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True North #7

Heartland

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An emotional friends to lovers romance full of risky secrets and late-night lessons in seduction.

Dylan is my best friend, and the only person in my life who understands me. He doesn’t mind my social awkwardness or my weird history. The only glitch? He doesn’t know that I’ve been hopelessly, desperately in love with him since the first day we picked apples together in his family’s orchard.
But I know better than to confess.
Now that we’re both in college together, I’m seeing a new side of him. College Dylan drinks and has a lot of sex. None of it with me.
Until the night I foolishly ask him to tutor me in more than algebra…and he actually says yes.
But the cool morning light shows me how badly I’ve endangered our friendship. And I don’t know if anything will be the same again.

329 pages, Paperback

First published January 28, 2020

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About the author

Sarina Bowen

100 books15k followers
sarina bowen
Sarina Bowen is the twenty-four-time USA Today bestselling and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of three dozen books, including: the True North series, and Brooklyn Hockey. She's the co-author of Him/Us and the WAGs series with Elle Kennedy. She's the author of The Ivy Years series, and more!
Are you looking for a friends-to-lovers story or maybe even a secret baby book? You can read a list of Sarina's books broken out by trope and style.
Need to know what's coming next ? Get all the latest news on Sarina's website, and sign up for her newsletter so you don't miss a book or a deal.

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5 stars
1,773 (32%)
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 711 reviews
Profile Image for mel ☽.
365 reviews7,592 followers
February 14, 2020
1.75 stars

one of my most hated tropes is when an h is a virgin then pines over her man ho “best friend” while he dates her roommate knowing that said roommate is a bitch to her.

did i just summarize the first half of this book? yes.

this book just made me feel annoyed with both MCs, i rolled my eyes so many times i lost count.

anyways, did i like it when h was pining over H while being jealous of the OW (this OW was h's roommate btw)?

“Honestly, I spend an embarrassing amount of time thinking about Dylan having sex. Does he tease her as they start to kiss? Is he smiley, laughing Dylan? Or is he just so hungry for it that he’s too busy stripping her clothes off to talk or smile?”


nope.

did i like it when we find out the reason why H was dating the OW knowing that she was a bitch to the h, his best friend?

Kaitlyn is always horny, just like I am. That’s why I broke my No Dating rule to be with her. The sex is fantastic.
Also, she’d insisted. We’re exclusive, or we don’t fuck, she’d said the first time I got her naked. Then? She’d swallowed my entire cock to the back of her throat and sucked me dry.


nope.
very nice to read about H and OW's fantastic sex life by the way. i really wanted to know that.

what about when h heard H and the OW having sex right next to her room wishing she was the OW?

“I break out in a sweat. He grunts, and I shiver. Every little noise he makes is gold. I close my eyes, and I could almost be the one underneath him. My heartbeat syncs to his rhythm. Inside. Straining. More. Yes.
“Please,” she moans. “Please.”
Her begging is the soundtrack of my life. Please, Dylan. For once she and I are in perfect agreement. I clench my legs together against the ache. And then I do it again.”


ha ha ha. nope.

oh OH! and what about when H and OW broke up, did i like it when he hooked up and planned to hook up with other OW?

“The last thing I remember was Pink Panties leaning over me in bed, taking my cock into her mouth.
At that, I let out a groan. Because I can't believe I fell asleep in the middle of a perfectly good blowjob. What kind of loser does that?”


nope.
at least he knows he's a loser tho.

___________________________________

anyways, i was waiting for the MC's to have any redeeming qualities but it never happened. h was pathetically pining over H (like have some self-respect girl jeeZUS) and H was thinking with his D.

this book just gave me With Every Heartbeat (Forbidden Men #4) vibes and y’all know i hated that book with a passion (love the series tho). and the tropes that happened there are very similar to what happened here.

i’ve only read Brooklynaire by this author and loved it but this was a just big NO for me.

if there’s gonna be future books with tropes that are similar, at least make the heroine have more self-respect and GET OVER the man ho H who puts her in the friend zone because he’s a martyr and thinks h deserves better but doesn’t stop them from sleeping with tons of OW and implicitly/explicitly rubs it in h’s face.

please and thanks.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,814 reviews32.4k followers
January 24, 2020
4 stars

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It was just heat and patience. Those were the only ingredients.

I love Sarina Bowen’s True North series so much, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Dylan Shipley’s book. Dylan is the youngest Shipley brother and in college. We meet Chastity, they Shipley’s neighbor who lives with Isaac and Leah. Chastity was introduced in ‘Keepsake’ as a runaway from Paradise Ranch where Zach was from.

Chastity is twenty-one and is still trying to get used to college and life in the real world. Chastity grew up in a religious cult and has only been on the outside for a few years. It’s her first year in college and she’s living on campus. Thankfully, Dylan Shipley, her neighbor and friend, goes to the same college and lives near by.

Chastity has had it bad for Dylan for sometime… but he has no idea. He sees her as just a friend. This is very much a friends to lovers story. Dylan is oblivious for a while and his choice in a girlfriend made me want to slap him a bit, but eventually, he catches on to what’s going on between him and Chastity.
I’ve always wanted Dylan. Always. I still want him, only now he knows it.

Chastity and Dylan start a bit of a business together making caramels. With doing this, they grow closer. Things start to heat up between them… inside and outside of the kitchen. I loved these two as friends, but I loved their slow burn romance even more. 

Dylan is so adorable. With his goats, his friends, his family, how hard he works, and how sweet and fun-loving he is, he was just great. Chastity was amazing as well. Her life hasn’t been easy, but she’s brave and coming in to herself. I really loved these two together.

