About the Book
Book: Crossed Lines
Author: Jennifer Delamere
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: August 31, 2021
Genre: Historical Romance
Emma Sutton knows she should be satisfied with her position at London’s Central Telegraph Office. But ever since she was orphaned young, she’s longed for a family of her own. Things look up when a handsome engineer is thrown into her orbit and he sends Emma the love note of her dreams.
Mitchell Harris’s sharp wit and facility with a pen have enabled him to thrive despite serious obstacles. That the woman of his dreams works just one floor above his should make life perfect. But a childhood accident has left Mitchell convinced he’ll never draw a woman like Emma Sutton’s attention. When his best friend–who once saved his life–falls in love with Emma, too, and asks for help writing her love letters, Mitchell is torn between desire and loyalty.
Believing the writer of the letters is the answer to her prayers, but confused over her growing attraction to Mitchell, Emma’s heart must decide where to call home.
Writing this review is a bit of a struggle for me. I am not a fan of love-triangle tropes and I really don’t like Cyrano de Bergerac. Because of this, Crossed Lines by Jennifer Delamere took me two weeks to read. I want to be crystal clear — Crossed Lines is a very well-written and engaging story. The plot is well paced and the action throughout is constant. In no way is this story boring. I found the characters well crafted, unique, and endearing. Mitchell’s feelings in regards to his deformity are extremely relatable and very realistic. Emma’s desire to be loved and her want for a permanent, loving, stable home is the stuff of most every girl’s dreams. And, Christopher’s infatuation with the pretty girl is quite typical of early romantic feelings. The various conflicts each character deals with in this story are all relatable and realistic. Overall, Crossed Lines is a great Historical Romance that I wholeheartedly recommend. To me, Crossed Lines is a must-read sequel in what is a very excellent series.
My issue with the love-triangle trope is the lack of depth to the lovers’ romance. Because authors have to give time to each pairing (boy #1 + girl and boy #2 + girl), and typically their books are roughly 300 pages in length, there is not enough “time” for real feelings to develop in a believable manner. Generally, it’s just lusty chemistry rather than deep, true love. There are some ways around this. For example, one of the couplings, say boy#1 + girl, have been good friends for most of their lives. Establishing a preexisting relationship in the love triangle helps make romantic feelings a little more believable. In Crossed Lines, Emma has not known either Mitchell or Christopher for any real length of time. For me, the brief time of knowing two very unique men ruins believability when it comes to a love match. It’s more a lust match or a relationship-of-convenience match. Yes, there is such a thing as love at first sight, but that doesn’t really work when there are two men to get to know in a 300-page book. This is just my opinion. I know a lot of people love the love-triangle trope.
My issue with Cyrano de Bergerac has always been with the shallowness of the characters and the lying they’re OK with doing. When I was six years old, my parents took me and my brothers to the drive in. I loved going to the drive in. That particular night was a two-for one special. The first movie was some kiddie movie that I can’t remember, but the second movie was Roxanne starring Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah. I was supposed to be sleeping during the second movie cause that was the rule. Kids get the first movie, then we go to sleep in the car for the second. Well, I didn’t sleep. I watched the “adult” movie instead. I can remember being very disturbed by the film. The girl only liked the pretty boy because he was handsome. I was totally offended that she couldn’t see how dumb the pretty boy was. I also hated how she made the star of the movie, the real love interest, a second choice. I was offended for this man. I was disappointed that he was OK with being the girl’s seconds. And, I really hated the lying. Nothing good comes from lying no matter how you spin it, especially when it’s lying during the brand-new, baby stages of a relationship. I just did not like the themes of the story. When I was older I had to read Cyrano de Bergerac for a class. I had no idea Roxanne was based on this play. I started to read the play and images of Roxanne came rushing to my brain. I tried really hard to like the play, but I just couldn’t. I felt the same as I did when I was six. In Crossed Lines, I struggled the same as I did with Roxanne and Cyrano de Bergerac. I will say that Delamere does a great job addressing the lying issue, and she even acknowledges the 2nd-choice problem. In Crossed Lines, the best man for Emma wins her hand and it doesn’t feel like she is resigning herself to a second-best option. I appreciate that Delamere rectified these issues in her story.
Jennifer Delamere did an excellent job taking the Cyrano de Bergerac storyline and making it her own. Crossed Lines is a good book; one I do highly recommend. If you are a fan of well-written, engaging Historical Romances, if you appreciate the love-triangle trope, or if you love stories with happy endings then Crossed Lines is the book for you!
I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from Bethany House Publishers via NetGalley in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.