Published by Rennie Road Books on July 12, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Forbidden, Second Chance Romance
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.
Sophie Haines is stunned by his reappearance. After a three year absence, the man who killed her brother and broke her heart is suddenly 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 volunteer in the church kitchen.
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.
Brilliant! It’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think about Steadfast. It’s just brilliant. I loved every second of it. And just like with Bittersweet it has become an insta-favorite of mine. I guarantee those farm boys will steal your heart.
“When Jude and I were alone together, the rest of the world didn’t exist.”
I’m definitely a Sarina fan, and so far pretty much every Sarina book I’ve read has been amazing. She’s such a smart writer; her books are so real and also well balanced. They are usually the perfect combination of passion, angst and even humor. Better yet, she can achieve all that without having over the top drama or stupid misunderstandings in her books. And those are the kind of books I love. The kind of books that speak to me, and the kind of books I usually crave. And well, this is also a second chance romance, and if you follow my reviews, you know that second chance romances are my weakness! But this book, this book is so much more. This is a redemption story of the best kind. A book about accepting your mistakes, growing up in every sense of the word and moving forward with life. A second chance, not only at love, but at life in general. Like I said, it’s just…brilliant!
“When I was seventeen, I thought Jude was sent to me from heaven. When I was eighteen, I let him take me there. When I was nineteen, he broke both my heart and my family.”
That right there is pretty much all you need to know about this book before you start reading. If you read Bittersweet, you met Jude as Griff’s new employee, who is an ex-convict and who is struggling to stay clean after going to prison and rehab. If you haven’t read Bittersweet (why haven’t you? It’s a must read!) this can still be read as a standalone.
Jude and Sophie loved each other since they were teens. Unbeknownst to Sophie Jude’s other love was drugs. Their relationship abruptly ended one night and that night changed their lives forever. Now a few years later, Jude comes back to town and eventually runs into Sophie. This is a truly forbidden romance, Sophie’s dad is the chief of police and he hates Jude. Not to mention, the events of that night years ago, make it almost impossible for them together. Almost. Cause Jude and Sophie’s connection is incredible.
“But even a glimpse of him had given me palpitations. As if my subconscious had recognized a piece of my soul before my brain got a chance to speak up.”
Jude struggles to remain sober were so raw and real. He was such a great guy is such a bad situation, but the way he persevered was admirable! Sarina has created an amazing world where the supporting characters are as amazing as the main characters. The Shipley’s are super present in this book and their support for Jude is incredible. I so want to be part of that family!
“This made a huge difference to my outlook on life. If I didn’t show up next week, they would wonder why. And if I relapsed, I wouldn’t be able face them.”
Soon Sophie realized that his Jude was even better than the version of Jude she used to know.
“It was hard to be here with this oddly sanitized version of Jude. The wearer of flannel. Diet Coke in his glass. This was a Jude from an alternate universe. But I knew if I slid into his arms he’d feel so achingly familiar—broad and warm and strong and so very mine.”
I loved both Jude and Sophie. Sophie was so likeable and such a trooper. I love that Sarina writes such amazing heroines. And Jude, well, there are no words to describe Jude. He was just so special, such a great guy. And the chemistry between them was so palpable. That, combined with the gorgeous writing, made for some swoony scenes.
“Kissing her wasn’t a decision I made. It was just inevitable, the way a clap of thunder follows lightning. We leaned in at the same time. I closed my eyes so that I didn’t have to see the little spark of shock on her face. But my blindness changed nothing. Sophie. Our lips brushed together on a sigh. And then my mouth melted onto hers. I kissed her so slowly. Once. Then twice. Even in my haze of yearning I knew I should memorize every second.”
The angst is off the charts with this one. The love is also off the charts. Also, there’s an element of mystery throughout the whole book that keeps you guessing until the end. I also loved the flashbacks to when Jude and Sophie were teenagers. I wholeheartedly recommend Steadfast. It’s a beautiful, beautiful book. You will love it from beginning to end. I’m truly hooked on this series and I can’t wait for Book 3 of this series, Keepsake, which is Zach’s book. And if you haven’t read Bittersweet, pick that one up too, you will not be disappointed!
“All we can do is listen harder, hug harder and hope for the best.”
**An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**