“She and I were a dangerous combination. We needed cautionary signs like the ones hanging in the tractor shed over the cans of diesel fuel. WARNING: COMBUSTIBLE.”- Griff, Bittersweet
Synopsis via Goodreads: 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.
After an incident at a restaurant almost lands her an unemployment slip, Audrey Kidder heads up to Vermont in hopes of redeeming herself and landing her bosses a few new accounts. But her plans get sidetracked when she runs into an old flame, Griffin Shipley. The spark is once again reignited between the two and Audrey finds herself falling fast for the local cider maker. But when distance starts to put a damper on their relationship, Audrey must decide if she’s willing to give Griff and her a second shot, or let the old flame die out once again.
Although I’ve read both Him and Us, two books co-written by Sarina Bowen, Bittersweet is the first book I’ve ever read written by Bowen alone so I am marking this as MY FIRST EVER book I’ve read written by Bowen. And honestly, Bowen has landed herself on my FAVORITE AUTHORS list! I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where I had a full-on, teeth-showing grin plastered on my face as I did for this one.
The first thing I fell in love with was the book’s setting. I’m such a sucker for books set in small town and I lucked out big time because majority of this book takes place on a farm. Bowen does an AMAZING job and providing a descriptive image of all that Vermont has to offer. From the lush apple orchards, to the sunsets over the mountain’s peaks I felt like I was right in the middle of nature. I seriously want to take a trip up to Vermont myself so I can experience this first hand. TAKE THIS CITY GIRL AND TURN HER INTO A COUNTRY GAL!
The second thing I loved about this book were the secondary characters. OMG, can the Shipley family please adopt me because I want to be a part of this family so bad! The Shipley family plays a major role throughout this book as they are a close bunch who always puts the family’s needs before their own. There are a number of scenes with them gathered around a meal and helping out in the kitchen. We also have a few characters who are not related by blood, but the Shipley family makes sure that they too feel LIKE they are family. All the family time just warmed my heart and I can’t wait to see more of them in the upcoming installments.
I really liked our two MCs for this book. Both Audrey and Griff are career-driven individuals who have always worked hard to reach their goals. Audrey wants to be a chef and open her own restaurant and despite the hurdles that life has thrown at her, she still keeps at it. She is determined to make it on her own and prove her doubtful mother wrong. Gosh, I love a MC with ambitious drives.
And of course, we have our grumpy farmer, Griff. I never thought that grumpy farmers would make me swoon, but GODDAMN, Griff is one of the MOST SWOON WORTHY guys I’ve ever met!
He may look like mean gruff, but he’s really a big softie underneath the scruffy heard. He sacrificed a lot in order to keep his family farm from going under water and his dream is to one day be known for his famous cider. His dream is what actually brings these two together and once again lights the fire between these two.
Speaking of fire, the third thing I loved about this book was how (for the most part) smooth sailing the romance was. This was the first book I’ve ever read where there weren’t over-dramatic excuses about why two people couldn’t be together. These two just came together and realized that being together was what they wanted and as for the rest of it, they would figure all that out on the way. It was simple, it was sweet, IT WAS SO DAMN HOT!
Bittersweet has to be HANDS-DOWN one of the MOST SWEETEST romances I’ve ever read! I loved it to bits and I think this may be one of my new favorite series. Jude’s story is the next installment in this series and I have a feeling his may be my favorite. A second chance romance that has a bad boy with a track record, YES PLEASE! Now if you will excuse me, this girl is going to load up her car and head up to Vermont to find herself her own grumpy farmer 😉 !