An all winning romance series for me.
Sarina Bowen writes, I feel. Easy.
Sometimes you fall for Mr. Right. And sometimes for Mr. Right Now…
Did you hear the one about the girl who walks into a bar and catches her live-in lover kissing someone else? No? You’re the only one in town who missed it.
Luckily Alec is there to wrap me up in strong arms and carry me out the door before things get too ugly. And that’s not all Alec is good at. Our unexpected chemistry makes him the perfect rebound guy.
I should know better than to hook up with my rival’s little sister, but the fiery look in May’s eyes really turns my crank. She needs cheering up, and I’m just the guy for the job.
It’s not like I’ll fall in love. Not even after a string of scorching hot trysts, and the realization that we’re good at the same things: wild nights and familial disappointment. I don’t do love, never have, never will. So this is the perfect arrangement, for both of us.
Nobody would approve, but nobody has to know…
Author : Sarina Bowen
Title : Speakeasy
Series : True North #5
Number of pages : 452
Publisher : Tuxbury publishing
Release Date : May 29th, 2018
Genre : Contemporary.
There is just something so heartwarming about this whole series, even when the premise doesn’t necessarily speaks to me from the get go, I always—ALWAYS— end up swooning my heart out.
It’s about the quiet, easy, light and tender moments.
It’s about the real, honest, messy feelings.
It’s about the awkward, non-reharsed, spontaneous sex scenes.
And it’s about friendship, lovable family, endearing secondary characters.
I want all of this. I want the whispered late-night conversations. And the holidays where we have to touch each other quietly in a bed that’s too small so we don’t become one of your grandfather’s jokes at the table.
All in all, Sarina Bowen creates very relatable characters, engaging dialogues, a sweet, shy but solid romance in an all too charming setup. Vermont seems like a dream destination of all sudden and I’m left craving craft beers, apple ciders, lemon poppy seed muffins, farmers and bartenders.
May Shipley and Alec Rossi had a rocky and uncertain start, a handful of issues we’re used to read about in romance but addressed here in the most honest and non-dramatic way.
It’s super refreshing.
An all winning romance series for me.
Sarina Bowen writes, I feel. Easy.
This review is brought to you by Camille, a.k.a “The Angry Reader“.
We seem to share a common taste for awesome books and blunt reviews. Check out her blog at The Angry Reader where the motto is “Painfully Honest Book Reviews“!
There has to be 6000 contemporary romance books with this plot. But Bowen makes me care.
5 stars for writing something I’ve read countless times and keeping me involved in the story the entire time.
May is coming off of a bad break-up. Alec is a hook-up King. There has to be 6000 contemporary romance books with this plot. But Bowen makes me care.
Each of these characters struggle with self-doubt. We watch the tendrils of that self-doubt wind their way through a relationship and wreak havoc. Between May’s alcoholism and Alec’s new business they each feel like a failure – and that makes them feel unlovable. It was touching to watch them clamber their way through the difficulties.
What if I had gone my whole life without anyone making me feel as sexy and carefree as I do right now?
This is book 5 in a series, and you shouldn’t start here. It can be read alone, but there’s so much more to be gleaned through this heart-warming series.
So far each of the guys in this series has been a little broody. A little intense. Alec was the exception to this rule, and it took me some time to warm up to him. This book has a different feel than the rest of the series. It’s still emotional, but it’s a little lighter. Plus we get to check up on all our favorites from the previous books.
Keep in mind that I love Sarina Bowen. I’m bingeing on her like crazy right now. So while she hasn’t personally influenced my review I’m certain that my love for her has.
“Speakeasy” by Sarina Bowen. ©
Excerpt “Speakeasy” by Sarina Bowen. ©
Someone appears in my peripheral vision. I get half a glance at a lithe body and long hair
as a woman appears and then just as quickly retreats.
Wait. Was that…?
I ease my way down the aisle, past the snowboard bags and ski duffels, and then I peer
around the corner just in time to spot May Shipley exiting the store.
Several lengthy strides carry me right out the door after her. May has exquisite long legs,
so she’s making good time escaping from me across the parking lot. I put two fingers in my
mouth and make a cat-call whistle.
May halts midstride. Busted. She turns around and regards me with a sheepish smile.
God, just one smile from her and I feel better already. I raise a finger and beckon. Then I
lean against the brick exterior of the shop and wait.
She lifts her chin and walks toward me.
“May Shipley,” I complain as she approaches. “Am I crazy or did you just leave the
building to avoid me back there?”
She puts one hand over her pretty eyes and laughs. “Okay, you caught me. Don’t make me
“Do we have a problem, here?” I reach out and tag her hand, then pull her closer to me.
