ARC Review: Waylaid by Sarina Bowen

Waylaid by Sarina Bowen

Published by Tuxbury Publishing LLC on July 20, 2021

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 318 Format: eARC Source: Publisher

5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

I acquired this ARC from the publisher. This does not impact my thoughts and opinions in any way.

It’s a tale as old as time: the bad boy meets the good girl. He makes a daring proposition. Then the boy gets a mysterious head injury and loses a year of his life…

The first time I meet Rickie, I don’t know what to make of him. The second time we meet, he doesn’t remember the six hours we spent together. Or standing me up afterward.

I’m not the same, either. I’ve got secrets. I’ve told lies. Bad boys aren’t my type, anyway. Even the ones with troubled gray eyes.

But now we’re roommates. Cue the awkward moments in the hallway when he’s wearing only a towel and a smile. He’s determined to win me over, and his talented hands weaken my resolve.

It’s all fun and games until my past rears its ugly head and his secrets come to light, shaking our fragile connection, maybe even breaking it…

Note: this is Daphne Shipley’s story. Contents include Vermonty ice cream flavors, nerdy awkwardness, tattoos, and a playboy grandpa.

A return to Shipley farm means more romance, drama, family shenanigans and lots of cider. Sarina Bowen’s Waylaid follows Rickie and Daphne as they grow closer during the summer and discover how interconnected their lives truly are. The romance was sweet and sexy with a few plot twists to make the story all the more intense. These two characters have a lot going on, but they just work so well together.

Rickie’s unknown past was such an intriguing part of the plot. He’s clearly suffered trauma and to see him try to put the pieces together was fascinating. He’s got such heart and his snarky, humorous side made him incredibly endearing. His therapy sessions were interesting especially since it was also the career he was pursuing. Plus the way he was able to get Daphne to open up and fall for him showed off his charm. She definitely smoothed out his rough edges and provided a comfort and calm he absolutely needed.

Daphne has often been the most maligned Shipley of the bunch and while her prickly persona might put people off, she’s got good reason for her hard exterior. Rickie definitely brought out a different side of Daphne and the fun, playful demeanor that’s hidden beneath the surface definitely shines at the end. I especially liked how her relationship with her sister May developed and that they finally got some closure on past events. I also enjoyed delving into her graduate studies and passion for public health.

The Shipley clan are a strong presence in this novel with much of the book taking place on the farm. From family dinners to engagement celebrations, there’s little doses of the characters and couples that have come before. There’s also the talks on school finances and keeping the farm afloat that are just as compelling. It was surprisingly nice to see both Grandpa Shipley and Ruth get a chance at love though. Hopefully there will be more stories to come in the True North series.

Overall Waylaid is another stellar story from Sarina Bowen with plenty of emotional and endearing moments to draw readers in and keep them turning pages. Daphne and Rickie are quite the pair and I loved their chemistry and how they brought out the best in each other. Of course, all the Shipley love and cameos were a bonus with this book and I absolutely recommend picking up any of the True North novels.

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