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 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.
A few weeks ago I RAVED about Bittersweet from Sarina Bowen. Now, let me regale you with the reasons you will LOVE Steadfast!
Jude was introduced in the previous book. He is fresh out of prison and needs a new start. In addition to being an ex-con, he is a recovering drug addict. So, this might be a trigger for some people. Personally, my brother is a recovering heroin addict so Jude’s story was real to me.
Bowen takes an ex-con drug addict and turns him into a broken hero. Is he ‘fixed’ by the end? I don’t think so; but I think that ‘fixing’ him would have been a huge mistake. Sophie was an interesting character as well. You would expect the ex-girlfriend to be bitter, judgmental, and bitchy but Sophie is…nice. Sweet, even. I mean, Jude did kill her brother in a car accident. While high…So, I expected bitter and hateful. Sophie is none of those but her father is. Boy, is he hateful and bitter and out for blood. Jude’s blood.
Jude’s struggles with his sobriety are REAL. I actually got nervous for him while reading. Nervous isn’t quite the right word…more like terrified for him. I could feel the danger his sobriety was in at the moment and his struggle was palpable! If you have ever known an addict, you will agree that Bowen did a masterful job writing the struggle.
The SHIP!!! Sophie and Jude are quite possibly one of my favorite ships ever! I didn’t think I would like them so much. I often wonder how someone can stay with an addict-how do you not live your life waiting for them to slip up and ruin everything? So, to see these two work through the challenges of life was really powerful.
Bottom line? You need Steadfast. Its not as light and funny as Bittersweet. Steadfast is darker and because of that, its also more hopeful. Steadfast will wring your emotions like a towel until you have nothing left! This is one of those books that will stick with you; when people ask for recommendations, this will be one that pops into your mind frequently.