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Our Review

“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!

Synopsis

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.

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