There have been seven books in this series, and I’ve loved them all! I hope there is more to come… I’m thinking there will be at least one more (Dylan’s twin needs a book still) and I seriously hope it’s with Dylan’s friend/roommate Rickie because I loved him. Heartland was sweet, swoony, and heartwarming. I definitely recommend this book and series!!
Profile Image for Stacey.
1,446 reviews1,156 followers
January 7, 2020
I admit, I cried a time or two…

I’m in Australia and as you would know; the bushfires are really bad at the moment. People have died, been injured and lost their homes. A LOT of animals have died, and more will lose their lives and their habitat. There is even talk that some animals may become extinct. These are all things that are devastating.

BUT

They’re a step away from my reality. At the moment, I’m safely sitting in my house in suburbia with my air-conditioning keeping me cool. I feel guilty because my life is easy and I’m living my best life. Sure, I’ve donated my money to the cause, but it never feels like enough. People have died and I’m happily reading in comfort.

Reading Heartland gives me that same guilt for feeling happy in my life. Chastity’s character ran away from a cult that she was physically and mentally abused in. I know these things are happening out in the world and it’s devastating that we can’t stop it forever.

BUT

Again, they’re a step away from my reality.


**********************


I did not mean for this to be a gloomy review because I really, really enjoyed reading Heartland. I absolutely loved the way Sarina Bowen brought Chastity to life for me. Her strength and courage were admirable showing resilience to move on from her horrible past. Dylan was also a character I came to love. Honestly, he was a little hard to take at first, but like most men, there was an underlying reason why he was a little shallow and self-absorbed.

Again, I’m going to be honest with you… I wasn’t sure I was in the mood for a New Adult – College when I first started. In true Sarina Bowen fashion, she changed my mind and within a few chapters, I was loving it. Yes, there was the nasty girlfriend, too much alcohol and recklessness, but the characters were a good bunch, generally. Dylan was all about the partying but still returned home early on Saturday morning to help on the farm. Dylan’s friends weren’t trying to lead him astray (he did that to himself) and were supportive when he needed their help. I loved that it wasn’t all about the partying.

One of my very favourite things was how the author shared some of Chastity’s past. We get details without having to go back and “live” them. I know how she got out of the cult, what she had survived while living there, and how she ended up in Vermont. That is exactly how I like my backstory told to me.

The love story between Chastity and Dylan was not an easy one. Unrequited love is hard to witness, and I shed a tear or two as Chastity struggled with her feelings for Dylan. At the same time, besides Dylan’s fear of commitment, he also must be careful with Chastity because of her past. Her sexual innocence, lack of knowledge, and the brainwashing she previously faced means every step must be carefully considered. Communication was paramount to their success and Chastity’s willingness to learn helped as well.

I love the True North series and Heartland was an excellent addition. I have a feeling I know who is up next and I can’t wait. I really, REALLY need to know about his past, her past and their past. Fingers crossed I’m correct.

Stacey is Sassy, received an advanced copy of this story. The copy provided is not the final copy and may be subject to edits and changes.
Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,650 reviews3,233 followers
August 29, 2022
4 Two Who Are Meant To Be Stars
* * * * Spoiler Free
I have been a huge fan of the Truth North series from the start. Sarina Bowen has created a strong family, a circle of friends and family that touches the heart and mind. Each entry was a special tale and Heartland was no different.


We have two characters whose actions and past should not make them work...but when it is all said and done, they are perfect. He teaches her with patience and she shows him what a relationship should be and teaches him to commit and love.

If Sarina Bowen decided to write a new phone book, I would follow her to the end, that is how strong an author she is...

