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Bittersweet

The True North Series, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)
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Summary

Farmers make the earth move.

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 shared a couple of steamy nights together, but that was a lifetime ago.

At 27 Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, his three siblings, and a dotty grandfather. He doesn't have time for the sorority girl who has 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 are 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.

Warning: contains sexual situations, gourmet yumminess, a steamy outdoor shower, and proof that farmers don't mind getting dirty.

©2016 Sarina Bowen (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Beautifully Written. Fantastic Narration.

I've read and loved a couple of Sarina Bowen's books. This series is one that I could really get my teeth into. Rugged mountain men. What's not to like? Couple that with a dual POV second chance romance and I'm in my element. I've never been a cider drinker (ok, yes, when I was 15, on the rec with my buddies on a weekend), but that is where I drew the line. Reading about apples and cider making on Griffin Shipley's organic farm has me wanting to try out some speciality ciders to see what I've been missing, (the writing was that good). I loved the chemistry between Griff and Audrey, whether it was sexual, or when they were cider making. They truly were a match made in heaven. A light easy read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Looking forward to reading more in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • S.
  • 15-10-18

Some good, some bad, nothing ugly

I sort of enjoyed this book, compared to the others, mainly due to the male protagonist. However, I wasn't sold on the book as as whole. I wasn't convinced by the characters and I caught myself, at times, hoping the story had taken a different route from the one the author chose. Overall, blasé is the best word to describe this book. Too bad.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

BECAUSE FARMERS MAKE THE EARTH MOVE!

My second book by Sarina Bowen, I am loving this author writing

Completely engrossed from start to finish and although I listened to this on audio which was brilliant by the way, the flow was great. The right amount of angst, drama, hotness and Grumpy farmer Griff I loved him.



Griff Shipley had a promising football career in college he was one of those guys and he and Audrey had a one night stand just before the end of their time there but instead of Griff moving on his father died and he returned to his farm to work for the family.

This story is bittersweet for both characters and they are a perfect match.

Audrey, according to Griff was a girl who seemed to have everything, Griff called her a princess but looks can be deceiving. Audrey had an interfering overbearing mother who treated Audrey like she was never good enough she had high expectations of Audrey and was trying to make Audrey into a product of herself so Audrey broke away, went her own way and went to culinary school.

Audrey landed her first job at a company called BPG and instead of spending time in the kitchen like she hoped they sent her to look for products they could use in their restaurants.

Audrey and Griff meeting up again was a little bit frosty, Griff hated the big company's who didn't pay farmers their worth and he spread the word to other farmers that a rep was around so no-one would see Audrey which made her job difficult when she was trying to impress her new boss.

I loved this story and the gradual build up to Griff and Audrey's reunion and it was so hot.


I would definitely read more in this series the Shipley family had a great feel to them and I would definitely read more about the other characters.

Currently free in Amazon, so you get the Audio at a bargain price.

Because farmers make the Earth move!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lydia D. Rella
  • 18-10-16

Hot Farmer+Strong Heroine+Scenery=Perfection!

Sarina Bowen's writing is always amazing and HIM (written with Elle Kennedy) is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE audiobooks. I've also listened to quite a few from the Ivy Years series and they were great as well, but I really LOVED Bittersweet. It's the story of one hot farmer, Griff, struggling to keep his organic family farm in the black. Then Audrey literally drops back into his life (after a past hookup in college) and the struggle is on. They're both determined to stay on their paths and avoid romantic involvement so that they keep their careers on track but you can't fight fate.

The chemistry is super hot and you'll want to go buy organic veggies in hopes of find your own Griff to tame: big ,hot, bearded, grumpy, and a dedicated family man with strong ideals. Audrey is no shrinking violet (which I always love) and struggles with a complicated relationship with her mother and lousy self-esteem while trying to make her dreams of becoming a chef reality.

The other characters though, are what really makes this book incredible: The Shipley family and the state of Vermont. Sarina Bowen makes them integral characters in the book and I always adore a story that makes you fall in love with the setting. This one does that in spades. The Shipley family is one I'm definitely dying to hear more from in the future.

This is my first audio narrated by Tad Branson and he was great. I've listened to others by Saskia Maarleveld and she is always perfect. She also does a man's voice super well, which is tricky and takes skill. All that being said - BUY THIS AUDIO, and then go buy some organic apples and pay what they're worth LOL! <3

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Cyndi
  • 27-10-16

Sweet and Sexy

I enjoyed this story, it was sweet and I love a rugged hard working man! I think a lot of research went into farming when the author wrote this book which I appreciate so much because not only did I learn a thing or two about it but it helps to make the story believable and helps draw you in. The only thing I didn't love was that Audrey had no confidence at all throughout most of the book. I hate when a girl says things like "I must have screwed something up again, I never do anything right.." it comes across to me like she is doing the poor me things and I hate that. I understand that her mother always made her feel like a failure but I just don't like her way of dealing with it, it makes her seem weak. Other than that, I really liked the story line, the huge family, the love story and the hot sex scenes. I can't wait for book 2!

