Review: Good as Gold by Sarina Bowen
Note: An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author.
This book lives up to its name because it is, indeed, good as gold! Sarina Bowen takes readers back to Vermont, in the town of Colebury, with a new standalone set in her True North book universe. If you're a longtime reader of Bowen's, there's no way you could forget the Rossi family. Well, now we've got the eldest among the siblings with his story to tell, and it's a friends-to-lovers romance between Matteo Rossi and Leila Giltmaker. These two were the best of friends as teenagers, but then Matteo left for college. Still, his friendship was something that Leila cherished; so when he cut off all communication between them and stayed away from their hometown, she was deeply hurt. Fast forward fourteen years later, and thirty-six-year-old Matteo is back to attend his brother Alec's wedding. He wants to make amends for his being absent in his family's life all this time. He knows all too well what loss feels like, and while he had a thriving heli-skiing business back in Colorado with his best friend, recent events have given him a fresh perspective on what matters most. He also realizes that being back in Colebury means he'll cross paths with thirty-five-year-old Leila sooner or later. Rekindling their friendship would mean a great deal, but neither Matteo nor Leila quite expected it would lead to a plan to get pregnant and an affair that they believe leads nowhere. After all, she deserves the world, and he has never thought himself worthy of her.
I've never been to Vermont, but reading Matteo and Leila's story makes me feel like I'm coming home. The friends-to-lovers trope has always been one of my favorite go-tos when it comes to romance genre, but that added touch of these two main characters being estranged because of a series of events definitely made it even more intriguing. Leila's desire to have a child of her own was another bit of a creative twist that had me wondering how she and Matteo would handle things. Seeing them rekindle the friendship that they once shared had me smiling, but having a ringside seat as they dealt with those messy not-so-platonic feelings as adults had me giddy. It was clear that they simply clicked as a romantic couple, but there were added layers of complication given the fact that Matteo lived and had a business in Colorado, one that he wanted to continue to make a success of as a way to honor his best friend and the family that he had left behind. Is it weird that it took a bit for these two to figure things out and to see that they truly belonged together? Maybe, but hey, I like it when a couple have to put in the work because then the happily-ever-after feels more worthwhile. Now, we've got one more Rossi I'm hoping gets paired up, and then there are Leila's two brothers. Dare I hope for those books in the future? Fingers crossed and all, but for now, I'm happy as can be with my Good as Gold book hangover. It gets five stars!
Wide Release Date: 30 May 2023
Amazon Release Date: 01 June 2023
Date Read: 27 May 2023
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