Bittersweet (True North, #1) by Sarina Bowen Bittersweet (True North, #1)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Steadfast (True North, #2) by Sarina Bowen Steadfast (True North, #2)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Keepsake (True North, #3) by Sarina Bowen Keepsake (True North #3)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Bountiful (True North, #4; Brooklyn Bruisers, #4.5) by Sarina Bowen Bountiful (True North #4)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Speakeasy (True North, #5) by Sarina Bowen Speakeasy (True North, #5)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Fireworks (True North, #6) by Sarina Bowen Fireworks (True North, #6)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Heartland (True North, #7) by Sarina Bowen Heartland (True North, #7)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Waylaid (True North, #8) by Sarina Bowen Waylaid (True North, #8)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


~~~~~ Before Reading ~~~~~
Out in the Apple Orchard...
You can be Free and Never Judged...
Dylan has Always Been There...
Happy to Understand Me...
And Accept Me for Who I Am...

What He so Unaware of...
Are My Feelings For Him...

Now We are Both in College Together...
And the Torture is Watching...

Watching Dylan Be this Other Guy...
He Drinks, He's Outgoing...
And Has Sex...

Lots and Lots Of Sex...
And None With Me...

Somehow, and I will Never Know...
How It Happened...
But I Asked for Tutoring...
And It Wasn't in Algebra...

Now I Don't Know What Comes Next...
Are We Still Deep Friends...

Will We Still Be...
What Was So Important...
When We Were Innocent...
And Back in The...


Heartland (True North #7)-January 28th 2020

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Profile Image for Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth.
794 reviews876 followers
January 21, 2020


TITLE: HEARTLAND
AUTHOR: Sarina Bowen
SERIES: True North #7
RELEASE DATE: January 28, 2020
GENRE: New Adult
THEMES & TROPES: Friends to Lovers
RATING: 4 Stars
CLIFFHANGER: No

READ MY REVIEW ON THE BLOG







Visiting with the Shipleys and going back to Sarina Bowen's Vermont  is always a little bit like coming home. Everything feels familiar, cozy, warm.
Life is full of little moments that don’t matter a whole lot, peppered by a few moments when everything is on the line.

In HEARTLAND we get to know Dylan better, the youngest Shipley brother, who is now twenty and in college. Chastity is also a familiar character - she is the girl Zach (KEEPSAKE) made out with which got him kicked out from the weirdo cult at Paradise Ranch. Chastity was also punished for her transgression - she was allowed to stay but was treated like a pariah. One day she escapred and found shelter with her cousin Leah and her husband Isaac, who are the Shipley's neighbors. She's now in college, the same one Dylan is in. You still with me? ;)

Dylan lives his best life in school. Random hookups? Check. Booze? Check. Commitment-phobe? Yes, sirree. So when he actually has a girlfriend everyone is surprised, most of all his best friend Chastity who has been carrying a torch for him since she met Dylan. He is the guy whose bad decisions make you feel really awkward and, not gonna lie, there were some situations that made me wince. Like having sex in the room next to your best friend and she can hear every little noise? Ugh. Letting said girlfriend talk trash about your best friend? Big no-no. It was clear that he cared deeply about Chastity so I didn't get it.
However, he wouldn't be a Shipley if he didn't have their inherent good-naturedness. He is the embodiment of sweetness and eventually makes up for his screw-ups big time. My favorite things about him were how he brought Chastity little treats, how he found joy in feeding her, how he was such a hard worker and so reliable. His bear hugs, loyalty and friendships. And he has goats and loves them!
And there it is again—that smile that flattens me sometimes. I love making Chastity smile.

Chastity is a little socially awkward - she is still adjusting to the life outside of the cult. I loved Sarina Bowen's portrayal of her - she had courage, was loyal and had this dichotomy of being sweetly innocent yet utterly sensual. She was tolerant of people's mistakes, very forgiving and super easy to love. Their feelings really snuck up on them - while Chastity yearned for a deeper connection with Dylan, he had a couple of hangups to overcome and he definitely didn't see his best friend coming until she was deep under his skin. Their slow-burn, sizzling love was exciting.
And I forget how to breathe for a second, because I just love her so hard.

There were two things that I didn't quite connect with. Griffin is a real jerk in HEARTLAND. While we do know how he is quite a grump I thought that he was way too hard on Dylan and even a little hypocritical. There was a resolution to his conflict with Dylan so I was easily swayed and loved him again. Then there is Kaitlyn - her character development wasn't quite as believable. I hated her for the way she treated Chastity and I still couldn't muster any kind of positive feeling for her in the end even though the author tried.

HEARTLAND is the seventh installment in the True North series and I have enjoyed every single one. Sarina Bowen's writing is simply beautiful. I admit that this wasn't my favorite in this series but that doesn't mean it wasn't an awesome addition to it as my 4-star rating indicates. I loved Chastity and I swooned over Dylan and adored the friends-to-lovers romance. There is a side character I'd love to get a story about, so we'll see what the author has for us in store next time we return to Vermont.
It was just heat and patience. Those were the only ingredients.



Profile Image for Optimist ♰King's Wench♰.
1,765 reviews3,848 followers
January 26, 2020
Let me just get the disclaimer out of the way first. I find SB's writing infinitely readable. She's my go to for a comfort read and I really, I mean REALLY, love this series because of the Shipleys. So it wasn't a surprise that I fell right into this read like a comfy pair of jim jams.

Dylan has always struck me as a carefree playboy breaking hearts all over Vermont so I was pleasantly surprised to find some hidden depth. I'm also a sucker for anyone who loves animals like Dylan does. He may be a bit of a scoundrel but he is good-natured and honest about his affinity for casual sex. He gets points for that.

Chastity could've easily become the virginal cliché always pining for the bad boy and she is those things but she's also been pigeon-holed as such by her past with the cult. I enjoyed watching her break free of that mold and spread her wings.

Their romance is firmly in 3 star territory. The sex is fairly scorching with SB's trademark bossy in the bedroom male lead and Dylan is a talker! Envisioning the cover model issuing some of these commands was a potent combination. There wasn't an abundance of shenanigans in their relatively easy and realistic trip from friends to lovers and I enjoyed that immensely.

