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.
4.5 stars — I received a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.
OMG!! I am in love with Dave Beringer!! I mean, like, “go to Brooklyn and look for Gingers in the hopes that one is the fictional Dave Beringer” kind of love. Because I did that. Today. I have no shame.
I have not read the previous 3 books in the True North series (though it will be happening soon, I just ran out of time), but I have read the Brooklyn Bruisers books, and so I had an in on that side of things. And this book just made me want to read the rest of the True North series even more! Though I honestly don’t know how Ms. Bowen can top this story. Like, it was f-ing sexy, and funny, and heartwarming, and none of the characters pissed me off (because there was potential, but it didn’t go that way), and even though I read this over a week (which is unheard of) because I am on vacation, so I had to sneak in reading time whenever I could, I still fell in love with it. Honestly, it just makes me excited for when I reread it and truly devour it from cover to cover. Probably when I read the rest of the series, b/c I’ll no doubt have a different perspective on Zara.
Zara was her own special brand of stubborn, and feisty, and damaged. I really enjoyed having a heroine who is really in touch with her own sexuality, but isn’t necessarily comfortable with it…it was a weird dichotomy. Like, she was interested in sex from a young age, but she was also branded as a slut because of it, so she wasn’t self-accepting, you know? She just kind of believed the things that people judged her for. It was kind of heartbreaking. But I kind of loved it. Because you know in so many romance novels there’s a girl that gets slut-shamed… Zara might have been that girl, you know? So it shows that side of the coin. But her story was so much more. She was a product of how she was raised, and she really didn’t have a lot of direction in life. It was interesting to see the changes that becoming a mother wrought in her, but at the same time she still had a lot of healing to do.
And Dave. *swoon* Like, I don’t even know why he does it for me so much. Maybe because he’s just so unapologetic. Like he said at one point, he’s a bit slow to learn and grow, but he’s not a dick. He had his own damage to get past, and I enjoyed that his bachelor ways had a…reason, I guess. I loved (in a tore my heart out way) learning bits and pieces of his tragic childhood, and how that shaped him. I loved his relationship with his sister. Honestly, I wouldn’t have minded a more clear resolution with his past…but I might have missed something because I had to intersperse my reading. Did he ever tell Zara about his past? I can’t remember. ANYWAYS. I have a soft spot for Gingers (sssshhhh, don’t tell my hubby), and holy *bleep* was his bossy take charge attitude in the bedroom sexy as *bleep*. Like *fans face*. AND then there were all the times he grinned during sex. I can’t even, you guys…like can’t even.
There was just something about the way Dave and Zara fit together that had me on board right from the start. I LOVED the “past” section. I fell in love really soon. And I LOVED the way the present played out, from the start right to the very end. I loved the secondary characters (and I’ll probably like some of them even more when I get to read their stories). Basically it was just all sorts of goodness (with a few minor things I was confused on, but again…could be just me — like the car thing).
Anyways. I want a Dave. Someone get on that stat. Thanks in advance.