After reading Harris’ first book, Vigilante’s Bride, I was excited to read A River to Cross. I love the idea of a western romance, but this one didn’t quite live up to my expectations. It wasn’t as good as her debut, but I still enjoyed it. It was a light, easy read with a fairly satisfying ending, but it wasn’t a page-turner.
When Elizabeth Evans moves to Texas to write for her brother’s newspaper, she ends up becoming the pawn in a scheme to cause war with Mexico. Kidnapped and carried across the Rio Grande, Elizabeth’s fate rests in the hands of Texas Ranger Jake Nelson. He and other rangers make the dangerous trek across the border to rescue her and gather information about the situation in Mexico.
While I enjoyed the romance in the novel, the absence of real conflict in the middle of the book slowed the story down. After Elizabeth’s rescue, the plot focuses on the developing relationship between her and Jake and the Mexican problems take a backseat—almost forgotten. The biggest conflict becomes Elizabeth’s struggle with her interest in another military man after her first husband died in the service, and I wasn’t convinced that would really hold her back from the man she loved.
I was a little disappointed with the anachronisms in A River to Cross—the most obvious being the romance between Jake and Elizabeth. Several situations that seemed inappropriate for the time period, especially for a senator’s daughter who would have been well versed in old-fashioned propriety.
At two different points in the story, each of the main characters had a little too much to drink and got in awkward situations. While I love that Christian fiction is finally evolving from the squeaky-clean, Janette-Oke-ish characters, I was a little surprised by this and thought Elizabeth’s episode may have been unnecessary.
Hopefully Harris’ next book will be on par with Vigilante’s Bride.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review. My opinion of this book is my own and was not influenced by the publisher or author.