Keepsake Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Lark Wainright, 23, has nightmares. She used to be fearless. But while overseas for her nonprofit employer, she was kidnapped and held at gunpoint in a dusty shack. Everyone has an opinion about what might have happened to her there, but she's not saying much. She's too consumed by guilt to talk about it.
When her best friend offers her a stay at the Shipley orchard in exchange for help at the farmers' markets, Lark jumps into her little car and heads to Vermont. Unfortunately, the night terrors don't stop. Desperate to keep her fragile state a secret from those who know her best, she relies on the most soft-spoken resident of Orange County, Vermont, to calm her down when her dreams prove too much.
Zachariah, 23, is a survivor of a different kind. It's been three years since he was tossed aside by the polygamist cult out west, the only home he'd ever known. In Vermont, he's found a peaceful place in the bunkhouse at the Shipley's farm. He's good with animals, and he's good with his hands. But getting thrown away by your own people at 19 leaves a mark on a guy. And he doesn't always know what to make of a world where apps and movie quotes are the primary means of communication. Before hitchhiking to Vermont, he'd never watched television. He'd never spoken on the phone.
Actually, there are still a lot of things he's never done.
Zach and Lark slowly grow to trust one another. One night they become even closer than they'd planned. But Lark may still be too broken to trust anyone. When she shoves Zach away, he will have to prove to himself that he's good for more than farm labor.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 8 minutes|
|Narrator||Erin Spencer, Teddy Hamilton|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||January 03, 2017|
|Publisher||Blackstone Audio, Inc.|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #13,867 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#81 in Erotic Romance
#230 in Romantic Erotica (Books)
#939 in Contemporary Romance (Audible Books & Originals)
Reviewed in the United States on November 8, 2016
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Top reviews from the United States
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Zachariah was the whole reason I was looking forward to this book. From the first moment I met him in Bittersweet, I was all in. I wanted to know his story. I was half in love with him already. And he did NOT disappoint. He was everything I was hoping for and more. We all, as romance readers, have characters that we’re drawn to…and not everyone’s are the same. Zach was the epitome of what tends to draw me in. He’s a bit more beta, he’s kind, he’s generous, he’s sensitive…he’s just GAH! And he has no idea how attractive he is (not just physically). I loved getting in his head, even as my heart broke for him and his own issues. I felt like we really got to watch him grow and come into his own in this book…sometimes all it takes is meeting someone who brings you out of yourself. But it wasn’t just Lark, I appreciated the way Zach’s relationship with the Shipley family grew as well.
I had a completely different expectation for Lark’s character, and I honestly have no idea where it came from. And I was looking forward to that character, so you’d think I’d be disappointed right? But I wasn’t! Lark was fantastic! She was sassy, smart, kind, and dealing with an absolute nightmare. It’s not that I didn’t want to smack her when she kept trying to hide her mental state from everyone, and kept rejecting professional help, but at the same time I got it. It’s really hard to make yourself vulnerable, and to allow others to care for you and be there for you. It’s funny how it’s so much easier to see that Lark’s being a dummy assuming she’s a burden, but I know I’ve likely done the same thing in many aspects of my life…stupid human nature. I loved the way her story played out…I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but I absolutely loved the way her PTSD was handled and how she worked through her issues.
And Zach and Lark together were just sweet and smoking. I loved the way they came together, and how their relationship built. I truly felt their chemistry, and how they brought out the best in each other. I even appreciated the struggles their relationship met, but how it grew stronger in the end.
I wasn’t expecting all the little side stories we got in this one. I now understand why everyone wants May’s story (and thank the baby jesus that is happening). I appreciated the way that all played out as well. Obviously I loved seeing the Shipley family again, and seeing glimpses of what was happening in all their lives. I loved learning more about Isaac and Leah, and the surprise new character we met nearer to the end…it helped give some closure to Zach’s cult story. And I loved the little teaser for Zara’s book at the end! Again, makes me want to reread Bountiful now.
