Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen Book Summary

Fantastic. -USA Today
Best Romance of June. -Goodreads Romance Newsletter

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’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago. 

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his hard cider 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 cider-making lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re 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.
"Smart, funny and super sexy, Bittersweet is full of the kind of writing that makes Sarina Bowen one of my favorite author crushes." Author Sarah Mayberry.

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Bittersweet (Sarina Bowen) Book Reviews

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- Bittersweet5 star

I laughed and I cried reading this wonderful story. Sarina brings real life to each of her characters. I can’t wait to start book 2 in this series.

- A lovely story!5 star

I couldn’t put the story down, it was lovely from start to finish.. I didn’t even want it to end! So much passion and love between Grif & Audrey. So fun!

- Bittersweet!5 star


- Author is fantastic!5 star

The author is great, such a good read.

- Eh1 star


- Bittersweet5 star

Definitely the book to pick! This book was entertaining and exciting. The characters are fun.

- The perfect blend!4 star

I really enjoyed this bittersweet second chance at love storyline. The chemistry and banter between Griff and Audrey is fun and sizzling. They are a perfect blend. I can’t wait to read/listen to the rest of this series. I enjoyed the narration.

- Bitter sweet5 star


- A heart tugging, butterflies in your tummy kind of book5 star

Love love LOVE this book. I was instantly hooked once meeting Griffins family. Although I normally enjoy the slow pace of books, Griff and Audrey changed my mind with their instant chemistry. Will definitely be reading the other books as well. Writers this good inspire me to keep writing.

- Very good4 star

Not much of a climax but steadily good

- Interestjng3 star

Unless a book is really bad I will finish. Decently writtten book but could use another proofreading. I will probably not consider reading more in series. I don’t usually read first person books and this one head hops between him and her by chapter which can be confusing. Plus I could have used a few less f bombs.

- Bittersweet5 star

Loved the story. It was well written with all the different aspects of the story. Left me wanting more.

- Read in a day!!!5 star

Such great character development! Their relationship is so steamy & so playful, I can't wait to read the rest of the series!

- What a delight!5 star

Loved this one from start to finish! Delightfully funny, refreshingly honest, & the hot scenes were HOT! It wasn’t overdone. Also appreciated the fact that Audrey & Griff didn’t do that annoyingly frustrating cat & mouse game that’s the backbone for so many writers in a feeble attempt to create a worthy plot line. This one is a great read that’ll have you laughing & reflecting from one scene to the next.

- Nice!4 star

I thought this was a good book. There was a good storyline that really showed the effort put into writing it and the talent of the author. I loved Griff- definitely a swoon-worthy male lead. Audrey was... ehh. I thought the author did a good job writing her, she just wasn’t one of my favorite characters I’ve ever read. She was easily the most fictional aspect of this book whereas the rest was pretty relatable. Most of the other reviews rave about the Shipley family and I don’t get such high praise. Don’t get me wrong- they were cute and I liked them enough, but for so many people to write about how much they loved them? I don’t get it. The family was cute, obviously loved one another, and each like-able characters on their own, but that’s about it. Overall, this book was entertaining and had a good mix of insight, humor, steaminess, and sweetness. I would recommend it!

- Couldn’t put it down5 star

I read this book cover to cover and if you like love stories with the right amount of humor along with the right dashes of reality (that some romances just skip over) then this is the book for you. It was truly a pleasure to read.

- Bittersweet5 star

Loved this story and hard cider farmer is hot to boot. I’d move to Vermont if I knew there were men like this there! Lol

- Love it5 star

Great story. Hard to put down.

- Bittersweet4 star

Such a good book! The characters were endearing and the I found myself continuously rooting for them. The ending was a little abrupt and didn’t give enough closure though.

- Bittersweet3 star

3 stars

- Such a great, sweet read!5 star

I read this in two nights and loved every minute of these two. I read Keepsake first, and they both are so different and so wonderful! I love her writing, and the simple, sweet plots. The chemistry between these two.. hot hot hot! Also… quite makes me want to work on an apple farm in New England, thats for sure! Love it!

- Excellent series5 star

This book, and the series so far, have all been excellent reads. The author's writing style flows very well, the story line catches and keeps the readers attention. It's nice to read a book without all the typos and grammatical errors.