Where things get complicated is how much I liked both of these characters individually coupled with the last 20-30% of the story which mostly takes place at the Shipley farm and folds in all the people I've loved from the series. Read: Griff. It packed an emotional punch that got to me and pushed this story up the rating scale to somewhere near 4 stars.

In a nutshell, Heartland is another worthwhile read in the True North series AND I'm going to go out on limb here and say I *think* this may be laying the groundwork for a spinoff series. That I will naturally be reading.

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An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Bookgasms Book Blog.
2,761 reviews1,334 followers
January 17, 2020
Gah!! Babes!!!! Dylan Shipley is #EVERYDAMNTHING IN THIS WORLD AND THEN SOME!!! Sarina Bowen legit knocked it out of the park with Heartland as this story was full of butterfly inducing swoons, delicious heart and undeniable heat . Dylan and Chastity were absolutely delicious. Their banter, friendship and fiery chemistry!! I am convinced that Dylan Shipley and his DIRTY mouth were created to ruin me!!

There is nothing I love more than a NA college romance but add that to Bowen's amazing recipe of addicting dialogue, banterific comraderie and a heartstopping connection that sweeps the rug out from right under you and this is PURE 5 STAR JACKPOT GOLD! Gah!! I loved Chastity. She was an adorable mix of innocent charm and unknowing temptress and when her and Dylan embark on some not so innocent lessons in seduction to broaden her sheltered horizons, lines are undoubtedly crossed and their friendship is never the same. 

Overall, I loved this story! It was romantic and sexy with the heartwarming feels Bowen is known for. Dylan was as real as you can get. He had no idea what hit him when Chastity went for what she really wanted - Him. He was a wounded soul dealing with some painful memories and regrets, detaching himself from having serious emotions. But I loved the passionate chemistry and insane connection he shared with Chastity. They brought back all the same feelings I had when reading about Griff and Audrey. Now I can't wait for Daphne's book!! Bring on more Shipleys! Bravo! 5 stars! ~Ratula 

***

Dylan and I got off to a bit of a rough start, y'all.

I went into this book expecting to fall all over myself in love with him because - well, he's a Shipley. And history has shown that the Shipleys are the most amazing fictional family ever written (#truth). I have fallen head over heels for this family over and over again over the course of this series and so it stood to reason that Dylan would have no problem capturing my heart.

It turns out, it didn't play out exactly like that.

Don't get me wrong. He's a Shipley at heart so all the goodness and sweetness that you might expect from him was there immediately. But...he was also kind of a cad. I cringed. I covered my eyes (like literally, I had a physical reaction to some of the choices he made), and I felt every bit like the mom I am while reading his early antics. On top of that, my heart hurt a little bit for Chastity who - frankly - took all his behavior much better than I did, proving early on that she was the best kind of heroine.

Seriously, I was firmly in camp Chastity immediately. I loved every quirky, skittish, scarred thing about her. She carried all this strength about her in this sort of powerfully understated way - and my heart attached to hers from the get-go. I adored her and the way her feelings ran so deep, the way she so easily made friends with the most unlikely characters, and the way she was so steadfast, patient, and trusting of Dylan. Even when he didn't really deserve it.

But then...as the story unfolded, slowly and craftily, it became evident that he always deserved it. Indeed, while it took me a while to warm up to Dylan, as his story unfolded and his character arc played out -- he wrecked me. He was dead sexy and deliciously dirty. But more importantly he was kind-hearted and unfailingly loyal. He was also deeply wounded, and watching him come to terms with those wounds, and begin to heal them was a beautiful thing to witness. And in the end? I absolutely crazy adored his relationship with Chastity.

For me, the magic of this series always points back to the greater Shipley family. That held true in this book as well. It was compulsively readable, but my heart sparked alive when the whole family was together again. The banter, the camaraderie, the irreverent and exuberant love they have for each other? I will read these books for the rest of my life just to keep getting tastes of that. So, so good.

In all? Heartland was a sexy and emotional slow burn friends-to-lovers story. The chemistry between Chastity and Dylan sparked and sizzled and eventually caught flame into something incredibly rewarding and emotionally satisfying. This was another amazing addition to an already favorite series and I am already here for the next one! ~ Shelly, 4.5 Stars
Profile Image for Claudia Fosca Stahl.
163 reviews22 followers
March 24, 2023
The Dylan Effect will melt your Heart


Every time I read one of Sarina Bowen’s books I feel happiness. It doesn’t even matter if it’s for the first or the eleventh time. I find myself rereading them often because her kind of magic can’t be found anywhere else. I love her words so much. They are so beautiful and carry so much weight but seem also light. Her stories are the kind of awesome you want to devour as fast as possible and hope they never end at the same time.

Heartland is the 7th book in The True North Series. It’s a complete standalone, so it can be fully enjoyed without reading the previous books in the series, though I encourage everyone to read them, because they are freaking awesome and so worth reading.

Everything about Heartland is perfect, starting with the title. It’s definitely full of Heart—heartfelt, heartbreaking, and heart-melting. I loved the relationship between Chastity and Dylan as friends, and how it evolves from there. I enjoyed their banter, their chemistry, and the story itself. I also appreciate the secondary characters, some of them brand new, and how much they add to the story.

I also really enjoyed the family aspect of the story. I love the Shipley family, they’re great people and it’s always fun to spend time with them, but they have as many issues as other families have. In this case, the relationship between Dylan and Griffin added layers and complexity not only to Dylan’s character, but also the story. And you could say the same about the bond between Chastity and Leah.

