November 9, 2015

Book Review: Cross the Line by Julie Johnson


I LOVED this book and could not put it down!  Forget family or work, I was consumed with Phoebe West and Nate Knox’s story from the moment I started it.  What a roller coaster!  One minute I was laughing and the next sad.  Phoebe was trying to live her life, loving a man that she’d known since she was five years old, and knowing that nothing would ever come of it.

Falling for Nate wasn’t something I was ever really conscious of doing. It was just something I knew, in the pit of my stomach, in the marrow of my bones, in every dark, secret corner at the back of my mind. Ingrained so deep I wouldn’t know how to begin to overcome it —

Phoebe West met Nate when she was five and he hopped the fence between their yards.  Nate consoled her over the death of a turtle dove.  Phoebe’s mother told her that turtle doves mated for life, and she was distraught that the other would die of a broken heart.  That day they both vowed never to fall in love, so they wouldn’t die of a broken heart.

It’s been written in my stars since I was five years old with a crush on the older, off-limits boy next door.

Phoebe instantly fell in love with Nate, but he never paid her much attention except as the sister of his best friend. After college Nate left to join the special forces and they had barely spoken in the last ten years. Now Phoebe has decided that she needs to move on with her life. She’s never going to be with Nate, and she needs to find a way to get over him and finally start living.

The main rules of indifference are: Don’t think about Nate. Don’t talk about Nate. And never, ever, talk to Nate at the few family gatherings where our paths cross. It’s kind of like my own personal Fight Club, except less violent and way more pathetic since I’m the only member.

With the entire book being from Phoebe’s point of view and reading how much Nate affected her, I have to admit I wasn’t charmed by Nate in the beginning.  Phoebe did everything she could to harness Nate’s affection.  It wasn’t easy learning parts of their past where Phoebe felt humiliated from one event to another until he disappeared from her life.

I loved Phoebe instantly. She had me laughing from the very beginning, but just as quickly as she had me laughing, I was also tearing up.  To the outside world she lived a charmed life, but money can’t buy happiness.  I don’t want to give too much away because I want everyone to be able to enjoy this story as much as I did.

“Maybe I’d rather live in the wreckage with you for a while than fake a fairy tale with someone else forever.”

Nate Knox was hard to get a read on, as he tried to hide his feelings.  Although it was easy to see that he cared very much for Phoebe. The question was, what was keeping Nate away?  Was it that Phoebe was his best friend’s sister, or maybe the ghosts that haunted his eyes?  

When Nate finally let Phoebe in, I have to say, tears welled up in my eyes at his sweet words.

His lips brush my ear. “Put your head on my chest.” I do. “You hear my heartbeat?” I nod, cheek rubbing the fabric of his shirt. “It’s beating for you, little bird,” he murmurs, holding me closer. “That can be our music.” “But you can’t hear mine,” I whisper, voice cracking. He pauses. “I can hear it, Phoebe. I hear it in my soul. I set my life by its every beat.”

So far this is my favorite book that I’ve read by Julie Johnson.  Although it’s a standard size book, I flew through it.  I eagerly wanted more of Phoebe and her friend’s antics, and seeing what would happen with each of Phoebe and Nate’s interactions.  I really hope there will be more with the Boston Love Story characters.  With each book I fall in love with the characters more and more. I would love to see more of Gemma and Chase, Phoebe and Nate, and I think Parker could use his own book too.  I can’t wait to see what Julie Johnson has in store for us next!


** I was provided an arc for a fair and honest review.**

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed by Christi

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