There's a first time for everything.

Lark Wainwright used to be fearless. Her life was a series of adventures, each one more exhilarating than the last. But her recent overseas adventure was one too many. Now she’s home and in one piece. Mostly. But her nights are filled with terror.

When her best friend offers her a stay at the orchard in exchange for help at the farmers’ markets, Lark jumps at the chance to spend fall in Vermont. But her nightmares don’t stop. Desperate to keep her fragile state a secret, she relies on the most soft-spoken resident of the Shipley Farm to soothe her when her dreams prove too much.

Zachariah is a survivor, too. It’s been four years since he was tossed aside by the polygamist cult where he grew up. He’s found a peaceful existence on the Shipley’s farm, picking apples and fixing machinery. But getting thrown away by your own people at nineteen leaves a mark on a guy. He doesn’t always know what to make of a world where movie quotes are the primary means of communication. Before hitchhiking to Vermont, he’d never watched TV or spoken on the phone.

Actually, there are a lot of things he’s never done.

Zach and Lark slowly grow to trust one another. One night they become even closer than they’d planned. But Lark may still be too broken to trust anyone. When she pushes Zach away, he will have to prove to himself that he's good for much more than farm labor.

4.5 Stars 

Keepsake is the third installment in the True North series, although it can be read as a standalone. It's an emotional and quite beautiful story of two damaged individuals finding love. This book returns to the Shipley Farm, and those familiar with the previous books in this series, will be pleased to see so many characters that appeared in the two previous books appear quite frequently within the story line. 

Lark is a highly like-able character and she's very believable, and incredibly endearing. You feel for her, for everything she has experienced. Lark is incredibly strong to persevere even with the nightmares that haunt her. Her parents whilst well meaning, hover an cause her extra anxiety that she doesn't need. An escape and chance to work in the great outdoors at the Shipley Family orchard is just what she needs. 

Zach is such an easy character to love, he's shy, unassuming, a hard worker, a gentleman and an all round good guy. After being raised in a cult, he also lacks any experience with females and it makes him incredibly endearing to see him blush and bumble his way through interactions at times. 

I loved the dual point of view, that gave an insight into both Lark and Zack's innermost thoughts and feelings as the book progressed. Although their relationship progressed slightly slower than some, the pair still share an intense connection and chemistry. They have a lovely, affectionate and caring relationship build on friendship, respect and trust. I can't wait to read future books in this series, and wonder which member of the Shipley family will find love next.

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Sarina Bowen
Sarina Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction. She lives in the wilds of New England.

She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college. Also, the The Gravity series.

With Elle Kennedy, Sarina is the author of the RITA award winning HIM, and its sequel, US.

Sarina has begun a new Vermont contemporary romance series, True North. She's also unrolled new hockey novels from Penguin Berkley including Rookie Move.

Sarina enjoys skiing, espresso drinks and the occasional margarita. She lives with her family, eight chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.