By Sarina Bowen
There’s a first time for everything.
Lark Wainright used to be fearless. Her life was a series of adventures, each one more exhilarating than the last. But her recent overseas adventure was one too many. Now she’s home and in one piece. Mostly. But her nights are filled with terror.
When her best friend offers her a stay at the orchard in exchange for help at the farmers’ markets, Lark jumps at the chance to spend fall in Vermont. But her nightmares don’t stop. Desperate to keep her fragile state a secret, she relies on the most soft-spoken resident of the Shipley Farm to soothe her when her dreams prove too much.
Zachariah is a survivor, too. It’s been four years since he was tossed aside by the polygamist cult where he grew up. He’s found a peaceful existence on the Shipley’s farm, picking apples and fixing machinery. But getting thrown away by your own people at nineteen leaves a mark on a guy. He doesn’t always know what to make of a world where movie quotes are the primary means of communication. Before hitchhiking to Vermont, he’d never watched TV or spoken on the phone.
Actually, there are a lot of things he’s never done.
Zach and Lark slowly grow to trust one another. One night they become even closer than they’d planned. But Lark may still be too broken to trust anyone. When she pushes Zach away, he will have to prove to himself that he’s good for much more than farm labor.
KEEPSAKE is the third and possible final book in the True North series, and Zach’s story is one I’ve been waiting for since BITTERSWEET⎯the first book in the series⎯came out.
Zach is an absolute sweetheart. He’s kind, caring and hard-working. He spends most of this book living in fear that his time is running out at Shipley Farm and he will soon be kicked out, just like he was from the polygamist cult he was born in to. He’s not used to being given anything, whether it be gifts or affection, so it was endearing to see his reactions when being given those very things. Lark used to be fearless, but now fear is her constant companion after an overseas adventure went wrong. She has a lot of healing to do and she hopes that spending the picking season at Shipley Farm will help her do that. But the memories won’t be denied and come out in the form of nightmares, and only Zach can calm her down after every episode. What I liked most about Lark was that she tried so hard to put the past behind her, to get herself back to the woman she used to be.
KEEPSAKE is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. Despite a couple of sensitive issues, this was a mostly light and easy read. There were a couple of scenes that were chuckle worthy, like the Shipley’s joyful response to Zach finally getting laid, and Griff’s story about how he once tried to give the twins the condom talk. Is this the last we’ll hear of the Shipley farm? I certainly hope not because there are plenty of other characters that could get their own books. I’d love to read about Zara, her little girl and the father who remains a mystery. KEEPSAKE ends with a nice HEA where we see Zach feeling the most settled and accepted he’s ever been.
Keepsake (True North # 3)
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