Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cross The Line by Rie McGaha

Reviewed by Ginger Simpson

The story opens with nineteen-year-old Carrie Robertson struggling to bury her father clad in his Confederate Uniform.  She’s already lost all other family members, and the burial scene is quite vivid and realistic. Back-story tells the reader that Carrie is now living in a cabin built by her father, on land he spent  plowing and sowing to dispel his grief. They’ve left their home in Charleston and settled for much less, and sadly, her remaining sister has been claimed by the flu. With her father gone, Carrie is alone in a home that’s miles from the nearest neighbor. She’s determined to keep the place going using the funds her father left behind. 

Noah Moseley, an escaped slave who found safety living among Indians, is thrown from his horse and injured.  Crawling on his belly and dragging his broken leg, he seeks shelter.  His ammunition is gone and he fears “creatures of the night” will smell his blood.   He awakes the next morning, nestled under a mere shrub and continues his search for help.   He never expects to be found by a woman toting a rifle--one who will later become the person who nurses him back to health and falls in love with him despite his being a mixed breed.  The romantic element is definitely steamy in parts. If you enjoy “blow by blow” descriptions, you will be totally satisfied.  No pun intended.

Noah and Carrie find an attraction despite their ethnic differences.  At first, Noah fights his feelings, fearing Carrie will be ostracized for loving a man who is half black, but caution be damned, they begin a very sensuous relationship without benefit of marriage.  His plan to have the village Shaman marry them is delayed by the time Noah spends aiding the Buffalo Soldiers in negotiations with warring tribes.  Despite his sporadic schedule, each visit leaves Carrie pregnant, even with twins at one point. Imagine giving birth the first time while alone and following instructions in a book. Carrie certainly came across as a strong heroine with few fears.  Unfortunately, Noah’s torn between his love for her and his obligation to help the Indians avoid anymore bloodshed.

It is extremely difficult for this reviewer to read without an internal editor whispering in her ear.  There is a great historical story in Cross the Line, but connecting with the characters was hampered by the story being told rather than shown in many places. Too much repetition of facts shared among the characters as well as too many unnecessary tags made the storyline drag. Surely, those who read for pure pleasure will be able to overlook what drew me out of the story.

Clearly the author has done a lot of historical research with regard to Indian tribes--my favorite time in history.  This wasn’t a page turner for me, but I’m sure it’s because of all the editing expectations that weren’t met.  I’m still questioning whether some of the vocabulary was appropriate for the era, but other readers may not even notice the things so blatantly obvious to me. A review is merely one person’s interpretation of a novel so I urge you to read this book and draw your own conclusions.  Cross the Line is a Coffee Time Romance Review Award winner so that proves my point--a book is never everyone’s cup of tea...or coffee in this case.

This book is offered by Solstice Publishing, and you find out more about the author on her website.

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