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.


I absolutely loved this one, with a broken hero and a determined and caring heroine, it had all the elements of an emotional and gripping second chance romance.

Jude is not long out of prison for manslaughter and is back in his hometown, working at his dad’s auto shop. All he wants to do is save enough money to get the hell out of there and start his life over, but he struggles on a daily basis to fight his drug addiction, and of course his other addiction to his first love Sophie, who he is surprised to see hasn’t town left to pursue her dream of singing on Broadway.

Sophie always wanted to stand by Jude’s side when he was convicted of killing her brother in a car accident, but Jude refused her letters and visits. Three years later, she is still as much in love with the boy she knew in high school, but now he has returned as this gorgeous and brooding man, the chemistry and sexual tension is more explosive than ever.

“I haven’t been properly fucked in three years, Jude. After all that’s happened, are you going to make me beg?

This is one of those books that you don’t want to put down, the love between the two main characters felt very real to me, and I was rooting for them all the way. Also, I felt the issues of drug addiction, and family woes were dealt with so realistically, it was a pleasure to read.

Fans of second chance romances with an angsty touch will love this story.

Steadfast is a standalone romance told in dual POV. Also part of a series, this is book 2 in the True North set.

ARC gratefully received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Images featured in this review were created by me using stock images either purchased from deposit photo or from free stock sites.

About the Author

Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and New Adult fiction from the wilds of Vermont.

Her Ivy Years and Brooklyn Bruisers books are hockey romance novels. These two connected series began breaking hearts in 2014 with The Year We Fell Down.

HIM and US are the bestselling, hockey LGBT novels co-written with Elle Kennedy. HIM is also a finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® Award.

For lovers of angsty snowboarders, Sarina also writes the Gravity series, featuring snow sports heroes.

Sarina enjoys skiing, coffee products and a nice glass of wine. She lives with her family, six chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | Website | Pinterest

More in this Series

Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen Steadfast Keepsake