CROSSING HOPE (Cross Creek Series, Book 4) by Kimberly Kincaid
Publication Date: October 15, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Marley Rallston would rather be anywhere other than too-small-for-a-map-dot Millhaven, Virginia. But thanks to a heap of debt, what was supposed to be a quick trip to fulfill her mother’s dying wish has turned into an extended stay with the family she never knew she had and the father who never wanted her. To top it off, now she’s being forced to do community service with the town’s biggest bad boy, when all she wants to do is make enough cash to get out of Dodge? Life can’t get much worse.
The only thing Greyson Whittaker cares about is his family’s farm. He’ll do anything to keep Whittaker Hollow in the black, including live up to his rough, tough reputation by running the place by himself, no matter the cost. Mandatory community service with the daughter of their biggest rival is the last thing he wants or needs. But the more time Greyson and Marley spend together, the hotter their attraction burns, and the more the unlikely pair begins to realize that forbidden fruit just might taste the sweetest…
I enjoyed reading this lovely installment in the Cross Creek series. Greyson and Marley were absolutely made for each other. At face value you would wonder about their mutual attraction, but I think they saw themselves in each other, and were immediately drawn in. However, I wished I had liked Marley sooner. She’s been there long enough to give something to those around her, to loosen up the barrier she had built – no matter her reasons. That being said…I loved Marley and Greyson as a couple and how they helped each other grow. I love the family, life in Millhaven and of course…the steamy romance. This is one of those stories that left me smiling long after the book was done. Now the only problem is waiting for the next one.
*Review copy provided by Inkslinger in exchange for an honest review.
Marley’s boots clapped to a halt on the linoleum at the same time her heartbeat cranked way, way up in her chest. She blamed the former on the way the deputy—who had nervously picked her up from The Corner Market—had stopped short beside her, as well as the sight of her oldest brother Owen’s best friend standing a few feet away, his face locked in disbelief. The latter was entirely the fault of the man planted next to Lane, though. Between his tanned skin, the tall, muscular frame that nearly gave Lane’s a run for its money, and the inky black tattoo curling from beneath the sleeve of his T-shirt all the way to his left elbow, Marley really couldn’t help the visceral reaction.
Even if the guy was leveling her with a dark and stormy gaze that said he didn’t like what he was looking at in return.
“What the hell is going on here?” Lane’s voice crash-landed in Marley’s thoughts just in time to chase the flush from her face. What did she care what this scowling stranger thought of her, anyway? She had bigger problems at the moment, thanks.
Case in point. “I, uh,” Deputy Collingsworth stammered, turning roughly the color of summer strawberries as he cleared his throat. “I made an arrest.”
“I can see that,” Lane replied tightly. “What I meant was, would you care to elaborate on exactly why it is that you’ve arrested my best friend’s little sister?”
Marley’s gut fluttered, but she refused to let the sensation get anywhere near her face. She’d known exactly what she was doing when she’d claimed those groceries as her own. Even if the steel bars and jail cell were a whole lot more real now that they were standing starkly in front of her.
Deputy Collingsworth straightened. “She was shoplifting at The Corner Market. Travis Paulson caught her red-handed, and she admitted it, to him and to me. What else was I supposed to do?”
Shock streaked over Lane’s face, but it didn’t last. “Radio me, for starters,” he hissed, and the guy next to him released an audible, oh-please scoff that sent Marley’s brows hooking up. She opened her mouth to tell Lane and the deputy and God and anyone else within earshot that she didn’t want any special treatment.
But Lane was already shaking his head, the thought forgotten. “You know what, never mind. We’ve got a more immediate issue to deal with here.”
“Okay,” Woody said, enough of a question hanging in his voice that Lane huffed out a breath.
“I’ve also made an arrest, as you can see.” He jerked his chin at Tall, Dark, and Scowling. “And we can’t put two people of the opposite sex in the same jail cell.”
The guy’s face changed then, sending another curl of heat through Marley’s blood. “By all means. Ladies first,” he said, gesturing grandly at the single cell. His smirk was its own entity, taking over his unnervingly rugged and (ugh) undeniably good-looking face as if it had a life of its own. He could fill Wrigley Field with his arrogant attitude and ultra-cocky bravado. Even then, he was brimming with so much of both that he’d probably have to use a crowbar to cram it all in. Too bad for him and his sexy little smile, Marley was packing boatloads of backbone, herself.
And she was in just the mood to let it fly like a fifty-foot flag.
“Oh, no. Really. Age before beauty,” she maintained, planting her hands on the hips of her cutoffs and smiling so sweetly at the wide-open door to the cell, she damn near needed a root canal. “After you.”
The guy’s black brows shot toward the tousled waves falling over his forehead. “It wouldn’t be gentlemanly of me to step on your cute little toes. Please. I insist.”
Oh, my God, was this guy even for real?
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Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a USA Today best-selling author and 2016 and 2015 RWA RITA finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. She resides in Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.