Author: ZA Maxfield
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 316 Pages
At a Glance: A delightful story of an unlikely couple who make us believe in the possibility of true love.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Two dudes walk into a bookstore…
Tristan knows he’s got issues. His latest ex-girlfriend knows it too. He can’t blame her for dumping him—even though she gets her brother to do it for her. Since he can’t stop staring at said brother’s package, he figures it’s about time to put a label on those issues. He likes guys.
He heads to a local bookstore with what he’s sure is a foolproof plan to find someone to show him what he’s been missing. But who should crash his little adventure? Officer Michael Truax, who gave him a really expensive ticket back in high school for skateboarding without a helmet.
Michael has been trying to catch Tristan for years…to give him a second ticket. Suddenly faced with “Sparky”, all grown up and looking to get laid, Michael’s protective instinct kicks in—and presents him with an opportunity that’s hard to resist. After all, the kid must know what he’s getting into, so why not?
But when a man with a plan connects with a man with a hunger, the result is nothing short of explosive.
Review: So, first of all, I’ve already taken a LOT of crap from my friends because I hadn’t read this book until now. I know, I know *smh*. What can I say??? I have thousands of books in my library, literally, and my life keeps getting more and more chaotic, so I’m just doing what I can these days. 🙂 In my defense, though, I have read eleven other Z.A. Maxfield books and I’m a HUGE fan. I knew I would love this book – even more than I loved the late lamented Borders. 🙁
When we first meet Tristan, he’s figuring out that maybe he has some exploring to do – as in, maybe he should be exploring guys and giving the whole girl thing a rest, since it doesn’t seem to be working for him. His grand plan involves setting up at the local Borders and trolling for a perspective “date” who can maybe show him the ropes, or at least a good time. The last thing he expects is to be co-opted by Officer Helmet – his nickname for the officer who gave him a very expensive ticket when he was in high school for skateboarding without one. A helmet, that is.
Turns out Officer Michael Truax (aka, Officer Helmet) has a nickname for Tristan too – Sparky – and not because of Tristan’s bright red hair. Michael is onto Tristan’s plan pretty quickly, and he’s not sure it’s such a good idea. He has a feeling Tristan has no clue what he is potentially setting himself up for, and he doesn’t like it. Especially when maybe Michael has another plan in mind.
Tristan is completely blindsided by Michael’s interest in him and at first, he’s really skeptical. But as he gets to know Michael, he cannot believe that this is the guy for him. They are incredibly hot together. Tristan may be a beginner, but he’s a smart guy and learns quickly. After spending a couple of nights and days together, it’s pretty obvious that this is really something special. While there are a few bumps in the road, mostly they get it right.
But Tristan has to be honest with his family – especially his mom, who is trying to hold everything together since her husband’s tragic and sudden death a couple of years before. The whole “Thanksgiving with the families” day is hilarious. There are some really funny moments with Tristan’s younger siblings, as well as some touching moments with his widowed mother, who is doing her best to keep moving forward.
Then a new tragedy strikes that casts a pall over Michael and Tristan’s love affair. There is a bit of interference from someone outside the relationship that may or may not be well-intended. Tristan is definitely overwhelmed by so many things that he’s not sure he can risk a future with Michael. He’s got a good head on his shoulders and plenty of support. And, he has Michael.
*Sigh* ZAM is truly a master of writing intimate family dramedy. As usual, her dialogue and the emotional IQ in this story is spot on. I so loved these characters and Crossing Borders sucked me in from the first page. Tristan and Michael, and their families and friends, feel like people you’ve known forever – and in a good way. 🙂 If you haven’t read this yet, I highly recommend you do it right away. I mean, you don’t want to get crap from all your friends for being the LAST one to read this book, do you? 😉
You can buy Crossing Borders here: