Review: BEND TOWARD THE SUN by Jen Devon

Review:  BEND TOWARD THE SUN by Jen DevonBend Toward the Sun by Jen Devon
Published by Griffin, St. Martin's Griffin on August 9, 2022
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Pages: 384
Source: Netgalley
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FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


Bend Toward the Sun by Jen Devon is one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve read in a long time. It’s a moving story about two people, both of whom have been broken by events from their pasts, who unexpectedly connect with one another.

Rowan McKinnon is a botanist who doesn’t believe in love.  Rowan finds solace in plants and in academia, and has no interest in emotional entanglements of any kind.  She’s a one-night stand girl all the way.  Little does she know, but Harry Brady is about to try to change that.  Harry is a doctor who has taken a leave of absence from his job.  His self-confidence is shattered after losing a patient, and he has come home to work on his family’s new vineyard and to hopefully heal and recover his self-confidence.  A surprisingly intense encounter with Rowan at a family game of hide and seek turns Harry’s world upside down.

I was fully invested in Rowan and Harry from that intense first encounter.  The sparks between them were insane and it was clear they were attracted to one another in spite of themselves.  The sexual tension between them only continues to grow when Rowan accepts a job at the vineyard and spends months there getting the grounds into shape.  I’m a sucker for watching two people grow closer after they’ve gotten off to an initial rocky start, so I just soaked up every scene that brought Rowan and Harry together since it was so obvious that they really needed each other. Rowan, in particular, has built walls around herself, and I loved watching Harry try to break them down.  It was truly an emotional tug of war between them at times.

Watching to see what would happen between Rowan and Harry was captivating on its own, but I also just absolutely loved the author’s writing style.  Every sentence is lush and beautiful without feeling overdone, and I loved how vividly she brings the setting to life.  I could practically smell the grapes and reach out and touch the vines, and that sensation just immersed me in the story all the more.

Equal parts heart-wrenching and heartwarming, Bend Toward the Sun is an intensely emotional story about love, family, grief, and healing that will ultimately leave you with a smile on your face.  This one’s a gem that romance fans won’t want to miss!  5 STARS


About Jen Devon

Jen Devon writes steamy, cinematic contemporary romances about imperfect people finding their perfect match. A former ecology academic and university 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 five (three kids, two rescue mutts) and lives in central Ohio with her engineer husband.

Her debut novel BEND TOWARD THE SUN will be available from St. Martin’s / Griffin on August 9, 2022, wherever books are sold.