Release Reviews: Fireworks: Sarina Bowen

by - Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Fireworks (True North #6)
Sarina Bowen
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Release Date November 13, 2018

Skye Copeland is on paid leave from her broadcasting job after accidentally drawing a pecker on the traffic map.

Let that sink in. Like it’s her fault the traffic pattern created a perfect schlong? 

Skye isn’t laughing. She needs this job. And that’s the only reason she’s willing to chase down a story in her least favorite place—that hell on earth known as Vermont.

A quick trip. In and out. Much like - never mind. She can sneak into the town that once tried to break her, get the story and slide back into the good graces of her producer. Easy peasy.

But things go sideways the moment she steps over the county line. Her stepsister is running from a violent drug dealer. And the cop on the case is none other than Benito Rossi, the man who broke Skye’s teenage heart.

His dark brown eyes still tear her apart. And even as she steels herself to finally tell him off after twelve years, the old fireworks are still there.

Things are about to go boom. 

Bennito Rossi and Skylar Copeland were neighbors as teenagers and fell in love at a young age. A series of events led to Skye leaving Vermont quickly and without leaving word, severing all connection between the two young lovers. Though she vowed never to return to Vermont again, Skye is on unexpected leave from work at the exact time her sister needs help. Skye isn’t excited about returning, but hopes that with a quick weekend trip she can sort her sister’s troubles and avoid seeing the Rossis. 

It doesn’t take long for Skye to find herself seeking out Bennito, not because she is looking for a reconciliation, but because she can’t find her sister and the only clue she has is a cryptic note telling her to ask Bennito for help. 

These two pick up right where they left off. Years of no communication and they find the attraction and emotions haven’t changed. But there is still some resentment and misunderstandings to work through, even as they try to find Skye’s sister and Bennito continues to work his case. The sparks fly between them immediately, even if they are unsure about what a future between them might look like. 

This book had an aspect of mystery that we haven’t seen much of in the series. With all the questions about where Skye’s sister is, and Bennito’s focus on the drug trade in and around Colebury, there are a lot of threads weaving through the story. I loved having so many aspects of the story to wonder about and the connections between the past and present only added to it.

Neither the Rossis nor Skye and her sister had easy childhoods, but it was particularly difficult learning the things that Skye faced, and how those events played into her departure. As the story unfolded and her truths came out I couldn’t help but hurt for the things she saw, heard, and dealt with as a child. 

This was another great read from the True North series. Sarina always makes me want to visit her settings, wander the town, and have dinner at the Gin Mill with the Rossis and Shipleys. As a second chance romance, Bennito and Skye have their share of issues to work through, but the suspense aspect added another dimension. It was fun to see all my favorite characters and check in with their progress while expanding the circle of friends and family.

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hello Benito Rossi! We have met him before as Zara and Alec's cop brother. He's tall, dark, handsome, broody, and a work-a-holic detective. He is now working on a huge case and he is so close to wrapping it up...and this case also has some personal revenge aspects for him. And to his surprise, his past walks right into the bar's door.

Skylar Copeland was the girl he secretly loved at eighteen but settled into friend and protector mode with. And just when he made a move and was trying to move them forward, there was a misunderstanding that sent her running and out of Vermont and his life for the last twelve years.

Skye needed to get away for various reasons, but the heartbreak caused by Benito was the final straw. She suffered fear and humiliation in Vermont and was determined to make something of herself. She would not have returned at all if she was not forced on a vacation after an on-air work snafu and someone close to her did not need help. And unfortunately she now needs Benito's help with the sticky situation so that puts her right in temptation's way. And Benito is determined to be so tempting that she does not get away this time.

This quick little getaway is about to get messy, complicated, emotional, and even dangerous. I honestly loved Skye and Benito together. I enjoyed their connection in the past and present. But their re-connection felt a bit insta-lovey after twelve years apart and a lot of unresolved hurt and anger. And some of the secrets from the past seemed to take quite a while to finally come out. I guess I would have liked to see a bit more with them dealing with those issues, and talking about it as they built a new relationship. But with that being said, they did have a strong connection and feelings, and good chemistry.

Along with the case, current issues, and dealing with the past there is also the little fact that she lives in New York and she lives in Vermont. So there are plenty of things that could keep them apart. This time will they find a way to be together or will they finally just get closure to move on?

This series is so easy to get sucked back into. I enjoyed going back to  Colebury, Vermont and visiting some old friends. I liked getting the dual points of view and that flashbacks were clearly marked so not to be confusing. It was sweet, heartfelt,  suspenseful second-chance, friends-to-lovers story. I would have loved an epilogue or just a bit more at the end. I am not sure if this is the last True North book or perhaps maybe Damien Rossi or the mysterious, Matteo Rossi might get books of their own. 

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Bittersweet (True North #1)
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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.

Steadfast (True North #2)
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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 to 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.

Keepsake (True North #3)
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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.

Bountiful (True North #4)
Sarina Bowen
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No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.

Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on. 

Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life. 

Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave No-Last-Name will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.

Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.

Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.

Speakeasy (True North #5)
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Sometimes you fall for Mr. Right. And sometimes for Mr. Right Now…

Did you hear the one about the girl who walks into a bar and catches her live-in lover kissing someone else? No? You’re the only one in town who missed it.

Luckily Alec is there to wrap me up in strong arms and carry me out the door before things get too ugly. And that’s not all Alec is good at. Our unexpected chemistry makes him the perfect rebound guy.

I should know better than to hook up with my rival’s little sister, but the fiery look in May’s eyes really turns my crank. She needs cheering up, and I’m just the guy for the job.

It’s not like I’ll fall in love. Not even after a string of scorching hot trysts, and the realization that we’re good at the same things: wild nights and familial disappointment. I don’t do love, never have, never will. So this is the perfect arrangement, for both of us. 

Nobody would approve, but nobody has to know…

Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont's Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

In 2016, Sarina became a Rita Award winner! The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.

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