Sunrise Crossing by Jodi Thomas
Series: Ransom Canyon #4
Published by HQN Books
Publication Date: August 30th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Yancy Grey is slowly putting his life back together after serving time for petty theft. As he rebuilds an old house, he finally has a sense of stability, but he can't stop thinking of himself as just an ex-con. Until one night, he finds a mysterious dark-haired beauty hiding in his loft. But who is she, and what secret is she protecting?
The art gallery Parker Lacey manages is her life—she has no time for friends, and certainly not lovers. But when her star artist begs Parker for help, she finds herself in a pickup truck, headed for the sleepy town of Crossroads. A truck driven by a strong, silent cowboy…
Gabe Snow has been a drifter since he left Crossroads at seventeen after a violent incident. When he accepts a job in his hometown, he'll have to decide whether he can put the worst night of his life behind him and build a future in the community that raised him.
Parker Lacey is an art gallery owner who loves what she does and doesn’t have any plans on stopping until she’s dead. She’s 37 and since everyone in her family dies young – she’s not planning on being around that long. When she’s in the LA airport on a trip she runs into one of her artists who is not having a good life. After hearing Tori’s story Parker decides to help her out and helps her get away to a place called Crossroads, Texas where Parker owns a house. She always thought she’d use it as a getaway but she’s never gotten away. She helps Tori escape for a while and is happy to do it.
Parker is having pain in her knee and back and knows that it’s cancer as that’s what both of her parents died from. She goes in for tests and after seeing the look on the doctor’s face she doesn’t let him tell her what’s wrong before she’s out of there. She decides that she needs an adventure before she dies so she gets things in order at the gallery and heads to Crossroads herself. She gets there with the help of her neighbor, Clint Montgomery, and their tenuous friendship ends up turning into the greatest adventure of her life.
Tori is the artist who is trying to escape her life. She’s been a renowned painter since she was 15 years old but she’s 24 now and feels like she’s in prison. After her father died and her mother remarried her stepfather drove her to do more and more and more. She’s tired and hates that he has guardianship over her and her money. She doesn’t care about the money so much as her freedom to live how she wants. While she’s hiding out in Crossroads she loves walking and ends up in Yancy’s workshed. Once the two meet they become closer than either thought possible. What started out as the two just working on wood for his house remodeling project became much, much more. Unfortunately Tori’s stepfather wants his cash cow back and has the authorities, FBI and even bounty hunters out looking for her and he’ll take her, dead or alive.
Gabe left Crossroads when he was just a kid and was beaten and forced out by his own family. He was trying to run away with his love but neither family wanted them together. He never went back to Crossroads and now that he’s a bounty hunter and back to get Tori he’s seeing it with different eyes. He finds that the family he thought was all dead isn’t and he’s got a relative he never knew about. That one person changes his whole outlook on live and makes him determined to live a better life.
I have to say that when I agreed to read Sunrise Crossing I wasn’t sure if it would work as a standalone. I haven’t read the other books in the Ransom Canyon series but I’m happy to say that you can read SC and not have a clue about the previous books and still really enjoy the book.
I love the way that Jodi Thomas takes an unlikely collection of characters, puts them all together and makes an awesome story out of their lives and loves. Tori, Yancy, Parker, Clint, Gabe – all of them were such different people but Thomas brought them in and made them into a cohesive group. I also love the way that Thomas brings townspeople into the story. Even though the books aren’t about them they play a large part and it gives the story a more homey feel, imho.
Tori and Yancy were awesome together. They were quiet artistic people and got on well together from the start. Yancy had had a tough life and though he’d had first dates – never got a second with anyone. He loved so much about Tori and just let her be herself which was exactly what she needed to heal from her home life.
Parker and Clint – I could not think of a more unlikely pairing. He’s a gruff, quiet, rough and tumble cowboy and she’s a city girl with a gallery, designer clothes and not a lot of friends. Parker really needed Clint’s quiet patience in her life- someone steady to lean on who would be there for her no matter what. I loved how Thomas slowly got these two together and made it work. He was so sweet and was just perfect for her.
There was also a very small third romance in the book with one of the deputy sheriff’s that was quite cute as well and that added another lovely element to the story.
Besides the wonderful romances there was the suspense portion of the book having to do with Tori. This is where Gabe came in and we got to know his story about his life in Crossroads. It was moving and horrifying and I loved that what he discovered in Crossroads changed him. He had hardened himself from feeling and life and coming back broke the ice around his heart and made him want to be a better person. It was such a good part of the story and I was so happy that Thomas added this part in.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. Thomas is one of my favorite authors and I plan on going back and reading all of the Ransom Canyon books. I’m sure I’ll end up loving the Ransom Canyon books as much as I love her other books.
Rating: 4 out of 5