Bend Toward the Sun by Jen Devon
Publication Date: August 9, 2022
TW: childbirth, death, parental neglect, gaslighting, anxiety attacks
I LOVED THIS ONE SO MUCH. I was in the mood for a more emotional romance and this one delivered!! I picked this one up because of Nick’s review and am so glad she posted about it.
Also, I’m bad at describing what this one was about so here is the synopsis from goodreads.
Plot: Rowan McKinnon believes love isn’t real. With a botany PhD, two best friends who embrace her social quirkiness, and some occasional no-strings sex, she thinks 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. The only love she’s ever known came from her grandmother Edie, who taught her to care for all things that grow.
After a chance encounter at a future winery, Rowan takes on the restoration of the property’s abandoned vineyard, immersing herself in nurturing the grapes back to their former glory—and trying not to think about Harrison Brady.
An obstetrician profoundly struggling after losing a patient, Harry Brady no longer believes he is capable of keeping people safe. Reeling from the loss and his crumbled romantic relationship, Harry leaves Los Angeles to emotionally recover at his parents’ new vineyard in Pennsylvania. He’ll work to get the place ready to open, and try to pick up the pieces of his heart.
As soon as he meets Rowan, sunlight begins to crack through the darkness smothering Harry’s soul. He’s compelled to explore the undeniable pull between them. After spending a lifetime protecting herself from feeling anything, for anyone, Rowan tries to keep things casual.
But even she can’t ignore their explosive connection.
WHAT I LOVED
- Harry and Rowan meet during a particularly competitive game of hide & seek which was just excellent and from there I knew I was going to love this one.
- I love a big family in books and especially love when big families take in characters who don’t have family and don’t understand the love in big families.
- The Brady family was so fun to read about and I think I see which characters are getting books and I hope I’m right.
- She sets up like three potential couples and I am here for it.
- This book has a lot going on and yet doesn’t have much of an overarching plot. Which are my favorite types of books. The book relies on the characters emotions and gorgeous writing. Harry and Rowan have great banter with each other, but also with Rowan’s friends and the other Brady siblings.
- This book is emotional. Both characters have trauma (new for Harry & old for Rowan) and they deal with it in very different ways and expect the other to react which causes some conflict.
- I really enjoyed seeing them start to heal and find their footing in their relationship.
- What I really loved about the 3rd act conflict is that it happens a tad earlier (around 75%) so we really get to see them make up in a way that felt real and then still got some moments of them as a couple. I literally cried at two points at the end.
- I was hesitant to pick this one up because based on the cover I had no idea what I was getting into but a few extremely positive reviewed made me request the ARC and I’m so glad I did. I can’t wait to see what Jen Devon writes next.
- I love the title! Plants bend towards the sun because they need light to survive and all that.
- Both of them are slowing bending towards each other and it’s just so cute!!
- Rowan is an academic and it was so cool seeing her use her botany knowledge and just generally be super smart.
WHAT I DID NOT LOVE
- While reading this I did have a few issues, but now, a few weeks later I don’t remember them ooops.
Overall, if you like emotional romances with one character who has no family and another with a massive family that just takes in the other character, I highly recommend this one.
*thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for an eARC of this one; all thoughts are my own*