Title: Sunrise Crossing by Jodi Thomas
Ransom Canyon Series Book Four
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Return to peaceful Crossroads, Texas, where community comes first and love thrives in the unlikeliest places…
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.
With three sweet romances and a hint of suspense, Sunrise Crossing is another heartwarming and engaging installment in Jodi Thomas’s wonderful Ransom Canyon series. Although this latest release is the fourth in the series, it can be read as a standalone (although I highly recommend the previous books as well).
Yancy Grey has pretty much given up on finding a woman who will overlook his past so he is concentrating on renovating the house he inherited from his grandmother. Busy but satisfied with the various jobs he has around town, he works on the house in his spare time and late one night, he is surprised to discover a young woman hiding on his property. Unbeknownst to Yancy, the young lady he dubs “Rabbit” is none other than “missing” artist Victoria “Tori” Vilanie. Having recently fled from her over controlling parents with the help of gallery owner Parker Lacey (who owns a never used home in the area), Tori really is not missing but with her face plastered all over the news, there are plenty of people looking for her. Tori cannot resist spending time with Yancy but will she unthinkingly put him and Parker in harm’s way?
Parker has worked hard to build a successful business but she does not have much of a personal life. Helping Tori on the spur of the moment might be a little out of character, but she does not regret her decision. Deciding to join Tori, Parker asks Clint Montgomery, the cowboy (and her neighbor) who sold her the property in Crossroads, to help her leave Dallas undetected. Intrigued by the taciturn cowboy, she finds an excuse to visit him and she is pleasantly surprised to discover that while Clint might be the strong, silent type, he makes no effort to conceal his attraction to her. A delicate dance ensues between them since neither is looking for a long term relationship but love sometimes has way of slipping in when least expected. Despite their unexpected feelings for one another, Parker has no intention of changing her plans but will Clint convince her to change her mind?
Deputy Fifth Weathers is in the midst of an unexpected romance of his own with helicopter pilot Madison O’Grady when his professional life intersects with the other two couples. Wary of a newcomer to town, he and Madison are perplexed by some rather suspicious background information of the man who is also staying at the B&B. Fifth is still trying to piece together the puzzling details when the situation with Tori takes a very dangerous turn. Will everyone escape unscathed as the the case hurtles to an explosive conclusion?
While the plot might seem a little busy due to the number of characters and relationships, the various story arcs overlap and it is very easy to keep up with what is happening. Yancy has been featured throughout the Ransom Canyon series but it is well worth the wait to see him finally find someone who can accept him in spite of his troubled past. In a town as small as Crossroads, it is no surprise that an outsider can see the man he is now instead of the troubled person he once was and Tori is perfect woman to do just that. Beginning with friendship, the shift in their relationship to romance is gradual and although they fall in love quickly, their feelings for each other are believable.
While Yancy and Tori’s romance has an air of innocence, the relationship between Parker and Clint is much steamier. Although neither of them is looking for a lasting commitment, both are open to exploring the attraction between them. Parker has a few reservations and Clint is amazingly patient with her as she tries to decide if she should give in to her desire. For a rough and tumble cowboy, there is an unanticipated amount of depth to Clint and at heart, he is a romantic who manages to surprise Parker with some very sighworthy and touching gestures. Despite not wanting a serious relationship, Parker quickly realizes her feelings for Clint run much deeper than lust, but with an uncertain future, she is not willing to risk breaking his heart.
Sunrise Crossing is an absolutely wonderful addition to the Ransom Canyon series. The characters are richly developed and immensely appealing. The small town setting is charming and since many of the characters are recurring, a stop in Crossroads always feels like coming home. By bring in new people, Jodi Thomas not only keeps the series fresh but with one person in particular, she also answers some lingering questions from earlier installments. Another outstanding novel in this terrific series which will leave readers anxiously awaiting next year’s release, Wild Horse Springs which features Sheriff Dan Brigman, his daughter Lauren and her first love, Lucas Reyes (SQUEEEEE)!