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(True North #2)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  11,246 ratings  ·  1,405 reviews
She’s the only one who ever loved him—and the only one he can never have.

Jude lost everything one spring day when he crashed his car into an apple tree on the side of the road. A man is dead, and there's no way he can ever right that wrong. He’d steer clear of Colebury, Vermont forever if he could. But an ex-con in recovery for his drug addiction can’t find a job just anyw
Paperback, 335 pages
Published July 12th 2016
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  11,246 ratings  ·  1,405 reviews

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Angie - Angie's Dreamy Reads
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Steadfast wrecked me. It ripped me apart. It felt personal. Too personal. It's probably one of the hardest books I've read. I cried a lot--a-fucking-lot. My heart was beaten and bruised. Jude's a character I admire and adore. I want so many good things for him. His demons are dark and Sarina doesn't gloss over them.

This story was REAL.
It felt HONEST.

Addiction is something most of us have some experience with. Whether it's
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars!!


'Steadfast' was one of the best books I’ve read by this author and also one of the best second chance romance I’ve read in a long time. What was different here from other second chance romances I’ve read in the past was the fact the romance between the two main characters was a forbidden romance which I really loved. Needless to say it was a very nice change. At least for me. The story was very addictive even if the premise is nothing new. 'Steadfast' is the second installment in 'Tru
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars!!!


Steadfast by Sarina Bowen is a new favorite of mine by her. Everything Sarina Bowen writes is fantastic, she is one of those authors that never disappoints. This book, though, it was especially wonderful. Honestly, books that have such a focus on addiction can be hit or miss for me. As with anyone who has had that touch their lives in some way or another, it can be a topic that isn't fun to read about. Bowen did an incredible job with this hard to read topic.

Jude lost everything with
Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾
4.5 Stars

When I was seventeen, I thought Jude was sent to me from heaven. When I was eighteen, I let him take me there. When I was nineteen, he broke both my heart and my family.

From the very second that Jude was introduced in Bittersweet, I knew that I needed his book. There's just something about the broken and tortured heroes, and it doesn't get more tortured than the man who let his addiction take away not only his freedom but the love of his life. Three years ago, Jude made a mi
Jennifer Kyle
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
4.5 ~ 5 STARS

”All we ever had were stolen moments”

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I sadly DNF the first book of this series at 56% mark and felt just awful that it didn’t work out for me. I am a fan of the author and gladly tried this second book and I'm happy to report that it was terrific read!


Those who have read the first book of this series may remember Jude the ex-con out who after three years of prison is hired to pick apples. Jude Nickel’s work at the Shipley farm is now over as the winter season is ap
Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog
*****FOUR STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

I lived for Wednesdays and Thursdays. Pathetic as that was, a weekly glimpse of Sophie (along with some quality time with the Shipleys) kept me sane.

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STEADFAST is the second installment in the True North series and I will say that I enjoyed this one a little more than I did BITTERSWEET. It definitely was very slow moving for about the first 25% of the story, which for me is entirely too long but I did end up getting into it once the pace
Rachel Reads Ravenously
4 stars!

"My name is Jude Nickel, and I am an addict. Also, I'm a big fucking idiot."

Drug addict Jude lost everything when he crashed his car while high and killed his girlfriend's brother in the process. Now, three years later, he's out of prison for manslaughter and he's clean. After working six months at the Shipley Farm in Vermont, he returns to his hometown to live with his dad. Working in his family's mechanic shop, Jude is just trying to make it through the day without relapsing.

Geri Reads
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've enjoyed everything I've read by Sarina Bowen so far. But this, THIS BOOK, might be my favorite out of all she's written.

Steadfast is an emotionally heart-wrenching tale of love, addiction, and redemption. All wrapped in Sarina's exquisite authorial voice. I was floored by how emotionally on point this book was.

Addiction in romance is not a new thing. Unfortunately, a lot of what I've read in the past made me weary of this particular trope in romance. They either undermine the issues that
Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth

5 Stolen Moments Stars

Review @ Vanilla & Spice Books

When this one was released Sarina Bowen was attacked for writing a romance novel with the hero being a drug addict. I didn't get why, we read about anti-heroes every day, so what was the problem here?

One reckless decision changed the life of a lot of people. When Jude wrecked his car more than three years ago he also wrecked his life and his girlfriend's and her family's. After three years in prison and a summer spent working for the Shipleys h
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Insight Only Bowen Could Do Stars
* * * *1/2 Spoiler Free
Leave it to Bowen to take a current topic that touches so many and make it understandable and give hope. But then why would that be a surprise...for she has created a career of showing readers through amazing storytelling how to open their minds to so many challenges; Disabilities, Survival of Sexual and Physical Abuse, Depression... I could go on and on. Bowen has never shied away from any topic which intrigued her and with this story,

Title: Steadfast
Series: True North #2
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release date: July 12, 2016
Cliffhanger: No
HEA(view spoiler)

One minute at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time, I kept going.

Steadfast was such an emotion packed read, filled with tender angst and an incredible forbidden second chance love story. I was not prepared for how much this book would take me over and keep me so completely riveted right from the start. I've seen some glowing status updates and early re
A heart pounding, tension-filled, emotional ride!

This book! I finished a couple of days ago and I am still thinking about it. The tension was palpable, the feels, omg, the feels! 'Steadfast' slayed me!

I knew I was in for a book that would hit me where I "live" when I read this:


I knew it could go either way, especially as I continued reading and found out our heroine was studying to be a social worker. Getting personal here, my degree is in Social Work and I am a certified alcohol and drug co
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing

4.5 Stars


This was my very first Sarina Bowen read and I was a happy camper from start to finish!

Jude pure stole my heart and has yet to give it back. He just oozed manly sex appeal, but yet is so darn sweet. I do believe I need to find another gorgeous bottle to place Jude inside and adorn my "book boyfriend" shelf ;) His story is heartbreaking. Only six months clean, Jude is an opiate addict, and his unrelenting need to use is unbearable. The addiction ruined his life on

What does an evil person and a good person look like?

I thought I was an open-minded person until I read Steadfast. Unfortunately, before I’d even started reading, I’d become judge and juror and slapped a “he’s no good” sticker on Jude’s forehead. Look, I know from reading Bittersweet that he wasn’t all bad. It’s just that I kind of found it hard to start, knowing that the hero was imperfect. Harsh I know, but I couldn’t help but question whether I’d be able to fall in love with him. Would he be
S.M. West

This was an emotional, heartrending read. From the very mention of Jude Nickel, in the first book, I wanted his story. Jude's an ex-con and ex-junkie who had been incarcerated for manslaughter. He's just over six months released from jail, spending those months working on the Shipley farm. Now he must go home, back to the scene of the crime so to speak. He regrets it all, well almost everything. He doesn't regret Sophie although he feels he's wrecked her life too and she's bette
Leticia (jerseygirl)
"Even the grimmest lives have moments of beauty. Don’t miss ’em."
This was probably the heaviest Sarina Bowen book I've read. That means I'll be thinking about it for a while, and it also meant that this HEA, albeit very hard-won, was just sooo satisfying.
I love seeing good people finally getting the chance to be happy after all the BS life throws at them.

"But even a glimpse of him had given me palpitations. As if my subconscious had recognized a piece of my soul before my brain got a chance to s
Susan's Reviews

This second chance at love story was so amazingly well written: I couldn't put this one down.
Jude and Sophie's love story broke my heart (but, thankfully, it got mended again!)

Jude paid a huge price for his drug addiction. Sophie's wicked father made Jude's life a living hell.
Jude's fight to stay off drugs and Sophie's faith and rekindled love for Jude, despite the prevailing belief that Jude was responsible for her brother's death, was a fast-paced, heart-stopping read.

As always, Bowen treats t
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shit-hot-series
4.5 - "Not all the things we want are good for us..." Stars!

Amazon US -
Amazon UK -
B&N -

Being the first full book I have read by this author I have to say I was mightily impressed with Jude and Sophie’s story.

You are introduced to Jude in Bittersweet, the first book of this series, one which sadly I didn’t actually manage to finish. But all the good things I ha
Dee Montoya
4 Hopeful Stars****

(ARC kindly provided by Author)
(BR with Mel)

This was a beautiful novel about the healing powers of love and about believing in second chances. The main character Jude is a drug addict trying to re-build his life after a terrible tragedy. The subject matter of this book is very sensitive, one that if not done right can turn a story into something very dark and heavy. I feel like this author did a lot of research about it, and handled it delicately, adding depth and beauty to
* A Reader Obsessed *
Feb 18, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021, mf
3.5 Stars

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, Bowen is one of the few authors whom I can tolerate MF from.

This was quite the angsty installment, focusing on recovering addict Jude, who doesn’t have a lot of life options being a felon for manslaughter along with the intent to distribute drugs. There’s lots of questions surrounding his incarceration, and no one is more curious and in the dark than his ex-girlfriend Sophie, whose very dad was the one who arrested Jude way back when. Despite
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: needs-review
I guess I forgot I read this five years ago, even after I started the audiobook. But I'm giving this one the same rating I gave it in 2017! I really enjoyed how this was a second chance romance and how our hero was a recovering drug addict. He was addicted to drugs when he and the heroine were together, but he got into an accident and killer her brother, which led to him being in jail. Now, he's back in town trying to rebuild his life and win back the heroine. I appreciate seeing a character lik ...more
Angela (Reading Frenzy Book Blog)
Sarina Bowen’s True North series is a breath of fresh air. There are no millionaires, superstar athletes, models, or rock stars. You won’t find people returning from the dead, love triangles, or emotional roller coasters. It’s simply an enjoyable series with down-to-earth, working class characters that warm your heart. Steadfast moves into heavier territory with a believable story about drug addiction and second chances.