All in all, Heartland is a beautiful story about friendship, family, love, and loss. As always, the writing is flawless, fluid, and compelling, and it will leave you spellbound and breathless. It’s definitely an emotional story with some angst, lovable and relatable characters, fun banter, and intense and explosive chemistry. It is completely unputdownable and it will—without a doubt—leave you wanting more. And just between us, I can’t wait for whatever happens next.

Heartland is Sarina Bowen at her best, so I would give it all the stars in the sky because I loved it so much. It is that good.

So, welcome back to Vermont!
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
411 reviews47 followers
Shelved as 'nope-nope-nope'
February 16, 2020
Why does the heroine have to always hear the hero having sex? I hate when authors do that and they do it all the damn time
Profile Image for Zoe.
1,819 reviews171 followers
January 31, 2020
Sweet, angsty, and engaging!

Heartland is a charming, friends-to-more romance featuring the dependable, creative Chastity whose finding it harder and harder to keep her crush for her neighbour a secret, and the handsome, dependable Dylan who may finally realize the perfect girl for him is the one whom always seems to be right by his side.

The writing is lighthearted and fun. The characters are warm, charismatic, and appealing. And the engaging plot is a delightful blend of friendship, drama, emotion, heat, attraction, familial relationships, awkward moments, romance, and college antics.

Overall, Heartland is another fresh, swoony, sizzling addition to the True North series by Bowen that will leave fans of New Adult novels incredibly satisfied. 

Thank you to Sarina Bowen for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sabrina.
3,232 reviews1,934 followers
January 29, 2020
NOW LIVE
Amazon US * Amazon UK



Heartland is a friends to lovers, NA novel following college playboy Dylan, and his sheltered neighbor Chastity. Chastity is still exploring life outside of the religious cult she grew up in and she wants to experience all her new life has to offer her. Including learning all there is about sexuality from none other than the biggest playboy on campus, and her friend, Dylan.

I thought Dylan and Chastity had a cute relationship. Dylan could easily come off as a guy with no worries when he was at school but that was far from the truth. He had a lot on his shoulders from constantly traveling home to help on the farm and getting lectured by his older brother about what he was doing with his life. With Chastity he was so caring and patient with her and I really liked seeing that. Their differences with how experienced he was and how inexperience she was made them the perfect couple. Chastity was still able to teach Dylan a lot about relationships even though she herself hadn't been in one before and I thought that was a really fun thing about them.

I do wish we had less drama in the beginning with Dylan and the girl he was seeing since it came off as more High School type drama that I just don't enjoy a lot. But overall I loved reading this book and getting to know these characters. This is definitely a book I recommend and I would say it could be read as a standalone with little issue.

ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Leah City of Words and Pages.
536 reviews243 followers
October 11, 2021
Ein sehr schönes Buch, das vor allem mit seiner Stimmung punkten konnte!
Generell ist die Atmosphäre in den „True North“ Büchern sehr schön, aber hier mochte ich es besonders.
Die Geschichte hatte was, obwohl es nichts komplett neues gab. Dylan hätte ich manchmal am liebsten einfach durchgeschüttelt, weil er schon dämlich war, aber zum Schluss ist ja alles so gekommen, wie es sein sollte.
Profile Image for Geri Reads.
1,232 reviews2,039 followers
January 29, 2020
I could never resist a good friends-to-lovers story and Heartland has everything I ever wanted out of this trope. It has lots of pining, a dash of denial, and an undeniable chemistry between our two leads equals magic.

Profile Image for Antonella.
3,405 reviews449 followers
June 18, 2020
maybe I would finish this book if I did it as audio otherwise I just couldn't be bothered even skip the chapters..this series, in general, is all over the place I would say it is an average three-star read with only one book that I really loved and that is book six Fireworks

I don't care about this kind of plotline... all this pinning and shit...
DNF!!
Profile Image for Wil Loves Books!.
1,120 reviews461 followers
February 1, 2020
Absolutely loved this one! I’m a huge Sarina Bowen fan, huge. And I looove this series. This one was extra special, it totally reminded me of Sarina’s Ivy Years series, which more on the college, NA themed, but with the True North farm twists. The Ivy Years books ( if you haven’t read them, what are you waiting for!) are actually the first books I read by Sarina and the ones that made me fall in love with her writing.

In Heartland, we go back to a Shipley family story (after a few Rossi’s) and I just love the Shipley’s a little bit more, lol. I love the mother and the grandma and of course my main man hunk Griff! Dylan Shipley is all grown up and attending college along with his best friend Chastity (the one from Zac’s book). Chastity has had a very rough upbringing, if you’re familiar with the other books, she comes from the same compound/cult/polygamist place as Zac (and the boys from Goodbye Paradise) and was lucky to escape that terrible life. Anyway, Chastity and Dylan are neighbors and best friends who obviously like each other very much, but Chastity is “innocent” and Dylan is a womanizer with very little worries about the world. One day Chastity proposes they work on a business venture together to make holiday caramels and one thing leads to another and they finally figure out how much they’re right for each other.

Like I said, I love this series and this book was definitely fantastic. I loved the entire college setting and also the secondary characters. I loved the chemistry between Dylan and Chastity. Dylan was such a sweet guy, even though I wanted to smack him. I will say that I didn’t like the Kaitlyn drama one bit, but I get it. Plus, it doesn’t drag long. But I loved Chastity the most, such character growth . I’m definitely intrigued about Daphne and Rickey and the rest of the gang. Can’t wait to see what Sarina gives us next!!!
Profile Image for Angie - Angie's Dreamy Reads.
686 reviews13.5k followers
January 25, 2020
I absolutely LOVED this book. Being back in the Shipley world was incredible! It made me want to go back and read the all books that I missed before this one. The family dynamic, the way they love and care and go out of the way for each other... GAH. I. LOVED. IT. Dylan and Chastity's romance is HOT AF, but more than that it's sweet and tender and heartfelt. A true friends-to-lovers that I couldn't put down. SO GOOD.
Profile Image for ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰ .
2,150 reviews1,205 followers
June 15, 2021
🍎🍏🐐🍏🍎🍏🐐🍏🍎🍏🐐🍎🍏🍎

