Review: Keepsake by Sarina Bowen

keepsakeReviewed by Joanna

Need your romance sexy yet gentle and angst-free? Like the sound of a warm and welcoming family of handsome adults on an apple farm in Vermont? How about the little matter of a darling virgin hero? Look no further, with the feel-good factor pumped up to high, Keepsake is the hug of a novel for you.

Zachariah is our guy. This farm hand caught my eye in the previous two books (this is great as standalone), working hard, keeping his head down and flushing red whenever anyone mentioned sex. See, he was born into a polygamist cult where kids weren’t allowed to do pretty much anything, and though he’s been free for a few years, he’s still never got into the whole idea that touching people is okay. He knows little pop culture, doesn’t own a phone and has certainly never had a girlfriend. (Plus, of course, boy’s got abs that won’t quit.)

“Zachariah was a thing of beauty. He had thick blond hair, and his tanned, muscular forearms rested casually on the table in front of him. His well-worn T-shirt was stretched over broad shoulders and well-defined pecs. And even as I stared at him, he gave me a shy smile. Yowza.”

Enter Lark. She’s had a terrible experience working for an NGO in Guatemala where she was kidnapped for ransom, and her mental state is a little shaky. This former wild child is invited to stay on the farm to recuperate by her bestie, May, daughter of the farming family. Said family, the Shipleys, rule. They are kind, funny, and I wish I could go along to one of their big family dinners.

Griffin, the oldest son and main farmer dude, takes all the men aside when Lark turns up, and warns them to leave her alone. No one’s entirely sure what happened to her during her ordeal, including her, so flirting is out of the question. But Lark gets bad nightmares, and who’s the one person who can keep her calm? Yep, handsome golden Zach.

I love it when the hero and heroine have to sleep together without sleeping together. All that cautious snuggling and careful touches. But you know where it has to end up.

This was a book full of tenderness yet when the heat came, it was still hot. Though Zach was inexperienced, his mind had certainly gone places, and he was more than willing to try out Lark’s ideas too.

But she needs to go home at some point, and Zach needs to find his own way in the world. He needs qualifications, maybe a better job, and definitely his own home beyond the farm’s bunkhouse. The bubble they’re living in when they find one another can’t last.

There’s a lot about apples and farmers markets, there’s lots of cute, and as usual, Bowen’s quality of writing is super high. I did feel the lack of drama, in that there’s zero suspense, but it wouldn’t have fit this novel so go in with expectations of a happy place where people are mostly very nice to one another, and you can’t be disappointed. HEA guaranteed.

Rating: A

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Sarina Bowen
Release Date: October 25, 2016

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