Friday, April 02, 2021

Sweetheart by Sarah Mayberry

Sarah Mayberry is one of my favourite Australian contemporary romance authors so I am always excited to hear that she has a new book coming out. The interesting thing about this book is that is part of a series that is set in a world created by another author. Let me see if I can explain that a bit better as I found it a very interesting concept which I don't think I have heard of before.

Author Sarina Bowen published the first book in her True North book in 2016 and since then series has continued. The series is set in Vermont and some of the key locations/settings were the local cafe, The Busy Bean, the bar called Speakeasy and there is a sports team as well that has been featured.

Now Bowen has set herself up as a publisher to bring The World of True North to life. Within the World of True North, there are going to be four series/story streams with each book written by different authors who can use the setting as well as some of the existing characters from the series and then they get to tell their own story. There are going to be 46 books all up. 46! The four series are going to be Busy Bean, contemporary romance set in the coffee shop, Moo U which is contemporary sports romance, Vino and Veritas which is going to be LGBTQ romances and Speakeaasy which will be more sexy romance (I think).

This book is set in the Busy Bean which is owned by a couple of friends who have had their own stories in the original series. This book focuses on Haley who has recently started working in the cafe. In addition, she is a talented leather artisan who is trying to buiild her online business up. When the cafe has a drop in customers soon after she starts, Haley needs to be investigate to be sure it isn't about her coffee making skils. 

It turns out there are some new coffee roasters in town who are supplying the opposition cafes, one of whom happened to be Haley's sisters ex-boyfriend, Daniel Beck. Haley always had a thing for Beck, but obviously he is out of bounds. Beck is attracted to Haley but his relationship with her sister Jess was volatile, to say the least, so he doesn't want to put himself in a situation where he needs to relive how awful that time in his life was. And yet, they can't seem to stay away from each other.

There are a couple of things that I expect from a Sarah Mayberry book is great chemistry from the characters, and that there is a depth to the story, and this book is no different on both of those fronts. This time she tactfully explores the impact of mental illness and the effect that it can have on whole families. 

So given the unusual nature of the series, the question is did I enjoy the world of True North enough to want to read more. I have already bought the first book in the actual series by Sarina Bowen, and I can see myself dipping into the greater series as a whole too. And, of course, I will still be looking for any Sarah Mayberry book I can get hold of, but to be fair, I did already know that even before I started this book.

Tomorrow I am going to be sharing a couple of quotes from this book as part of my Weekend Cooking series!

Rating 4/5


  1. Oh, that's an interesting project! I thought The Busy Bean sounded familiar when I bought Sweetheart (haven't read it yet, but I will soon). And also, I did think when I read Bowen's Roommate recently that she seemed to be setting the wine bar up for more books, but didn't realise it wasn't her who'd be writing them!

    1. It is a very interesting premise I think! Thanks for stopping by!