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Dylan Shipley. We all remember him from his siblings' stories!

And Chastity - we remember her too. Two years ago - with only 19 - she escaped the same cult that the Shipley's neighbors Leah & Isaac escaped from some years before.

Now both Dylan and Chastity are away at college.

Chastity has kinda been in love with Dylan forever. But Dylan is not one for relationships. He's twenty and away at college - and he wants to live like that too. Girls, booze, pot.

Chastity is his best friend and his new business partner too. And she's incredibly pretty. But what would she want with a player like him. Plus they're both still way too young for something serious! Right?

What will happen to Chastity & Dylan?
Will there be a Happily Ever After?
READ THE BOOK TO FIND OUT! ☺

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Chastity & Dylan!


This book was just as beautiful and adorable and funny and sweet and sexy and heartbreaking and farmish and Vermontish as the other books in this amazing series!

I adored Dylan and Chastity.

The poor girl missed out on so much growing up in that horrible cult!
And she wants allll the things now. Chocolate. Netflix. Sex. Dylan.

And poor Dylan wants all that too - but he wasn't thinking about a serious relationship with his best friend from back home. He's too young and she's his best friend. His family would kill him!

Adorable!

I loved this book. I loved alll the people - the Shipley's and the neighbors and Dylan's roommate Rickie! I so need to read his book next please!
(Did anyone else get massive Win from the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben vibes from Rickie??)

I never want this series to end!

What more can I say. I just love this series. I loved this 7th story. And I need these books to be on Netflix asap! PLEASE!

If I had to find something I didn't love? The cover. That guy is way too muscly for my tastes! And that face does not fit the body. Dylan is muscly, yes, and yes, he is only 20, but this face looks like that of a 14 year old little boy and the young Schwarzenegger body plus that face is just too much in my opinion. I don't like it at allll! Most of the covers in this series look like these books are shapeshifter vampire romances!

BUT - I ADORE this series! I love the books, the characters, the stories. Just not the covers. I really love the different colors for each book, but most of the people on it and the dark woods - not my thing! But that's just my personal opinion - don't mind my weird taste - most readers will either love the covers or they just don't care about book covers at all!


HEARTLAND was such an adorable & beautiful & funny & sexy & collegy & vermonty & farmy & goaty love story! I adored every little thing about it! Run to your nearest amazon for your own Dylan - he'll be sold out in no time!!! ☺

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Profile Image for maggieandteddy.
1,052 reviews122 followers
January 28, 2020
I've read every one of the books in this series. From Grumpy Griff, to Dylan's book.
Such a change in heroes. From eldest in the family, to the youngest. Dylan is a college student, coming home to work on the Shipley farm on the weekends. I found myself getting irritated with Dylan's immaturity and man-whoring ways. Of course he falls for the most conniving of young women-nope, not Chastity. Dylan has to get his head out of his ass first. I had to keep telling myself- he's young. I also realize Dylan, in the first half of this book, is so typical of many guys his age.
I loved Chastity from the get go. She really had to keep quiet about her feelings for Dylan. What could she do? She didn't want to force him to reciprocate. The double whammy- Dylan and Chastity are best friends. Chastity doesn't seem to catch a break. School is really hard for her. She puts in so much more effort than the average student- including Dylan. Chastity is very sweet and sometimes becomes a target for the bitches (Kaitlyn, grrr) and assholes.
Older brother Griffin is constantly riding Dylan to make a commitment to working full time on the farm. Dylan is torn. He loves his time away from the farm. He does gradually have an ah ha moment or two or three.
There is an ow. I was frustrated. Dammit. Dylan! But.... again, it seemed normal for a guy Dylan's age-away at college. The friendship between Dylan and Chastity grows so gradually into more, but they don't even realize it's happening. I love the business project that Chastity starts and how well she and Dylan work together.
I loved how the Shipley family held together. They didn't just have smooth times. There was a lot hard work by each member of the family. Griff continues to ride Dylan about his family responsibilities. Dylan feels the loss of his dad-he was so young and feels guilty about where he was when his dad died.
Griff needs to understand what Dylan has been going through. Dylan doesn't feel like he's been considered at all.
Where is his heart? The farm, or moving away to have a career of his own. I loved, loved the last 1/3 of this book.
I liked the supporting characters- all the Shipleys, Dylan's friends Keith and Rickie (kind of a wacky dude), Chastity's friend Ellie.
I would have preferred less ow and more Chastity and Dylan. I hope there are more True North stories to come. I want to catch up on everyone & see what's next! 4.25 caramel stars.

Now available for preorder!

Amazon https://geni.us/HeartlandAmazon

Apple https://geni.us/HeartlandApple

Kobo https://geni.us/HeartlandKobo
Profile Image for Angela (Reading Frenzy Book Blog).
944 reviews444 followers
January 25, 2020
Sarina Bowen delivers a sweet and surprisingly emotional friends turned lovers romance in what is probably my favorite book in the True North series. I feel positively giddy after reading Heartland.

Dylan Shipley is the most easygoing member of the Shipley clan. He relishes in his perpetual playboy status and is making the most of his college experience by partying and sleeping around while still maintaining good grades and his duties on the family farm. He has a huge heart, and his fun-loving nature hides some very real pain. It’s a shame Dylan is so underestimated by his family.

Chastity Campbell is a survivor. Having run away from a polygamist cult a couple years ago (the same cult Zach escaped from in Keepsake), she is now an inexperienced 21-year-old college freshman. She reveals her cruel past in pieces and in the most casual ways, which somehow makes it even more heartbreaking. Chastity completely charmed me with her unexpectedly cheery, optimistic personality.

College provides an opportunity for Chastity to satisfy her curiosity about things she missed out on due to her sheltered upbringing. Dylan is her best friend and fortunately he is there to help her navigate life on campus. The bad news is she’s secretly in love with him and Dylan has placed her firmly in the “fragile little sister” lane of the dreaded friend zone.

