Steadfast by Sarina Bowen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the second instalment of the True North Series, and it was a lot meatier than the first one!
Jude is one of the best anti-heroes I’ve read in a romance. The chemistry between him and Sophie is all the right levels of complicated, steamy, hot, and sad.
I’m used to a series like this staying in one place, so it was awesome to find that we move away from Shipley Farm, and end up following Jude to Colebury – which is representative of a lot of small towns, and I feel that drugs is an issue that certainly pervades many rural small towns here in Australia, so it was gratifying to see that issue was front and centre.
Jude is a recovering addict, and his temptations are well-written. His history in prison is one that is heard of everywhere, and shows the author is well-read on issues around drugs and prisons. The church dinner’s is the perfect setting for him and Sophie to have space to connect without the town noticing.
Sophie is Jude’s high school sweetheart, and it was her brother that Jude killed in a car accident while he was high, and that sent him to prison. She is also the police chief’s daughter – cue the plot thickens, as he isn’t a nice man at all.
The story itself sets a sweet pace, as we are treated to glimpses of their relationship when they were at high school, then we are moved back to the bleakness of both of their lives without each other after the tragic car accident. The mystery that Sophie discovers adds another layer, and yet I never felt it was too much or that it was over-written. I also like that we do get to go back to the characters of the last book at the Shipley’s, and that they act as Jude’s safe-haven and are ultimately his new family.
The ending was satisfying, and well-earned, but I won’t spoil it!
The author did well writing a second instalment to a series that I think I may love more than the first – and managed to write such a different story, I’m impressed with her writing skills and style!