Category Archives: Sarina Bowen


Sweet MM Romance

Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home.

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?

Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone.

GOODBYE PARADISE is available to purchase below


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4 sweet as sugar stars

‘My whole life I’d wanted this impossible thing. And I didn’t know why it was happening now. But it was everything I’d ever wanted.’

What a gorgeous, sweet and lovely story! Whilst it begins with an air of melancholy and emotional upheaval it soon becomes a story of two lads finding themselves and their place in the world after leaving the cult they grew up in. There were moments of sadness as well as joy throughout and when we closed the book after the last page our hearts felt full and we had a smile on our faces.

“A real man does what needs doing. He takes care of the people he loves. You know this instinctively, even though every man in your own life treated you like shit.”

Josh and Caleb are two very different personalities and their place in the cult hierarchy, poles apart hence the treatment they received. Each yearning to escape their own hell in a sanctimonious farce of living. The day comes when this becomes a reality for Josh, as he’s unceremoniously dumped on the side of a road, expelled from a cult where men are aplenty but women are not. Josh has such vulnerability and is certain of only one thing –that- being his overwhelming yet hidden love for Caleb, his friend. A love which in the cult’s eyes is the highest of sins and its members indoctrinated in such manner.

“But it was you who said we were a sin.”

Caleb’s intention to escape the clutches of the cult is fast forwarded when the man who means everything to him is exiled from the compound. The journey of life truly begins when Caleb and Josh find their way ‘home’ to a safe house miles away, where open arms are waiting in the form of another ex-cult member, Maggie.

“When I get to touch you, every awful day we’ve survived seems worth it.”

Josh and Caleb’s story is low angst, adorable and at times so emotional it made us feel all teary but warm and fuzzy inside, melting our hearts, despite the obstacles and tribulations which came their way. We loved every minute of it and have taken these lads to our heart. This is a story of hope and inspiration, love and friendship as well as being and becoming who you truly are.

“You amaze me, that’s all.”




TBB Recommendation

There is a bit of a tie in to this series regarding the cult if you want to check out more, we recommend this series.
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). This is an MF Series (not MM)


True North Series (1)

Bittersweet Book One :


Steadfast Book Two


Keepsake Book Three


TBB Recommendation
MM Hockey themed romance



Purchase HIM and US below
Him Book One ::our review |amazon us | amazon uk
US Book Two:: our review |amazon us | amazon uk

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Filed under 4 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Sarina Bowen


Standalone hockey themed friends to lovers sports romance



Hosting her brother’s wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning’s life. Already the family screw-up, she can’t afford to fail. And nobody (nobody!) can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.

Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate’s gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor and he’s the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he’s facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he’s really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you’ve got to make an effort if you want to score.

But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?

Caution: May cause accidental aspiration of tea or coffee. Do not read in a public place where loud laughter is inappropriate. Contains hot but hilarious hockey players, puppy cuddling and a snarky pair of underwear

GOOD BOY is available to purchase below

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Good Boy (1)

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 Cheezus Stars

‘I want someone to look at me like they just won the lottery. And I want to feel sure that I have to, too- that I can say “forever” and know I’m making the absolute right decision. I’ve been in love before. A little. But never like that.’

CHEEZUS…we loved this book! You know those stories that have you laughing out loud whilst swooning and loving that typical frustration you feel when you want to knock a few heads together. Well, Good Boy is that book. Not only do we get to properly know the loud and brash Blake from Him & Us, we also get a fabulous catch up with the gorgeous Jamie and Wes curtesy of Jessica, Jamie’s sister.

“That’s Blakey’s best trait, you know. His need to protect. To make everyone happy…”

Let’s start with Blake shall we! This guy had us in stitches with laughter, he’s like a bull in a teashop. Huge hockey dude with an endearing immaturity and juvenile humour which came across as loveable and hilarious rather than crude and annoying. We fell in utter love with this guy, and we have to admit our soft spot for him has gained him entry to an all-time favourite book boyfriend list. Why? Because this man has a heart so big and soft under all that hard and imposing exterior.  He’s so bloody tenacious and a cheeky bugger who just stole our hearts.

