Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Review: Cross-Country Christmas by Laurie Lewis

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


When CC Cippolini is offered a temp job driving a custom car across the country, she leaps at the chance to leave Chicago, put her past in the rearview mirror, and make a fresh start. But one car crash and broken cattle fence later, CC ends up at the home of ruggedly handsome rancher Reese Brockbank.

Reese doesn’t hesitate to rescue the reckless woman who has crashed into his life, but when circumstances require him to put CC up in his house for a few days, he vows to remain aloof—a woman already derailed his life once. As CC’s warmth and childlike love of Christmas turn his beautiful but sterile house into a home, however, she wears down his defenses. Still, something in her story doesn’t quite add up, and Reese’s questions soon cause CC to retreat.

The pain of their pasts has brought them to this moment, but will they seize it or put the possibility of love in jeopardy?

My Review

This was a heartwarming story of a woman with no family and a man with no hope discovering love together. I loved the premise of Reese rescuing CC from a car wreck in a snowstorm, and the forced proximity while she stayed with him and the delightful couple who help work the ranch. I definitely got Hallmark-movie vibes as I read- both the pros and the cons. The dialogue was stilted, even when they were supposed to be bantering, which killed the chemistry for me. The setting was idealistic, but there was too much description of the specifics and I lost interest in CC's reaction to the relative opulence instead of feeling the homey vibe. I loved Emmie and Carlos as they encouraged Reese and CC, while also opening up about their own struggles. Reese and CC each got tied up in their own thoughts quite a bit which resulted in too much angst for me without realistic progress in their relationship. There is a bit of suspense built into the plot with CC's ex-fiance and mystery mother as the local sheriff investigates her background. I think this story could be enjoyed by others but it was a bit of a miss for me.

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

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