So yeah. It’s hard to decide, but I almost think this is even my favourite story in the series. They’re all so fantastic, but I can’t help but want to place Zach at the top. I kind of don’t want it to be over. So glad I’ll get more in a few months. I’ve also convinced my hubby we need to go find some Keepsake apple trees this summer…because they sound tasty. And that we need to visit Vermont in the fall and be one of those annoying tourists…
Sometimes you just want a nice guy hero, it's a refreshing change from the bad boy. I mean they say nice guys finish last but not this time. I just adored Zach and Lark their story was not all sunshine they had to get through the dark. Their story was beautiful and emotional. I didn't think it would be full of moments but it was. I never thought this would be a simole story but it had more depth character wise. The title of the book makes so much sense now and quite clever how it relates to the story.
Ever since this series started I've always been curious about Zach. Padawan of one Griffin Shipley, all around help and fixer of machines. Zach had a history around him before life at the farm and it wasn't a pleasant one but he survived. He has adapted and has a peaceful existence now. Although he may not be as gadget savvy or updated with new things he has grown. A quiet, hardworker, and good friend to the family. Yet to venture out on his own. I've always had a soft spot for Zach and thought his past was interesting and we are just getting to know the extent. You hear some similar stories that kind of experience wasn't easy but despite he remains a kind, gentle and selfless guy.
Lark was not as familiar as Zach but she too has survived an ordeal left with some PTSD kind of terrors. Maybe life on the farm will help remedy or lessen. Finding a friend in Zach wasn't east at first. But are quite similar in that they got out. Oh Lark I felt for her so much. She's smart and caring and stronger than she seems. That kind of event will change you. They both have scars from their own experiences and only they understand how they feel but themselves. They started off as friends who comforted one another. Zach has the emotional sensitivity and soothing way about him.
Now if you've read the previous books you know that Zach is inexperienced, virgin heroes are a rare breed in books. But here his circumstances make it that reasons for it seemed right for him. It can be tricky to.navigate I feel here it wasn't overdone and didn't need to dwell. To me I liked his beta/softer side. He made me feel warm and fuzzy, his protective nature was not over bearing at all endearing. The chemistry was natural and it grew the same way. Once these two started it was hard to stop.
They made me all smiley seeing them together. While Lark's road is still shaky and needed to deal with things, she had the support of a solid and steady guy. Plus her family and her friends of course. It may have been an obvious match for these two, it may have have started suddenly but it felt easy and right. I had the song falling slowly in my head the entire time. The feels. Zach's sensitive side balanced the wild child in Lark. Vice versa. There were times my heart broke for them both when they recalled certain events past. But the lighter moments made it all even out.
Sarina really writes Vermont in a way that makes we want to visit, the food, atmosphere and imagery. The people seem warm and open, the farm atmosphere has not been more inviting with the Shipleys and crew. Such a wonderful series and written so well. The characters and setting. They say write what you know and it shows here. Mansplaining is such a fun word btw.
While I hope this is not the end because I think the other Shipleys have a story especially with the tibits here and I would love to read it. I will say Zach has won my heart and he is my favorite. The good guy gets the girl this time and that's a welcome change for me.
Top reviews from other countries
A former cult member who has never had sex crushes on a troubled young woman who has been traumatised by an experience abroad.
The good and the bad:
It pains me to say that Keepsake does not live up to the high standard of the preceding two books in this series.
I found it unstructured, particularly in the second half, so by the last couple of chapters I was skimming through waffle.
Whereas Sarina Bowen's research for the preceding books Bittersweet and Steadfast seemed sound, in Keepsake I felt that she hadn't researched the subject of cult life in enough detail to write about it convincingly, so I didn’t understand the depth of Zach's problems in the way that I did Jude's drug addiction in Steadfast.
In fact, I didn't feel much of a connection with either Zach or the object of his desire, Lark – their characters just weren’t really that well-explored. It’s shame because I was really excited to find out more about Zach.
