Steadfast (True North, #2)

Steadfast (True North, #2)

4.7 11
by Sarina Bowen

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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


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. 

Sophie Haines is stunned by his reappearance. After a three year absence, the man who killed her brother and broke her heart is suddenly 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 volunteer in the church kitchen. 

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.

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Rennie Road Books
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True North , #2
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Steadfast (True North, #2) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
AboutThatStory 7 months ago
I absolutely loved every single second of this. It was a beautiful and emotional story with very real characters dealing with hard situations. It was so touching, heartwarming, and full of hope, I couldn't stop reading. An excellent piece of work! I loved Jude and Sophie so much. But Jude, wow, he really touched me. He was trying so very hard to be a better man and there is just one thing after another that could hold him down but he keeps moving forward and picking himself back up. It was just so incredibly up lifting. Sophie was great, trying to do the right thing in the midst of a hard situation but there were just so many things she had to deal with and face. Jude and Sophie together, their love for one another, the pull they have, their chemistry and heat, is so, so fantastic. There are so many ups and downs as they fight their way back to each other, it was really awesome. I thought the writing was stellar. The author really created a full picture, elaborate and detailed. I was so pulled into all the emotion and pain that these characters were feeling and yet there was so much hope and love interlaced. The story line was excellent. There was drama, conflict, tension, and turmoil. I thought the pace was perfect, I got just what I needed at the right time. Excellent build as all these great details were learned. I loved the hints of foreshadowing that was happening as the story progressed. I can't find one single thing I didn't enjoy. There were all these wonderful little side stories with great characters happening that really brought it all together. I totally lost it in chapter 30 and then I read it again because I thought it was such an excellent part! Let’s not forget the Shipley's. Oh the Shipley's! I wonder if this family would adopt me because they're amazing. It was great getting to see them again. I love how it was all laid out and everything was woven together. Really just a remarkable read. Hope and love. That pretty much covers it all! It's was so compelling. 5 incredible stars for this must read! Complimentary copy received for honest review.
toniFMAMTC 7 months ago
Steadfast is the perfect name for Jude’s book. He has to remain focused and moving forward in order to stay ahead of his drug addiction. It’s something that will always be there. Jude and Sophie were madly in love in high school. Her family and his bad decisions made it difficult for them to be together and eventually kept them apart for good. Now he’s back in town and both of their lives are going to be rocked again. I admire Jude, not for making the mistakes he did, but for being able to change his life around, which truly isn’t as simple as it sounds. Sophie has the sweetest heart of almost any character I’ve read. I could not have put up with a portion of what she did from all the people she loves. Every scene with the Shipley’s made me smile. I love that family so much and definitely still want them to adopt me. This book made me angry in parts and teary in others. I smiled a lot and had aww that’s so sweet moments. The super sexy is definitely present. It also has a bit of twist and touch of thriller. Steadfast is a mix of romance, inspiration and a great blend of everything to bring out emotions.
UnapologeticBookAddict 7 months ago
Ever since I read Bittersweet, I wanted to know more about Jude. He was a character that kept to himself and had a lot of mystery around him. We finally get to dive into his mind in this one and I LOVED it! There are so many emotions playing throughout this book, and it really plays into the theme of second chances, whether it be in life or in love. When Jude was younger he fell in love with Sophie. She was the “good girl” falling in love with the “bad guy from the wrong side of the tracks.” Her father was the police chief and didn’t approve of their relationship, but it didn’t matter, because nothing could keep Sophie away from Jude. A few years later, Jude gets into an accident with Sophie’s brother in the car and her brother is killed. It turns out Jude had been addicted to pain killers and now he ended up in jail because of it. Jude had kept his addiction well hidden from Sophie, and when she found out after the accident it shattered her. When Jude got out of jail he ended up at the Shipley farm working with them for the apple picking season, but when it’s over, he has to go home and face his demons head on. He’s terrified to see Sophie, because he knows he still loves her but doesn’t think he deserves her love after what he did to her brother. When he runs into her at the church he goes to for AA meetings, his world gets turned upside down by her. Is love strong enough to conquer the demons? Can Jude find a second chance in love and life even though he feels he isn’t deserving? Read Steadfast to find out. This book was AMAZING!!!!! Sarina Bowen brought so much emotion into her characters. The way she handled Jude’s addiction in the book really let you into his mind and you wanted Jude to overcome his demons. You could feel how hard it was for him at certain points throughout the book and you just wanted him to be happy and see that he is deserving of love even when he thinks he’s not. The book was set in a small town in Vermont, which is different from Bittersweet, which is set at the farm, but we still get to see Griff, Audry, and the rest of the Shipley clan (including Zach). Which made me really happy, because I LOVE the Shipley family! I don’t want to give anything away, but I absolutely loved the ending of the book. I think Jude and Sophie just topped Griff and Audry for me. Jude really has become my favorite Sarina Bowen character. We will have to see if I change my mine when Keepsake (Zach’s book) comes out
SantanaBlair_TheBookNerd 7 months ago
I swear every time I read a new release from Sarina Bowen I feel like I'm just left in awe that she went and did it again. Every time I think she's written my favorite characters... she goes and writes new favorites. But STEADFAST blew all my expectations out of the water. I fell in love with what we saw of Jude in the first book (Bittersweet) but Steadfast gives us a clear view into his heart and soul and folks... I'm in love. A poignantly realistic twist on a forbidden love/second chance mash up story, STEADFAST tackles a heavy topic in a smooth and gracious way. His pain is palpable and I found myself on the edge rooting more and more for him with each turn of the page. More than just a tale of recovery and redemption, there is the bright light of hope that shines forth from the very core of the story. There was never a point where it was ever too much... only many points when I didn't want to put it down for a second because I had to make sure Jude was okay. Jude is amazing but he isn't the only one. Sophie matches him toe to toe. She's strong, intelligent, and in love. It's a fierce combination that proves a great foundation for their love story. She doesn't expect superhuman perfection and her ability to transcend to forgiveness Jude's shortcomings even without full understanding is a standout character feature that I enjoyed immensely. Sarina made me believe in their love time and again while reading this book. But that's not anything new. I fell in love with her writing style long before this book but STEADFAST is a prime example of why. Her characters will creep into your heart and stay there for a long time so walk into this one ready to love... I'm giving STEADFAST... FIVE STARS!! I mean Jude is my second favorite of all my Sarina book boyfriends after all.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Great story
micharch 6 months ago
Jude and Sophie have been estranged for 3-1/2 years. They were high school sweethearts until tragedy happened. Jude was convicted or killing Sophie's brother in a car accident and spent 3 years in prison for it. Jude is a recovering drug addict and kept it hidden from Sophie while they were dating. Sophie has struggled to find answers to her questions about her brother's death and her parents have not taken his death well. Sophie has taken over the role of caregiver to her mother and her father is a volatile, demeaning man. Sophie is done taking care of them and is setting herself up to move on. Jude is just trying to get through each day. Once they bump into each other again, feelings for both of them come rushing back but they don't see how they can be together. Sarina Bowen does a great job of making you feel empathy for them both, while putting a few plot twists in that really propelled this book forward. Jude and Sophie both grew as individuals and it was nice to see them both strive to be what each other needed.
AnnieAnde 6 months ago
I loved this book. The angst mixed with a mystery and with a heaping helping of self-loathing - I was hooked. The love scenes were so hot, and when you add in the love these two characters have for one another, I was swooning until 1am so I could see what became of them. Great read.
Anonymous 6 months ago
This is book 2 in a stand alone series with interconnected characters. Jude bone my heart. I felt like I was going thru withdrawals with him. There was a slow buildup that I liked. Great character development. I would highly recommend this book and book 1. I'm definitely going to check out the authors other books.
ReadingFrenzyBookBlog 7 months ago
