My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Look at the heavens and see; And behold the clouds – they are higher than you.”
Seriously people! I cannot get enough of Sarina Bowen! Each story is more intense than the next. While the other True Norths were more lighthearted, Keepsake is an emotionally charged one and astonishingly beautiful.. full of heart, laugher, friendship, and love.
“You’re so much more than part of a bad memory. I love you, and even if my life is kind of a mess right now, I still want you in it.”
Lark and Zach were mentioned before and I remember Zach was very intriguing – he is quiet, shy and humble. I am so glad Zach gets his story because I always wanted to find out his life. Zach was thrown out of the polygamist cult at the age of 19 for an act deemed a great crime. Turns out his whole ordeal was a blessing in disguise. Zach ended up in Vermont shoeless, dirty and hungry. The Shipleys took him in and for the first time Zach felt like he belonged. Life is simple and Zach finds peace there just picking apples and fixing farming machinery. But what happens at that Paradise Ranch leaves a mark on Zach. He can’t shake the guilt of leaving behind someone he cares about. There were so many normal teenage things that Zach missed out on but he has no intention of fulfilling them.
Lark used to be carefree, adventurous and fearless until life threw her a curve ball. While on a trip to Guatemala, things went terribly wrong and changed her life forever. All the money and the shrinks in the world could not stop the nightmares that haunt her nearly every night. Lark’s best friend May offers her a place to stay at the orchard, saying she can help at the farmer’s market. She hopes Lark will have some time to relax and get away from her busy life in Boston. Lark and Zach became friends but one night their friendship turned into more. It was short lived – Lark is too broken and she pushes Zach away. Lark needs to forgive herself before she can love another and Zach – he is proven to be a lot more than the apples picking farm boy.
“Everyone has a time when they need a lot more than they can give. It doesn’t matter how much you hate it. It’s just true.”
I have to say Zach is a true hero in this story. Zach is a handsome, shy, sexy but his best quality is his heart. Zach is so sweet and gentle – the way he takes care of Lark is so kind and patient. He is a beautiful man inside and out – a perfect gentleman. I love the relationship between Zach and Lark. They start out as friends, working beside each other. Zach is respectful of Lark, knowing her traumatic ordeal, but that does not stop him from “not so innocently” dreaming about Lark. There is plenty of rolling-in-the-hay sexy time but there is also something cute and innocent about them that I enjoy.
“Is it egotistical of me to ask whether I’ve ever made it into one of your best dreams?”
“They’re all about you.”
Keepsake is an emotional story – a bit sad knowing what Zach and Lark went though at such a young age. I love the Shipley’s family dynamic. They work hard and they take care of each other. There is also a big twist about May that I did not expect at all … actually all the secondary characters are very interesting and I am intrigued to see who will get the story next… could it be May, Daphne, the newest member Chastity, or perhaps one of the cousins? Well, I will take whatever Sarina gives me next.
Keepsake is a very unique friend to lover romance. The characters are beautifully flawed. The writing is gorgeous as always. LOVED IT! MUST READ!
PS: I found myself picking up a slightly lopsided apple at the market today thinking of Zack and Lark. I don’t think I will need to fill my bag with perfectly round apples from now on. Something about this book really touch my heart … “the most bitter apples make the best cider.”
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