by Sarina Bowen
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 turn up 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.
Bella's Review: 10,000 STARS!!!
gah! 10,000 Stars! Sarina Bowen gave me all the feels.
What I love most about Sarina Bowen is that she isn't afraid to tackle ugly subjects. She takes things you don't like to think about, brings them to the forefront of your mind and says - THINK ABOUT THIS. Don't be an ass. Really think and see how you feel when you process something instead of just giving a reflex reaction. All while making it fun and sexy, too. Her Ivy Years series has touched my heart in such a way that I won't ever be the same again. And she does the same thing with Steadfast.
Steadfast is about Jude and Sophie. It's about second chances.
Jude is a recovering drug addict. He was arrested for manslaughter when one night of getting high resulted in Sophie's brother's death. He is out of prison, out of rehab and trying to keep his head on straight.
Now. I never thought I would fall in love with an ex-con, ex-drug addict. I never thought I would like reading about an ex-con, ex-drug addict.
I totally did.
Jude is a tortured soul. He and Sophie were high school sweethearts. He was the bad boy, she was the good girl daughter of the town sheriff. He got into doing drugs after a doctor prescribed pain medication and his friends showed him how to snort it. He lied to Sophie. He stole things to pay for his habit. He never meant to hurt anyone, but ended up hurting the only one that truly loved him. And now, even though so much time has passed since he has seen Sophie, he loves her still. But he thinks he isn't any good for her. He doesn't want Sophie to have to deal with his cravings, with his scarred reputation, with his inability to find a good job due to his record. He just wants to work, save up money to move out of the horrible town he grew up in and move away. He wants to stay out of trouble.
So he goes to NA meetings. Which happen to be in a church. Then he finds himself volunteering for
a church dinner and face to face with Sophie.
Sophie has been broken hearted ever since that fateful night three and a half years ago. No one explained what happened to her. Her father is controlling. Her mother mentally checked out. She gave up her dreams of becoming a singer and decided to go into social work and live at home instead. And she finds herself lonely and confused. Seeing Jude shakes up her life and she finds a spark.
No one wants them to be together.
But they can't fight the pull.
Man, do they have chemistry.
Things I love about this book:
~ The writing. Sarina Bowen is so talented. I forget I'm reading. She transports me to the world I'm reading about and I just can't stop turning the pages.
~ Jude. Heeeyyyy Jude!!! I loved being in his head. I loved how he loved Sophie. And I wanted to jump into the book and hug him when he was struggling with his cravings.
~ Sophie. What a great heroine. She was strong. She was brave. She wasn't afraid to ask questions. She wasn't afraid to go after what she wanted.
~ I love that we see the Shepley's from book 1- such a great family!!
~ The feels. Man. Did I feel everything in this book. Regret, suspense, angst, love, lust...I laughed and I cried.
~ I loved watching Jude and Sophie pick up the pieces and put each other back together in a way that fits better than before.
Bottom line: 10,000 stars!!! READ THIS BOOK. Highly recommend.
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