Published by Rennie Road Books on June 14th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
The new series is set in Vermont. True North is populated by the tough, outdoorsy mountain men that populate the Green Mountain State. They raise cows and they grow apples. They chop a lot of wood, especially when they need to blow off steam. (Beards are optional but encouraged.)
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the orchard.
The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago.
At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.
Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.
They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.
Bittersweet (True North #1)
By Sarina Bowen
The bitter…and the sweet side of family commitments.
It’s amazing what you’ll do for your family. it could be a – suck it up buttercup – to attend the family get-together where Aunty Freida pinches your cheek or Uncle Mo gives sloppy kisses. Or maybe you are the odd-one-out because you’re not a sports fan and even your 2-year-old niece has a jersey and yells Go Broncos every time she sees a football. Some of us accept the bitter with the sweet side of family commitments, knowing that we’re better off with than without. Unfortunately, sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing until you don’t have it or it’s taken away. InBittersweet both the main characters have family and commitments that can be bitter but can also be sweet. The challenge is to see if they can make their own version of Bittersweet commitments.
Griffin had plans for his future. They weren’t exactly set plans, but he had worked hard towards a football career and obtaining a degree in chemistry. When Griffin’s father dies from a heart attack at age 49 (way too young), he goes back to his family farm and takes over the running of it. He loves his family and doesn’t resent returning home but he does feel the burden and responsibility of funding his brother and sisters education. He wants them to have the same opportunity and choices he was given…even though he had to put them to the side. The farm does OK but there’s always room for improvement and always the worry that a crop can be hit by a disaster. Griffin hopes to move more into the cider making business but the outlay and risks have him worried. His life is busy from sunup to sundown and there definitely isn’t room in his life for a relationship. Imagine his surprise when a hook-up from his past gets stuck in the ditch on his property.
Aubrey doesn’t seem to be having much luck. All her life she’s been told that she doesn’t have what it takes to make a success of her life…by her mother. Nice…. Mummy dearest is a workaholic, man-hating, corporate, business woman who can’t understand how she delivered into this world a daughter who wants to …COOK!! THE HORROR!! When Aubrey fails in her second attempt to please Mummy dearest by attending college, Aubrey makes the decision to follow her own path instead of her Mum’s path. This means Aubrey’s path got a whole lot rougher. Mum won’t pay for her car or education anymore. This gives Aubrey a great sense of accomplishment when she finishes culinary school at the top of her class. Unfortunately, her job after college SUCKS!! This very large corporate giant keeps putting her into a work environment she’s either not suited to or not prepared for. This is just another time where Aubrey feels unsuccessful and useless.
Aubrey and Griffin cross paths when one of Aubrey’s tasks is to approach farms to get produce for the restaurants within the company she works for. It isn’t until she and Griffin look at what’s on offer that she realised they sent her on a fools errand. The prices they’re offering are abysmal and Griffin has no hesitations in telling her so. Aubrey needs this job and tries to talk Griffin around. Griffin would love a big contract but not with a company willing to underpay by such a margin.
The more time Griffin and Aubrey spend together the more they realise that the chemistry that sizzled in College is still there. Griffin wants Aubrey and would love her to be part of his life but he knows that Aubrey has dreams of opening her own restaurant and he doesn’t want to hold her back. Aubrey is falling for Griffin but self-doubts hold her back.
The steamy times were plenty and the connection between Griffin and Aubrey jumped off the pages. Griffin can be quite grumpy but the more time he spends around Aubrey, the more he seems to relax and smile.
Aubrey is an only child from a single mother so the opportunity to spend time with Griffin’s family fills a whole for her. She feels wanted and loved. I really enjoyed meeting Griffin’s family and the other workers on the farm. I would love to see some of the other characters get their own happy ever after.
At times I did feel it dragged a little and I wanted both Griffin and Aubrey to just get to it already. Luckily, it would pick back up and I’d have another chuckle at either Aubrey’s mistakes or Griffin’s cranky behaviour.
I will definitely be reading more of the series in the future.