Heartland (True North, #7) by Sarina Bowen: Review by Cupcake
An emotional friends to lovers romance full of risky secrets and late-night lessons in seduction.
Dylan is my best friend, and the only person in my life who understands me. He doesn’t mind my social awkwardness or my weird history. The only glitch? He doesn’t know that I’ve been hopelessly, desperately in love with him since the first day we picked apples together in his family’s orchard.
But I know better than to confess.
Now that we’re both in college together, I’m seeing a new side of him. College Dylan drinks and has a lot of sex. None of it with me.
Until the night I foolishly ask him to tutor me in more than algebra…and he actually says yes.
But the cool morning light shows me how badly I’ve endangered our friendship. And I don’t know if anything will be the same again.
Let me just get the disclaimer out of the way first. I find SB’s writing infinitely readable. She’s my go to for a comfort read and I really, I mean REALLY, love this series because of the Shipleys. So it wasn’t a surprise that I fell right into this read like a comfy pair of jim jams.
Dylan has always struck me as a carefree playboy breaking hearts all over Vermont so I was pleasantly surprised to find some hidden depth. I’m also a sucker for anyone who loves animals like Dylan does. He may be a bit of a scoundrel but he is good-natured and honest about his affinity for casual sex. He gets points for that.
Chastity could’ve easily become the virginal cliché always pining for the bad boy and she is those things but she’s also been pigeon-holed as such by her past with the cult. I enjoyed watching her break free of that mold and spread her wings.
Their romance is firmly in 3 star territory. The sex is fairly scorching with SB’s trademark bossy in the bedroom male lead and Dylan is a talker! Envisioning the cover model issuing some of these commands was a potent combination. There wasn’t an abundance of shenanigans in their relatively easy and realistic trip from friends to lovers and I enjoyed that immensely.
Where things get complicated is how much I liked both of these characters individually coupled with the last 20-30% of the story which mostly takes place at the Shipley farm and folds in all the people I’ve loved from the series. Read: Griff. It packed an emotional punch that got to me and pushed this story up the rating scale to somewhere near 4 stars.
In a nutshell, Heartland is another worthwhile read in the True North series AND I’m going to go out on limb here and say I *think* this may be laying the groundwork for a spinoff series. That I will naturally be reading.
An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.