CROSSING HOPE – Kimberly Kincaid
Cross Creek , Book 4
October 15, 2018
Contemporary Romance

Millhaven, Virginia – Present Day

Marley Rallston doesn't really want to live in Millhaven (or at Cross Creek Farm), but she has no other place to go. She barely knows her family despite living under the same roof, and she works at a dead-end job while she pays off her late mother's hospital bill. One day while in a grocery store, she spots a little girl attempting to steal canned food. The girl appears to be starving, and when the backpack of groceries she's carrying is accidentally dropped on the floor, it's Marley who takes the fall for shoplifting. This lands Marley in jail—alongside Greyson Whittaker, who has been arrested for having too many parking tickets.

Greyson feels he doesn't have time to deal with parking tickets and resents getting arrested because he's too busy trying to keep the family farm afloat. He has a bad boy reputation in Millhaven, and Marley's brothers don't like him. Now he's in handcuffs next to the newest Cross—Marley. The judge orders them to do community service at a pet shelter, and Marley and Greyson soon become friends. After spending so much time together, an attraction grows. But how will her family feel about her seeing bad boy Greyson?

Marley only came to Virginia at the request of her late mother to finally meet her father. Her relationship with Tobias Cross isn't like any normal father-daughter one. For one, they'd never met until she showed up. Secondly, they rarely communicate. However, Marley has slowly built a truce with her three brothers and their wives/girlfriends, but there is still a lack of trust between them. She could leave, but there is the matter of the hospital bill she's repaying, and she won't ask her family for help. Marley also won't tell them the truth about the shoplifting incident because she doesn't want the little girl to get into trouble. It turns out the girl and her mother live next door to the pet shelter, and soon Marley is secretly dropping off bags of food on their doorstep.

Greyson annoys Marley at first because he's a bit of a smartass. Yet, there's a sizzling awareness between them and it can't be ignored, especially since they spend a lot of time together. Greyson has put his heart and soul into the farm but he still doesn't get any accolades from his father. Everyone thinks Greyson is one of the “no good” Whitakers who won't ever amount to anything. Marley's brothers warn her to stay away from him, but he's too irresistible.  What will happen when they find out Marley and Greyson are attracted to each other? Will the truth come out that Marley wasn't the real shoplifter?

CROSSING HOPE is full of heat and emotions as two people who think of themselves as outcasts are drawn to each other. Marley plans to leave as soon as she can, while Greyson is tied to the farm. As they grow closer, it becomes harder to ignore their feelings for each other. Readers will root for them to make it all work out for a future together. Meanwhile, CROSSING HOPE is the last book in the  Cross Creek  series, and by the end, we catch up with all the couples, and the series reaches a satisfying conclusion.

A tale that is both sweet and sensual, CROSSING HOPE is that perfect feel-good pick-me-up that I highly recommend.

Patti Fischer