‘Blake was onto me, though. And that dude is like a big, drooly dog. Doesn’t matter if he just met you, he wants to lick your face and hump your leg.’

Blake is a blunt flirt who’s set his sights on Jess. It all began with a massage chair one night, a night neither he nor Jess can forget. Frenemies to lovers is a theme we love and it was so well written by these Authors ensuring we inhaled every word watching this push pull romance blossom. It was such a brilliantly funny ride and we loved every minute of it.

“Never meant to do this tonight.” – Jess
“Don’t overthink it.” I tear the packet and roll the rubber onto my aching dick. “You just need a little recharge on my docking station.” – Blake

Where Blake is confident and comfortable in life Jess is the exact opposite. She’s got this heavy weight on her shoulders of not having found her place and trying to live up to this misplaced insecurity that she’s the black sheep in a rather large family of siblings. She feels like a user rather than a contributor. But when she shines, she lights up the world when a nudge in the right direction bolsters a natural ability, showing her understanding and compassion. If only things with a certain hockey rascal was as easy to see as the wood for the trees.

‘I miss you, he writes.’

‘I miss you, too, I admit. But that doesn’t mean we’re dating.’

‘We are though.’

‘Goodnight, Blake.’

‘Good night, girlfriend.’

We loved these characters; their real life struggles and perceived inferiorities. Their story was warm and fuzzy; sweet and sexy; funny and emotional. It was a fabulous romantic comedy that gave us such enjoyment as we read and fell in love.

  “You know,” he continues, “when all the babes would throw themselves at me nilly-willy.”
“Willy-nilly,” I correct.
“It’s willy-nilly. The willy comes first.”
He winks at me. “I’ll let you have this one, but only because you’re right – the willy always does come first.”

Good Boy Quote

TBB also recommends this MM Series by Sarina & Elle


Purchase HIM and US below
Him Book One ::our review |amazon us | amazon uk
US Book Two:: our review |amazon us | amazon uk

love is friendship us

For more TBB Recommended reads by Elle Kennedy, click below


For more TBB Recommended reads by Sarina Bowen, click below


STAY – WAGs #2 Will release on 20th June

stay 20th June

STAY is available to pre order below


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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Elle Kennedy, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Sarina Bowen

ROOKIE MOVE (The Brooklyn Bruisers #1) by SARINA BOWEN :: REVIEW

Standalone in a series – Hockey romance, second chance love.



In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold…

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast….

Available to purchase below:

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Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

‘Breaking up with him was something I did because I had to. Not because I didn’t love him.’

After falling in love with Sarina Bowen’s previous work and being big fans of sports romances and second chance romances, it was a no brainer we were going to pounce on the first book in her Brooklyn Bruiser series. Hot hockey players and the women who win their hearts….hmmmm you had us at hello!

Leo Trevi and Georgia Worthington were high school sweethearts but theirs was no puppy love, rather it was the once in a lifetime soul mates love, they were one another’s first everything. First date, first kiss, first love, first heartbreak.

“We don’t have one night stands, Georgia. We have forever night stands.”

Six years ago after a traumatic experience Georgia asks Leo to let her go and considering what she went through, Leo didn’t want to make life more difficult for her and so he granted her wish much to his utter loss and heartbreak. Leo was 19 when they broke up, the pain of losing Georgia, devastated him. He’s never forgotten the love of his life and six years later, seeing her again only recaptures those feelings.

‘Letting Georgia go was the hardest thing he’d ever had to do. And he’d only been able to manage it because he was sure it would help her be happy again.

Rookie Move was a sweet and sexy first book in this Hockey romance series with some deeply heartfelt moments and difficult subject matter which was handled sensitively and with love via Sarina Bowens words with Leo especially stealing our hearts. Boy did we experience his confusion, his hurt and the pure soul deep love he felt for Georgia. He is quite a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve.

‘Georgia was his Kryptonite. Nobody else made him feel so alive. He never wanted it to end.’

As the story progresses we are privy to the events that led to Georgia making the most difficult decision of her life in letting Leo go and how those actions affected not only her and Leo, but those around them.

“We used to be equals. But now I’m always going to be the one who’s worried. It’s still the same problem. I used to be fearless ….’