- 5 #GrumpyGriff Stars5 star

Bittersweet hit the sweet spot. It made me feel all sorts of wonderful things and I wholeheartedly recommend it. First off, it is so wonderfully written, with two lead characters and a gaggle of family and friends that form a unique community. Sarina’s characters are exceptional and she knows exactly how to write them so that their personalities are shaped perfectly in time with the plot. Their voices and often colorful inner dialogue makes for a fun read. Secondly, the premise is unique and educational as well. I had no idea cider making was such an art. Okay maybe I did! But with Griffin in the mix (egging Audrey on) it’s downright sexy. Really, read it and you’ll see exactly what I mean. So, now for the specifics… At the center are Audrey and Griffin; two people who had been on each other's radar (and then some) back in college. Flash forward a few years and fate has put them back in each others paths. Audrey is complicated by a few distinct personality traits. She is one feisty, smart and sassy young lady, but it’s the confidence she has, despite the negativity her mother has thrown at her, that makes her really endearing. She isn’t in the best place when she happens back into Griffins life but she has the ability to recognize certain truths in people and the underlying strength that allows her to call things as she see’s them. It’s heartbreaking when her self doubt comes through but she plays it off as she expects to get things wrong. Griffin's life is simple yet oh so complicated. It’s simplified by his distinct lack of a social life. Even out of the traditional cultivate and harvest cycles of farming, he just doesn’t have many interests outside of his family. But he’s been saddled with loads of responsibility and been a long time since he’s done something really good for himself. Hell he’s never really been in love ~ he’s existed by merely scratching the itch (wink wink). But Griffin is a balanced individual and has a soft heart to even out the big #GrumpyGriff side. He is the epitome of a swoon worthy lead and his connection with Audrey is primal and highly charged. Audrey inspires the #GRRRRRR in Griffin which made me positively giddy! The story line flows at a good pace, initially over a few weeks, then over a few months. This gives Audrey and Griffin time to realize the strength of their attraction and see their similarities and deal with any differences. Griffin’s alpha qualities are perfect for the sweet and sassy Audrey. Her transformation over the course of the story was subtle yet in the end it felt huge! Having read the preview at the end of Bittersweet I am very excited for Jude’s story. It seems I now have an entirely new fictional community to obsess over :-) Steadfast (True North #2) is now on my much anticipated summer reading list.

- Great Series!5 star

Loved this series and it's characters!!

- Fabulous story!!!5 star

Absolutely loved this story / characters. So sexy & heartwarming 😊

- Great start to a new series5 star

Sarina Bowen is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. I'm not a great writer of reviews but if you liked her other books this one is really good!

- Fun, fun, fun!4 star

Sarina Bowen kicks off her True North series with a delightful second chance romance that’s full of heart. Griffin Shipley and Audrey Kidder had a one-night (actually a two-night) hookup in college and haven’t seen each other since. Audrey is an ambitious chef who has travelled to Vermont to negotiate a farm-to-table agreement between local farmers and her unpopular big city employer. When she runs into car trouble near Griff’s farm, the two are reunited and he grudgingly helps her out. Despite his irritability, it’s not long before the fire between them is rekindled and “Grumpy Griff” begins to imagine a future with Audrey. I adored Griffin, plain and simple. He never once complains about having to give up his career plans to take over the difficult task of running the family farm after his father dies. Instead, Griff builds new dreams while under the constant stress of supporting his mom and siblings and keeping their apple orchard afloat. You’ve got to love a family man. Sure he’s grouchy sometimes, but he’s basically a kindhearted, lonely man who’s ready to let love in. The fact that he’s strong, good looking, and a beast in the bedroom doesn’t hurt. Oh, and he’s an organic chemist. Brains are sexy. If there’s anything bitter about this story it’s Audrey. Griffin lays his heart on the line for her over and over, but she’s so stifled by fear and self-doubt that she guards her feelings without giving much away. She basically treats him like a sex buddy when he’s around and ignores him the rest of the time. I get that she’s focused on opening her own restaurant, but I felt she should be more considerate. Despite her shortcomings, she’s infectiously cheerful and easy going, albeit a bit too gullible for my taste. I loved every single thing about life on the farm. The details about running an apple orchard and the easy camaraderie between the family members and the workers made for enjoyable reading. Maybe I was just hungry, but I especially appreciated the culinary aspect. Preparing wonderful meals for such a large, close-knit group of people who sit down together for three meals a day was lovely. Heck, I wanted to be part of the Shipley clan. If you’re looking for a lazy afternoon read that will make you smile and swoon, I think you’ll enjoy Bittersweet. An excerpt from Steadfast is included, and I can already tell that Jude’s story will be an interesting one.

- Loved Ever Word!5 star

I loved this book from the first words to the last. You know how sometimes, you reach 85% and you wish there was more to read? Yeah, that! Every character in the book was someone I wanted to know and came to know through the chapters. Some of the things I loved most about the book is the glimpse into the lives of a farming family, the subtle education that Griff provides regarding the importance of organic farming and the very real economic difficulties faced by those who grow and nurture our foods. Audrey, a chef, was a wonderful contradiction. She was confident and outgoing on the outside and full of insecurities and angst on the inside. Griff and Audrey together? Good lord! Where is the water hose, I need to be cooled down! The secondary characters were so much fun, the love the family had for each other came through the pages of the book and engulfed you! While reading, you got a real sense of Vermont, the sights and sounds resonated within you as you read, you are not just reading words, you become a fly on the wall (or apple tree, sorry Griff) and watch as the scene unfolds. This is an awesome read and I highly recommend it. I cannot wait until the next book, Steadfast, comes out on July 12!

