I'm not into NA - really, I'm not. Well, except for Sarina Bowen. And Elle Kennedy. And I guess the characters are pretty young in Kylie Scott's Stage Dive series ...well, it all boils down to the author, doesn't it? It all boils down to the writing. So, have a blurb for a damn good book!
Farmers make the earth move.
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.
Warning: Contains sexual situations, gourmet yumminess, a steamy outdoor shower and proof that farmers don't mind getting dirty.
There's something about Bowen's writing, her voice, that just clicks with me. I become invested in her characters and I really don't need a detailed or complicated plot, just two people finding their future. The secondary characters are usually likeable, people you could call friend. Bittersweet ticks all these boxes.
The protagonists in this book, however, are older. Audrey is 25 and Griffin is 27. Audrey considers herself a failure and is determined to prove herself to her cold mother (who reminded me a lot of the mother in Nora Robert's The Witness). Griff lost his father and a possible football career at the same time and is conflicted, but not in great angst about it.
What I particularly liked about this book is that misunderstandings don't happen, because the characters talk to each other. They aren't stubborn (well, not too much) and they listen well. It was so enjoyable not to be saying "Oh, for God's sake!" every other page.
I wanted the book to continue. I wanted to see how the possible solution worked out (trying to avoid spoilers here). I wanted to follow them into their future.
I'm not heroine-centric but I loved Audrey. She complimented Griff perfectly. They were a pair of bunnies there for awhile, but for some reason Bowen's love scenes are perfectly readable for me, maybe because she's not counting penile veins and lavishing adjectives on body secretions.
This was so different from Seals and Marines and tough alpha males; although Griff is tough and moderately alpha, he is a softy albeit a grumpy one. I also didn't know there were so many types of apples or apple cider.
I recommend this book, if only for the cosy feel alone. Best of all, the next in the series, Steadfast, is releasing July 12. But the one I really want to read is Zach's story, Keepsake. No date on it yet, but Zach grew up in a cult, is about 23(?) and a virgin. He spent most of Bittersweet blushing, lol.