Whilst we did enjoy this first first book in the series, we didn’t experience the wow factor that makes us fall in book love. For us personally, we felt as though we were being told the story rather than being participants, looking from the outside in and for that reason we didn’t feel as emotionally invested in the characters as we had hoped. At the end of the day though, this was a sweet romantic escape with the team brotherhood and camaraderie we love in our sports themed romances! However… can bet we’re looking forward to more of this series, and we’re especially keen to hear a lot more about the young billionaire owner of the Brooklyn Bruisers..…now that will be a story to tell!

3.5 Stars

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Pre order now for 3rd January release

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Sarina Bowen


Standalone in the True North Series
Come and meet the men of True North, outdoorsy mountain men that populate this place, and the women who steal their hearts.

keepsake October

There’s a first time for everything.
Lark Wainwright used to be fearless. Her life was a series of adventures, each one more exhilarating than the last. But her recent overseas adventure was one too many. Now she’s home and in one piece. Mostly. But her nights are filled with terror.
When her best friend offers her a stay at the orchard in exchange for help at the farmers’ markets, Lark jumps at the chance to spend fall in Vermont. But her nightmares don’t stop. Desperate to keep her fragile state a secret, she relies on the most soft-spoken resident of the Shipley Farm to soothe her when her dreams prove too much.
Zachariah is a survivor, too. It’s been four years since he was tossed aside by the polygamist cult where he grew up. He’s found a peaceful existence on the Shipley’s farm, picking apples and fixing machinery. But getting thrown away by your own people at nineteen leaves a mark on a guy. He doesn’t always know what to make of a world where movie quotes are the primary means of communication. Before hitchhiking to Vermont, he’d never watched TV or spoken on the phone.
Actually, there are a lot of things he’s never done.
Zach and Lark slowly grow to trust one another. One night they become even closer than they’d planned. But Lark may still be too broken to trust anyone. When she pushes Zach away, he will have to prove to himself that he’s good for much more than farm labor.

Keepsake is available to purchase below

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Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

“I’m a wreck.”
“I noticed.”
I rocked her against my chest. “I’ve been a wreck, too. It doesn’t last forever.”

Sarina Bowen has done such an exquisite job of putting us right in the thick of her True North series. We’ve been able to see, hear and smell all the surroundings she creates through her beautiful storytelling, where her characters are every bit as beautiful and colourful as the stunning Vermont landscape she so vividly captures.

“Everyone has a time when they need a lot more than they can give. It doesn’t matter how much you hate it. It’s just true.”

We’ve fallen in love with the Shipley’s and crew throughout the series, and especially the innocent and sweet Zach, the man who came to the Shipley farm after being tossed out of the polygamist cult he grew up in, where he’s suffered physical and emotional abuse. This man and his past reached into our hearts, he’s so sweet and endearing.  His healing and life education has been four years in the making working his arse off and becoming a special part of the Shipley family, and now, we bear witness to Zach opening up to love both physically and emotionally. It was so incredibly sweet and heart-warming, and quite passionate as well.

“I have scars,” she said quietly. “Mine don’t show.”
“I know,”
I whispered, stroking her foot. “I hope they heal up so you can’t feel them anymore. Mine don’t hurt now. I never think of them.”

Lark Wainwright, May Shipley’s best friend from College, is the opposite of Zach, in that she lives and craves a more transient lifestyle, where Zach craves permanence. However, following the trauma of her kidnapping whilst working in Guatemala, Lark feels she needs to escape her life in Boston, and at the request of May, heads to the Shipley farm in Vermont to soak in the idyllic lifestyle and forget the events that have left her so emotionally battered.

‘He was bright and shiny and flawless. And I wasn’t any of those things.’

There is an instant attraction between Lark and Zach, however both are wounded by their pasts, and so instead, a beautiful friendship develops between the worldlier Lark, and the sheltered Zach. It was mesmerizing bearing witness to the sweetness of their attraction; the furtive glances, the innocent touches, the sweet exchanges between them…completely stole our hearts, their passion sizzled!

“Nobody has a bigger heart than you, Zach. Just don’t give it away, hasty-like.”
“Too late.”

