Sunday, June 19, 2016

Release Blitz & Review by Alicia: Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

The first chapter was posted here: FIRST CHAPTER

The new series is 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.)

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the orchard.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago. 

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.

I am new to the work of Ms. Bowen, and this was a wonderful book to get started with.  I was captivated by the first chapter.
Audrey is a feisty, smart mouthed girl who believes she is a total screw up.  She’s spent her life being told by her mother that she doesn’t measure up.  Her dream is to be able to open her own restaurant.  In the meantime, she’s an intern for BPG who owns multiple restaurants around Boston.  They have her doing basically odd jobs.  One of the jobs is to go to Vermont and be the purchaser for their Farm to Table program for their restaurants.  Her first stop, she comes face to face with Griffith, an old college fling.
Griffith is a young man with a load of responsibilities on his 27 year old shoulders.  He had been drafted to a professional football team right out of college, but before he could find out if he’d make it or not, his dad dies suddenly.  This forces Griffith to return to the family farm and take care of his mom and siblings, while running the farm.  Never did he expect to see the girl who drove him crazy in college with her butt in the air while her car was partially in a ditch.  Once she comes barreling into his life again, he wrestles with wanting to make her a permanent part of his life, and feeling like she was just one more person he could let down.  He feels guilty about loving her and wanting to ask her to move to Vermont to be a permanent part of his world, guilty because he doesn’t want to take her dream from her. 
Audrey and Griff can’t seem to stay away from each other, but he doesn’t want to get in the way of her dreams.  And Audrey doesn’t want to give him yet another person he would feel responsible for, and be another burden on his already full plate.
The story is full of poignant fears and doubts, tugging on your heart and making you hold your breath to see if they can figure out that together, life is better.  When Griff finally tells Audrey “I love you Princess.  You’re the sweet that balances out my natural tannins”, my heart melted.
I would definitely recommend this book, it’s a sweet love story, with enough hot steam sex to keep you salivating for more.  

Sarina Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction. She lives in the wilds of Vermont.

She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college. Also, the The Gravity series.

With Elle Kennedy, Sarina is the author of HIM and US.

COMING IN 2016: Two New Series!

Stay tuned for a new Vermont contemporary romance series, True North, and hockey novels from Penguin Berkley including Rookie Move.

Sarina enjoys skiing, espresso drinks and the occasional margarita. She lives with her family, eight chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.

To be kept abreast of new releases, please feel free to sign up for the mailing list at

Or visit the her Facebook page, or tweet her @sarinabowen.

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