- Review: True North 1: Bittersweet5 star

Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen is the first book in her brand new series True North. Hot farmers and apple trees? Yes please! This was a fabulously paced book filled with all kinds of details on cider making, cooking, and apple farming amongst other things. I not only thoroughly enjoyed the romance story between Griffin and Audrey but I felt like I was a little smarter after reading this. A little more aware of the organic farming community. I LOVED that about this book. Audrey was a bit of a train-wreck in the beginning. Anything that could go wrong for her seemed to but her calamities all lead her to Griffin's farm so all good in the end there. Griffin was just doing his best to keep his farm making money. When it all fell to his shoulders after his dad's heart attack and he had to let his potential career in professional football go to come home and take over, he figured this was it. Farm only and no time for romance. When Audrey practically crashes back into his life things start to look up for the both of them. Heartwarming and unpredictable I absolutely adored this book and cannot wait for the next one, Steadfast, Jude's book.

- Good read5 star

Characters really come alive! I enjoyed it from start to finish. I can't wait for the next book in the series to be out. I think Sarina Bowen has become my new favorite author.

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- Bittersweet5 star

An awesome book I couldn’t put down! It’s a page turner with wonderful characters and great writing - highly recommend, can’t wait to read the rest of her series!

- “Bittersweet” by Sarina Bowen4 star

I like how messed up Audrey is. It’s really sad how her mother’s disappointment in her really affected her self confidence. I really liked all the characters. What a wonderful family and community Griff has. I’m envious. A beautiful, sweet and heartwarming story!

- Bittersweet5 star

Great writing, wonderful characters and a great start to a series I expect to read more than once.

- Luv it5 star

What a storyteller! Great read.

- Enjoyable5 star

Not this writers best but still an enjoyable read❤️

- Bittersweet5 star

Really enjoyed this book. Loved all of the characters. Looking forward to the next in series. 😁👍👍👍👍👍

- Bittersweet5 star

Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen What a great start to a new series! Bittersweet is set in Vermont and it sounds absolutely beautiful and picturesque. It's a second-chance romance between bearded, grumpy, beastly, sexylicious farmer, Griff and smart-assy, sweet, bubbly, slightly insecure chef-who-isn't-employed-to-cook Audrey. Audrey employers have tasked her to source and build connection with farmers to supply their restaurants and that's how the two meet again - when her car breaks down on Grumpy's, I mean Griff's, farm. The attraction between these two characters was palpable and watching their relationship develop was exciting. It wasn't all rainbows and unicorns; the characters had a complexity to them that I quite liked. Each had their issues and/or complications that they had to face and deal with. I adored the whole Shipley clan and other secondary characters and I'm very eager for the subsequent books in this series. I truly enjoyed this book and I feel that Bowen painted a great picture with her words. I was disappointed to finish the book and as much as I avoid teasers and snippets, I couldn't help but read the first chapter of Steadfast. Can't wait! Great story, great writing. Definitely recommend. *Reviewed by Melinda for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog

- Claypot28505 star

I adored this book.!!!I read it on a day that I was in a total book funk and it ripped me back out. Loved it. So different from the other Sarina Bowen books I have read but still awesome. The characters are beautifully written, the setting is spectacular and the chemistry between the leads is off the charts. Loved the dual POV as I enjoy getting the guy's take on things. Felt like it was a real love story and really enjoyed the secondary characters and look forward to hearing their stories also. Highly recommend this book

- Gorgeous book5 star

Loved this story. Heartfelt, romantic and a cast of wonderful characters. Looking forward to rest of the series!

- Great story5 star

Loved this book.the way the characters are strong and real .the flow of the story made me not stop until I had finished the book.

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5 star

@SUGAPlL: gays are so attached to run because of perfectly portrays the bittersweet moments and aesthetic we all longed for at one point

5 star

@doumekiwh0re: Japan Sinks: 2020 was so bittersweet.. I just..

5 star

@mariaasophiaaa_: I just cried for the whole duration of the last 30 minutes of the movie. I'll always love these kinds of endings; bitt…

5 star

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5 star

@ChancesCards @ChipLDR GG, Chance. Forget about bittersweet. You had 1/9th of a BB at one point!!! Great work

5 star

@IamConfused404 it's alright. even good friends grow apart. it happens all the time, as bittersweet as it sounds. i…

5 star

@LilithLovett 2/2 The judge just asked her to stop lying and seek help and awarded me shared custody. It was bitter…

5 star

Have you tried it? Bittersweet junkie of #LatinAmerica #IncaKola available @AmoreAtsugi #レアアイテム 発見! (と言いつつ毎回のように飲ん…

5 star

If i were to live again i'd still choose to love you. Even if this is as far as we go. Even if you hurt me again, e…

5 star

@baekncell: hi semua ak blh minta bantuan klian tdk, ak lg main rt deals nih ak mw dikasih bittersweet nih, ak tau akun ku ini kecil tp…

5 star

seeing people share their pics w taylor is so bittersweet for me bc i hate my picture w her 😭😭😭😭

5 star

ngidam bittersweet by najla🙂

5 star

their debut date will never just be their debut date for me, it’s extremely bittersweet but i needed them that day…

5 star

Just a reminder Epilogue: Young forever exists and is the nostalgic bittersweet soft angsty vibe of a song you can…

5 star

@OnTheSauceAgain: Amaro is a bittersweet herbal liqueur which is especially popular in Italy. It is mainly served neat as an after-dinne…

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