Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen: Review

Posted June 11, 2016 in review Tags: ,

Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen: ReviewBittersweet by Sarina Bowen
Pages: 293

Series: True North #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Also in this series: Speakeasy, Fireworks, Heartland
Also by this author: Us, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Pipe Dreams, Brooklynaire, Speakeasy, Fireworks, Overnight Sensation, Superfan, Moonlighter, Man Cuffed, Heartland, Sure Shot, Lies and Lullabies, Loverboy, Roommate, Bombshells, Boyfriend , The Best Men, Shenanigans , Love Lessons , A Little Too Late, The New Guy , Good as Gold, I'm Your Guy, The Five Year Lie, Golden Touch
Amazon iBooks

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.

Sarina Bowen

what i think

Bittersweet is a totally unique story and I loved that! So, here are some of the things that made Bittersweet unique and why I think you should read it:

  1. Peek into organic farming-During some of his grumpy rants, Griff actually educates the reader (and Audrey) on why organic farming is so important. I loved getting a glimpse into that because I think its a topic that is relevant in society today but never talked about in books. Yet, Bowen managed to make organic farming sexy.
  2. College flunky-I love that Audrey flunked out of 2 colleges. Why? Because it shows us that not everyone is perfect all the time. College isn’t for everyone and I love books that address that. Audrey didn’t hide her college failures either-she doesn’t let them define her.
  3. The food-Okay, so Audrey is a chef so there is LOTS of food. I loved seeing how passionate she was about cooking and how well she and Griff understood this passion. Griff was so passionate about what he did and even though his cider making wasn’t the same as her cooking, that passion was something they both understood about each other.
  4. Audrey and Griff-Full disclosure…I was not sure I was going to be able to read this book. My brother’s name is Griffin and it was just weird. But, thankfully, it wasn’t as weird as I anticipated. I loved Grumpy Griff. He was certainly a pouty man bear, but you get his inner thoughts and see how compassionate he is and how much he regrets his past with Audrey. Audrey is funny without being ridiculous, driven without being bitchy, and welcoming to everyone she meets. Its hard not to like her! And the plot/romance is low angst/drama! Hallelujah!
  5. Recovering addict-One of the farm hands was hired straight from prison and rehab. I appreciated that Bowen didn’t just skate over his addiction. Jude talked about what it was like to be a recovering addict. The Shipley’s discussed what they were cautious of and they asked what he needed. Bowen didn’t try to turn it into a poor kid who just lost his way kind of addiction story. Jude was real and the struggles were not skirted like they often are. Again, addiction and recovery is something I am passionate about as I have seen many people I love struggle.

There are my top 5 reason you need to read this book! If you want a second chance romance, Bittersweet is perfect. If you want a setting that is unique and different for a romance novel, Bittersweet is amazing. If you want a good love story with some steamy moments that will leave you satisfied, go get Bittersweet!



if you liked

Nuts by Alice Clayton, Wasted Words by Staci Hart, Catching Summer by LP Dover…then you will probably like Bittersweet!

where to get it

iBooks icon Amazon-icon



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

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1. How do you come up with your characters? Based on someone, dreams, famous people?

News stories, usually. I’m intrigued by odd problems people have, and it leads me to wonder how they’d solve them…
2. What genre of books do you love to read? Favorites?

I read absolutely all kinds of books! I’m on a YA kick right now. Rainbow Rowell is a fave.
3. How do you choose a title? How do you choose character names? (Samantha is an

excellent name BTW…)

Titles are hard! Naming the True North books took months. Then I realized the word BITTERSWEET kept coming up in cidermaking. And I realized it’s the perfect title–one word with two conflicting emotions? Heck yes.
4. Do you map out the story before writing or do you just ‘go with it’?

I like to know the key turning points before I begin. Outlines are hell to write but they’re so worth it.
5. What kind of rituals do you have when you are writing (music, a special chair, etc)

I need silence to write. I wish I could tune out voices in a cafe, but if I try to write where people are talking I basically want to shush everyone like some grumpy librarian.
6. What do you have coming up that we should be looking for?

True North #2, STEADFAST, comes out in July!

7. Will there be any more Ivy Years books?

Never say never!
8. If you could collaborate with another author (Besides Elle Kennedy because you two MUST continue collaborating!), who would it be and why?

Oh, boy. I have no idea. Elle and I have more collaboration planned, and that’s enough for me.
9. Favorites! Tell us your favorite of each of these things:

Food: pineapple

TV show: I don’t watch any currently! Too busy writing.

Actor: Josh Charles (Yes, I was made when they killed his character on The Good Wife)

Actress: Maggie Smith

Beverage: snakebite (half cider, half beer)

Place to vacation: any beach

Book: Any Harry Potter

Author: JK Rowling

Song/Band/Artist: Girlyman

10. What is one thing your readers would be surprised to know about you?

I used to be a derivatives trader on Wall Street

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One response to “Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen: Review

  1. Gahhhhh! I loved this book so much! Griff is totally a pouty man bear! I love that description. And LOL! I’m glad the name being the same as your brother didn’t weird you out too much.
    OMG the food descriptions had me salivating! I really liked Jude too, so I’m excited for his story.
    I’m so happy you liked this too! 🙂

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