Keepsake by Sarina Bowen – Review


Title:Keepsake (True North #3)

Author: Sarina Bowen

Date of Publication: September 25, 2016



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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.


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Meagan’s 4 Star Review

This is what I’ve been waiting for! Keepsake is by far my favorite of the three books in the True North series. The story centers around Zach, a virgin who ran away from a cult in Wyoming, and Lark, a friend of the family who is dealing with trauma after she was kidnapped in Guatemala. With all of that baggage, you would think Keepsake would be a serious, emotional, tale of woe. But Sarina Bowen somehow creates a story that’s both light and easy going but with enough emotion to make this a book you can’t put down.

I’ll never forget the sight of Griffin doubled over after explaining what a blowjob was.

“But nobody’s blowing on anything,” I’d protested while he tried to remember how to breathe.

If you’ve read the first two books in the True North series you’ve seen Zach before. I was worried after reading the last book that Zach would be paired with Zara, the single mom who won’t tell anyone who the baby’s father is. Thankfully the story goes in a different direction. Lark shows up right as the apples are ready for picking on Shipley Farm. She comes to stay with Maya, her best friend and roommate from college, to get away from her parents who struggle how to deal with Lark after her trauma. Lark is trying her best to cope with what happened to her in Guatemala, but no matter how much she tells herself she’s okay her nightmares tell another story.

I would smile and act normal for as long as it took. Until acting normal seemed normal again, and the dragons in my heart forgot to blow their fire.

So what really made this story for me? I love that Lark and Zach were both damaged in different ways. Zach needed someone who wouldn’t treat him differently because of his background, and Lark needed someone who could be strong enough to help her get past her guilt and fear after being kidnapped. I also loved all the humor when talking about Zach’s lack of pop culture references or not understanding slang used for sex. The sexual tension between Lark and Zach was incredible too. Zach was a virgin, but that didn’t mean he was timid or shy. His brazen desire for Lark was such a turn on and any physical scene between them was insanely hot.

“They don’t get that I have as dirty a mind as anyone else. Just haven’t put it to recent use.”

I wasn’t too sure about the True North series in the beginning, but honestly, each book is better than the last. My friends and I have already discussing who we think will end up together next. I can’t wait for the next book to see if we’re right.

“Remind me again,” I whispered, “why you’re a virgin?”

Never wanted anyone enough,” he panted.

“And now?” I pressed, punctuating the question by sucking gently on the skin beneath Zach’s ear.

“In my dreams, we do it every night.”



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About the Author


Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Website

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and New Adult fiction from the wilds of Vermont.

Her Ivy Years and Brooklyn Bruisers books are hockey romance novels. These two connected series began breaking hearts in 2014 with The Year We Fell Down. See for updates.

HIM and US are the bestselling, hockey LGBT novels co-written with Elle Kennedy. HIM is also a finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® Award.

For lovers of angsty snowboarders, Sarina also writes the Gravity series, featuring snow sports heroes.

Sarina enjoys skiing, coffee products and a nice glass of wine. She lives with her family, six chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.

She would be honored to connect with you at


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