Getting kneed in the balls is perhaps not the meet cute this good guy hero was hoping for, but it was an effective one! When a case of mistaken identity leads our heroine to take her frustration out on her evil boss’s identical twin, neither one could’ve predicted where they’d end up later on. I loved that the story jumps right in and breaks down the walls between these two characters, and throwing them together on a business trip with tons of forced proximity and an easygoing feel certainly helped foster a relationship. Each book in the series has followed a different North brother, and this hero is the nice one – the genuinely good guy who has learned to put himself last and practice ironclad self-control. Paired with a secretly feisty, sexy heroine who has ADHD and impulse control issues, it was only a matter of time before he found himself letting go.
The story follows Lillian, a woman who has always been told that she’s too much. Her personality makes it difficult to keep a well-paying job, but she’s finally managed to hold onto one… at least until she reaches her breaking point. Lillian’s boss is an emotionally abusive jerk, so her knee-jerk reaction (literally, lol) was warranted. At least, it would’ve been if she’d aimed it at the correct brother. Lillian and Hudson’s relationship starts off on the wrong foot, but going on a business trip to a luxury resort together soon brings them closer. But Hudson is determined not to sink to the same level as some of his other family members – and getting involved with an employee is a surefire way to do so.
This is my favorite of the series (so far) – each book has been so different, taking traditional tropes and spinning them in new directions. Until this one, I wasn’t QUITE able to give any of them a full 5-star rating, though elements of each certainly earned it. That’s why I’m rounding up this time; True North is refreshing and bingeable, with a unique storyline and genuinely likable characters. I loved the easiness of Lillian and Hudson’s relationship, and having such a nice guy as the hero was great. There’s nothing that I didn’t like, though it was perhaps a little TOO easy at times. Salsbury does throw in a few curveballs though, and I am especially excited for the next installment of the series – which I wouldn’t have predicted going into this. It should be noted that there’s some potentially triggering content that I didn’t see coming; beyond the fact that Hudson’s brother is verbally abusive, there are also references to things like sexual assault, gaslighting, etc. All in all, I got everything I wanted from this (mostly) light and sexy romance, so that’s a definite win.
The North name is a heavy burden. Two things I learned young—the best way to keep my head on is to keep my head down, and… never fall in love.
But I’m a sucker for a damsel in distress.
Lillian came into my life swinging. Mistaking me for my abusive twin brother, she greets me with a swift kick to the balls and a busted lip. Then she really shakes up my world.
She needs her job, but she needs a break just as much. And nothing silences my demons as efficiently as playing the hero.
To protect her from my jerk twin—her boss—I take her on a business trip and quickly learn that she’s different. Blunt. Honest. Intriguingly strange. I’m transfixed, so when she unknowingly sinks a multimillion-dollar deal, I don’t speak up. Something my family won’t forgive.
Now, I have a choice to make. I can go against my own blood and burn the North legacy to the ground, or play it safe, commit to my self-imposed rules and predestined future. Choosing her would ruin my life as I know it, but I’m starting to wonder if a life without her is worth living.
We stroll down the street, taking turns with the fried bread and looking at each booth that offers some variation of Native American cuisine. Lillian finds a way to strike up a conversation with everyone. The woman likes to talk. And I’m getting an unexpected level of enjoyment watching her.
“Let’s head to the arts section.” She tugs on my jacket sleeve. “I want to get a souvenir—oh, look! A bouncy house!” She hooks her hand into the crook of my elbow.
I startle a little at the contact, even though, so lost in her excitement, she doesn’t seem to notice she’s even touching me.
“We have to jump in the bouncy house!”
“Why? We’re not six years old.”
She drags me closer to the jungle-themed contraption, complete with inflated palm trees, monkeys, and bananas decorating the entrance. “Because it’ll be fun.” She whirls around, her pale blue eyes dancing. “You do remember what fun is, don’t you?”
“My idea of fun isn’t making a fool out of myself in front of a bunch of kids.”
“Why not?” She toes off her shoes. “Kids don’t care if you look like an idiot.”
“You go ahead.”
“You’re missing out,” she calls as she ducks through the strips of green plastic made to look like hanging vines.
Within one minute, she’s laughing with the kids, jumping in a blur of black, with her golden hair flying in every direction. I don’t mean to stare, so I pull out my phone, sure that there’s an email I can attend to, but her laughter keeps my eyes from the screen. I’ve never heard a sound so authentic, free from the constraint of social expectation or acceptance. Have I ever met a person who gets this much joy from something so simple and childish? Lillian balks at a three-Michelin-star meal and finds a contagious kind of joy from a bouncy house.
She’s breathing hard as she has an in-depth discussion with the kids about what she dressed up as for Halloween and who would win in a fight between Sophia the First and someone named Doc McStuffins. A little girl asks her where Lillian’s mom is and if she wants to have a playdate tomorrow.
“See that guy there?” Lillian points me out to her new friends. “He’s afraid of bouncy houses.”
The group of littles reply in multiple forms of shock.
An evil smirk tilts her lips. “I think he might feel brave enough to try if you guys go talk to him.”
“Oh, come on…” I grumble.
Three kids who I wouldn’t guess to be older than five come barreling toward me.
“Don’t be scared!”
“My little sister isn’t even afraid!”
“You can hold my hand.” A small hand slips into mine and holds on. The little girl with bright brown eyes and black hair tilts her head back to look up at me, and something warm seeps into my chest. “Just hold on, okay?”
Only an asshole would say no to that face.
I kick off my shoes and let her drag me to the bouncy house. The kids are still shouting their encouragement while Lillian dissolves into a fit of laughter.
“Don’t be a wussy!” one of the boys calls out while jumping furiously.
I release the little girl’s hand and walk straight into Lillian’s space. Her laughter dies, and I watch her throat bob with a hard swallow.
“I’m going to pay you back for this,” I say low so the kids don’t hear, which makes my voice rumble.
A spark fires in her eyes. “You’ll have to catch me first.”
Start the series today!
From New York Times bestselling author, JB Salsbury, comes an angsty new romance with a bossy hero and woman who was born to survive.
To me, he was Grizzly.
To the world, I would learn, he’s someone else completely.
I should have died on that mountain.
But he rescued me.
More animal than man, he’s cold, distant, and fiercely territorial. He seems to hate me for simply breathing, and yet, he brought me back to life.
After my return to the city, I can’t stop thinking about him. His rough hands, intense glare, and the way he cared for me as if I meant something to him.
He tells me he’s dangerous. That I’m not safe around him. I would eventually understand why he warned me away. But by then it’s too late. My heart is his.
Read the audiobook review here
About the Author:
JB Salsbury, New York Times Best Selling author of The Fighting Series, lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and two kids. She spends the majority of her day lost in a world of battling alphas, budding romance, and impossible obstacles as stories claw away at her subconscious, begging to be released to the page.
Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. With her journalistic background, writing has always been at the forefront, and her love of romance prompted her to write her first novel.
Since 2013 she has published six bestselling novels in The Fighting Series and won a RONE Award.
Connect with JB:
Follow Jeeves on social media!
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases