Series: True North, #3
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Rennie Roads Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
There’s a first time for everything.
Lark Wainright 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.
This review is **SPOILER FREE**.
I need to say one thing before I start my review of Keepsake:
2016 is Sarina Bowen’s year!
I’ve always loved her books, but this year’s releases have all quickly become some of my favorite romance novels ever. Keepsake is definitely one of those books.
Keepsake is the third book in the True North series. You don’t have to read the books in order to enjoy the story, but it does help for character history. For readers of the series, I would classify Keepsake as a combination of Bittersweet and Steadfast. It takes readers back to the fun of Bittersweet‘s Shipley Farm where they get to reconnect with all of their favorite characters, but it also carries an emotional punch and touches on deeper aspects of life like Steadfast.
In Keepsake, farm hand Zach’s contentedly quiet life is forever changed when former wild child Lark comes to stay at Shipley Farm. Zach knows Lark is trying to recover from a horrible experience and that he should give her space to heal, but his intense attraction to her makes that impossible.
Lark may be beautiful and outgoing on the outside, but her insides are wracked with turmoil and guilt. The only comfort she’s been able to find since returning home has been on the Shipley Farm, in Zach’s arms. He, too, understands what it’s like to try to find peace. But Zach’s comfort may not be enough to save Lark or their relationship from the memories that haunt her.
Keepsake was mesmerizing. The amazing characters, gorgeous Vermont setting, and emotional plot made it impossible to put down. It was such a beautiful story. The minute I finished reading it, I wanted to pick it up and start all over again. I loved it that much!
I couldn’t get enough of Zach. I loved reading his point of view. His calming demeanor and quiet ways were so appealing. I adored the care, concern and sweetness he showed Lark. He was probably the kindest and most respectable book boyfriend I’ve ever read. Plus, he was so sexy! I wasn’t expecting that based on his past, but I guess I should have been!
Lark was pretty amazing, too. She was one of those characters who inspires me to live life to the fullest. She had an abundance of emotional baggage she was dealing with in Keepsake, but the strength that kept her going was very admirable. Her journey to mental wellness was one I imagine many people will identify with.
Keepsake was one of those romances that was more than just a romance. It was an inspirational story filled with love, hope and forgiveness. I would highly recommend reading it and the rest of the True North series. I know it will be a while until the next book in the series is released, but I can’t wait to find out what’s next for my favorite Vermonters.