I was moved by Chastity’s unconditional love for Dylan and his devotion to her. The big and small moments they share delighted me, from him helping her with math homework to them working on their artisanal candy venture.

The side characters make the story even more entertaining. Chastity’s friend Ellie is a sweet, geeky genius. Dylan’s roommate Rickie is an eccentric hoot. I sense a connection between him and Daphne, Dylan’s “evil” twin sister, so I hope we will see more of him in a future book.

Heartland amplifies the tenderness that is a trademark of the True North series and incorporates an abundance of lighthearted fun. The result is a balanced and thoroughly enjoyable read.

Recommended for fans of:
Friends to lovers trope
College romance
Farm life
Caramels


*I received an early copy of this book to voluntarily read.*
Reading Frenzy Book Blog
Profile Image for Nadine Bookaholic.
3,524 reviews329 followers
May 17, 2020
This was my first read by Sarina Bowen and I'm sorry I started at the end of the series because I want to know more about all of the couples, guess I'll just have to go back and start from the beginning then. ;)

You can read my full review HERE

Heartland by Sarina Bowen

**I have voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book for my Blog, Nadine's Obsessed with Books** 

You can see this and other Reviews I have written along with various cover reveals, excerpts, and giveaways here Nadine's Obsessed with Books
Profile Image for Izzie d.
4,056 reviews272 followers
January 29, 2020
This book is not for me. I wasn't expecting a college age romance book with the Hero being such a man-whore.

As with this troupe the heroine is in the Hero's life before they get together.

He has a girlfriend when the book starts, though this is a new thing to him as he's been described as the 'family slut' before this.

So for the safety gang, there are some details of the Hero with the girlfriend.
As his girlfriend is the heroines roommate she overhears then having sex and wishes it was her.
She is constantly exposed to his hook-ups and overhearing about his exploits.

Of course due to the heroine's background she is inexperienced, sigh, I wish these type of heroines wouldn't go for the disease infested men.

The theme seems to be one night stands fueled by drugs and alcohol. The Hero of course has daddy issues.

The history of the heroine, growing up on the cult type compound is interesting and Zach is mentioned.

HEA, if you believe it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for RJ.
654 reviews340 followers
Shelved as 'no-thank-you'
January 8, 2020
it's 2020 and these types of storylines are just sexist at this point.

"He doesn’t know that I’ve been hopelessly, desperately in love with him since the first day we picked apples together in his family’s orchard....Now that we’re both in college together, I’m seeing a new side of him. College Dylan drinks and has a lot of sex. None of it with me."

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Profile Image for The Book Bee.
564 reviews264 followers
February 1, 2020
REVIEW: 3.5+ STARS
"I feel evil every time I notice her curves, or have the urge to taste her smile."


I have loved the True North series since the very first one I picked up. With each one, I've been lucky to fall in love with not only the characters, but the writing as well. Sarina Bowen is definitely an author I enjoy and this series sits high on my recommend list. Chastity and Dylan's story was all sorts of innocence and mistaken communication, learning and fumbling. It was also an exercise in patience as well as understanding....for me.

Once again, I'm reminded of how an innocent love can blossom in a seemingly improbable world. With me enjoying the angsty side of a story more than a sweet side, this one sat comfortably on the sweet seat. When I wanted to hurry it up and soak in their attraction and revel in their chemistry, they kept the pace slow and cozy and made their way that best fit them. Equally frustrating yet satisfying. But very important.

"In my heart I've always been a rebel."

Chastity had a very basic, almost rudimentary understanding of the outside world based on where she came from, so she was very innocent, but knew what she was feeling - I liked that about her. That strength in who she was and what she felt was liberating. She had an honest level of immaturity - and it fit for her circumstance, which allowed a lot of her curiosity to play out accordingly. I did have a hard time reconciling some of her naivety with her actions, but nothing that wasn't easily explained.

"Talking about sex is probably my fifth favorite hobby."

Dylan, my gosh - poor Dylan. His world held such a heavy breath that I wasn't too sure how he held his head up. I loved him. His actions and reactions all fit in accordance to his pain he held, which in turn explains how this whole thing went down. He is such a playful young man and I loved his demeanor and the way he carried himself in the world.

When they were together - FIRE. Their chemistry seriously rocked the pages. It was definitely a sweet, sweet romance with lots of reward and discovery between them, so that was very satisfying to read and it's what kept me in the book. I loved their story. but when they were not together or not having actual discussions....I was bored out of my mind. I hate saying that because I absolutely love her writing, but I just struggled with the lack of flair that the words carried throughout the first half of the book. This one felt more stiff. She usually has more of a 'lean' to her words; a more relaxed flow. I am not saying this was a forced narrative, because in the entire time I've been reading her, she has never once had a forced story, but it just felt more stiff. I love her voice, I love her canter, I love the way she writes. This one just felt different. I honestly loved their story and enjoyed watching them fall in love.

Communication, or the lack thereof, was a key source of frustration. While I can understand why it happens in this scenario, the noncommunication is overplayed and underwhelming and I struggled with it the most. It added a sense of *drag* to the story for me, which was difficult because I LOVE her words and they are usually alive with emotion. This one didn’t have that flair, and it felt pretty one dimensional but I will admit, this story took a tremendous leap around 66% and it was smooth sailing from there on out. I think the part that kept me going was the fact that Chass and Dylan had palpable chemistry. It was amazing when they were on the page together, talking or working together, because that electricity was alive and I couldn't stop soaking in their attraction.

