on February 7th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Hunter Cross has no regrets. Having left his football prospects behind the day he graduated high school, he’s happy to carry out his legacy on his family’s farm in the foothills of the Shenandoah. But when a shoulder injury puts him face-to-face with the high school sweetheart who abandoned town—and him—twelve years ago, Hunter’s simple life gets a lot more complicated.
Emerson Montgomery has secrets. Refusing to divulge why she left her job as a hotshot physical therapist for a pro football team, she struggles to readjust to life in the hometown she left behind. The more time she spends with Hunter, the more Emerson finds herself wanting to trust him with the diagnosis of MS that has turned her world upside down.
But revealing secrets comes with a price. Can Hunter and Emerson rekindle their past love? Or will the realities of the present—and the trust that goes with them—burn that bridge for good?
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
Hunter Cross was helping his brother Owen on the farm, when Hunter nearly falls from the hayloft and hurts the same shoulder that had ended his high school football career 12 years before. Hunter will need physical therapy; it’s a good thing that Doc Sanders just hired one. Emerson Montgomery is back in Millhaven, the small Virginia town, where she swore she would never set foot again. After her diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, Emerson’s life unravelled: her football star boyfriend dumped her, her career with a SuperBowl winning team became too much to handle, and the only place she eventually found work was in her hometown. If she kept quiet, maybe everything would work out alright, and she might even avoid her overbearing parents. Emerson’s hopes are dashed when her very first patient is the man who had asked her to marry her in high school, and from whom she ran away.
I was eagerly waiting for CROSSING HEARTS, and at the same time dreading it. The subject matter is a tricky one, and I must say I was expecting endless angst, misunderstandings galore, handwringing. And I must congratulate Kimberly Kincaid for not falling prey to any of those traps. Ms. Kincaid does a masterful job at tackling a serious illness, parental issues, and Emerson’s running away from Hunter. The author never took the easy way out, but doesn’t dwell on the little things either; CROSSING HEARTS is a very realistic, and extremely compelling book. Emerson’s reasons for her actions are entirely believable; I understood her, I felt her pain – physical and emotional – and I love that there was none of the expected resentment from Hunter’s part for the sudden split. Emerson and Hunter handled every issue like responsible adults, and how they rekindled the romance was both believable and wonderful.
Every character is carefully drawn; the Cross men’s bickering felt real (and how I love Eli!), and Ms. Kincaid has created a small town I loved and can’t wait to revisit. The romance between Emerson and Hunter is touching, emotional, but most of all, I believed in them, in their love, in their acceptance of what is and who they are, and how to make it work the second time around. Hunter is exactly the type of hero I wish we would see more often: a compassionate, good, kind, caring, and hard-working man, who knows what he wants and is willing to work for it. Emerson is also fantastic, and does not reject systematically what is before her.
The writing is flawless, the pace impeccable, the dialogues spot-on, and Ms. Kincaid knew where she was going with her story, and it shows; everything in CROSSING HEARTS is done to perfection. CROSSING HEARTS is proof that you can have a steamy romance with a serious subject and do it with heart and unnecessary drama and unpleasantness. CROSSING HEARTS is Kimberly Kincaid at her absolute best, and I cannot wait to see where this series is going. This is a book that is not to be missed!
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.