Crossing The Line is the second book in the Cross Creek series but can be read as a stand alone book. This book center’s around Eli who has been labeled as the brother who doesn’t work as hard on the farm and a bit of a goof-off. He’s also known as cocky and charming. The reader finds out quickly that while Eli loves his family and the farm he doesn’t love farming and doesn’t feel like he fits at the farm. His true passion is writing but he has been keeping this a secret from his family. When he makes an ill-conceived bet with a rival about which farm can make more money his family decides that he can help by being the point of contact for Scarlett, a famous photographer who is gong to be at the farm for a month doing a series of articles for her friend’s magazine.
Although, I enjoyed the characters and the writing I had two big problems with this book. I just never really understood why Eli felt the need to keep his love for writing a secret from his family. The explanation given just never rang true to me and it bothered me throughout the book. I also found it strange that such a close knit family never bothered to look a little below the surface of Eli’s constant deflection and easy going attitude.
The second issue I had was with the portrayal of Scarlett when she is first introduced. She is an internationally famous photographer who has traveled all over the world and photographed different things including war zones. Yet she shows up on a farm in heels and thinks flip-flops are fine for walking across the farm all day. Then she seems surprised when Eli tells her she needs to cover her skin so she won’t be burnt and the first day she wears a shirt that shows her lower back. She also complains about being at the farm by 5:30 am because it’s so early to have to be up. I just didn’t think that rang true with someone who did what she did for a living and it really threw me a bit and therefore it took me longer to accept her as a professional.
I expected Eli, to deflect and charm Scarlett to stay away from his secrets but he actually came across as aloof and distanced which also threw me off a bit. I admit I didn’t necessarily see these characters together but as the story went on I could see how there backgrounds and feelings of not having or fitting into a home brought them together. As they let each other in to their secrets and found some common ground I enjoyed the bond they created together.
I could of actually done without the end of the book drama as it seemed to be a bit of a cliched let’s throw some conflict in to cause problems for the MCs. Eli’s behavior was again a bit strange and I didn’t believe his reasons. It also led to a rushed reunion and left me with the feeling of a HFN rather than an HEA.
So while I enjoyed the first book more I did enjoy this book as well and I love the way the writer describes farm life and the relationship between the brothers and their father. I’ve been drawn to Owen’s character since the first book so I’m really looking forward to reading his book.