Crossing the Line
Kimberly Kincaid     

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Cross Creek
Book: 2
Heat Level: Hot

Cocky farmer Eli Cross plays twice as hard as he works. When his latest stunt drums up a heap of negative PR for the family farm, he grudgingly agrees to play host to an ambitious New York City photographer. Her feature on Cross Creek could be just the ticket to show the country what the Cross brothers do best…which is more problem than solution for Eli.

Scarlett Edwards-Stewart has photographed everything from end zones to war zones. She’s confident she can ace this one little story to help her best friend’s failing magazine. At least, she would be if her super-sexy host wasn’t so tight lipped. But the more Scarlett works with Eli, the more she discovers that he’s not who he seems. Can his secret bring them closer together? Or will it be the very thing that tears them apart?

This is an interesting take on a small town romance. Eli Cross has always longed for something more than the farm. He just doesn’t want to disappoint his family so he lingers around barely giving his all to the farm.

Eli gets into a tug of war with a neighboring farm about who is the best. The proof that Cross Farms is the best, he is assigned the task of showing Scarlett Edwards, photographer and journalist around when she arrives. He hopes she gets the full idea of what farm living is really like.

Scarlett has always been the drifter and Eli is longing to run away. Scarlett’s arrival stirs up a lot of emotions for Eli. He has a decision to make when he is finally faced with the truth. The bet is easily forgotten as they forge a connection based on Eli’s secret desire to write.

I didn’t fully connect with the characters. I didn’t understand Eli’s struggle. He wants to become a writer. He has this secret life but he feels as though he can’t leave his family. However, he comes across as cold and a cocky jerk. They don’t take him serious so that defeats the purpose of not wanting to disappoint them.  I also didn’t understand why he hid that he enjoyed writing. It didn’t add up.

Scarlett didn’t feel like an authentic world renowned photographer. She didn’t act the part when she first arrived and then she fell in love with the simple life a bit too fast for me to buy her lifestyle. I did warm up to her as she helped Eli tap into his potential and discover his true calling.

There is some minor conflict at the end which should have been avoided. The two resolve it quickly and all is well. I’m not pleased with the unnecessary plot move at the end.

Of course I’m happy to see what happened to Hunter and Emerson. There is still a cozy charm to the small town that lures me in.

I want to continue on to the next book in the series. Owen has always been interesting to me.

~ Samantha