ARC Reviews,  Reviews

Sarina Bowen’s Good as Gold ARC Review

Thank you to Sarina Bowen and her team for the advance reader copy of Good as Gold, the first book in the Giltmaker series.

I adore travelling to small-town Vermont with the Giltmakers, Shipleys, and Rossis, and could do so forever. This was a fun friends-to-lovers, getting the girl who got away romance. I liked the characters but had a few issues with the pacing that kept this from a five-star.

A swoony, heart-wrenching small-town romance from USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller Sarina Bowen!


What I meant to do: quietly divorce my lout of a husband and then have a child all on my own.

What happens instead: my crush comes back to town when I’m at my most vulnerable. After too many cocktails, I ask him to be my baby’s father.

In my defense, it’s been a rough couple of months. Seeing Matteo Rossi again after fourteen years has done a number on my emotions. And my libido.

In the morning, I’m hoping he’s forgotten the whole thing. But no such luck. In fact, Matteo has a few clarifying questions. And a few naughty ideas, too…


What I meant to do: visit Vermont for my brother’s wedding. Make amends to my family, and mourn the loss of a friend.

What happens instead: a hot affair with the one who got away. But it can’t last. My life is two thousand miles away, and Leila deserves everything. She’s as good as gold.

Check out my more detailed thoughts below…

  • Characters: When we meet Matteo Rossi, it has been fourteen years since he returned to his hometown of Colebury, Vermont. He returns for his brother’s wedding and is confronted with the fact that the girl he has always loved is newly single. Matteo has such a kind heart, and he tries too hard to take up the burdens of others. He’s been carrying the loss of his best friend, keeping his business afloat, and having the energy to stay away from his family to avoid her. She is Leila Giltmaker, freshly divorced and the center of town gossip as she left her husband of ten-plus years. She married Matteo’s best friend, but she always had a crush on him. She is a very thoughtful, sweet person and the town’s early childhood educator.
  • Setting: I adore Colebury, Vermont!! What I enjoyed the most about this book was being back in Vermont with so many of the families I adore so much. As Matteo is back in town for his brother’s wedding we get lots of time with his brother Alec, and his wife-to-be May Shipley. Yes, that May Shipley! Then all the air time with other Rossis like Zara and Benito, I just love all of Sarina’s characters and am so happy she is launching a new Vermont series.
  • Pacing: This story missed the mark for me slightly on the pacing. There are quite a few flashbacks and they felt out of place rather than natural. The info we got from them is important but maybe not told through flashbacks. The other issue I had was the pacing throughout the middle chunk. The characters were apart for too long for way too much of the story in my opinion.
  • Romance: Matteo and Leila’s dynamic was adorable, as all they needed to do was communicate the depth of their feelings for each other when they were in their teens. It was nice to read about their second chance so many years later. Much of this story was about Leila deciding to have a child on her own, and her drunkenly approaching Matteo to have the child. This starts off a journey of Matteo and his self-worth, Leila really helps him discover not just that he could be a good father, but a good partner and friend.

Good as Gold receives four out of five stars.

You can pick up the story below…

Amazon | Apple Books | Kobo | Nook | Audio

Thank you again to Sarina and her team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!

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