Also by this author: Brooklynaire, The Understatement of the Year
Also in this series: Speakeasy, Heartland
Series: True North #6
on November 13th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Nina Bocci
Buy on Amazon

Skye Copeland is on paid leave from her broadcasting job after accidentally drawing a pecker on the traffic map.

Let that sink in. Like it’s her fault the traffic pattern created a perfect schlong?

Skye isn’t laughing. She needs this job. And that’s the only reason she’s willing to chase down a story in her least favorite place—that hell on earth known as Vermont.

A quick trip. In and out. Much like - never mind. She can sneak into the town that once tried to break her, get the story and slide back into the good graces of her producer. Easy peasy.

But things go sideways the moment she steps over the county line. Her stepsister is running from a violent drug dealer. And the cop on the case is none other than Benito Rossi, the man who broke Skye’s teenage heart.

His dark brown eyes still tear her apart. And even as she steels herself to finally tell him off after twelve years, the old fireworks are still there.

Things are about to go boom.


by Sarina Bowen

I’ve probably said it before but going back to Vermont to catch up with the Shipleys, Rossis & Co is like coming home. It has that familiar cozy feeling I always get with Sarina Bowen’s True North series. But – whatever trope Ms. Bowen uses this author always manages to put her own spin on it. This time we get a second chance romance of two high school sweethearts.

Skye’s background story is in parts sad and sweet and is told in flashbacks. When you are forced to live with an abusive douchenozzle of a stepdad and a mother who doesn’t really care whether you live or die then you don’t have much to look forward to. One thing Skye always loved and took her away from her scary home: sitting with Benito Rossi in forest close to their trailer park homes and talking for hours on end. Their friendship back was just really special and had an innocence about it, it was just lovely.

There are people who would mock me for saying I fell for Skye in one afternoon when I was eighteen. But that one afternoon was followed by hundreds of hours of talking in the woods.

But that one night that meant the world to Skye, Benny let her down. She had no reason to stay, so she packed her belongings and left. After twelve years and her infamous peen-drawing-incident, the now-journalist and weather and traffic reporter returns to the hated place in Vermont where her first heartbreak happened. And when she is forced to see Benny again Skye isn’t happy.

When his first (and only) love vanished from town Ben’s heart broke, too and he hasn’t been the same since but now Skye is back and he’ll be damned if he let her go again. Ahhh Benny, I loved his loyal heart, his determination, patience and love for Skye, his protectiveness and pride for her achievements. He is a real sweet talker and I fell head over heels in love with him. Sure, he moves fast and they both have changed over the course of the last twelve years but given the depth of their relationship when Skye left town it wasn’t hard for me to understand that there was still a lot of love between them.

“With you, there’s no such thing as casual. The fire I feel for you won’t ever go out.”

It is harder for Skye to let Benito in again. Not only did he break her heart, he broke her trust too. She’s quite shy and guarded yet still warm and I really loved that about her. She also had a wry sense of humor I adore. Ben had all the time in the world and was extremely motivated to win her back and she didn’t give in too soon. Skye had a soft spot for her stepsister which some people may not understand but Raye was the only family she had beside her aunt.

The sexual tension between Skye and Benny built up nicely and at some point they actually made it into the bedroom. I was getting pretty riled up already and they were so close…then the chapter ended and wham – blue ovaries because we got another flashback. I have to say that I hated Sarina a tiny bit in that moment.

There are a couple of things that did bother me a little bit, like Ben’s treatment of Skye’s former adversary at school.

You don’t “forget” to break it off with somebody you have a casual relationship with. That was a really shitty thing to do. I know people had an issue with him hooking up with Jill in the first place – if Jill had been the heroine from the beginning nobody would have batted an eye because she had changed in the past years

I also didn’t care much for Skye’s stepsister who was self-absorbed, selfish, reckless and a little dumb.

FIREWORKS was another completely enjoyable installment in this favorite series of mine. This time there is a little bit suspense mixed into the romance and some open questions from previous books, like whose car almost ran over Zara in her book, are being answered. I love how Sarina Bowen ties these books together – those details make the characters come alive and make them feel like good friends. I can’t wait to see what else in this series the author has in store for us.

“Some things are true whether it’s convenient or not.” I count them up on the fingers of one hand, held out in front of her. “Global warming. Neurotic families. I accidentally bought whole bean coffee instead of ground. So we can’t make coffee this morning after all. Four— your stepsister is a flake who’s doing things the hard way. And Five— I loved you from the first day I met you. That’s never going away.”

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is the RITA® Award winning author of over two dozen contemporary and LGTB romance novels. She most recently hit the USA Today bestseller's list in February, with Brooklynaire. Formerly a derivatives trader on Wall Street, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University.

Sarina Bowen is a New Englander whose Vermont ancestors cut timber and farmed the north country since the 1760s. Sarina is grateful for the invention of indoor plumbing and wi-fi during the intervening 250 years. On a few wooded acres, she lives with her husband, two boys, and an ungodly amount of ski and hockey gear.


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1 Comment

  • I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this – and the series too! I really enjoyed meeting the characters in it and look forward to reading the rest of the series now! 🤪

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