The narration was great too!

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Edy
  • 13-11-16

First Bowen book I've read...not the last

With all the cookie cutter romance novels out there right now, this book was such a pleasant surprise. The main male character was fantastic and what women want but real and flawed. The female lead character the same. I love all the knowledge of organic farming and the trials and tribulations that they go through to put food on our tables. It made the story far more realistic. No billionaire wonder boys here. Thank goodness.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • I HATE THIS NEW LOOK
  • 08-11-16

PLEASANTLY SURPRISED THAT I FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS

Any additional comments?

I was so surprised that I enjoyed this book so much. It is so sweet and made me long for a large family. This is one I will listen to over and over again. LOVED IT

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • chrisitne
  • 29-07-17

Liked everything except...

Good, easy, romantic summer read. Liked everything about it except for the far too explicit explanation of how to take apart a hog for meat. No thank you!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rusty
  • 16-04-18

If Only Audrey was Older than 22

The rural Vermont setting was unique, the Shipley family was engaging, farmer Griff was a wonderfully caring hero but chef Audrey (22) was too young to be really interesting.

It would have been more believable if Audrey had been closer to 30 than 20; how many chefs expect to be given his/her own restaurant less than a year after graduating.

However, the overall story was well written, the characters had surprising depth, the explicit sex scenes were loving and sensual without any domination or violence.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ezinwanyi
  • 27-10-16

Food, farming, family and love

After listening to this audiobook, I felt like having a glass of wine and just dancing. It had all the ingredients you need for an awesome book: humor, food, drink, family, great chemistry and captivating writing. I love Saskia Maarleveld and Ted Branson's voice as they brought these two people to life!

Audrey Kidder was hoping to get her an opportunity to show her culinary skills but the restaurant owner won’t give her a turn in the kitchen. He finally agreed to let her have more opportunities if she could get some farmers to sign a deal selling their organic crops at a price favorable to the restaurant. Audrey drove from Boston to Vermont and the first farmer she ran into was her ex-hookup from college, Griffin Shipley.

Griff is now the inadvertent patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, his three siblings, and a dotty grandfather. He doesn't have time for the flame, who has shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.
The struggle to make sure that trade isn’t comprised by their attraction to each other ensues. For Griff, it is paramount that the farm is financially secure because so many people are dependent on the farm’s success. Audrey has finally found the career where she feels confident and fulfilled, so it is imperative that she finds a way to do well and demonstrate to everyone she isn’t a screw up.

The push and pull of love versus occupation is a clash as old as time. I certainly think of produce (bruised or not) in a different way because I never really gave the farmers a second thought when I go to the supermarket.Now I will look at fruits differently.

Griff and Audrey’s second chance came at a better time for the both of them. Life has forced them to mature and it showed this time around. What makes this story superb is the storytelling! Sarina Bowen isn’t wordy, it is just fluid, clear and gripping. This is not an audiobook that you will want to stop until you finish it. The characters are fleshed out well, the plot is developed and the almost everyone is likable. The supporting cast really added flavor to this story. I look forward to learning more about their individual struggles.
I think the author is on to something really special with this series and I am already listening to book 2:

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Listening is Reading
  • 22-11-18

Grumpy Griff!

Griff & Audrey

Oooo I didn’t know what I was getting into when I started this book but oh my god I am so glad I read it.
Griff is so freaking yum. I can’t describe him any other way. He is not mean but he isn’t nice either. He just gets things done and he might not smile while doing it. That’s not a crime at all.

I kinda loved that they had known each other before now, and it’s more a second chance love. Audrey broke my heart more than once. I even had tears, her life hasn’t been easy but she pulls through and she is stronger I think for it. I can’t help but feel for the girl. Her spirit was never broken just bruised and her attitude is everything you can't help but love her.

I hope she gets everything she wants and I think she will with Griff in her corner.
I loved his family so freaking hard. They make this book fun to read that’s for sure.

Ohhh lala the narration swoon more please! <3

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Misty
  • 29-05-17

Slow and easy

The love story between these two was a slow burn and the story, although I stayed entertained, was a little too slow for me. I kept waiting for this big event that was going to make a big boom and it just never came. I found myself more excited to hear about the secondary characters and that is why I will continue with the series. I think they were so much more interesting.

Saskia and Tad were great narrators but I found myself looking forward to Tad's chapters. He had that sexy manly voice that made the main character so much more than he would have been on paper.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A.Fro
  • 29-03-17

Awesome book.

I wanted to live on that farm. I wanted to be part of their large family and OMG i wanted to be griff's girlsfriend.
Awesome book.
Narration: really really good

2 of 2 people found this review helpful