This was a very slow, very paced read. I admit to having a hard time with slower reads, but I know that is solely a me thing. I need to keep in mind that this is truly their world and I’m just a visitor. So these two, they take things slower. Their pace in life is more relaxed and chill, so it would do me good to recognize that for what it is. And Sarina is good at giving me a pretty accurate read in a book. So the speed set aside, I really enjoyed their love story. The joy they gave me, the love they showed me, it all worked in the end and I walked away with a smile.

Bowen's words always dance and tell me a story, so even if this one seemed to lack her usual flair for me, it still worked. I’m not sure if it was a me-mood thing, or the actual writing, but it wasn’t as exciting. Not bad! I promise, but it wasn’t the norm for me. This is not a negative review by any means. It was so close to being a full 4 stars, but with the struggle from the beginning, it just made me sad. It's so hard to feel this way, especially when I loved the characters individually, and the story as a whole and have always enjoyed the author.

I loved catching up with the entire Shipley family, and seeing their dynamic play out over the pages was definitely a trip down memory lane. Putting all their stories together in the outline of this one was fun. The nice thing is, once again, she effortlessly tells a standalone story within a series and you are not missing a thing. Bowen's always good for a guaranteed entertaining story ripe with quality family time, lessons learned, and a love worth exploring. Oh, and I want Rickie’s story!!!

"Kissing her makes me feel wild."
~BEE


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January 19, 2022
Nachdem Chastity vor zwei Jahren geschafft hat aus einer Sekte zu entkommen, ist es für sie nun an der Zeit aufs College zu gehen. Da sie jedoch keine Highschool besuchen durfte, fällt ihr die University nicht immer leicht. Besonders mit Mathematik hat sie Probleme. Glücklicherweise gibt ihr bester Freund Dylan ihr jede Woche Nachhilfe. Seit die beiden sich das erste Mal gesehen haben, ist Chastity in ihn verliebt. Blöderweise ist Dylan nicht nur ein Playboy, sondern sieht sie auch nur als eine kleine Schwester. Als Dylan ausgerechnet mit Chastity's fieser Mitbewohnerin zusammenkommt, schmerzt ihr Herz mehr denn je. In einem schwachen Moment wirft sie den beiden einen kleinen Stein in den Weg, welcher auch direkt ins Rollen kommt und an dem die Beziehung scheitert. Dylan ist darüber nicht besonders traurig, schließlich wollte er eigentlich eh keine Beziehung ... doch neuerdings wird ihm bewusst, dass er Chastity schon länger als mehr als eine Freundin sieht. Aber kann er wirklich das Risiko eingehen, seine beste Freundin zu verlieren, sollte das zwischen ihnen nicht funktionieren?

Character (7/10):
Sowohl Chastity als auch Dylan mochte ich sehr gerne. Dabei muss ich anmerken, dass ich Familien-Dylan deutlich mehr mochte als College-Dylan. Ich bin froh, dass sich die beiden Versionen irgendwann dann auch vermischt haben. Mir hat gut gefallen, dass sich ihre Beziehung relativ organisch weiterentwickelt hat. Es gab kein aufgebauschtes Drama, was mir persönlich immer sehr gut gefällt. Durch die anderen Themen, die im Buch eine Rolle gespielt haben, gab es genug Spannung, ohne dass es zwischen ihnen knallen musste. Mein Herz hängt allerdings nicht so an ihnen, dass sie es über sieben Punkte geschafft haben. Toll fand ich aber wieder, die anderen Shipleys 'wiederzusehen' und auch auf den letzten Teil der Reihe freue ich mich wahnsinnig.

Atmosphere (7/10):
Dadurch, dass die Geschichte viel auf dem Unicampus spielt, gibt es von mir auch hier nur sieben Punkte. Ich finde das einfach immer nicht besonders atmosphärisch, aber muss es auch gar nicht zwingens sein.

Writing Style (8/10):
Der Schreibstil war wie immer gut und flüssig. Ich mag die Bücher von Sarina Bowen sehr gerne.

Plot (9/10):
Die Handlung hat mir wirklich gut gefallen. Durch Dylans Familienprobleme und Chastity's Vergangenheit in der Sekte gab es einiges aufzuarbeiten. Dadurch lag der Fokus nicht alleine auf ihrer Beziehung, was ich immer sehr schön finde.

Intrigue (8/10):
Ich habe das Buch in zwei Tagen durchgelesen, dementsprechend muss ich hierzu wahrscheinlich nicht viel sagen. Es hat sich gut weggelesen.

Logic (8/10):
Wie so oft habe ich hier nichts weiter zu bemängeln. Wer meinen Rezensionen schon etwas länger folgt weiß, dass ich mehr als acht Punkte gerne für Fantasybücher aufhebe, da dort die Handlungen auch einfach verworrener sind.

Enjoyment (8/10):
Der erste Teil des True North Spin-offs hat mir auf jeden Fall wieder Spaß gemacht. Persönlich bin ich nicht der größte Fan von College-Geschichten, deswegen mag ich die Originalreihe etwas mehr. Dennoch ist es toll auch die restlichen beiden Geschwister verfolgen zu können.

Fazit (7,9/10):
"Was wir in uns sehen" bekommt von mir 4 Sterne im mittleren Bereich. Mir hat Dylan's und Chastity's Geschichte sehr gut gefallen. Noch mehr freue ich mich allerdings auf den nächsten Teil. Ich bin sehr gespannt mehr über die beiden Protagonisten zu erfahren.
Profile Image for Shannon.
2,330 reviews166 followers
January 28, 2020
4.5*

My favorite of all the True North books! Dylan and Chastity completely stole my heart.
Close friends since Chastity arrived in Vermont, their relationship really picks up steam (and when I say steam, I mean steam-y!) while they’re away at college. Their blossoming relationship was so heartfelt and I just loved seeing it progress to something really special.

Despite being a bit of a manwhore and just a touch clueless, Dylan is one of those young men you cannot help but love, (no matter your age!). There’s so much more to him than meets the eye, which we learn as the story progresses.
He’s so darling and sweet with Chastity, I loved how caring and protective he was - even if she wished he wasn’t quite so careful with her! I really enjoyed their friendship, and like Chastity I wanted more! But Dylan is so sure he’s not cut out for a relationship, it makes for some tension between them until they come to a mutually satisfying arrangement. At least temporarily.

I may have cried a time or 2 while reading Heartland. Dylan really tugged at my heart- I felt so sad for him when it came to the guilt he was harboring about his father’s death, and the pressure he was feeling from Griff in regards to his future with the farm. That was a lot of weight for one young man to carry, and I kept waiting for things to come to a head. And when they did, the tears started flowing.

There was so much to love about this story- Dylan and Chastity’s friendship, the way they were able to navigate their new “friends with benefits” arrangement, getting to see Dylan finally opening himself up to being loved, and loving in return. And of course, it's always wonderful to be back with the rest of the Shipleys! I really hope this isn’t the last of the True North series. I’m pretty sure there’s a certain twin’s story waiting to be told!
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