As Lark starts to confront and remember the events she experienced in Guatemala, her world is turned upside down and friendships and love are tested, but Zach, a man who’s never known love isn’t one to be put off that easily, rather he’s prepared to fight for Lark.

“I can handle it, Lark. Just lean on me. I’ll be your Apostate Farm.”

True North is abundant with rich beautiful storytelling, wonderful dialogue, swoony romance, warm, relatable and sweet characters all wrapped up in a glorious setting that makes us want to up sticks and join the Shipley crew for dinner on a Thursday night in Vermont! A series for the heart and one you shouldn’t miss!

**We have to mention the cover as it does no justice to the characters nor the book. This is a beautiful vivid story of such high emotion and scenery yet for us the cover suggests otherwise. This is such a shame in our opinion!

4.5 stars!



True North Series (1)

Bittersweet Book One :


Steadfast Book Two


Keepsake Book Three


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Filed under Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Sarina Bowen




True North Series (1)

Bittersweet Book One :


Steadfast Book Two


Keepsake Book Three



Standalone in a series
Second chance forbidden romance.


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.


Click below to preorder releasing 12th July:

amazon us 100 x 50     amazon uk 100 x 50     ibooks 100x50

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steadfast collage

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

 ‘…there was an ache inside me that I longed to soothe. And I moved through each day a little lost, trying to fill an empty spot in my soul. But it never went away…It was never, ever going to stop. There was no cure. You just lived with it. The end.’

Oh we’d prepared ourselves for an emotional gut-wrenching story with our Jude and we were not wrong.  After meeting him in Bittersweet -book one in the True North series- as the ex-drug addict convict, we knew this was one hard-done by lad who’d had a really tough time and is now paying the price of consequences. The glimpses we got of him showed a restless, struggling young man trying to adapt to life outside the prison walls trying to stay clean before returning to his home town. Fortunately, if you read Bittersweet you know he landed a job with a good family and we were so happy to see them return in Steadfast.

‘My name is Jude Nickel, and I am an addict. Also, I’m a big fucking idiot.’

Jude’s story hit us hard emotionally and we teared up several times throughout. It really was heart-breaking and the reality of Jude’s circumstances and addiction is very much real. This is why we think it affected us the way it did. So intensely sad yet incredibly hopeful at the same time. We learn of what exactly transpired that fateful night when Jude was in a car crash and was ultimately convicted for manslaughter.

‘She’d always put me on a pedestal I knew I didn’t deserve.’

“Goodnight, sweet girl,” I whispered. “Be well.”

This event caused the break-up with his high school sweetheart whom his heart has never let go off and when a second chance rears its head it soon transpires that Sophie’s heart feels the same. Opposites attract, and Jude and Sophie are just that. Their fates and lives are entwined and what starts off as a sweet romance between the Sheriff’s daughter and the resident bad boy turns into something much more as a deeply felt connection is forged that neither can let go off no matter the obstacles and people interference.

‘I didn’t want to live like this- full of confusion and guilt all the time, and heartbroken in a hundred ways at once.’

Neither Sophie nor Jude are the same people as they were three years ago, both changed by circumstances. Both trying to survive and change their lives. However, both trapped in the memories of a night that was to change everything.

 ‘It was hard to be here with this oddly sanitized version of Jude. The wearer of flannel. Diet coke in his glass. This was a Jude from an alternate universe. But I knew if I slid into his arms he’d feel so achingly familiar- broad and warm and strong and so very mine.’

This second chance romance is fraught with darkness, sadness and despair. Yet it’s also filled with love, respect, loyalty and friendship. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re up against as you fight the nameless and faceless enemy. Sometimes you succeed – sometimes you don’t. Sometimes justice prevails and sometimes it doesn’t. How you deal and treat others is the making of you and Jude completely stole our hearts as did the beautiful lovable Sophie. Sometimes an honest- wear your heart on your sleeve- story comes around and Steadfast is one of them.

‘Listening to the rhythm of Jude’s increasingly ragged breaths, I gave myself over to this moment. Our song rose to a fevered pitch, and I listened very hard to every note while it lasted.’

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Filed under Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Sarina Bowen