We’re toe to toe, though several layers of winter clothing separate us. Still, my whole body hums
at the memory of her riding me in my truck. Gawd. So hot. “I get that our lawyer party date got a
“You think?” she squeaks. “I’m so embarrassed.”
“Why? So we had a little spur-of-the-moment sex. You really enjoyed my spur for a
“Omigod, stop.” May throws her head back and laughs. Her eyes dance, and I’m wearing a
giant smile and feeling much more like myself.
“Don’t be embarrassed. I had a lot of fun.” That’s an understatement. I can’t stop thinking
about it. Spontaneous truck sex with a long-legged beauty moaning on my dick? That night has
made my personal hall of fame.
“Okay. I’ll try.” But the color in her cheeks is unmistakable. It’s cute as fuck.
“Come here.” I pull her into a hug, and she feels terrific against my body. “Let’s not be
May lifts her face in surprise. “I said that same thing to a good friend once.”
“Did it work?” I whisper because we’re so close together.
“Nope. Still weird.” She grins.
I laugh. And then I kiss her. I don’t even know how it happens. One second I’m just
appreciating her smile, and the next second I’m owning it with my mouth.
May lets out a surprised whimper before her mouth softens under mine. I take my time
kissing her until her hands spread the two halves of my jacket, finding my chest, gripping my
flannel shirt. I need to taste her, so I part her lips with my tongue.
Suddenly my shoulder blades hit the bricks as May presses me up against the wall.
No, ma’am. I’ve just spent five nights imagining a scenario where our next encounter plays
out in reverse—with me in charge. So I spin her around and back her up against the wall instead.
And for good measure I pin her questing hands in mine, just because I can.
She makes a hungry noise, and I feel it in my balls. And then I dive back into her kisses,
one of my thighs between her long legs.
May fights me, if by fighting me you mean she presses her hips against mine and gives me
a nice, dirty grind.
I never liked the Shipleys, but now I realize I was hanging out with the wrong ones.
We lose our minds for several amazing minutes until the door of the ski shop opens
suddenly. I take a quick step backward to preserve what’s left of our dignity.
Not that it works. We’re both flushed and panting, and I look like I’m trying to conceal a
ski pole in the crotch of my jeans.
The young woman exiting the shop gives us a quizzical look as she bleeps the locks on her
“Jesus,” May breathes as we blink at each other.
“I know.” Every part of me is horny now. It’s cold outside, but I’m hot everywhere. My
clothes feel constricting. I want to drag May back into my truck and have my way with her again.
“What are we doing?”
“Well, babydoll, we’re dry-humping each other in a parking lot.”
“Alec!” She reaches up, clapping a hand over my mouth. “That was a rhetorical question.”
I nod to show her I understand. But then I stick out my tongue and lick her palm where it’s
pressed to my lips.
“Omigod, stop.” She removes her hand and wipes it on my flannel.
“You don’t really want me to. Admit it.”
“No, really I do.” Her embarrassed smile comes back. It’s so fucking cute. “I don’t need to
be arrested for indecent exposure.”
“Fair enough. But that’s why you’re going to come over tonight. Late. Like eleven.” I’m
supposed to be tending bar until ten and then closing up early, because it’s Sunday night.
“Why do you think? So I can strip you down and lick you all over until you’re screaming
May puts that hand over my mouth again. “Anyone could hear you.”
“Nah,” I say from under her hand. She removes it. “I have brick walls at home. It helps
with sound control. So even when my headboard starts to bang while I’m fucking you—”
She tries to cover my mouth again, but this time I catch her hand in midair, because I’m a
sex ninja. And I hold it in mine. “Just come over. I’ve been thinking about you all week. Once
wasn’t enough.” I lift her palm to my mouth and kiss it tenderly.
“Apparently not.” Her cheeks pink up. “But I really can’t get involved with anyone right
“Duh.” I actually roll my eyes. “I’m your rebound lay. Relationships aren’t my style, and
I’m allergic to commitment. So we’ll have exactly the same expectations—some very athletic
Her lips part on an dreamy expression, but then she snaps them closed again.
“Don’t overthink it, counselor. The judge orders you to his chambers at ten.”
Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and New Adult fiction from the wilds of Vermont.
Her Ivy Years and Brooklyn Bruisers books are hockey romance novels. These two connected series began breaking hearts in 2014 with The Year We Fell Down. See http://www.sarinabowen.com for updates.
HIM and US are the bestselling, hockey LGBT novels co-written with Elle Kennedy. HIM is also a finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® Award.
For lovers of angsty snowboarders, Sarina also writes the Gravity series, featuring snow sports heroes.
Sarina enjoys skiing, coffee products and a nice glass of wine. She lives with her family, six chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.