⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ REVIEW: Bend Toward the Sun by Jen Devon

There’s a large part of me that wants to rate this as 5 stars because both the story and the writing are beautiful, but the wordiness of the text holds me back from doing so. Still – this is a phenomenal debut, and I’m excited to read more from Devon in the future. It’s a love story that centers around two people who need to love themselves again before they have any chance of a future together. I swooned over the determination of this hero, a man who is all in and unabashedly a relationship type of guy. He is book boyfriend-worthy for sure. I loved his persistence and unrelenting desire for the commitment-phobic heroine. While obvious desire sparks between them, they have very different opinions on what they should do about their attraction. Watching them slowly – agonizingly slowly – come together over the course of nearly a year was a fulfilling journey… if not a frustrating one.

The story follows Rowan, a botanist who has found herself temporarily staying at a vineyard. She’s never experienced real love – romantic or familial – so spending time with a close-knit family has her vastly out of her element. At least it’s only temporary. But the attraction that sparks between Rowan and Harrison feels familiar – she knows what to do with lust. Except Harrison refuses to give in to the physical side of their relationship. While they trade glances and tiny moments together on the vineyard, Harrison has his own healing to do. And he’s never been a casual sort of guy, while permanence terrifies Rowan. As the two dance around their feelings, it’s a battle to see who will surrender first.

Straddling the line between women’s fiction and romance, this is a love story first and foremost, featuring two people who have some work to do on themselves. The tone is serious and somber for the most part, with a few lighthearted (and a few steamy) moments sprinkled in. Devon’s writing really is gorgeous – there’s a reason why so many readers are complimenting it – though I did find it to be a little dense and wordy sometimes. There are many descriptions of mundane tasks and situations around the vineyard that had me skimming on occasion. But every time Rowan and Harrison’s chemistry sparked, my eyes were glued to the pages. I loved the bond between them, and the story itself is refreshingly different from the norm. Kinda frustrating, but I liked it. I sometimes struggle with third person perspective, so readers who prefer that might have an easier time staying engaged. It’s not an easy or quick story, but it feels rich and full, making an impact by the end. It should also be noted that there are several potentially triggering elements slowly revealed throughout the story, so keep that in mind as you’re reading. There’s a whole lot to love about this, and the quiet, tender love story is truly a unique one. I received an early copy, and am voluntarily leaving a review of this emotional romance.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3oEYlSt


Blurb:

Two imperfect people. One year under the sun. A love story you won’t ever forget.

Rowan McKinnon doesn’t believe in love. With a botany PhD, two best friends who embrace her social quirkiness, and some occasional no-strings sex, she has everything she needs. But she hides deep wounds from the past—from an emotionally negligent mother, and a fiancé who treated her like a pawn in a game. When an academic setback leads Rowan to take on the restoration of a winery’s abandoned vineyard, she relishes the opportunity to restore the grapes to their former glory. 

She does not expect to meet a man like Harrison Brady.

An obstetrician profoundly struggling after losing a patient, Harry no longer believes he is capable of keeping people safe. Reeling, Harry leaves Los Angeles to emotionally recover at his parents’ new vineyard in Pennsylvania. 

He does not expect to meet a woman like Rowan McKinnon.

As their combative banter gives way to a simmering tension, sunlight begins to crack through the darkness smothering Harry’s soul. He’s compelled to explore the undeniable pull between them. And after a lifetime of protecting herself from feeling anything, for anyone, Rowan tries to keep things casual. 

But even she can’t ignore their explosive connection.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3oEYlSt


About the Author:

Jen Devon wrote her first romance when she was eight. Now she writes vivid, cinematic love stories about imperfect people finding their perfect match. A former biology academic and lecturer, she currently works in the tech industry and dreams of writing full-time. She’s an avid gardener, photographer, and boardgamer, a thrift store enthusiast and unapologetic nerd. She’s a mom of six (three kids, three rescue mutts) and lives in central Ohio with her engineer husband. Bend Toward the Sun is her first book.


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