I was also disappointed that Bowen - a fab sex scene writer - passed up the opportunity to write some really original rumpy-pumpy scenes. Zach, having spent the first 19 years of his life in an oppressive religious cult, is a virgin when he meets Lark. In Bittersweet and Steadfast he is depicted as being incredibly shy about sex, so I was hoping for some hot scenes in which, following lots of tension, Lark spectacularly breaks downs his barriers and sexually awakens him by taking charge. Instead, he loses his shyness very quickly and their first and subsequent sex sessions are perfect, with "inexperienced" Zach making Lark come at the same time as him, like he's been bumping uglies for years. Not convincing.
If you are a first-time reader of Bowen, I recommend you start with Bittersweet – it’s excellent and it’s free.
If I could enter the world where a cast of book characters live, I would be packed up , moved & currently residing with The Shipley family and friends. Truly, the way Sarina Bowen writes is magical. I swear I could taste the apples, sense the cool Autumn air, see the mountains and feel the pure emotion that radiates from the pages of this book. In fact , each book in this series.
Zach is one of the loveliest, sweetest, vulnerable, strongest and loveable heroes I have ever had the delight of reading. I felt so protective of him and his tender heart. OMG, he shredded me sometimes with his vulnerability. Despite his romantic inexperience, he has a fabulous mischievous streak (and the man is quick to learn). Zach loves and is incredibly loyal to the small group of people he is surrounded by. They return this and that is a key element to the success of these books. They are stories about good people. About loyalty and love and a world where you are valued for who you are and how you treat those around you.
Lark is such a cleverly written heroine. Her & Zach are practically the same age but she has way more life experience, yet Zach catches on quick and he is very, very much her rock to lean on.
Lark is recovering from a traumatic experience and stays with the Shipley's for the Summer to recover. (May is her best friend from college) Seeing both Lark' s distress and Zach' s vulnerability made me cry at times. I don't often cry at books but this one provoked visceral reactions.
The secondary characters do not feel secondary in this book and nor should they. As much as I cried , I laughed a lot more. I adored the chat, camaraderie, banter and hilarity that ensues when this lot get together. Perfect.
There is lots of heat, passion and intensity. There is a gorgeous ending. There are twists I did NOT see coming.
I absolutely loved it.
I've never met Ms Bowen, but honestly, as a reader , it felt like she put her heart & soul into this novel.
Open this book, turn off the phone, grab an apple and go to Vermont & spend some time with The Shipley's.
Can be read as a standalone, but why on earth would you want to do that??? Get the series. It's awesome.
If Bittersweet and Steadfast were the perfect books to read during the summer then Keepsake is the book to take us into the cooler months. I'm more convinced with each True North book that this is Sarina's best work. I am hoping for many more books.
Ever since we met Zach in Bittersweet I've wondered what kind of girl would capture his heart. If two people have ever needed each other more than Zach and Lark needed each other then I'm not aware of it.
Keepsake opened my eyes to a life style I hardly knew existed much less knew anything about before I started reading. Zach was a quiet but steady presence on the side lines of the previous books so I kept an open mind about how his book would go. When it came to Lark and himself he stepped up to be stronger than I thought possible. Plus Zach is just damn nice which is exactly what I needed and for that he has a special place in my heart.
Like the previous two books, the eclectic Shipley family helped make this book one of my favourites. Many of my questions about some of the characters were answered or expanded on here and so many more were raised. This really is a wonderful series and I can't to see how it continues to grow.
This is awesome.
Lark is suffering from PTSD after being kidnapped in Guatemala, tired of her parents hovering over her she comes to visit her college roommate May at her family's cider farm in Vermont. Zach has being living and working at the farm for four years, ever since he was kicked out of the cult where he grew up. Along with missing out on much of the minutiae of daily life in the USA Zach is also a virgin.
In the day Lark is fine but every two or three nights she has nightmares and wakes the bunkhouse with her crying and screams. Zach takes it on himself to sit by her bed and hold her hand and help her go back to sleep. Can the original rich kid Wild Child who has returned home slightly broken ever have a relationship with a dirt poor boy with no family and no education?
Oh Sarina I think this might be the best one yet I loved Zach with every fibre of my being.
I think the tall dark stranger may feature in the next True North book - Can. Not. Wait.