Cross the Line by Julie Johnson

Cross the Line by Julie JohnsonCross the Line by Julie Johnson
Series: Boston Love #2
Published by Julie Johnson on November 10th 2015
Pages: 290
Buy on Amazon

Phoebe West has been head-over-heels in love with her brother’s best friend for as long as she can remember.
Not that he’s bothered to notice.
Despite several mortifying attempts at seduction and a decade’s worth of unrequited pining, nothing Phoebe does seems to make any impact on the man she’s obsessed over since her bra-stuffing days. She knows it’s time to let him go, though just the thought is nearly enough to shatter her…
Nathaniel “Nate” Knox has only ever seen Phoebe as one thing: forbidden.
There’s a darkness in Nate, the kind you can’t avoid after years working in special forces and private security. He’s no good for anyone — especially not someone as sweet as his best friend’s little sister. He knows he can’t have her. Not ever. Even if she makes him feel things he barely recognizes...
Some lines aren’t meant to be crossed.
When an unforeseeable series of events sends Phoebe stumbling headfirst into danger, there’s only one man who can protect her. Though, in his quest to save her life, he may just break her heart...

Written in the POV of Phoebe West, or better known as a slightly neurotic, melodramatic 24-year-old virgin who has been pining after an unavailable man for a decade (despite said man not being always available), ‘Cross the Line’ starts out smartly funny, with insults and antagonistic trade-offs that made for an entertaining first-quarter. But the rom-com shifts into suspense when there’s a kidnapping and the mystery kicks in towards the end, which I felt could have given the story a little more depth had the narrative not been focused solely on Phoebe’s loveless state for so long.

If the first person narrative gave me a few tickles at the start, the shortcomings of it do come through just as clearly here. Because so much of it’s a monologue of Phoebe’s state of mind, Nathaniel Knox, by the end of the book, remains an unknowable, distant character whose background is shadier than most black-ops characters. Yet this man that Phoebe apparently loves, has slipped in and out of her life like a ghost and when they actually talk, it’s painfully stilted and full of barbs that I wondered why she actually loved him when he’d treated her so badly over the years. That she kept herself only for him was well, mind-boggling.

Nate does somewhat make up for it though, but I still felt as though I didn’t know enough about him at all, in spite of his confession that he’d always loved Phoebe but never thought himself good for her. Consequently, it was hard to buy into them as as a couple, let alone swallow the confession that he was suddenly all in after not quite giving a sufficient justification of why he stayed away for years.

Overall, my reaction to parts of the story was fairly uneven, which probably accounts for the rating. I was tickled in parts, incredulous at others, and was pretty much bewildered when the building UST was cut short as the bedroom door pretty much shut in my face. I wish I enjoyed it more, really, but the only way I could see that happening was if there were equal insight into both Nate’s and Phoebe’s heads.


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