Series: Sullivan's Crossing #3
Published by Mira Books on April 17, 2018
FINAL DECISION: An enjoyable and complex family drama combined with a man and a woman reinventing themselves as part of a community. This is a slow burn romance that gives the characters time to get to know one another and fall in love.
THE STORY: Dakota Jones has come to Sullivan’s Crossing after leaving the military. His brother and sister have settled there and Dakota is, for the first time (after years of keeping his distance), feeling the need to be with his family for a while. But a short visit becomes a job and a sense of place and a woman who interests Dakota from the moment that they meet. Sid is the bartender of her brother’s place and she has some serious baggage of her own. A divorce and a breakdown brought Sid to Sullivan’s Crossing and she has made a new life for herself. She’s definitely not interested in a relationship — but Dakota is not a man who gives up easily.
OPINION: What I loved most about this book was the sense of community that the story creates. The stories of the characters intertwine, the book doesn’t shy away from the hard parts of life such as abuse, betrayal, mental illness, substance abuse, divorce, death and adultery. Yet, this book isn’t a downer. Rather, it is about how characters rise above the problems in their lives and truly connect with the other people in their community.
Dakota comes to Sullivan’s Crossing to reunite with his brother and sister who have settled down in the small town. So this story is not just about Dakota finding a romance but also about family dynamics and siblings building adult relationships with one another. We get to see Dakota building a life for himself in a way that includes the possibility of true connection with one another.
Sid is a woman who has already built a new life for herself, but she is also in a limbo. She doesn’t want to risk love, but she ends up finding Dakota’s persistence and kindness irresistible.
The romance between Dakota and Sid is a gentle and slow building thing. I liked that these two really get to know one another as the book progresses. There is a sweetness and a maturity in their romance along with a deep sense of respect and commitment. This is a grown up story and I really liked that.
There are some dramatic moments dealing with family and some outside agitation, but I never felt that it overshadowed the connection and Dakota and Sid are building. It just felt like a part of life.
I really enjoyed seeing the prior couples from the series and also getting an update on Tom and Lola’s romance.
This is truly a community story and we get to see how people fit together. The story is multi-faceted and has lots of layers and complexity. I really enjoyed returning to Sullivan’s Crossing.
WORTH MENTIONING: For fans of the series, if you read ANY DAY NOW, this book gives a continuation of the story of Sierra and Connie.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE FAMILY GATHERING is the third book in the Sullivan’s Crossing series. While the main romance here is self-contained, this book has various storylines running through it which connect with prior books. I think the book is better read as part of the series although all the information needed is in this book.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.