Sarina Bowen’s True North series is a breath of fresh air. There are no millionaires, superstar athletes, models, or rock stars. You won’t find people returning from the dead, love triangles, or emotional roller coasters. It’s simply an enjoyable series with down-to-earth, working class characters that warm your heart. Steadfast moves into heavier territory with a believable story about drug addiction and second chances. This is Jude’s story. He’s a recovering drug addict who has just served three years in prison for manslaughter while driving under the influence. After finding solace working on the Shipley farm for six months, the farming off-season has him returning to his hometown unemployed. It’s the last place on earth he wants to be. Temptations are around every corner, the police chief is out to get him, and he can’t stop wanting his ex-girlfriend/love of his life whose heart he broke. Jude really brought out my maternal instincts. I just wanted to hug him throughout the entire story. He’s a truly decent man who is trying his best to stay clean and find hope in the midst of grim circumstances. Sarina Bowen turns a sympathetic light on the effects of drug addiction. I love how she gauges Jude’s mood by starting his chapters with a craving meter. I also had a lot of admiration for Sophie. She and Jude are well matched and I enjoyed their star-crossed and forbidden second chance love affair. Steadfast is a welcome addition to this sweet series. Zach’s book, Keepsake, is up next. He’s the virgin farm hand with a controversial past. I’m excited to read more about life with the Shipleys.
Maria-Rose 7 months ago
Steadfast is an emotional and sexy second chance romance that deals with themes of drug addiction and recovery, and forgiveness. Jude has been clean for 8 months after a 3 year stint in prison for manslaughter. Coming back to his home town puts him face to face with the sister of the man he killed - his one time girlfriend Sophie. Things have changed for both of them, but their love for each other still lies under the surface. With a thought provoking storyline, some twists and turns, and the chance for redemption, Steadfast will keep you reading long into the night.
bouncyberthaCR 7 months ago
4.5 - "Not all the things we want are good for us..." Stars! Being the first full book I have read by this author I have to say I was mightily impressed with Jude and Sophie’s story. You are introduced to Jude in Bittersweet, the first book of this series, one which sadly I didn’t actually manage to finish. But all the good things I have heard about this author were front and center in Steadfast and I could not put this book down. I wore the memory of Sophie like and imprint on my soul. You know from the start that this is going to be a heavy and emotional read, Jude is a recovering addict, and although five months clean at the start of the story, you quickly realize that his cravings are still strong and very much a part of his daily struggle. I must admit stories of this nature aren’t things that I usually gravitate to on a regular basis, I like a bit of angst now and again, but my reading tastes seem to have moved along from the all-out angst-fests that I used to devour. "I know I screwed up badly… But if you ever needed my help, there’s really nothing I wouldn’t do for you." The author pitched the angst and drama perfectly in this one, in that yes there is a lot of it, but Jude was such a self-depreciating character I just took him into my heart and spent most of the book wanting to give him a hug. No trying to blame others for his past transgressions with this character, he owned the fact that he had messed up, and was trying to move forwards and become a better person because of it, his humility in the wake of everything that happened and his determination to stay clean were so, so admirable. It was impossible not to root and root hard for him. I thought Jude was sent to me from heaven. When I was eighteen, I let him take me there. When I was nineteen he broke both my heart and my family. I wondered if Sophie was going to be a challenge for me to get along with initially, but it becomes quickly apparent as the story unfolds that there is a huge amount that happened prior to Jude’s incarceration both between them and outside of their relationship that played a part in the bigger picture, and as such Sophie is very much someone looking for answers, not just between her and Jude, but also in relation to her family and home life, stuck in the past, lacking any real purpose and barely living because of it. This is a woman who has given up everything for people that seem to just alternately take advantage of or ignore her. Majorly lonely, and literally just existing day-to-day, Jude’s return to town pretty much jump-starts hear heart again. I liked the flashbacks you are given to when they were teenagers and the first threads of their relationship, it gave their deep and consuming reconnection gravitas, add to that, that they were smoking hot together and everything was just perfectly balanced in this story. "I haven’t been properly flocked in three years… After all that’s happened are you going to make me beg?" A little suspense threads through the book as well in that not all maybe as was initially assumed in relation to the reasons Jude went to prison, and I liked the fact we returned to the Shipley Farm from time to time, the author added plenty of flesh to this story in the secondary characters and side-plots and the book was an absolute joy to read. "All we can do is listen harder, hug harder and hope for the best." I can certainly see why so many people rave about this authors books now, although the first book of th