Series: True North, #7
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
An emotional friends to lovers romance full of risky secrets and late-night lessons in seduction.
Dylan is my best friend, and the only person in my life who understands me. He doesn’t mind my social awkwardness or my weird history. The only glitch? He doesn’t know that I’ve been hopelessly, desperately in love with him since the first day we picked apples together in his family’s orchard.
But I know better than to confess.
Now that we’re both in college together, I’m seeing a new side of him. College Dylan drinks and has a lot of sex. None of it with me.
Until the night I foolishly ask him to tutor me in more than algebra…and he actually says yes.
But the cool morning light shows me how badly I’ve endangered our friendship. And I don’t know if anything will be the same again.
From the moment I opened Heartland, I felt like I was back where I needed to be. Reading a True North novel is like coming home. Well, all of Sarina Bowen’s books feel like coming home to me, but especially this series. There’s just something about small farm town Vermont that makes me feel all warm and gooey inside.
I normally start out a review with what I love about a book, but with Heartland I’m going to start with the one and only thing that drove me a little nuts. If you’re a fan of this series, then you know Dylan Shipley is a man who likes the ladies. He’s a commitment phobe. There’s some other woman drama in the beginning of this book that made me cringe. It wasn’t so much that it made me want to stop reading. It did make me question Chastity’s sanity a bit. BUT, as a die hard Bowen fan, I knew she had a path in this romance that would lead me to happiness and it did.
Despite Dylan’s wild woman ways, I still loved his character. Mrs. Shipley only raises the best of children, and Dylan was a guy who really cared about people — especially Chastity. (She’s the girl who ran away from the cult and is now neighbors with the Shipleys.) He had some stuff to work out in this book, but I loved how it all came together for him.
Chastity was a breath of fresh air when it comes to sheltered, virginal young women characters. I loved how she challenged the beliefs she was raised with and came to terms with how she viewed sex and relationships. This book was sex positive in ways I wasn’t expecting and loved.
Dylan and Chastity’s romance is one of those book romances where you can’t wait for them to get together because you’re already invested in them as characters from previous books. It wasn’t an easy road to romance, but it was one that was appreciated because of all the prior knowledge I had of them, their families, and the town they grew up in. That’s not to say you couldn’t enjoy it without reading the previous six books, it was just more fun having had the knowledge to understand and love the characters despite their flaws.
As for the rest of the Shipleys and friends… All of my old favorites were around to spend some time with Dylan and Chastity. I love how they were woven into the story. There were also a couple of newer characters that I loved meeting. I’m pretty sure Sarina Bowen gave us some hints at what’s next in the True North series, and I honestly can’t wait!
Heartland was a great trip “home” to Vermont. Despite a few reservations at first, I ended up truly loving Dylan and Chastity’s romance. It was sweet with moments of humor and a couple of tears. If you’re a fan of this series, you will love finding out how they get their HEA.
All in one link page: https://shor.by/Heartland