Synopsis from Goodreads
No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.
Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on.
Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life.
Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave No-Last-Name will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.
Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.
Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.
I love it when two of the worlds the author has created collide in one story. We have been left guessing the identity of Zara’s baby daddy from Bittersweet, finally in Bountiful we get to know the full story!!!!
When we first met Zara in Bittersweet, she was a little on the wild side with so many emotional barriers to call her prickly would be an understatement. Adrift in her own life, yet determined to never place herself in the same position as her mother, waiting for a man who doesn’t return the same feelings. Zara has a way of creating distance between herself and other people unintentionally but as a self-defence mechanism. A summer fling with a hottie tourist, Dave, challenges Zara’s emotions, but she insists on keeping her rules firmly in place, even as she begins to question their effectiveness. Although, they essentially do nothing to prevent the growing feelings between her and Dave. Unwilling to risk rejection Zara and Dave part ways at the end of his vacation, with no personal details exchanged in their time together, Zara has no way of contacting Dave when she realises he left her a permanent gift.
Bountiful is divided into two different segments, with the events crossing over the timeline of Bittersweet and resulting in Zara’s pregnancy and then the events of two years later, when baby daddy, Dave, makes a re-appearance. This helped build a connection and deeper level of understanding to the plot and the characters.
Two years after the life changing events of that fateful summer fling, Dave returns to Vermont on another vacation. Having never found a place he feels more comfortable in, he has also never forgotten his time with Zara. No other woman has been able to compare.
To give Zara credit she did try to find Dave to inform him of the pregnancy but her lack of knowledge of anything personal concerning Dave hindered her search. Resigned to single parenthood, Zara is shocked at Dave’s return but doesn’t shirk her responsibility by informing him of his daughter. Unfortunately, Dave has his own issues stemming from his upbringing and abusive father, leading him to believe he is ill equip to be a father.
Bountiful shows the way in which Zara and Dave deal with the altered status between them, although the underlying passion that brought them together is still firmly in place. Parenthood has a way of changing people, in Zara’s case it gave her the purpose and drive she was lacking in her life. I loved the way in which Dave’s interactions with Zara and his daughter enabled him to confront the ghosts of his past.
Some of our favourite characters from both the True North and Brooklyn Bruisers series make cameo appearances within the narrative adding to the overall sense of completeness to the True North series. Although, I have to say I really want Zara’s brothers to have their own stories 😉