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This is Jude’s story. He’s a recovering drug addict who has just served thre
MELISSA *Mel Reader*
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
4.5 Stars!
(ARC provided by author)
(BR with Dee)

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Jude Nickel is a guy from a small town called Colebury, Vermont. He lost everything because of drugs & went to prison after an accident he was involved in took a life. After prison he spent some time in rehab & then worked picking apples at Shipley Farms with a loving family that treated him like one of their own. With no more farm work till the spring, and little money, Jude has no other option but to return home to the town that reminded him
Wil Loves Books!
5 Big, Fat “You make me feel so lucky” STARS!!!

Brilliant! It’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think about Steadfast. It’s just brilliant. I loved every second of it. And just like with Bittersweet it has become an insta-favorite of mine. I guarantee those farm boys will steal your heart.

“When Jude and I were alone together, the rest of the world didn’t exist.”

I’m definitely a Sarina fan, and so far pretty much every Sarina book I’ve read has been amazing. She’s such a smart writ
Allison ❤️Will Never Conquer Her TBR❤️
5 Freaking AWESOME Stars!

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Wow! I abso-fucking-lutely loved this forbidden love, turned second-chance romance! It hit the spot in my plight for an angsty-emotional, heartfelt read! We'd met Jude Nickel in Bittersweet but all we knew of him was that he was recently released from prison and fresh out of drug rehab. A hard worker, Jude tended to keep to himself while working on the Shipley Farm. Once the apple season was complete, he was laid off and finds himself back where it all began (and en
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

There are second chance romances and there are second chance romances and Jude Nickel and Sophie Haines very much fall into the latter. Steadfast is one of the best I've read and, with the perfect balance of angst and passion, this story broke my heart, put it back together again, and in a completely realistic, believable way.


Jude was a superbly portrayed character; very quiet and unassuming, he owns the fact that he's a recovering addict, owns his past mistakes and refuses to le
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am so busy right now, that I just don't have much time to write a review. I do feel this book deserves one, and I hope that I will come back to write one. I loved Jude and Sophie, and I felt the Jude's addiction issues were dealt with and talked about very realistically. This is a topic that I don't usually like to read about as it hits very close to home for me; but Sarina Bowen did a beautiful job of not glamorizing it; but giving us readers a front row seat to the guilt, sorrow, and heart a ...more
Jacqueline's Reads
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
5 Redemption and Second Chances stars

I’ve recently started to read Sarina Bowen’s reads. Almost every book I’ve read from her has been an instant hit for me, including this series. Steadfast is a standalone and is part of the True North series. This is Jude’s story!

I will admit and say I wasn’t overly excited for Jude’s story. Remember, he’s the one that came on the farm and he just got out of prison. I’m not a fan of drug addicts but to my surprise, I REALLY REALLY REALLY liked how Sarina Bowen
Ⓐlleskelle - That ranting lady ッ

A new trope is taking over the romance novels… Haven’t you noticed?
Billionaires seem to have been relinquished to the back shelves and more down to earth, next door neighbors kind of heroes own the front row…

Blue collar type of heroes over arrogant business men… I for one, can definitely see the appeal. While I’m not completely over the idea of a man in suit, I’m more naturally attracted to heroes I feel I’d be attracted to in real life. Romance novels and me… A success of a great read for me is
Jeannine Allison
Addiction is hard. It's really freaking hard, and I commend authors who write about it. Right before I finished this I got an email from Sarina Bowen's mailing list. The subject was "this is the book they told me not to write," and it was a reference to Steadfast. When I opened it, I found that the reason was because someone felt Jude lacked heroism due to his addiction. And I'm sorry in advance because I try really hard to be diplomatic, but I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty damn pissed about this. ...more
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Play Book Tag: Steadfast by Sarina Bowen - 4 stars 1 16 Jun 27, 2019 09:33PM  

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sarina bowen
Sarina Bowen is the twenty-time USA Today bestselling author of three dozen books, including: the True North series, and Brooklyn Hockey. She's the co-author of Him/Us and the WAGs series with Elle Kennedy. She's the author of The Ivy Years series, and more!
Are you looking for a friends-to-lovers story or maybe even a secret baby book? You can read a list of Sarina's books broken out by trope

Other books in the series

True North (8 books)
  • Bittersweet (True North, #1)
  • Keepsake (True North, #3)
  • Bountiful (True North, #4; Brooklyn Bruisers, #4.5)
  • Speakeasy (True North, #5)
  • Fireworks (True North, #6)
  • Heartland (True North, #7)
  • Waylaid (True North, #8)

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